International Incident Party: Mexican Breakfast – Pan Dulche

It’s time for this month’s International Incident Party again. Time is flying by way to fast! This month Penny at Jeroxie suggested a Mexican Breakfast theme. She is good at making my noggin work extra hard as I was left kind a blah with the theme. I knew most other participants would go for Huevos Rancheros, some egg burrito or something along the big Sunday brunch lines. Of course I may be wrong as we are all posting at the same time…maybe they will make me eat their words…or Mexican Breakfast dish ha ha!

Anyways I did not feel like going down the savory route, my sweet tooth has been screaming for attention lately. I am trying my best to control it…but I am weak too lol. After lots of research I settle on Pan Dulce, a sweet chewy bread with a gorgeous seashell like look which is sold in most panaderias all over Mexico.

 

Originally Pan Dulche comes from Spain and it was served around Christmas time, a bit like its Italian brother the panettone, filled with dried fruits and nuts. Obviously these made there way to the Americas during the time of colonization. But the Pan Dulche got revamped during Mexico’s French occupation in the 1800s. Mexican bakers adapted the Pan Dulche to the preferred French baking techniques: the dough got ever so slightly lighter and the crunchy sweet crust was reminiscent of the crusty French baguette. Pan Dulche is known as the Mexican Breakfast Bun. All the other recipes with eggs and salsa are the Sunday Brunch equivalent. But when you get up in the morning in a rush to get to work on a weekday….it’s a Pan Dulche you are going to reach for with a nice cup of coffee or Mexican hot chocolate.

International Incident mexbrekkie PartyΞ Pan Dulce Ξ
(adapted from Joy the Baker)

Ingredients:

Dough
1 tablespoon dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup warm water
3 2/3 cups white bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons shortening
5 large eggs, beaten

the joys of kneading in food coloring

Topping
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup shortening
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cocoa
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Dough: in a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in warm water. Let stand 6-8 minutes.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 cups bread flour, salt, sugar and shortening and blend thoroughly.
  3. Add yeast mixture and 2 eggs. Mix completely.
  4. Add remaining eggs and mix.
  5. Add remaining bread flour and mix until the dough forms a loose, soft, and elastic dough. It should be a little sticky but firm enough to shape easily with buttered hands.
  6. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes.
  7. Divide dough into 16 pieces and shape into a ball. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart and press each ball slightly to flatten it.
  8. Cover lightly with plastic wrap for 1 hours and let dough rise. Prepare topping…

   

  1. Topping: In a food processor using a metal blade or mixer, add the butter, shortening, powdered sugar, 1 cup flour and vanilla. Process until smooth, then divide into 2 equal parts.
  2. To one half add food coloring if desired and shape into a log, wrapping in wax paper and chilling.
  3. Add cocoa and cinnamon to the other half of dough and wrap in wax paper. Chill the logs until ready to use.
  4. Cut off 2 tablespoons of topping from the log and flatten with palms into a circle.
  5. Place topping circle on top of dough circle. It should completely cover dough.
  6. Use a sharp knife to cut a crisscross or shell design on topping (not in dough).
  7. Let rolls rise again in a warm place for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 12- 15 minutes, until lightly browned.

International Incident Party: BBQ Sichuan Pork Ribs


I love Asian food but except for Thai don’t ask me to identify the specific style of cooking. So when I found out that this month’s theme for the International Incident Party was Sichuan (or Szechuan) I was quite excited to plunge into a sub category of an Ethnic Food…if you will permit my odd analogy.

As usual this great monthly event is hosted by the fabulous Penny at Jeroxie , but there is a huge touch of sadness this month. Poor Penny had to fly home after the news of her father’s passing. I wish I could be at her side offering comfort but being literally half the planet away I can only send her my thought of comfort, condolences and virtual warm dish to help her pass through this difficult time. This post is dedicate to Penny’s father!

So what the heck makes a dish Sichuan cuisine? Well I already assume it is style of Chinese cuisine from the province of Sichuan but that won’t help me in the kitchen. According to wiki Sichuan is defined by bold flavors, particularly the pungency and spiciness, like peanuts, sesame paste, and ginger, resulting from liberal use of garlic and chili peppers, as well as the unique flavor of the Sichuan peppercorn.

