The secret to the superior flavour of this ice cream is an infusion of fragrant fresh mint leaves and cream.
It’s the sweetened condensed milk that gives this frozen treat its decadent creamy texture. No churning required!
It really doesn’t get much easier, whip some cream, add the condensed milk, and freeze. It has the same texture as traditional ice cream made with a very rich cooked custard base and slowly churned until frozen. I didn’t believe it until I tried myself, but no-churn sweetened condensed milk ice cream is truly a revelation. It’s a fool-proof basic recipe for ice cream that requires no cooking, no special equipment, and depending on the flavour you make, no planning ahead.
For this recipe, allow some time for the cream to chill after infusing it with the fresh mint, so you will need to begin a few hours before you plan on actually making the ice cream.
Coarsely chop the mint leaves and combine with the cream in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Gently warm the mixture, stirring occasionally, until it feels hot to the touch. Don't let it come a boil. Remove the pan from the heat, cover and let steep for 20-30 minutes.
Strain the cream in to a bowl, squeezing the mint in order to release as much liquid as possible.
Chill the infusion until it very cold by placing the bowl in a larger bowl filled with ice or by placing it in the refrigerator for a few hours. The cream won't whip properly unless it is very cold, so don't try and rush this step.
In the bowl of your stand-mixer, or using a large whisk, whip the cream until it holds gentle peaks.
Taste the cream to test for flavour, you may want to add a few drops of peppermint extract if it's not quite minty enough for your liking.
In a separate bowl, stir together the sweetened condensed milk with the vanilla until combined.
First fold in about a cup of the whipped cream to the sweetened condensed milk to lighten it a bit. Then add this mixture into the remaining whipped cream and continue to fold in until everything has been evenly incorporated.
Finally, stir the dark chocolate bits through the mixture.
Transfer to a container for freezing. I like to use a chilled glass or ceramic 2 litre loaf pan, but almost anything would do.
Cover the surface of the mixture with plastic wrap, and freeze for 5-6 hours until firm.
If you’re craving something spicy, make a bowl of these vegetarian tofu Sichuan noodles with plenty of mushrooms and chili oil.
I love spicy. Crave spicy. Every few weeks I whip up a batch of chile oil and drizzle it on just about everything and anything.
Sometimes, I simply heat up some oil and then pour the hot, sizzling, bubbly oil over a bowl of chile flakes. The hot oil gives the chile flakes a pleasing toasty flavor and, after a while, turns the oil a vibrant shade of red. Capsaicin, of course, a potent antioxidant found in chiles is responsible for its heat, red color, as well as many of chile’s health promoting properties.
Other times, my preparation of chile oil is a bit more elaborate, perhaps a few spices (a cinnamon stick, star anise, Sichuan peppercorns), cloves of garlic and ginger infused in the oil before it’s poured over the chile flakes. Regardless, it’s easy to prepare and highly addictive.
Given my love for heat, it’s not surprising that I have an assortment of chile flakes and powders on hand — milder Turkish Kirmizi chile pepper flakes; smoky, earthy Urfa Biber chile flakes; medium spicy roasted Burmese chile pepper flakes; fruity, minimally spicy Calabrian chile flakes; Korean chile flakes (Gochugaru, what you would use to make kimchi), to name a few. Typically we just think of chile flakes as, well, chile flakes, without considering that many types of chile peppers can be dried and made into flakes. I like a mild-to-moderate spicy chile for the oil. Something that imparts a bit of heat, but won’t scorch your tastebuds.
When it comes to Sichuan peppercorn, there are several types. There’s Chinese red and green Sichuan peppercorns. Also, Sansho Japanese prickly ash, which has a more pronounced citrus flavor than Chinese Sichuan peppercorns. All produce a mild cooling sensation that gives way to an effervescent, electric, tingling/numbing sensation due to the presence of a molecule known as hydroxy-alpha sanshoo. I purchased the Sichuan peppercorns from Kalusyan’s, NYC. Personally I like the green Sichuan peppercorns, which have a nice citrusy flavor, with a bit more of that mouth numbing zing. On a side note, ground Sichuan peppercorn mixed with salt makes for a nice all-purpose seasoning and alternative to black peppercorns.
