Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Tomatoes Xanadu

If you were to ask me where this idea came from, I would have to say, "From my dreams." I really don't know. I have made it maybe three times over several years. I just made it again and I adore it. It is not particularly labor intensive - figure 45 minutes from start to finish. A good deal of that time is getting a big pot of water to boil.
Don't be put off by the xanthan gum. It is a natural product which you will find in many things, including hot sauce and ice cream.
The "Xanadu" appelation just is whimsy on my part. You can use this sauce for anything that a regular tomato sauce would serve. But you can also use it like catsup, although it's thinner than that. It's delicious and a fun thing to do on that day off from the office.

Tomatoes Xanadu
10 Roma tomatoes
4 medium cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
2 or 3 oz canned beet
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp xanthan gum

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cut an X in the scar end of your tomatoes. When the water boils, drop them in (carefully) and leave them there for one (that's 1) minute. Remove to a bowl of cold water (ice is not at all necessary). Peel off the skins and discard them.

Cut the tomatoes lengthwise into quarters and scrape out the juicy and seedy part into a fine mesh strainer. Cut the tomatoe pieces into quarters and buzz up in the food processor with the garlic and salt and pepper and lemon. Add in the juice that you strained from the seeds. Add some beet. Why? That's how you keep the tomatoes a bright red color. You will not taste the beets. At the last add the xanthan gum while the motor is running. Have a ball figuring out how many ways you can use tomatoes Xanadu.I

Monday, May 14, 2012

Creamsicle ice cream with fudgsicle sauce

Technically speaking this may be more of a sherbet or a granita as I don't own an ice cream machine. However, by using some creative mechanics, it became a lovely thing. The first time I made this (recipe invented by me and then lost) I was disappointed trying to get adequate "orangeness" in it. My solution? Read it  below.
The sauce is my own creation as well. I was inspired by my childhood memories of these two things being my favorite icy cold treats.

Creamsicle ice cream

1 cup SunnyD - original
zest of one large orange
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup pasteurized egg product
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup sugar


Combine all ingredients in a blender; process until smooth and well blended. Place in a chilled glass bowl and put it in the freezer. Every 30 minutes or so get the bowl out and mix it up with a hand-held mixer. This will help reduce ice crystal build up and contribute to your having a nice creamy final product.
Makes about 1 quart.

Fudgsicle sauce

Don't be put off by the xanthan gum. Read the label on a container of commercial ice cream. Yep, there it is. It is a natural product that brings texture to the party.

4 fudgsicles (yes, you can still get them)
3-4 Tbs heavy cream
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

Melt the fudgsicles and then let them cool (what you have will be very thin). In your food processor, combine it with the cream. With the motor running, sprinkle in the xanthan gum. You're done. You can serve this warm or cold. I prefer cold.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The latest hiatus

I'll be offline for a while. The vagaries of life do take their toll from time to time. Not to worry, nothing serious is going on. I'll be back when I have something to say - which is to say that at the moment I don't. I'll still be checking your postings. Be well, be full.

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Tuesday Tag-Along

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