No-churn pumpkin pie ice cream

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Finally, it’s fall! Even if it doesn’t feel like it here in Texas. To cope with the remaining heat until the weather catches up with the season change, I have created an easy pumpkin pie ice cream recipe that will hold you over. Sweet, creamy, spicy and salty; this recipe incorporates a graham cracker crust into the pumpkin base to add some texture.

Also, this ice cream is a no-churn recipe, so anyone could make it at home without hassle. In a rush? You can simplify this recipe even more – I have included some alternate steps to shorten the process.

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups whipped cream, whipped into stiff peaks
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pre-mixed pumpkin pie spice (or 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp each of ground nutmeg and ground cloves)
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (or 4 whole graham crackers broken into bite-sized chunks if you follow the alternate steps)
  • 3 tbs melted butter
  • 1 tbs sugar (for the crust)

Step 1: If you choose to make the accelerated recipe, skip this step. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix the melted butter, graham cracker crumbs and sugar in a bowl. Pour and press the mix into a greased baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes until the mix solidifies. It will still be soft, but should hold together. Once it is cooled down, break the crust into small chunks.

Step 2: Fill a large saucepan with about 2-3 inches of water. Heat it on high until it is boiling. In a separate heat-safe bowl, mix the egg yolks, cup of sugar and spices. Whip the egg mix with a whisk until frothy. Stir in the pumpkin purée. Place the bowl over the boiling pan – you are going to use the steam to gently cook the egg mixture. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. After cooking, rest the bowl in an ice bath to cool down.

Step 3: Take the bowl of whipped cream, cooked egg mixture, molasses and graham cracker crust (or graham cracker chunks if you skipped the first step). Fold together the ice cream base in long, gentle swoops until the mixture is homogenous. Pour it into a container and freeze overnight.

*If the mixture is hard after initially taking it out of the freezer, let it sit out for 10 minutes, and use an ice cream scoop heated in boiling water.

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Crispy chive pancakes

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Here is the chive pancake recipe I hinted to last time! Like I said in my last France post, I will launch a series of French inspired recipes, so I know this Asian-inspired post may come as a surprise. However, when I got home, I was a bit tired of all the French food I had enjoyed while traveling. So, my next few posts will not touch on that French-themed series at all.

In fact, after this, I have a pumpkin pie ice cream post already shot for you, followed by a sweet potato mochi recipe.

That being said, I am currently developing recipes for the French food series, so if there is anything I should try out, tell me and leave a comment below!

As for today’s post, this is a great appetizer or snack that comes together in about 30 minutes. Subtle in flavor, this recipe takes traditional asian ingredients and creates a crispy pancake that satisfies any junk food cravings.

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp roasted sesame seeds
  • 1 cup roughly chopped fresh chive
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (for cooking)

Step 1: Mix all above ingredients until you achieve a uniform ball. Separate the ball into 4 – 6 pieces. (You can make them bigger or smaller depending on your preference) Roll the individual pieces into balls.

Step 2: Take two sheets of wax paper, and put one of the dough balls in between. Using a rolling pin, or a long cup if you do not have one on hand, roll the ball into a thin disc. You want it to be about 1/3 of a centimeter thick. Repeat the process for each of the pancakes. Set the pancake aside, and use extra wax paper in between the pancakes to keep the dough from sticking as you roll the rest of the recipe.

Step 3: Heat up a tablespoon or two of cooking oil in a pan. Use a paper towel to evenly distribute the oil in a thin layer. Add a bit more oil to the pan to make up for what may have been absorbed. The key to crisping up the dough in this recipe is not holding back on the cooking oil here. When the oil is well heated, you can throw a little clump of dough in the pan to see if it sizzles to check this, place the disk in the pan. Be careful to not tear the dough when you separate it from the wax paper.

Step 4: Let the pancake cook off on one side, let the bottom crisp up and turn a spotted golden brown. The dough may puff up a little. When the bottom is done, flip over and repeat the process for the other side. Repeat for the rest of the pancakes.

Step 5: Enjoy! This dish is good with a side of soy/vinegar sauce.

