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Posts Tagged ‘recipe’

Pistachio Ice Cream with Rose Water ~ Homemade & Heavenly

June 18th, 2013 4 comments

Arabian Ice Cream ~ Pistachio with Rose Waters

As the heat in Dubai soars, I crave ice cream.

Actually, I crave ice cream in all weather conditions, and as I lover of ice cream, one of my greatest food pleasures is making ice cream at home. In fact, my Cuisinart ice cream maker is my most-loved kitchen appliance.

And after much reflection, I’ve decided that my favorite flavor is Pistachio—greenish and nutty, exotic and subtle, crunchy yet silky. What could be more heavenly?

Pistachio Ice Cream w- Rose Water

According to David Lebovitz, there are two basic styles of ice cream:  (1) French-style, which is custard-based and made with egg yolks—smooth and creamy, but fussy to prepare, and (2) Philadelphia-style, a simple combination of milk, cream, and sugar, but no eggs—easier, but freezes a bit hard.

After going back and forth between those two styles, I’ve recently discovered a third, which is my new preferred way to make ice cream. This style requires no eggs, yet its texture is still creamy and smooth. Jeni Britton Bauer is the creator of this new technique, explained in her book Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream at Home.

Pistachio Ice Cream & Rose Water

Basically her method is this: Add a little cream cheese, cornstarch, and light corn syrup, and you can achieve wonderful creamy ice cream without having to mess around with an egg-yolk custard.

Below is my recipe, using Jeni Britton Bauer’s technique.

Pistachio Ice Cream with Rose WaterPistachio Ice Cream ~ Ingredients

          Makes about 1 quart

1 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped

3 Tablespoons cream cheese, softened

½ teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon cornstarch

2¼ cup whole milk

1 cup (200 ml) cream

2/3 cup sugar

2 Tablespoons light corn syrup

1 Tablespoon rose water

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C. Spread HALF of the pistachios on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 4-5 minutes until fragrant, turning once—don’t over-toast or the pistachios will lose their green hue. Remove from oven and pulverize in a blender until pistachios form a coarse paste. Add a few drops of water if necessary. Transfer to medium bowl and whisk with cream cheese and salt until smooth.

Pistachio Ice Cream ~ Pistachio Paste

2. In tiny bowl, mix cornstarch with 2 Tablespoons milk until smooth. Set aside.

3. Prepare a large bowl of ice cubes and water to use later for cooling the ice cream base.

4. In a medium saucepan, combine remaining milk, cream, sugar and corn syrup. Bring to rolling boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and gradually mix in the cornstarch/milk mixture. Bring back to boil and cook, stirring constantly until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.

Pistachio Ice Cream ~ Making the base

5. Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the pistachio paste. Whisk until smooth.

Pistachio Ice Cream ~ Mixing the base

Pistachio Ice Cream ~ Whisking the milk in

Pour into a clean glass pitcher or large Ziploc bag and submerge (seal Ziplock first) into the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice if necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.Pistachio Ice Cream ~ Cooling the base

6. Transfer ice cream base to refrigerator and chill completely—for about 6 hours or overnight.

7. To freeze the ice cream, be sure to start with the machine’s base that is completely frozen. (Keep in freezer for at least 24 hours.) Turn on the ice cream machine and gradually pour in the ice cream base through the top of the machine. Leave to spin until thick and creamy, about 25 minutes.

Pistachio Ice Cream ~ Pour into Machine

8. While the ice cream is freezing, get the following ready: the rose water, the remaining ½ cup pistachio nuts (chopped), and a storage container with airtight lid, which can be pre-chilled in the freezer.

9. Just before the ice cream is ready, add the rose water to the machine.

Pistachio Ice Cream ~ Cuisinart Machine

10. Pack the ice cream into the container, layering it with the pistachio nuts. Seal and freeze in the back of your freezer for at least 4 hours. Pistachio Ice Cream ~ Container

11. Garnish with more pistachios and an extra sprinkle of rose water, if desired. Enjoy.

Pistachio Ice Cream with Rose Water

What is your favorite homemade ice cream or pistachio treat?

Simple Arabic Salad

October 16th, 2012 15 comments

This is my go-to salad to serve alongside any Middle Eastern rice dish, such as maqluba (rice and chicken) or mujaddara (rice and lentils). Indeed, this salad is simple, but there are some tricks to it.

In the Arab world, it is highly desired to have salads like this chopped teeny tiny. Regardless of how tiny one is willing to go, it’s equally important to have the cucumber and tomato pieces all uniform. The optional green pepper can be chopped even finer, as it’s more of an accent rather than the main event.

As for seasonings, a high-quality gourmet sea salt can really make this salad pop. Also, avoid overdoing it with the lemon juice; otherwise, the salad will be soupy. The mint leaves are optional.

Arabic Salad ~ serves 4-6 as a side dish

3 medium tomatoes, chopped small

2 medium cucumbers, chopped small (not peeled)

½ bunch fresh parsley, chopped finely

1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

½ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste

½ green pepper, chopped finely (optional)

handful mint leaves, chopped finely (optional)

Method

  1. Mix all the ingredients together. Check for a balance of red and green. If necessary, add more tomatoes or more of the green stuff.
  2. Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary. I like to add a final sprinkle of sea salt.

Question: How do you make your Arabic Salad?

Yogurt Cucumber Salad ~ Refreshing and Healthy

October 4th, 2012 14 comments

Greek cuisine has tzatziki; Indian cuisine has raita, and Arab cuisine has its own version of this cool and tangy yogurt cucumber salad. A beloved side dish in Lebanon, Turkey and all over the Middle East, this salad is easy to prepare, refreshing and healthy. It’s a perfect accompaniment to rice dishes such as maqluba (rice and chicken) or mujaddara (rice and lentils). It can also be served with bread as part of a mezze table.

Yogurt is a staple food in the Arab kitchen. Made from fermented milk, yogurt is regarded as a health-giving, healing substance. In the Middle East, it’s believed that yogurt aids digestion and contributes to longevity.

For this recipe, use whatever type of yogurt you prefer. I typically use skimmed yogurt, but for guests, I use lowfat. If you prefer the thick and creamy variety, use whole yogurt or substitute part of the yogurt for lebneh or yogurt cheese (strained yogurt).

As for cucumbers, use the small ones available in Middle Eastern and Asian markets, if available, as they are more flavorful and tender. Otherwise, large cucumbers will also work.

When entertaining or pressed for time, this side dish can be prepared in advance. If you’re feeding a crowd, prepare this recipe with a 1 kilo tub of yogurt and use 2½ parts the other ingredients. Below is our family recipe.

Yogurt Cucumber Salad ~ serves 4

2 small cucumbers or 1 large

2 cups (400 g) plain yogurt (skimmed, lowfat, or whole)

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried mint

¼ teaspoon salt

Fresh mint leaves (optional garnish)

Method

  1. Peel and finely chop or shred the cucumbers. Sprinkle with pinch of salt and (time permitting) leave in strainer to drain for 10 – 20 minutes.
  2. Discard any liquid from the yogurt and mix with the dried mint, garlic, and salt. After cucumbers have drained, mix with yogurt.
  3. Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary. Garnish with fresh mint and serve immediately or chill.

Question: How do you like to serve Yogurt Cucumber Salad?