As for today’s dish, the noodles are a vegetarian take on a Sichuan classic, dan dan noodles. But instead of the traditional pork topping, I was in the mood for a vegetarian version — a combination of maitake and tofu, seared in a skillet (or wok) with ginger, garlic, soy and rice wine.
Regarding the the sauce for these noodles, I combined some chile oil with toasted and ground Sichuan green peppercorns, tamari, tahini/sesame seed paste (this brand) and Chinese black vinegar. Black vinegar is one of those unique ingredients that really doesn’t have a substitute. It’s a bit malty, caramel-y, and maple syrup-y with just a hint of acidity. You can find it on amazon or at most Asian grocery stores. Like anything else, they vary in quality. Look for black vinegar free from additives, preservatives or colorings.
Took a trip to Philadelphia’s Chinatown neighborhood but couldn’t find fresh noodles, so I decided to whip up a batch of rye ramen-style noodles. I used this recipe from Food & Wine and cut the noodles on an Italian chitarra like this.
8-10 ounces dried or fresh ramen noodles (such as Sun Noodles)
For the Tofu-Mushroom
1 tablespoon oil
4 ounces firm tofu, finely chopped
4 ounces mushrooms (I used maitke), any variety, chopped
2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
1 inch of ginger minced
1 teaspoon Shaoxing rice wine, Saki or dry Sherry
2 teaspoons soy sauce or tamari
Salt to taste
For the Sauce
1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
4 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
2 teaspoons Chinese black vinegar
2 to 4 tablespoons Sichuan chile oil plus some flakes, depending on desired heat level (recipe below)
2 tablespoons tahini
Splash of pasta cooking water
Thinly sliced scallions
Roasted, chopped peanuts
Ground Sichuan peppercorns
Sichuan Chile Oil
Click the link above for the recipe.
Cook the noodles
Bring a pot of salted water to a bowl. Drop in the pasta and cook until just al dente. Drop into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain.
For the Tofu-Mushroom
Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and mushrooms and sauté until nicely browned. Add the garlic and ginger, and a little more oil if needed, and sauté another minute. Add the rice wine and soy and stir to combine. Salt to taste.
For the Sauce
Combine the Sichuan peppercorns, soy sauce, black vinegar, Sichuan chile oil and tahini in a bowl. Whisk to combine. Add a tablespoon or two of pasta cooking water, just to loosen up the sauce a bit.
Spoon a few tablespoons of sauce in the bottom of each bowl. Layer half of the noodles on top. Spoon the tofu-mushroom mixture on top. Add thinly sliced scallions, chopped roasted peanuts and a pinch of Sichuan peppercorns. Add a little more sauce on top. Enjoy!
Covered in an Indian spice blend, this kerala baked fish is a delightful and easy seafood recipe full of flavor.
My mother practiced what I like to call Brutalist Cuisine. Fish was cooked into carbon covered with breading, cakes came out raw molten in the middle. The oven was never preheated, one just turned it on shoved the food in and hoped for the best. Directions and recipes? Those are for suckers. Thoughts and prayers was what we used. None of this was accidental, this was deliberate. This was how things were cooked at Fran’s house. Did I mention she didn’t like to cook? A lot of it was based on the fact that she never thought she would ever have to cook, but hey, she married the immigrant’s son her family didn’t like, so the money-train pulled out of the station and she got behind the stove.
My moms fish skills even gave me fish trauma. It took quite a while to learn that fish could actually be fantastic if cooked correctly, and when I started cooking Indian food nearly 30 years ago, I discovered Indian cuisine has lots of amazing fish recipes from all parts of the subcontinent. Some of the best come from Kerala and since Alan was no longer demanding meat every day, but was open to the idea of fish in his diet, I got to work introducing him to some great Indian fish dishes.
It’s one thing to cook on a weekend with time aplenty, but I cook every day in the middle of a writing schedule, so what I cook on weekdays has to be relatively quick and easy. Our main meal is lunch at midday, Alan has an early dinner of the left-overs, or I cook something simple for him. I eat a few vegetables and then we basically fast for about 12 to 15 hours until the next morning. So a good hearty lunch is important. Fast, healthy, filling. That’s the name of the game, which is why I love this recipe.