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Savoury udon egg custard

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I was inspired to make this recipe after going to eat at a soba noodle restaurant in Dallas. They had a dish in their small bites section that was so simple, yet delicious. The dish, called chawanmushi, is a steamed egg custard. The custard is dairy free and mixes egg with broth to create a light, savory appetizer or side dish. I took the basic idea from this dish, and taught myself how to make it through the Cooking with Dog Japanese cooking show channel on YouTube. (You can see their video for chawanmushi here and their recipe for udon egg custard here.)

This recipe is perfect for a spring meal as it is both warm and light. You will not feel overly full after eating this, so this would be an ideal late dinner or small lunch.

Ingredients

  • 1 package udon noodles, cooked
  • 2 cups dashi broth (or chicken broth)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tomato, cut into bite-size chunks
  • 1 shitake mushroom, sliced with the stem removed
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 small filet of grilled salmon, broken into chunks
  • drizzle sesame oil

Step 1: Put a cloth towel on the bottom of a deep-depth frying pan. In a separate saucepan, boil enough water to fill the frying pan half-way.

Step 2: Break up the egg whites with a fork. Then break the yolks and whisk the eggs until they are a homogeneous mixture.

Step 3: Mix the eggs with your broth. Stir well and then run the liquid through a strainer to ensure your mix is completely smooth when cooked.

Step 4: Put your udon noodles, vegetables and salmon into small bowls. Pour the egg liquid over the toppings and into individual serving cups and then top with a drizzle of sesame oil. Cover the bowls securely with plastic wrap. Place them into the cloth-lined frying pan.

Step 5: Pour the boiling water into the frying pan – there should be enough water to cover the bottom 1/2 to 1/3 of the bowls. Make sure that you are pouring around the bowls as to make sure that you do not dilute your egg mixture. Cover the pan with a lid and bring the pan to a rolling boil. When the water is fully boiling, reduce the heat to medium and cook another 10-15 minutes. The custard is done when the top is opaque and you can push a skewer into the custard and it is solid.

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Egg-stuffed mushroom sandwich with avocado slaw

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After creating my quail egg-stuffed mushrooms recipe, I thought that I should super-size it so that it could be a meal option.

It is important that you toast your bread well so that any moisture from the mushroom does not soak through. The avocado slaw recipe is comes from a post I released earlier and is a healthier option to traditional coleslaw as the dressing is made mostly of avocado.

Ingredients

  • 2 slices of bread, toasted
  • 1 portabella mushroom, stem and gills removed (the dark fiber-y part)
  • 1 egg
  • 1-2 tablespoons water for steaming
  • knob of butter for cooking
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • avacodo slaw

Step 1: Melt the butter in a frying pan on medium high. Add the mushroom, cap-side down. Cover the pan. Cook until mostly soft, adding water to the pan to steam and prevent from overcooking/burning.

Step 2: Add the egg into the mushroom cap. Add more water to the pan and cover. Cook until the egg white is cooked. The yolk should still be runny. Pull the pan from the heat.

Step 3: Stack the sandwich with the bread first, then the mushroom and then the slaw.

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Creamy mushroom soup

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So I had a craving for mushroom soup for a week before I made this. However, unlike most cream of mushroom soups that are overly heavy, I wanted something that was both light and creamy.

This is where lemon is my best friend. I remembered a recipe I did a few months back for the Indiana Daily Student. I wrote a recipe on quick chicken pot pie. My feature was a homemade filling made entirely from scratch. I used lemon juice to cut the fattiness of the cream sauce.

This is the exact same technique I used here. I also wanted the soup to have a chunkiness to it, so I added some leftover butternut squash to add some texture and a slight sweetness.

Ditch the canned soup and give this a shot. It will be worth your while.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups finely chopped mushrooms
  • 1 cup finely shopped butternut squash, you can sub in sweet potato or carrots (or both) if you so choose
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • juice of half a lemon
  • zest of half a lemon
  • 1 sprig rosemary, leaves only, finely chopped
  • 2 tbs butter, sub out for duck fat if you are feeling fancy (I was)
  • 6 tbs flour
  • 4 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup cream
  • salt and pepper to taste

Step 1: Melt the 2 tbs of butter in a large saucepan heated on high. When it begins to bubble, add the onion. Cook until the onion is translucent and aromatic. Add the mushrooms and rosemary. Cook until the mushrooms have wilted and reduced in size. Reduce the heat to medium high.