BBQ Sichuan Pork Ribs

I had just bough a package of ribs so I was going to do my best to find a Sichuan Ribs recipe. Luckily such a dish does exist. I am not sure just how traditional this ribs recipe is but at least I would get the traditional seasoning on them. The recipe calls for baby back ribs, well what I had bought was the country style…cooking is all about being flexible right? The recipe also called for Sichuan Peppercorns and 5 Spice Powder. I had no such pepper in my cupboard but I read it had a lemony delicate heat. I substituted with Kefir leaves sacrificing the heat. As for the 5 Spice Powder I found a recipe for it so made my own little batch.

No I have always boiled my ribs in the past but I decided to do a bit of research on the subject. Turns out boiling is the worse thing you can do. Never Ever boil your ribs, you will rob them of of flavor, nutrients and vitamins. What you want to do is roast them slowly so that the collagen in the meat will transform into luscious gelatin, and the meat will be tender and flavorful. If you have a regular bbq turn 1 burner on med-low and cook ribs on the top rack under the closed burner. Aim for a heat between 250F and 300F. The ingredients are from foodnetwork.ca.

Marinating

Sichuan Pork Ribs? I have to say it was quite unusual. I definitely enjoyed the unique mix of flavor…I am just not too sure if I liked it on ribs though. Its like my brain could not process the lack of the usual vinegar- tomato sauce. My taste buds were confused and disoriented. Of course, for me, this is also the exact definition of discovering a truly ethnic cuisine. It is a new flavor that needs to be tasted slowly and analyzed. And that does not happen to me very often anymore. So even if I am unsure still on whether I liked it or not I consider this experiment a total success.

Ξ BBQ Sichuan Pork Ribs Ξ

Ingredients

4 Baby Back Pork Ribs slabs
3 cloves of crushed garlic
2 inches (5cm) piece of fresh grated ginger
2 teaspoons of Sichuan peppercorns, finely crushed (substituted kefir leaves)
1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of finely ground star anise
1 teaspoon of Chinese five spice powder
6 tablespoons of dark Soy Sauce
3 tablespoons of sunflower oil
1 tablespoon of sesame oil

Directions

  1. In a bowl mix together garlic, ginger, Sichuan peppercorns, fresh pepper, star anise, Chinese five-spice powder, soy sauce, sunflower oil and sesame oil. Remove the underside membrane of the ribs. Lay baby back ribs in a large shallow dish, pour marinade evenly over ribs, cover and chill overnight.
  2. Remove ribs from refrigerator 1 hour before cooking to bring them at room temperature. Remove from marinade and pat dry.
  3. Pour remainder of marinade in to a pan and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 3 minutes.
  4. BBQ must be on LOW (250F to 300F) and place ribs in INDIRECT heat. Lay ribs on grill and turn every 30 minutes until they are done (when you lift up the rack in the middle a bit, and it threatens to split in two). Baby back ribs will take about 1h30 and spare ribs will take 2h30.
  5. Baste one side with marinade and cook 3 minutes, turn and repeat with other side. Do this another time so each side gets basted twice. Serves 4.

On the BBQ

Ξ Chinese Five Spice Powder Ξ

1 tsp Schezuan peppercorns
4 whole star anise
3 cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 tbsp fennel seeds

Method

  1. In a dry pan, roast the Schezuan peppercorns over low heat until the aroma is released. Keep aside.
  2. Roast together the other ingredients for about 3 minutes on low heat till the aroma is released.
  3. Grind together all the ingredients in a blender. Sieve the mixture.
  4. A coarse powder of the spices will be left behind. Grind it again to make a fine powder and sieve again. Discard the coarse powder left behind or grind it again.
  5. Store the sieved powder in an air-tight jar and use as required.

Oh so tender and moist

Being almost patient for the long cooking process as totally worth it. After 2h 15min I served my plate with rice and an impromptu apricot and endive salad. It could probably have cooked a bit longer but it was 9h30 pm on a week night and I was hungry! I have to say the meat did detach beautifully from the bone and it was moist. From now on when I do ribs I will plan ahead.

5 Star Makeover Farmers Market meets International Incident Party Roasted Vegetable Terrine

I have to say I get giddy when 2 challenges overlap and can be combined. 2 birds 1 stone. Such is the case this month with the 5 Star Makeover and the International Incident Party. The 5 Star Makeover required a recipe made entirely made from products purchased at a local farmer’s market. I went to Atwater Market, check √. The International Incident Party asked us to prepare a terrine. I chose to make a vegetable terrine with items bought at the farmer’s market, check √.