I served this with Cashew Rice and an Indian creamed spinach.
Spicy hot, slightly crispy, lying on a bed of rice studded with cashews, and sultana raisins, it hit the spot taste-wise and time-wise, and the leftovers reheated up easily for Alan’s dinner that night. He loved it and it’s going in my regular rotation. I think he’d have started eating fish a long time ago if he’d had recipes like this, as it’s a great dish for the fish-curious.
This Orange-Strawberry Spritzer is one gorgeous looking and tasting non-alcoholic party drink. A perfect spring sipper.
Last weekend I had the most amazing experience of going to a local Strawberry Farm and handpick some fresh strawberries! I have lived in Florida for nearly six years now but I kicked myself hard for not having done this earlier! Seriously! It was such a rewarding experience that I made a promise to myself that I will go for all possible local picking events not just to help the local farmers but also for the overall experience. There is an unexplained pleasure in eating fruits and vegetables that you have handpicked. The feeling is even more when you have grown them in your backyard. But I still have some time for that to happen. Meanwhile, I can at-least visit more such farms and pick some strawberries, blueberries, lemons, oranges or any other fruit/vegetable being grown here.
Actually, some of my friends were taking their kids for this activity and I just decided to join them impromptu. Thankfully the Florida weather cooperated with us and gave us a brisk sunny morning! Having never done strawberry picking before, I thought they grew on trees and all the while was wondering how on earth are we going to pluck them. On reaching the farm, I was delighted to see that strawberry plants are like shrubs.
I was as excited as my friend’s kids and we all eagerly marched towards the farm with cartons in our hand. Jut the sight of bright red strawberries hanging on the plant got me excited. Pretty soon all of us had filled our cartons with some insane amounts of berries but no one was complaining. All my girlfriends joked that we have so many strawberries now that it looks like that is what we will be cooking for the next few weeks! But seriously, I had not seen such strawberries before! What I really liked about these farm fruit apart from the fact that they were super-duper cheap was, they were sweeter, juicier and huge in comparison to the ones available at the grocery stores. Even the color looked perfect! I am going Orange picking next! Just one tip – Please wash these fruits thoroughly in warm running water to ward o all the pesticides and dirt!
I was all excited when I got home and was showing the produce to KR. But there were also many thoughts running on my mind as to how to use these delicious strawberries in my kitchen. I even asked my Insta family for suggestions on my story and here are some of the suggestions that I got – Strawberry Ice Cream, Strawberry Cheesecake, Strawberry Salsa, Strawberry Smoothie and even a Strawberry Rasam! I had never heard of Strawberry Rasam and now I am definitely intrigued to know more on that. Since I went overboard and had got a couple of pounds of these berries, I am sure I can try each of these recipes in my kitchen using them. I have frozen a big carton for now till I decide what to make next. For now it was time to test a small batch of my most tried and tested fruit juice!
Tropical Orange Strawberry Spritzer! I have making and enjoying this drink for some years now. I have served this to my guests and always end up getting loads of compliments for it!
If you’re anything like us, you’re obsessed with grilled pizza. It’s such a delicious food to eat on repeat this summer and this is the perfect wine to pair with it.
Grilled pizza is our ideal summer food. It’s made outside, so we don’t have to heat up the kitchen, it’s quick (we keep balls of pizza dough prepped in our freezer), it’s a crowd pleaser and filling. Not to mention, we can top each pie with just about anything we have in our fridge, including all of the fresh summer produce that is in season.
The only thing to make out summer nights complete besides a grilled pizza, is the perfect wine to pair. Found it! We’ve been pouring 2017 Scott Family Estate Arroyo Seco Pinot Noir with our meat-lovers pizzas, or pies loaded with zucchini and goat cheese, and even the creamier white sauce pizzas served simply with a sprinkle of fresh herbs and a drizzle of fine olive oil or balsamic.