Step 2: Add the butternut squash, stir well and then cover with a lid. Cook until the squash is tender and splits easily with a fork. Add water or white wine to the pan if the vegetables begin to dry out while cooking. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper.

Step 3: Pour the flour into the pan with the vegetables, mix well. Cook a minute or two to get rid of the raw flour taste. Gradually, pour in the four cups of water one cup at a time while stirring constantly. Add the lemon juice. Cook until the soup thickens, it will take a bit of time for the grains of flour to absorb the liquid.

Step 4: Reduce heat to low and let the soup simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 

Sesame oatmeal with soft-cooked egg and ginger

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Despite sorting this in the breakfast section of my recipe page, I feel like this recipe is pretty universal regardless of when you eat it. Substitute the oatmeal for rice porridge and you would have an awesome alternative. You could even do this to plain white rice.

However when I woke up a couple mornings ago, I wanted something salty for breakfast, so I went this route.

Growing up, my mom would always add Maggi, a seasoning sauce similar to soy sauce, to her oatmeal. The sauce added a great umami flavor to a relatively bland breakfast staple. Unfortunately, I did not have any of this on hand. What I did have was dark soy sauce and sesame oil – so I thought, “Why don’t I give these a shot?”

Instead of finishing everything with a dash or two of soy sauce, I continued and went all the way, adding a fried egg and some vegetables. When I finished plating this, the recipe kind of reminded me of bi bim bap, a korean mixed rice dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet of instant oatmeal (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup water (for a twist, use leftover green or roasted barley tea instead)
  • 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 egg, fried with a runny yolk
  • julienned carrots, sautéed
  • chopped green onion
  • pepper to taste

Step 1: Cook the oatmeal with your water or tea. You can do this in the microwave or on the stove-top. However cook until the oatmeal is thick, you cannot have runny oatmeal as you will cut it with more liquid. Mix in 1 teaspoon of soy sauce.

Step 2: Pour oatmeal into a bowl. (Or keep in your cooking dish if you cooked in the microwave.) Top with the egg and carrots.

Step 3: Drizzle with remaining oil and sauce. Sprinkle with green onion and pepper.

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Chocolate Almond Meringues

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As promised, here is my meringue recipe I teased in my last post.

These are crunchy, sugary, chocolatey cookies that are awesome if you are gluten intolerant. This is a great recipe to make the night before as it requires time to dry out overnight. However who doesn’t like waking up to cookies?

There are only a handful of ingredients, so let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 4 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder

Toppings:

  • 1/2 cup chocolate
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds (or any other topping you prefer- crushed toffee, sprinkles, cocoa nibs or peppermints would be good as well)

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2: Take the egg whites and in a large bowl, whip with a hand mixer on high until you achieve stiff peaks. To tell if you achieved this, turn your mixer off and pull it out. The egg whites should pull as you move and leave behind a “peak” that does not sink back into itself.

Step 3: Turn the mixer back on high. Add the sugar gradually until the egg whites have become smooth and the sugar is completely mixed into the meringue. Add the vanilla and mix to combine.

Step 3: Remove the mixer and set it aside. Pour the cocoa powder into the mixing bowl. Slowly fold the cocoa powder until the powder is mixed in, but not fully incorporated – I want the meringue to have subtle cocoa swirls.

Step 4: Put the meringue in a piping bag or a big plastic bag. Cut the tip off so the cut is about 1 centimeter wide. Pipe the meringue onto a parchment paper (foil also works, but is not preferred) lined baking sheet. For those like me who have a silicone baking mat, it works like a charm. Pipe domes of meringue that are about an inch in diameter.

Step 5: Put the baking sheet in the oven and reduce the cooking temperature to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for two hours, then turn the oven off (leaving the baking sheet in the oven) and leave the cookies to dry out overnight.

Step 6: The next day, melt some chocolate in the microwave (in 20 and 10 second intervals). Put the almond meal in another plate. One-by-one, dip the meringues into the chocolate, then the almonds, and then return them to the baking sheet to cool. Let cool another 5 minutes. Enjoy!