Saturday, July 26, 2014

Gelato alle Fragole

Truth be known, I can make a Gelato out of anything and you can too.  The Gelateria (Ice cream shop),  in Italy follows this same concept with a vast selection of flavors and textures to try, sometimes several at a time.  I can never get enough.
Follow these basic rules for a 1 quart,  standard electric Ice cream machine. I have never used the hand crank version.  I think every household needs one of these as it makes a small amount.  Who wants a gallon of anything in the freezer anyway?  This will encourage you to make more Gelato and sorbets out of more fresh fruit.  I do this on a regular basis, even in Winter.  It doesn't matter if it comes out to be a little less than you expect out of this machine.  It's easy to do, that is what is important.  Use smaller containers when serving.  Remember, a sweet ending is designed to compliment a meal, not be the meal.  Although I must admit, It's hard to resist a second cup full.

Recipe for Strawberry Gelato:
4 cups Organic Strawberries (whole), cleaned of their tops
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
3 tablespoons Cornstarch
(I used  2 tablespoons of Limoncello, added directly into the ice cream  maker.  You can use lemon juice if you like or even leave it out).

2 cups whole, Organic Milk (if you wish to use low fat, Organic milk, that will be fine.  You will still get great flavor, just not the same consistency).

Make your sugar syrup.  Add your water and sugar in a pan on low heat.  Mix gently until all your sugar is melted and dissolved.  Set aside.  Heat your milk,  add your corn starch a little at a time until all is incorporated.  Bring up to a boil and turn the heat off.  Remove from heat.  Add your sugar syrup  into your milk mixture  stirring gently to combine.   Set aside to cool.  In the meantime, Place your four cups of strawberries into the food processor and process until a liquid consistency. 
 Pour through a metal strainer and discard any residue left in the strainer.  

Slowly pour your strawberry liquid into your milk mixture.  Keep adding your liquid until combined.  Your milk will now turn a pretty pink color.

  Pour into a container and place in your refrigerator for up to 3 hours.  It must be cold before you place it into your ice cream machine. 
Plug in your machine and turn it on.   Gently pour your mixture into the machine slowly.  It only takes 20-25 minutes for some delicious Strawberry Gelato. 

 Buon Appetito! 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Orecchiette with Fresh Broccoli Florets and Sausage

Just because Broccoli Rabe is out of season, doesn't mean you can't have Pasta with Broccoli . This recipe serves 6. 
Sauté about 1/2 pound of pork in a little olive oil.   Add 1/2 cup wine and cook until evaporated. Remove from pan and set aside. Sauté some garlic, add additional oil if necessary. Put your pasta water to boil, add salt, then about a pound if Broccoli florets. Cook until Broccoli is soft. Sautéed garlic in several tablespoons of olive oil, drain Broccoli directly Into the pan. Cook until broken down and soft. Add the browned pork back to the pan. Cook your pasta, drain, reserve some cooking water. Toss and serve! How easy is that? Buon Appetito!

Special Note:  This method of cooking above is referred to as "a occhio."  With your eyes or senses.  Much in the style of experienced Home Cooks in Italy.  Getting a "feel" for the kitchen is an important fact when one is learning to Cook Italian.  
I had my neighbors drop in tonight unexpectedly and a good Home Cook knows how to feed a crowd.  Buon Appetito!