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Aventuras en mi Cocina!

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Adventures in my kitchen!! Because I’m usually so busy during the week, I have to save all my cooking for Sunday afternoons. I try to get all my schoolwork done so that all I do on Sunday is cook, laundry, and watch movies. Bliss.

Today’s adventures included making a frittata with veggies in my CSA box as well as some banana chocolate chip ice cream. A word about CSAs, also known as “community sustained agriculture”: This is my second year belonging to a CSA and I am absolutely in love with it. Because Minnesota has such a great growing season (due to the snow that melts and keeps the whole state from drought-suffering!), I get great produce delivered to a neighborhood cafe once a week. It’s like Christmas every week because I never know what I’m going to get in my box! I love being adventurous and figuring out new ways and new things to cook. Like kohlrabi, something I’d never eaten before I moved here.

One beauty of the CSA is that I barely have any grocery expenses during the week. It’s kind of nice to just run into the store and quickly buy the few accompaniments and condiments for the stuff that is delivered weekly. I think my grocery basket this week was just: yogurt, a few herbs, cheese, and meat. In, out, less than 20 minutes. Love it.

Side note about what I’ve learned from my CSA: I know what a ramp is! It’s not just something you walk on, it’s a wild vegetable! My dad and I had some at The French Laundry restaurant in Yountville, and in his 82 years, my dad had never eaten one. I think the sommelier was really impressed that I knew how to describe it (it’s like a cross between a wild onion and a leek) to my dad 🙂

Ok, so this week’s box had broccoli and cherry tomatoes. Perfect combo for my favorite frittata from my Seriously Simple cookbook. I like this cookbook because the recipes are simple – relatively few ingredients, quick cooking times (although it’s no 30-minute meals by Rachel Ray), and minimal number of steps. Most recipes, however, are high in salt or sugar. I guess that’s the price you pay for not having a ton of ingredients or herbs to season the food…

Anyway, here’s the recipe:

Equipment – 9-inch ovenproof skillet

1 shallot OR half a small onion and 1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 Tb olive oil

1 cup broccoli florets

1/8 cup water

8ish cherry tomatoes, halved

6 eggs

1 cup goat cheese, divided

salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In your ovenproof skillet, saute the onion & garlic (or shallots) in the olive oil over medium heat, until soft but not brown (about 2 minutes). Pour in the broccoli and water, cover and cook for 2-3 minutes, until broccoli is tender and water is evaporated. Meanwhile in a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs with the salt and pepper. Stir in 1/2 the goat cheese. Evenly spread out the broccoli mixture in the pan, and then pour the egg mixture into the pan. Cook over medium-low heat stirring the top occasionally, letting the uncooked egg “drift” to the bottom of the pan by lifting the egg “pancake” and tilting the pan. Once most of the egg is set (about 7 minutes), line the rim of the frittata with the tomato halves, top with the remaining cheese, and pop it into the oven for 10-15 minutes. Cook until it puffs up and is sort of brown.

I used turkey eggs for mine because Darryl over at Blue Gentian Farm sold out of chicken eggs by 7:30 AM!! Can you believe that??? Even though it was a nasty weekend at the farmer’s market with all the rain. I can’t believe people get up at 6 AM to buy all his chicken eggs. The turkey eggs worked just fine. In fact, I think they made the frittata a little more puffy and light because of their creaminess. Check out what my turkey eggs look like – all speckled and pretty:

20110814-113915.jpg

Gobble gobble up some turkey eggs!

And here’s what my finished frittata looked like, love the red, green, and white MEXICANO colors!

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Mmm Mmmm good locally made frittata

While I was cooking the frittata, I was chilling some banana-chocolate chip ice cream mixture in the fridge. This recipe combination was inspired by some delicious banana bread someone once made me for my birthday 🙂 I was really anxious to try it out because I made my own “chocolate chips.” instead of buying pre-made chips in the store and mixing them into the churner. Turns out, you make chocolate chips by making straciatella, which flakes up and breaks apart when churned with the ice cream! Voila! Instant flaky chocolate chips!

Banana Chocolate Chip Ice Cream recipe:

2 cups coconut milk

3/4 cup brown sugar

1.25 pounds bananas (about 6-7 medium size), sliced 1/4-inch thick

Big pinch salt

1 tsp dark rum

1/2 tsp vanilla

Chocolate chips:

5 oz semi-sweet chocolate – I actually used one 4-oz bar of semi-sweet and also got a small chunk of unsweetened chocolate to melt with it! Mess around to achieve your desired sweetness for the chips.

Directions:

Heat 1/4 of the coconut milk with the brown sugar in a medium saucepan, until it gets warm and bubbly. Toss in the bananas and salt, and cook until the bananas are cooked through (about 5 minutes). Whisk in the rest of the coconut milk, rum, and vanilla. Blend in a blender, food processor, or with an immersion blender until smooth. Chill in the refrigerator for about 2 hours. Stir out any lumps before freezing in ice cream maker according to manufacturer instructions.

When you have about 5 minutes left on the freezing time, melt the chocolate chips in a small bowl placed on top of a saucepan of simmering water (think: double boiler style). Pour in a steady stream into the churning at the last possible moment – you’ll see the chocolate freeze and flake to chips right away. Try to keep the stream thin and steady so you don’t get a massive honker of chocolate and/or “clog” your churning arm. Here’s the finished product:

20110814-113939.jpg

Soup? or ice cream? Hard to say...

Ok, so I probably didn’t let it sit in the ice cream maker long enough because it looks a little soupy and unappetizing 😦 David Leibovitz also says that banana ice cream isn’t the most appealing color – but to me it kind of looks like coffee ice cream? It tastes pretty good, though the banana somewhat overpowers the chocolate flavor. I’d like to add candied nuts maybe next time, really get that “banana bread” feel.

Note if you use coconut milk from a can – that stuff is actually coconut cream and water. If you refrigerate the cans overnight, the cream will rise to the top and you can use that to make the ice cream instead of the cream+water combo. I’ve done it both ways before, and the main difference is that the ice cream gets a more grainy, sherbert-y consistency if you keep the water with the cream. It’s a personal preference kind of thing…and me personally, I prefer the cream only variety.

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