Speaking of strawberry cocktails… the added bonus of this amazing fresh strawberry ice cream is that the sweetened vodka-based macerating liquid makes a wonderful base for a celebratory summer cocktail. Nice! 🙂
The texture and color of this ice cream was absolutely incredible. It was the perfect use for my precious, freshly-picked strawberries. The ice cream recipe is from Martha Stewart Living; I included a recipe for the bonus cocktail below.
For the Ice Cream:
Yield: 1 1/2 quarts
- 1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved (about 3 cups), plus 8 ounces more, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup low-fat milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2/3 cup sugar, plus 1/2 cup more for macerating
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup vodka or silver tequila
- In a blender or Vitamix, puree halved strawberries with lemon juice and salt. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve. (You should have 1 1/2 cups of puree; reserve any excess for another use.)
- Combine milk, cream, 2/3 cup sugar, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer 2 minutes.
- Strain mixture into a bowl set in an ice bath and let stand, stirring occasionally, until cold, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in strawberry puree. Refrigerate, covered, at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
- Stir together remaining 1/2 cup sugar and vodka. Add chopped strawberries and macerate at room temperature at least 2 hours, or in the refrigerator, covered, up to 12 hours.
- Process puree mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. When it has the texture of soft serve, drain macerated berries (reserving syrup for another use) and fold into ice cream.
- Transfer to a loaf pan and freeze, wrapped in plastic, at least 4 hours and up to 1 week.
- Let stand at room temperature 10 minutes before serving.
For the Bonus Cocktail:
Yield: 1 cocktail
- fresh juice from 1/4 large lime
- 3 oz strawberry-vodka-sugar macerating syrup
- tonic (for a sweeter cocktail) or seltzer (less sweet), as desired
- Combine lime juice and macerated strawberry syrup in a glass.
- Fill with ice and top with tonic or seltzer, as desired.
Posted in Fruit Desserts, Good Sweets, Good Eats (Desserts), Ice Cream, Recipes
Tags: 4th of July, cocktail, corn syrup, cream, dessert, Fourth of July, fresh, ice cream, July 4th, lemon, lemon juice, milk, seltzer, strawberries, strawberry ice cream, summer, tequila, tonic, Vitamix, vodka
I have so many delicious recipes just waiting to be shared. Before strawberry season is over, I must share new recipes that I tried with my fresh-picked berries this season.
This cocktail was the very first thing we prepared with our fresh strawberries. My husband made it for me on my birthday! ❤ The recipe was adapted from cocktails that New Amsterdam Gin named to honor modern-day landmarks in New York City, via The Spruce Eats.com. I plan to also try it using vodka instead of gin. Happy birthday to me! 😉
Yield: 1 cocktail
- Muddle strawberries with the basil until fully mashed in a cocktail shaker.
- Add all other ingredients.
- Add ice and shake vigorously.
- Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. (We chilled the glass by filling it with ice while the cocktail was being prepared.)
- Garnish with half a strawberry, as desired.
Posted in Drinks, Holiday, Quick, Recipes
Tags: 4th of July, agave nectar, basil, cocktail, drink, Fourth of July, gin, July 4th, lemon juice, lime juice, strawberry, summer, union square, vodka
I was also able to celebrate my birthday on my special Charleston trip. 🙂 Although I enjoyed a lot of wonderful Southern food while I was there, my friends and I also went to Sean Brock’s Minero’s Restaurant for a Mexican birthday lunch. It was SO good.
Along with our various tacos, we had bowls of Mexican street corn which were absolutely delicious. I do plan on re-creating that dish, but for now these grilled corn crostini were another terrific variation. I made these as a Fourth of July appetizer. Unlike other crostini that have to be prepared at the last-minute, these are perfect to bring to a party or potluck because the topping can be placed on the ciabatta in advance.
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appetit. I toasted the ciabatta until it was nicely browned and increased the garlic on the toasted bread. Great!