At the market I chose yellow zucchini, asparagus, red bell pepper, carrots, baby spinach leaves and a container of Greek Style goat yogurt.

It was quite a rainy day when I went to the market so the pics are so so but it will give you an idea. I found vegetable kiosks, flower kiosks, a crate of unusual mushrooms and lots of butcher shops. This market is open year round for the inside shops like the butchers, cheese stores, wine shop, bakery, etc. The outside is only open late spring, summer and fall. In Montreal there are many large Framer’s Markets, 4 actually, and a lot of small neighborhood ones. The biggest is Jean Talon Market.

A terrine usually describes a kind of pâté made of coarsely chopped pieces of meat or vegetables. I found a lovely and gorgeous recipe at Once Upon a Plate. I knew right away this was the recipe for me. This is a roasted vegetable terrine with a layer of goat cheese, well I made my own goat cheese spread from a goat yogurt. A note: since this is not a baked terrine you want the vegetables rather tender so they should be cooked to make slicing the terrine easier.

………..meets……….International Incident Terrine Party
hosted by 5 Star Foodie & Lazaro Cooks!…………………….Penny at Jeroxie

Ξ Roasted Vegetable Terrine Ξ

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a glass dish combine the cut or sliced  vegetables your have and poor a bit of olive oil on top and salt a touch, mix until they are coated. Spread evenly on a large roasting pan.
  3. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, stirring every 10 minutes, or until vegetables are cooked through. Remove veggies as they are done.
  4. First line the mold with plastic cling film to facilitate removal of the finished terrine, then line it with a single layer of leafy greens which are blanched so they will be tender and pliable; I used spinach but you could use any leafy green; lettuce, chard, beet greens, or grape leaves, etc.
  5. I bought a Greek style goat yogurt which I drained overnight in a cheese cloth. The result was a spread texture that I seasoned with salt, pepper, chili flakes and basil.
  6. Build your layers firmly. After the layers are in place, the blanched leaves are folded over the top, then the cling film, next some sort of weight (canned good, or other heavy item), then the entire dish is refrigerated for 8 to 24 hours before unmolding and slicing to serve.

The goat cheese spread and roasted veggies, before and after

Placing the baby spinach leaves was a time consuming process but the rest was super easy if not a bit long. I feared a bland taste since there is very little seasoning present put the roasting process just brought out a most wonderful sweet aromas and the bit of salt helped. The spreadable goat cheese was a hit too. If you have the time and you are looking to impress guests then you have a winner here for sure!

Even my cat Mickey approves!

 

Daring Cooks Meets IIP: Gumbo

Talk about killing 2 birds with 1 stone: 2 challenges, same publish date…SAME THEME! Awesome! And it gets better, I cooked with another daring kitchen member who has a food blog and who just so happens to be a great friend! On the menu tonight for both the Daring Cooks Challenge and the International Incident Party (which is hosted by the lovely Penny at Jeroxie) : Gumbo.

Gumbo is a stew or soup which originated in south Louisiana. It consists primarily of a strong stock, meat or shellfish, a thickener, and the vegetable “holy trinity” of celery, bell peppers, and onion. Gumbo is often categorized by the type of thickener used: the African vegetable okra, the Choctaw spice filé powder, and/or the French base made of flour and fat, roux.

DC challenge: Our May hostess, Denise, of There’s a Newf in My Soup!, challenged The Daring Cooks to make Gumbo! She provided us with all the recipes we’d need, from creole spices, homemade stock, and Louisiana white rice, to Drew’s Chicken & Smoked Sausage Gumbo and Seafood Gumbo from My New Orleans: The Cookbook, by John Besh. For the entire recipe PFD click here.

My partner in crime is Amanda of The Mindful Table. We met about a year ago through a Montreal food blogger BBQ, realized we actually had a lot of common interests and acquaintances. And then she joined the Daring Kitchen so we exchanged emails and phones calls on various recipes. Finally the stars were aligned for us to cook a challenge together. Amanda’s blog is devoted to local and sustainable food. If you want to learn more about these options, and learn about the organic meats we used in this recipe then check out her post of the gumbo challenge.