Made from grapes grown in Monterey County, this wine is part of Rutherford Wine’s portfolio. It fruit-forward with a touch of herbaceousness that makes it perfect with veggie pizzas. Grown in a cooler climate, the wine has beautiful acidity combined with rich tannins. It’s food-friendly, balanced and approachable. Perfect for summer and all the grilled pizzas.
This easy breakfast casserole is perfect to meal prepping and is a total crowd pleaser. The Cornbread Breakfast Bake is loaded with meat and fresh veggies.
Alright you guys, I am obsessed with this breakfast bake!! It was one of those clean-out-the-fridge recipes where I didn’t feel like making a boring egg scramble and was also craving something sweet. It’s chock full of protein from lean ground beef, eggs, and egg whites and also helps you get your veggies in without even realizing it! This really is one of those meals that is decently healthy, but doesn’t taste healthy. And I’m all about that ;).
I almost didn’t share this recipe because I wasn’t planning on blogging the morning I made it. It was a spontaneous mixture that came together since I didn’t feel like making a grocery store trip but was starting to get a little hangry. I LOVE cornbread and thought, what the heck, and mixed together some pre-made mix, poured it on top of my ground beef mixture, and hoped for the best.
The result? Sweet and salt perfection that will keep you full all morning long. I didn’t plan for it to be a meal prep recipe, but I ended up eating it pretty much for 3 days straight for breakfast AND lunch. You can also customize it to whatever your taste preferences are! Don’t like spinach? Feel free to sub in another veggie. You don’t eat red meat? Add in ground chicken or turkey.
20 oz bag frozen spinach, patted as dry as possible **don't skip
1 tsp garlic powder
1 cup egg beaters/egg whites
1 box of Jiffy Corn Bread Mix
⅓ cup milk
For serving: sour cream, fresh tomatoes, etc
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking dish with parchment paper.
In a large skillet on medium heat, cook the onion and beef until the beef is browned. Stir in the red bell pepper and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Stir in the spinach and season with the garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste.
In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, Egg Beaters, and salt and pepper.
Add the beef mixture into the baking dish and pour the egg mixture on top.
Mix the Jiffy Corn Bread Mix, egg, and milk together to form the batter. Pour on top of the breakfast bake.
Taro not only makes for a fabulous savory starch, but also a sweet treat. These sweet taro sticks are a delicious bite with tea or coffee.
This sugar coated taro sticks are just 2 main ingredients. Taro sticks and sugar. It is great for snack or tea time. When you bite into it, you get the crunchiness of the frosty sugar and the soft nutty taro center.
It is an easy recipe but a bit tricky to master on the sugar coating. The plain sugar can turn into many forms through the cooking, from sandy white to bubbly clear liquid to golden syrup. Once the sugar boils, there are some big bubbles being formed. The bubbles will become smaller and smaller and the syrup starts turning slightly brown, it is time to add the deep fried taro sticks, turn off the heat and coat with syrup as evenly as possible.
If you are not able to do the sandy sugar coating properly, the caramelized sugar coated taro is still delicious.
With all the flavors of banana pudding, this banana pudding pie sits in a delightful vanilla wafer crust and is topped with freshly whipped cream.
do you ever find yourself so completely frazzled and overwhelmed that you need to stop and reset? this banana pudding pie was my reset. slowly stirring pudding while it bubbles on the stove is my kind of meditation. a crust that involves smashing vanilla wafers (check out my homemade vanilla wafer recipe HERE) into crumbs is cathartic. and is there anything more comforting than sliced bananas topped with homemade vanilla pudding and freshly whipped cream? i don’t think so.
This Corn Puree with Gruyere and Basil is a side dish you should be bringing to every barbecue this coming summer.
I am telling you now this will become a favourite.
I discovered it completely by accident. I was trying to work out what would be a good partner for a piece of grilled chicken with smokey chipotle chilli. I started with grilled corn but then I saw a picture of a bowl of creamed corn with basil, a recipe by Neil Perry and that inspired me and off I went. This will inspire you too I’m sure.