Yield: Makes 12 crostini
- 2 ears corn, shucked
- 1 T vegetable oil
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 12 slices of ciabatta bread (I used most of a 1 lb. loaf, cut into 12 1/2-inch thick slices)
- 2 garlic cloves, cut in half
- 1/4 cup crema mexicana or sour cream
- 3 T crumbled feta
- lime wedge
- cilantro leaves
- chili powder
- Rub corn with vegetable oil. Season corn with salt and freshly ground black pepper; grill until slightly charred and tender.
- Slice corn off the cob in wide strips. (I grilled 3 ears just to ensure that I would have enough wide strips.)
- Grill or toast the bread slices until uniformly browned. While still warm, rub the top of each slice with garlic.
- Mix crema mexicana or sour cream with feta.
- Smear toasts with crema mixture. Top crema with grilled corn.
- Squeeze a lime wedge over each.
- Garnish with cilantro leaves and sprinkle with chili powder.
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Posted in Appetizers, Grilling, Holiday, Quick, Recipes, Vegetarian
Tags: appetizer, bread, bruschetta, chili powder, ciabatta, cilantro, corn, crema mexicana, crostini, feta, Fourth of July, grilled corn, hors d'oeuvres, lime, Mexican, party, street corn, summer, vegetables, vegetarian
What is happening!?!? This post is very belated. I made this appetizer to bring to my Clams Casino-loving friends’ house for the Fourth of July this summer… Well, I think I know what is happening! I am super behind on my blog posts, that is what is happening. I’m happy to report that Littleneck Clams are still readily available! 🙂
I have made Clams Casino only one other time in the past. (to see the post click here) This new version has several modifications from the first. It omits the breadcrumbs (a selling point for me), keeps the clams whole, and includes pancetta instead of bacon. This recipe was adapted from Giada De Laurentiis via Foodnetwork.com. I cleaned and cooked the clams as I had done in my previous dish. I also adjusted the amount of most of the ingredients and added strained clam juice to the filling. It’s a great appetizer for a crowd!
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 ounces sliced pancetta or bacon, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups finely diced red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped shallots
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- rounded 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan, divided
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 30 medium (2 1/2-inch) littleneck clams
- lemon wedges for garnish, if desired
Note: The clams can be stored for a day in a bowl in the coldest part of the refrigerator.
- Begin by cleaning the clams. Rinse them thoroughly. Put them in a large bowl with very cold water, and stick the bowl in the refrigerator. This will give the clams the chance to spit out any sand or grit that may have gotten inside. After about 30 minutes (or up to an hour), drain the bowl of water, and refill with fresh cold water. Refrigerate. After the second soaking, scrub them with a kitchen brush.
- Cook the clams: Preheat the broiler to high (I set it to Broiler-Max, 500 degrees). Place the clams on a large, heavy baking sheet in a single layer. Place under the broiler, and broil for about 3 to 5, or until the clams have opened completely.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and reserve the clam juice that has dripped into the pan. Strain the clam juice in a coffee filter to remove any bits of shell or grit. (I used 2-3 tablespoons of this strained clam juice in the filling.)
- Remove the clam from inside the shell with a spoon. Set aside.
- Gently twist the clam shell at the hinged side to separate the halves. Clean any remnants of clam from the shell with a knife. Reserve bottom shells.
- Make the Filling: Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and sauté until crisp and golden, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a plate.
- Add the bell pepper, shallots, garlic, and oregano to the same skillet and saute until the shallots are tender and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the wine and simmer until it is almost evaporated, about 2 minutes.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and cool completely. Stir the reserved pancetta, 2 or 3 tablespoons of the strained clam juice, and 3 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese into the vegetable mixture. Season the mixture, to taste, with salt and pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
- Line a heavy large baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Arrange the clams in the reserved shells on the baking sheet. Spoon the vegetable mixture atop the clams, dividing equally and mounding slightly. Sprinkle with the remaining 3 tablespoons of Parmesan.
- Bake until the clams are just cooked through and the topping is golden, about 10 minutes.
- Arrange the clams on the platter. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.
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Posted in Appetizers, Holiday, Recipes, Seafood
Tags: appetizer, clam juice, clams, clams casino, Fourth of July, Italian, July 4th, littleneck clams, pancetta, shallots