International Incident Gumbo Party

Our notes
Neither one of us was enthralled by the idea of so much sausage so we cut back a lot. And once all the herbs and spices were added from the original recipe we found it quite bland so we added a lot more thyme and cumin seeds, chili flakes and cayenne. We also added 3 garlic cloves to the rub. Oh and we did not read about the size of the pan…we used a 4-5 quart….so we only got in half the chicken stock (1.5 quarts) but we got a quite liquid gumbo so no idea why the recipe says 3 quarts.

There was a lot confusion and a lot of improvising…thank god we are both good at that and can laugh it off. It was  really fun night filled with cooking, banter, booze, gossip and laughter. Love you my friend! The gumbo was not what we expected, we found by the end all the veggies and meat had disintegrated. But it was very good to eat. I would not do this recipe again though.

The wine pairing was phenomenal. I researched the best red wines online to go with gumbo and the results were Pinot Noir or Gamay. Went to the SAQ store, asked for the best mid-priced, splurged a bit more for a Californian Santa Barbara Pinot Noir 2009…A-MA-ZING with the gumbo.

Here are the recipes we used…

Drew’s Chicken & Smoked Sausage Gumbo

VERY adapted by Evelyne and Amanda
Serves 10-12

Ingredients

1 cup (240 ml) (230 gm) rendered chicken fat, duck fat, or canola oil
1 cup (240 ml) (140 gm) (5 oz) flour
2 large onions, diced
1 organic chicken (3 ½ to 4 lbs.), cut into 10 pieces
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (15 gm) (½ oz) Creole spice blend
3 garlic cloves, crushed
3/4 pound organic Valens smoked german style sausage, sliced ½ inch (15mm) thick
2 stalks celery, diced
2 green bell peppers (capsicum), seeded and diced
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 sprigs of fresh thyme
1.5 quarts (1.5 liters) Chicken Stock
2 bay leaves
2 cups (480 ml) (320 gm) (11 oz) sliced fresh okra, ½ -inch (15mm) thick slices
1 tablespoon (15 ml) Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon (15 ml) crushed cumin seeds
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
cayenne and chili flakes, to taste
4-6 cups (1 – 1½ liters) (650 gm – 950 gm) cooked Basic Louisiana White Rice (recipe follows)

Directions:

1. Season the chicken pieces with the Creole Spices and 3 garlic cloves while you prepare the vegetables.
2. Make sure all of your vegetables are cut, diced, chopped, minced and ready to go before beginning the roux. You must stand at the stove and stir the roux continuously to prevent it from burning.
3. In a large cast-iron or heavy-bottomed pan, heat the chicken fat, duck fat, or canola oil over high heat. Whisk the flour into the hot oil – it will start to sizzle. Reduce the heat to moderate, and continue whisking until the roux becomes deep brown in color, about 15 minutes.
4. Add the onions. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir the onions into the roux. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue stirring until the roux becomes a glossy dark brown, about 10 minutes.
5. Add the chicken; raise the heat to moderate, and cook, turning the pieces until slightly browned, 10 minutes.
6. Add the sliced sausage and stir for about a minute.
7. Add the celery, bell peppers, tomato, and garlic, and continue stirring for about 3 minutes.
8. Add the thyme, chicken stock, and bay leaves. Bring the gumbo to a boil, stirring occasionally.
9. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally, skimming off the fat from the surface of the gumbo every so often.
1o. Add the chopped okra, and Worcestershire. Season with cumin, salt, pepper, and cayenne and chili flakes, to taste.
11. Simmer for another 45 minutes, continuing to skim the fat from the surface of the gumbo. Remove the bay leaves and serve in bowls over rice.

Basic Louisiana White Rice
Servings: About 4 cups

Ingredients

1 tablespoon (30 ml) (30 gm) (1 oz) chicken fat, extra-virgin olive oil, or butter
1 small onion, minced
1½ cups (360 m) ((280 gm) (10 oz) Louisiana rice (we used brown rice)
3 cups (750 ml) Basic Chicken Stock
1 bay leaf
1-2 pinches salt

Directions:

1. Put the fat, oil, or butter and the onions into a medium saucepan and sweat the onions over moderate heat until they are translucent, about 5 minutes.
2. Pour the rice into the pan and stir for 2 minutes.
3. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil.
4. Add the bay leaf and salt.
5. Cover the pan with a lid, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 18 minutes.
6. Remove the pan from the heat, fluff the rice with a fork, and serve.