Most of my recipes are rooted deeply in what ever it is I have in the fridge and this followed the rule. I had a beautiful piece of Gruyere in there, and although it really is one of my favourite cheeses to eat, I had a very good idea it would make this plate of corn AMAZING. And so it did.
For the most part I made this whipped corn with a bag of frozen corn. That’s what I had so that was it. Frozen corn is so sweet and it stays that way when cooked. The corn “mash” is a bit like potato mash in that the more butter cream and cheese added, only makes you want it more.
I have later seen that the original recipe in Good Food has Parmesan in it. This is also a great tasting cheese to add, but I love the nutty fruity taste of Gruyere cheese.
You can skimp on that bit, but don’t try to skimp on the pureeing part. The smoother this Corn Puree is the absolute better it is.
Although this corn makes the perfect side dish for BBQ meats like Chicken, Lamb and even Beef it’s the perfect Vegetarian dish too and hey come on you really didn’t think I’d stop there did you? It’s gluten free and also easy to Veganise. Yes I said Veganise or is that Veganize?
Anyway it’s easy to make it dairy free. I know it’s hard to imagine but it is true and totally delish too.
Check out the video and why not also check out the actual dish if you are in Sydney. Come visit Sidecar- restaurant where I oversee the menu.
Whipped Corn with Gruyere Cheese | My Kitchen Stories - YouTube
You will need a high speed blender or a stick blender for this recipe
Put a pot big enough to hold all of the ingredients over a medium heat and add oil and butter. Melt and add onion and garlic and cook till soft.
Add the corn and toss for several minutes, then add cream and soy and simmer for 2 minutes.
Take off the heat and puree in small batches adding grated cheese as you go. Once puree cover and Keep warm.
Warm a skillet or BBQ plate. Coat the corn in the extra olive oil and cook over high heat till nice and charred or for about 8 minutes. cool slightly and then cut off the kernels, keeping warm in a covered container.
Serve the corn on a side dish sprinkled with corn kernels, pinenuts and basil leaves. I also like this with cracked black pepper and extra grated cheese!
Use 100 gm Nutalex ( vegan friendly "butter" in place of butter). Add 125 ml of coconut cream in place of cows cream Finally use Nutritional yeast in place of Gruyere cheese. Nutritional Yeast is a tasty substitute for cheese.
We like to try new wines, but sometimes a wine guide that is a mile long can be overwhelming. So we’re sticking to three. Yep, just three wines fit for the coming Memorial Day weekend. And we know there will be plenty of rosé hanging around, so this succinct list focuses on a white and reds so you can bring a few different wines to the party.
JUSTIN 2018 Sauvignon Blanc $16
This is the wine we will drink on the patio on Friday night as the prospects of a three-day weekend lay before us and we nibble on a cheeseboard. This is the wine to pair with that easy salad you are going to throw together with leftover grilled chicken from the big barbecue you hosted. This is the wine to open at the start of the party, to get everyone’s mouths watering for dinner and to pair effortlessly with fresh appetizers. This is also the wine to bring to that fancy, alternative Memorial Day shindig you were invited to on Saturday night that is serving grilled oysters and other delicious seafood. Bright, with tropical notes, this white wine is a perfectly refreshing sipper for a relaxing night at home or to kick off the unofficial start of summer at a party.
Ramón Bilbao Reserva $22
This Rioja wine is just the bottle you for the weekend. Made with mostly Tempranillo grapes, the Spanish wine has a long finish accented by notes of dark fruits and spices. It’s balanced and ready to drink while you grill a few burgers or enjoy a simple meat spread with a few friends.
Four Virtues Wine 2017 Monterey County Pinot Noir $25
A wine writer once said that the best bottles of wines must have four virtues: a distinctive style with high quality, an expression of terrior, intense, but not overpowering flavor, and must be satisfying to the palate and the intellect. Four Virtues Wines works to make sure their bottles tick all of these boxes. We especially enjoy this sleek bottle for Memorial weekend festivities because it is not just a straight fruity Pinot Noir. It comes in with beautiful earthy notes and makes for a perfect bottle with anything grilled or smoked. If you’re invited to a barbecue or hosting one, this is the bottle to open with the main meal.