Strawberry Basil Ice Cream

Dessert

Strawberry Basil Ice Cream / Forkful of Awesome

Strawberries and basil were made for each other; they just didn’t know it yet.  But you set them up on a blind date, and BAM, love at first bite.  This is strawberry ice cream elevated.  On your tongue, you immediately taste strawberries.  As the sweet cream softens in your mouth, the fresh, herby flavor of the basil comes through, floral and delicate.  It’s summertime heaven in my opinion.

This is a Philadelphia-style ice cream, meaning that there are no eggs in the ice cream.  It’s taste pure and simple and homemade.  And it’s easy as can be.  No custard-making involved.  High five!

Strawberry Basil Ice Cream

Makes a scant quart

An ice cream maker is required for this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 2/3 cup plus 1 tbsp sugar
  • handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cups strawberries

Instructions:

  1. Heat cream, milk, 2/3 cup of the sugar, and basil leaves in a pot over medium heat until it just comes to a very light simmer.  Remove from heat and let the cream mixture come to room temperature.
  2. Pureé strawberries in a food processor with 1 tbsp sugar.  I like to do a fine purée so I don’t have hard frozen chunks of strawberries in my ice cream.
  3. Strain the basil cream mixture through a fine mesh sieve.  Add strawberries and mix to combine.  Place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  4. Once cream mixture is thoroughly chilled, place in ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions.  Ice cream will be soft once churned.  Place in freezer until ready to serve.

Strawberry Basil Ice Cream / Forkful of Awesome

Crème Fraîche

Condiment

Remember that time that I had an awesome food blog, and then I switched host companies and lost all my content?  No, you don’t?  I do.  And it broke my heart, and I cried.  I was sad.  And I gave up food blogging.  And then I said, “Get over it.  Start over.”

And so it begins.  To kick it off, I’m doing a week of simple recipes.  These are recipes that almost don’t require a recipe.  They are things that everyone should know how to make, but don’t.  These simple recipes will bring immense pleasure to your every day life.  They will save you money and make your mouth happy.  Who couldn’t use more of that?!

And so, let’s begin with one of the easiest, most pleasurable foods I can think of- crème fraîche.  It’s cultured cream, and it’s freakishly delicious.  It’s not as sour as sour cream, yet has that consistency.  It’s not tangy like yogurt.  It’s denser than whipped cream.  It’s cream, perfectly thick, waiting to be slathered on something.  It balances sweet desserts, and it adds creaminess to savory dishes.  You can use it in place of yogurt or sour cream in recipes.  It’s just fabulous, and you need it in your refrigerator at all times.

Crème Fraîche

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1-2 tbsp plain yogurt
  1. Whisk together the heavy cream and yogurt in a container with a lid.
  2. Cover the container and let it sit on the counter for anywhere from 12-24 hours.
  3. When you notice it start to thicken, whisk it once more and watch it magically turn to thick cream.
  4. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week, although I imagine you’ll eat it all up before then.

Crème Fraîche - forkful of awesome

Crème Fraîche - forkful of awesome

 

Creamy Mixed Greens with Pecans

Fall, Sides, Thanksgiving

Creamy Mixed Greens with Pecan / forkful of awesome

By now, I’m sure most everyone has finalized their Thanksgiving menus, but I couldn’t let the holiday pass without sharing this little gem.  Of course, this dish doesn’t have to be limited to the Thanksgiving feast- it’s fantastic anytime during the cold months.  But, if you DO add it to your Thanksgiving repertoire, it will not go unnoticed.  “Green bean casserole?  Pffft, yeah right.  More like creamy mixed greens with pecans!”  I know it’s not traditional, but it works so damn well with turkey and stuffing and cranberries.  It’s begging to be tradition from here on out.

This weekend, I went to visit my youngest sister, my brother-in-law, and my nephew.  They just bought their first home, and I had to go snoop around their new digs.  Also, it’s such a bummer, but they won’t be making it to Thanksgiving this year thanks to the Navy (I give you the middle finger salute Navy).  So, I made them these creamy mixed greens that they can have at their Thanksgiving for three.    They each sampled a bowl of greens and gave me the thumbs up (and not the middle finger salute, thank goodness).  Isn’t my sister loverly?

ashley

Remember my love affair with pecans?  It’s still going strong.  We’re very happy together, and so that’s why they’re included in this recipe.  Wanna diss pecans and use another nut?  Whatever makes you happy on this lovely holiday.  I won’t judge.  Yes I will.  I just won’t tell you I’m judging you.

Be bold, be daring, and try these greens with your Giving Thanks meal.  You’ll be thankful you did.  And so will your friends and family.  Another reason to be thankful?  You can make this a day ahead.  “Oh, thank goodness.” Thanks thanks double thanks.

Thanks.

Creamy Mixed Greens with Pecans

Serves 8-10

Adapted from Martha Stewart Living

Ingredients

  • 1  big ol’ bunch kale, stems removed and leaves roughly torn
  • 1 bunch collard greens, mustard greens, beet greens, whatever kind of greens you like, stems removed and leaves roughly torn
  • 1 bunch swiss chard, stems chopped and set aside, and leaves roughly torn
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup white wine or chicken stock
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 cups half and half
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Heat the largest pot you own over medium-high heat.  Add the kale, wine, and salt.  If you’re using a thick-leafed green such a collard greens, add it to the pot with the kale.  If it’s something more delicate such as mustard greens, wait to add it to the pot with the swiss chard.  Stir the greens around until wilted, and then cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook for about 10 minutes, until the leaves are tender.
  2. Add the swiss chard and other delicate greens if you’re using them.  Turn in the pot until wilted, about 3-5 minutes.  Put the cooked greens in a bowl.
  3. Return the pot to medium-high heat, and melt 4 tbsp butter.  Add the swiss chard stems, onion, and garlic.  Saute for 3-5 minutes until the onion is softened.  Add to the bowl with the greens.
  4. Now for the creaminess!  Heat the same pot over medium heat and add the remaining 2 tbsp butter.  When melted, add the 2 tbsp flour and whisk for a minute.  Slowly add the half and half while whisking and continue to whisk until the sauce has thickened.  Season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg.  Add to the greens and mix everything together.  Mix in the pecans, and reserve a few to garnish on top.  Ta-da!  Enjoy!  xox

Creamy Mixed Greens with Pecan / forkful of awesomecreamy mixed greens with pecans / forkful of awesome