Sunday, September 30, 2007

Generic Casserole #2

It tastes like casserole. Garlic, veggies, buttery, creamy, rich, egg noodley, chicken filled. It was filling. Nice

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Chicken Broccoli Bake

University of Michigan is notorious for poor cafeteria food. Surprisingly, many current students and recent alumni have rallied behind one reliable dish: Chicken Broccoli Bake. It's rich in flavor and substance, has high sauce appeal, and even enough vegetables to keep mom off your back. A hefty portion served on rice is the perfect companion to salad bar and soft serve.

The university has it's recipe available online. And, though it produces good results, it seems too tedious for the average student slop chef. So, here's an attempt at easy broccoli bake.

::1.5 c water
::1 c rice
::1 can cream of mushroom soup
::.5-1 cup sour cream
::1 onion (chopped)
::1 garlic clove (chopped)
::4 T butter
::1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into small chunks

-Mix water, rice, soup, sour cream in a casserole dish (I use my trusty 13x9x2 pyrex)
-Sauté onion and garlic with 2 T butter until golden
-Sauté chicken with remaining butter until lightly browned (NOT cooked all the way through)
-Mix onion and chicken with previously combined ingredients.
-sprinkle pan with bread crumbs, parmesan, salt, and pepper
-***for white rice, bake at 350 for 45.
-***for brown rice, bake at 350 for just over an hour

This was easy and excellent. Just as I remember in the dorms. Maybe I would change a few things: more onions and garlic, maybe some white wine. Also, some interesting flavors might come from swapping beef for chicken, egg noodles for rice.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Ginger Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

In honor of my OldMan, known to buy anything ginger. He's visiting on Sunday and I know he's been looking forward to some homemade happiness. This was my first venture into ginger ice cream. I used some strong ginger stuff from Trader Joe that I usually use with toast. Though I'll definitely add more next time, it's a good start.

::3 T traderJoe's Spreadable Ginger
::3 oz chopped dark chocolate (the darker the better)
::2 c ice cream base

-Chill ginger and whisk into ice cream base.
-Put in ice cream machine
-Vary-chop (=non uniform, for lots of different textures) the chocolate. Heating the chocolate a few seconds in the microwave helps knife flow (thanks for the tip Stacerella of
-Add chocolate about 2/3 way into churning.

As I said earlier, more ginger (probably about 4-5 Tbs. But it's still great. It's like eating chocolate covered crystallized ginger. Nice.

I haven't given myself camera access recently, but some photos will emerge...eventually. sorry about that

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Sweet Potato Ice Cream

School and work have been taking most of my time. All my time. At least, until 12pm Friday, when I unwind with some cooking, baking, and churning. It's good.

Like mashed candied sweet potatoes, but ice cream. Without the toasted marshmallows (although if I had a little butane torch, it would be awesome to serve toasted mini-mallows atop the frozen orange deliciousness).

Sweet Potato Ice Cream
::1 sweet potato
::1/2 c maple syrup
::1/4 c cream
::6 T butter
::2 c ice cream base

-Peel, quarter, and score sweet potatoe before roasting with 2 Tbs butter, salt, and a little maple at 400 until tender.
-Mash/whip potatoes with cinnamon, cream, vanilla, and remaining syrup and butter.
-Let mixture cool and mix with ice cream base before freezing in machine.

This turned out really well. It's sort of like sweet potato pie or my grandmas sweet potato casserole. In fact, next time I'm planning on some graham cracker crust, maybe some toasted marshemallows.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Banana Bread Ice Cream

It's really good. Inspired by last week's mini-batches, this flavor is a worthy translation of a fresh baked loaf of banana goodness. Though I omitted roasted nuts, I couldn't pass up chocolate chunks. And that oat/granola glaze I put on top my loafs: that's in there too.

::2.5 c milk
::2 c cream
::5 egg yolks
::2T cinnamon
::1 ripe banana (finely cut)
::.5 lb dark chocolate (coarsely chopped)

- Mix yolks, sugar, salt
- Slowly whisk in scalded milk
- Return to heat until custard thickens
- Add cream and chill
- Add cinnamon and vanilla before placing in ice cream maker.
- Add banana about 2/3 way into churning
- Layer/Top with oat mixture (recipe below)

-Mix cup oats, 1/2 c sugar(preferably brown), 4T melted butter, salt, vanilla, cinnamon.
-Bake @350 for about 20 minutes, until crisped.

Great combination of flavors and textures. Maybe a little more chocolate next time, but maybe not. Nothing was overpowering or too subtle. Just good.
-Place in freezer and break up before adding to ice cream.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Banana ice cream. Cinnamon ice cream. One base: two flavors

Whenever you have a small chunk of time (maybe less than 20 minutes) make batch of simple ice cream base. It will stay for about a week in a cold fridge, save you time making it, and the low temperature will produce great, smooth results.

ICE CREAM BASE (makes 4.5 cups)
::2.5 cups milk
::1.5 cups cream
::5 egg yolks
::1.5 cups sugar

- Mix yolks with sugar and a dash of salt.
- Slowly whisk in scalded milk.
- Return to heat and thicken custard.
- Take off heat, add cream, cool.

It's really easy, really thick, really great results. I made small pint batches using 1.5-1.75 cups base depending on mix-ins.

- 1/2 banana, minced and sprinkled with salt and cinnamon.

- 1.5 tbs cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp cayenne.

Both of these came out awesome, and because I was using so little base, it only took about 15 minutes in the mixer. Now I'll make a batch of these combined...BANANA BREAD ICE's coming soon

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

banana ice cream

One of the first ice creams I made two summers ago was french banana (french vanilla & banana). Partially for originality and partially due to my mother's deathly banana allergy, I've stayed away from the flavor. But it's so good and I'm excited to have recently re-discovered it. And there are so many additions that can be made to the base or as mix-ins.

::2 cups milk
::2 cups sugar
::2 cups cream
::4 egg yolks (at least)
::1 ripe banana

- Beat yolk with sugar and dash of salt
- Slowly whisk in scalded milk
- Heat until custard forms
- Mix in cream and cool
- Finely slice banana and sprinkle with salt and cinnamon
- Add bananas to ice cream maker with about 10 minutes left.

For this batch I mixed in a simple fudge of semi-sweet chocolate, butter, cream, and salt. Next time I may fold in some peanut butter (thinned/lightened with whipped in simple syrup) or add a little butter to the base or use extra egg yolks. Or add chopped roasted nuts or fresh berries or oatmeal cookie chunks. Or use bananas flambéed or roasted with your favorite spices.

Really delicious, not overpowered with bananas. Summer.