A Sunday Full of Flavor

Holy flavor! It’s as if my taste buds have gone on this amazing journey and I didn’t even leave my own house. It was definitely a foodies’ perfect day, and mine. I spent my Sunday baking up a storm, cooking up the summer’s freshest veggies, while still enjoying the beautiful day outside. I’d have to say I get my culinary itch and love of food from dad. He really is an amazing cook, combining simple ingredients to create dishes that our just out of this world, including the grilled squid we had for dinner.

I can’t even describe the explosion of flavors that burst in my mouth as soon as I took a bite of this succulent squid. It was tangy yet sweet and spicy, with the right bit of chewiness, just the freshest taste of seafood and smokiness. I wish I could come up with the words to explain this dish, but I just can’t; my face and reaction to the first bite said it all. “WHAT DID YOU DO TO THIS SQUID?!?” were the only words that I could manage. Being the nonchalant man that my dad is, simply told me “Oh you know some salt, pepper, garlic, lemon, paprika, fresh parsley and some Brandy. Then I just made a butter sauce with the lemon, garlic and parsley.” Oh, yeah no big deal…just one of the best tasting things ever!

If I could I give you a set recipe I would, but seeing as he doesn’t even know it I can only tell you what went into this delectable creation. It was THE perfect summer dish in my book. It’s funny how he somehow conjured up this seafood dish and  I did the same with the veggies. I sautéed some onions, garlic, and red pepper in olive oil and fresh lemon juice. Then added in some eggplant and zucchini, finishing it off with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and fresh parsley…the perfect compliment to the squid.

My savory taste buds were then finished off with a Sea Salt Caramel Ice Cream, the second flavor of my ice cream making-capade. Bi Rite Creamery definitely knows what they’re doing, considering they’re known as one of the best ice cream shops in the country. I would hop on a plane to San Francisco right now if I could, just to tell them how sweet of geniuses they are! Yes, I love all things sweet but I can’t say caramel is one of those flavors I consider to be one of my favorites…well, until now. Of course this ice cream was rich, creamy and smooth but it was also slightly bitter from the sea salt, and at the same time slightly burnt {in a delicious way}, smokey, and velvety sweet from the caramel. It’s a crazy flavor that is purely addicting, the best way to describe it is a soft caramel candy just melting in your mouth, your taste buds discovering a depth of flavor that is like no other. The final touch…fresh sea salt sprinkled on top!

Ingredients {Makes 1 quart}

1 3/4 cups – Heavy Cream

3/4 cup – Granulated Sugar

3/4 cup – 1% Milk

1 teaspoon – Sea Salt

5 large – Egg Yolks

To make the caramel, set the cream and 1/2 cup of the sugar near the stove. Put 2 tablespoons of the sugar in heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the sugar begins to melt around the edges and turns amber in places {about 2 minutes} gently stir and add another 2 tablespoons of the sugar.

Continue this process with the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, stirring constantly making sure the sugar is dissolved before each addition. Watch as the sugar darkens. carefully

When the caramel turns a dark mahogany, remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour the cream. {It will steam and bubble over so be careful!} Once the bubbling slows down, continue adding the cream stirring gently until it is all combined. {If you have lumps, heat the caramel over low heat until it is smooth again.}

To make the base, stir the milk and salt in the completely smooth caramel over medium-high heat. When it reaches a bare simmer, reduce it to medium heat. Whisk the yolks, just to break them up, and add in the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar.

 Slowly ladle about 1/2 cup of the hot mixture into the yolk mixture, while whisking. Add one more ladle of the hot mixture to the yolks, making sure to whisk quickly so you don’t curdle the eggs. With a heat-proof spatula, stir the cream mixture as you slowly add in the egg-cream mixture to the saucepan.

Cook the ice cream base over medium heat, stirring constantly until it has thickened, about 1 to 2 minutes. {The mixture should coat the back of a wooden spoon, holding a clear path when you run your finger} Strain the base through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean container, over an ice-water bath. Using a clean spatula, stir the base frequently until its has cooled and remove it from the ice-water bath. Cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Freeze the ice cream, in your ice cream machine following your manufacturer’s directions. While the ice cream churns, put the container that you’ll keep your ice cream in the freezer. The ice cream is ready once it reaches the consistency of soft-serve, or the paddle creates a distinctive path as it churns. This ice cream is smoother than most because of its high sugar. {be careful NOT to over churn it, there’s no fixing it at that point. The timing of freezing your ice cream will depend on the machine and the conditions of your kitchen}

{diana}

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7 thoughts on “A Sunday Full of Flavor

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  6. haha ice cream making-capade! love it. i am about to embark on one of those! i will definitely have to try your salted caramel here, that is one of my favorite flavors. also that squid? looks amazing!

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