 

Childlike Cake Pops

Oh boy, I was not jumping up and down when I heard this months International Incident Party challenge, hosted by Penny at Jeroxie.com. Yes cake pops are like the new THANG . Some people say that cake pops will sweep the nation and put cupcakes down a notch from their pedestal (I heard rumors whoopy pies where next…time will tell). Cake pops are totally frigging cute to look at and the creativity limit is sky high. So why was I not psyched?

Because I SUCK at icing and cake decoration. What I really wanted to use as a title was childish cake pops but I figured I would be accused of being to hard on myself. Nothing went right. So I used blueberry muffins instead of cake and I used regular frosting as the recipe calls for. It was really messy and the balls did not stick very well together.And the idea of that much icing IN the cake was not appetizing for me.

I did not fins lollipop sticks so first I tried straws, the cake balls were to heavy and the straw would bend. I opted for chopsticks. Then I could not find the colored candy melts so I tried melted white chocolate with food coloring. The texture was WAY too heave, I tired adding cream to get a ganache consistency but I guess white chocolate does not like cream. I would try dipping and covering the ball in the chocolate like suggested and then the chopsticks just slipped out or the cake ball fell apart. I was ready to give up.

So I went with reverse cake pops. I did the fork dipping thing and placed the chop sticks on top. I had some store bough cake icing tubes and with my horrible icing talents got 2 cake pops to look like supposed bees and 2 other cake pops with flowers, leaves and hearts. A childish garden on pollinated flowers from bees!

Gimme a really complicated cake recipe where the final presentation is in the baking I got no problem. Put icing in my hand and I am terrified. But hey I did it once…I can move on lol.

International Incident Cake Pops Party

IIP Cracking for Nostalgia: Cracker Jack Popcorn

Nostalgia! Talk about a theme that made me panic at first for this month International Incident party brought to us by the FAB  Jeroxie. This is what I love about this challenge, you have to rack your brains before hitting the kitchen.

I remember reading it, panicking and purposefully forgetting about it for a while. Food that makes me nostalgic! You would think it could be easy but I got a blank page in my memory file.  The day came where I had to face my demons and pick a dish. So I thought what marked me food wise. I figured I would go with the very first thing that came to mind. And then it hit me like a bolt of lightning. I knew what I had to make. Cracker Jack Caramel Popcorn!

No it is not a recipe from my mother that came to me or a first special exotic meal, it was Cracker Jack. Why? It reminds me of a person I wish I had gotten to know much better in my life: my maternal grandfather. His name was Charlie and I did get to know him a bit but he passed away when I was about 7 or 8 years old. I remember him as a good nature happy but pretty quiet person. I can’t remember what he had but by the time I was born he was somewhat sick, and then he had a stroke. He spent if my memory is correct about 18months in the hospital paralized on the right side and unable to speak before passing away. So my memories of him are limited.

But once he did pass and I was older I always reveled in the stories my mother and grandmother would tell me about him. He was, before being sick the first time, a real ‘bon vivant’ as we say in French, someone who really enjoyed life, laughed, smiled…and he was a MAJOR trickster. You would not believe some of the stories I heard. Still in the brief time I had him in my life I have developed 2 very precise memories of him and both are from what is now my parent’s cottage.

Cracker Jacks Popcorn glass

My first memory is swimming. I love water and I cannot get enough of swimming. He had a habit of taking a quick dip in the lake every morning upon waking up before doing anything else in the summer. Of course I usually went swimming with him. The second memory is the food related one. Back then we had a small convenience store maybe 5-10 min by foot and when ever he had to go buy something, usually his newspaper, he would take me and he always bought me a candy. I almost always picked a box of Cracker Jack. Every time I see Cracker Jack I think of my grandfather. So this is my little piece of nostalgia I wanted to share with you. And here is  my version of this nostalgic treat…..a prize included as well!

Cracker Jack Popcorn

Ingredients:
1 bag microwave popcorn
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup peanuts

Directions:

1. Prepare popcorn as per package instructions in microwave. You should get about 4 cups of popcorn. Put popcorn on a baking sheet and add peanuts on top.

2. In heavy saucepan mix sugar, butter and corn syrup. Stir over medium heat until boiling and continue boiling for 5 minutes at medium heat without stirring. Remove from heat and add vanilla and baking soda.

