Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Baby Hasselback Potatoes

I feel like almost everyone has given these little babies a try and when a recipe is this easy and looks this great, it's no wonder! You carefully slice a potato almost all the way through, top with some seasonings and bit of olive oil and a sliver of butter and bake. That's it!

Baby Hasselbacks

The layers separate a bit, crisp up on the outside, but stay tender on the inside. And you can do this to almost any potato. Most people use the great big baking potatoes, but I picked up a few heirloom baby potato varieties this past weekend at the farmers market and their golden pink flesh was perfect for this. Sadly, this was the last farmer's market of the year by me, but I've got enough in my pantry to last me a while.

Hasselback Potatoes

Hasselback Potatoes

As many potatoes as you want
Olive oil
Sea salt
Garlic Powder
Smoked Paprika
Goat butter (or regular, but I really liked this)

- Preheat the oven to 425F.
- Slice a potato almost all the way through into about 3mm slices.
- Arrange on a baking sheet, drizzle a bit of olive oil, making sure to get some into the cuts.
- Grind some salt and pepper over each potatoes and shake a bit of garlic powder and paprika over them.
- Put a thin sliver of butter over each piece and slide into the oven. About 40 minutes later you'll have beautiful butterflied potatoes ready to eat.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Roasted Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwiches

Today feels like the first true day of fall around here. The weather outside is murky and drizzly and while it's not yet cold, it's pretty clear that summer is officially gone. And while I love the changing leaves and the oncoming cozy sweater and hot cocoa days, I can't help but hold out for just a few more summer moments.


I picked these strawberries over the summer and froze some for just this kind of a day. Roasting them concentrates and sweetens them, which is good because for some reason this summer the berries were smaller and not as bright as they have been in the past. Adding a drizzle of chocolate balsamic that a friend gave me also helps bring out their flavor and melts into the background helping the ice cream shine.

Roasting Strawberries

I got a box of the Nabisco Brown Sugar Blueberry Thins to try out from FoodBuzz a few weeks back and while they're good, they're a bit too healthy tasting on their own. They are not too sweet, which is nice, and they made the perfect carriers for small scoops of this roasted strawberry ice cream. With a freezer full of summer, I think I'm ready for fall now.

Strawberry IceCream Sandwiches

Roasted Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwiches
Adapted from Zoe Bakes 

2 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups milk, any kind except for skim
1 large vanilla bean, scraped
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
9 yolks

1 pound fresh strawberries
2 tablespoons aged thick balsamic vinegar, I used chocolate balsamic that I got from a friend
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup

A box of Fig Newton Thins (I used Brown Sugar Blueberry) or your favorite cookies

For the Roasted Strawberries:
 - Preheat the oven to 300F.
- Wash and hull your strawberries, but otherwise leave them whole. Toss the berries with the balsamic and sugar and dump everything out on a Silpat covered baking sheet with sides (there will be lots of juice and you don't want it all over your oven). Place the pan in the oven and slowly roast them for about 30-45 minutes, or until the berries get a bit darker red and everything looks mushy and juicy in there.
- Dump everything out of the pan into a bowl, add the corn syrup and either mash or blend everything to get the texture you want. The corn syrup will help keep the ice cream from freezing too hard. Cover the bowl and chill in the fridge for a few hours.

For the Ice Cream Base:
- Heat the heavy cream, milk, vanilla bean and sugars in a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat just until it barely simmers.Turn off the heat and let it steep for 15 min to an hour. The longer you let it sit, the stronger the vanilla flavor will be.
- Bring the cream mixture back to a low simmer.
- Whisk together the yolks in a medium sized bowl. Remove the cream from the heat and whisk a small amount of the cream into the egg mixture, adding enough to warm or temper the eggs, then add everything back into the pot.
- Use a spatula or a whisk to gently stir the custard over low heat. Continue stirring until the mixture starts to thicken.
- Strain the custard through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl and stir in the strawberry puree. Cover the surface of the custard with plastic wrap and let it cool slightly before moving it into the fridge.
- Allow the custard to chill completely, leaving it in the fridge for a few hours, but overnight is best.
- Once the custard is completely chilled, process in your ice cream maker as usual.
- After it's churned, let it firm up a bit more in the freezer before scooping between two cookies and stuffing the whole thing into your mouth.