3. Pour over popcorn and peanuts and stir to coat quickly.

4. Bake in preheated 250F oven for 1 hour stirring several times. Cool, break apart and store in tightly covered container. Makes 5 cups

Cracker Jacks Popcorn

A truly dangerous recipe to have lying around the house. I would only make it again for like a part where I know there would be no left overs because now I have to snack on some everytime I pass near the kitchen…not good for the waist line!

International Incident Nostalgia Party

 

IIP: Lebanese Fruit Cocktail Sundae

It’s that wonderful time once again for an International Incident Party hosted by the wonderful Penny at Jeroxie. This month the theme is Sundaes! Oh How I love Thee Ice Cream! Yep I do eat ice cream 12 months out of the year…but Penny, who is down under, is laying in the hot summer sun right now while I am knee deep in snow! Maybe not the best time of the year for me. I guess it is time to play reverse psychology with myself and turn a negative into a positive….my Sundae will call out for Spring to arrive asap!

But quickly before, the randomly picked winner of the What is your Color TEArapy Mood Contest is…drum roll please….Kate from DietHood.com. Congratulations!

About 10 years ago I discovered a place in Montreal – in a lost industrial corner of the city – called Cocktail Antabli, a place that specializes in exotic fruit cocktails and waffles. It is owned by a Lebanese family. After my first experience there it became a mandatory yearly pilgrimage at the very least once a year. The fruit cocktails are ginormous and filling….they are more then a meal on their own. But so good, especially the big gooey white topping with pistachios drizzled in honey. And I always picked one with the amazing avocado purée.

So for this challenge I decided to recreate my favorite fruit cocktail from this shop. Now a Sundae does require ice cream and there is none in the original version, so I decided to turn the avocado purée into avocado ice cream. My post may look daunting because there are several recipes…but they are all short and very quick. I highly recommend you make this treat. The secret is picking perfectly ripe and sweet fruits. Oh ad that gooey white stuff I found out is called Ashta. The trick when eating it is to go a bit under the ashta and only have a small portion of it with each spoonfull so you still have ashta left with your last bites. I was very pleased to find a recipe for it on one of my favorite blogs owned by Joumana, Taste of Beirut. OK here we go with the making of:

Lebanese Fruit Cocktail Sundae

Ingredients:
mango, strawberry, banana…sliced or cut
avocado ice cream (see below)
mango purée (see below)
strawberry coulis (see below)
ashta (see below)
pistachio
honey

Directions:

  1. In a very tall glass layer a bit of bananas and mangoes then cover with a bit of strawberry coulis.
  2. Next layer strawberries and cover with a bit of mango purée.
  3. Add a scoop of avocado ice cream.
  4. Repeat the 3 layers
  5. Top with a big scoop of ashta, crushes pistachio and a liberal drizzling of honey. Find a very long spoon!

Avocado Ice Cream Recipe

250ml heavy cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
250ml milk
3 ripe avocados

Peel and seed the avocados, put into a blender with the milk and make a purée. Pour the purée into a mixing bowl, add the sugar, lemon juice and cream and beat until creamy. Transfer the mixture into an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Mango Purée

flesh of 1/2 a mango
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp sugar
Blend together to get a creamy purée.  If too thick, adjust consistency with water.

Strawberry Coulis

1 cup of strawberries, chopped
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp sugar
Blend together to get a creamy coulis.  If too thick, adjust consistency with water.

Ashta, makes about 1 cup

2 slices of American-style white bread
500ml of half-and-half or 1/2 milk and 1/2 heavy cream
2  tablespoons   of cornstarch, diluted in a bit of water
1 Tablespoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of orange blossom water, 1 teaspoon of rose water

  1. Start by cutting the edges off the bread. Cut the soft white part in dices.
  2. Pour the half-and-half or milk and cream mixture (or whole milk) in a heavy-bottomed saucepan; add the diced bread and let it soak in the milk mixture for as long as possible, a day if you can.
  3. Heat the milk and bread mixture, add the sugar; dilute the cornstarch in water; stir the milk mixture continuously until it starts to steam; add the cornstarch and keep stirring until the mixture thickens, making sure it does not burn (adjust the heat).
  4. Add the flavored waters if using, stir a few seconds more and remove from the heat. Pour into a bowl, let it cool and then cover with plastic and store in the fridge overnight to give the cream a chance to thicken.

International