10th May 2009

Healthy ‘Cause It’s Vegetables: Carrot Cake Ice Cream


Actually, that’s a lie.  A wonderful, wonderful lie.  Well, partly.  It *is* vegetables:  carrots and currants are vegetables, right?  Healthy?  Not a chance.  At a whopping 485 calories and 30g of fat per 1/2 cup serving, this insanely awesome frozen treat isn’t likely to fit into any sensible eating plan.  But who cares — Lisa made it for my birthday, dammit!  Closer to frozen cream cheese frosting than ice cream, this ridiculously rich confection tastes *just like* the real thing.  We have David Lebovitz, author of The Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments for this creation.

Chris says:

Best. Dessert. Ever. Those toppings are fantastic.

Lisa says:

Holy crap that’s good.

Carrie says:

Can I try a bite? … wow … that *does* taste just like carrot cake!

Chris says:

That ice cream maker was officially worth it.

Lisa says:

I don’t think that was ever under debate.

Abbie says:

This is RICH — and I can see why you’d love this, Mr. I-Heart-Carrot-Cake!

Chris says:

Don’t forget there’s also Maker’s Mark in it!

Thad says:

Wow — cream cheese frosting, anyone?

Jeremy says:

ZOMG this is awesome.

Autumn says:

This is incredible… can we keep the rest?

Chris & Lisa say:


Chris says:

We’ve been eating this for four days…one more bite and I’ll look like I’m entering my third trimester.


Carrot Cake Ice Cream
Spiced pecans
1 cup pecan halves
1 tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
1/8 tsp salt

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Toss the pecans with the butter. In a small bowl, whisk together the cinnamon, cloves, brown sugar and salt. Pour the mixture over the pecans and toss to coat completely. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and cook for 12 minutes, gently stirring halfway during baking to candy the nuts. Remove the tray to a rack and cool the nuts completely. Once cool, coarsely chop the pecans. Set aside.

Maker’s-Soaked Currants
1/4 cup dried currants
2 tbsp Maker’s Mark Bourbon

In a small saucepan, heat the currants and bourbon until boiling. Simmer until the currants have absorbed almost all of the liquid. Remove from heat and cover the pan. Set aside to cool completely.

Candied carrots
2 cups finely diced carrots
2/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp light corn syrup
2 cups water

In a medium saucepan, combine the carrots, sugar, corn syrup and water. Bring to a low boil and cook until the syrup is reduced to about 2 tablespoons and the carrots are translucent and candied, 20 to 30 minutes. Keep an eye on the carrots during the last few minutes so they do not burn. Drain the carrots and set aside to cool.

Ice cream base and assembly
1 8-oz package cream cheese
1 1/2 cups low-fat sour cream (see? healthy!)
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp chopped lemon zest

Spiced pecans
Bourbon-Soaked Currants
Candied carrots

In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, blend together the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar and lemon zest until smooth. Chill thoroughly.
Freeze the base in an ice cream maker. After churning, gently fold in the spiced pecans, soaked currants and candied carrot cubes. Freeze until firm.

Makes 1 Quart

posted in Desserts | 18 Comments

3rd May 2009

Grilled Shrimp over Sliced Mango Salad

Grilled jumbo shrimp sits atop a slightly-spicy, slightly-sweet thin-sliced mango salad. in this “perfectly-utilizes-the-CSA-box” recipe that I stumbled across while browsing epicurious. The only thing we had to buy was the shrimp — everything else came from our veggie box or the planters outside! It was perfect served with the cilantro coconut rice.

Chris says:

Wow, what a great meal — makes it feel like summer!

Lisa says:

I’m so glad we’re actually able to grill again.

Chris says:

I’m just glad we’re not having another soup.

Lisa says:

Hey, what’s wrong with soup?

Chris says:

Nothing at all — it’s just, you know… soup. We have it a lot. Anyway, I really like this mango salad. It’s just a bit spicy, but not too much.

Lisa says:

I like the lime flavor in it — and you’re right. It’s not overly spicy. Mixing everything with the rice is awesome.

Chris says:

Yeah I can definitely see making this again. Maybe next time cutting the mango slices thinner, or cubing them.

Lisa says:

These slices are a bit big, but I don’t mind — they taste awesome.


Grilled Shrimp over Sliced Mango Salad
For mango salad:
2 tbsp packed dark brown sugar
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 jalapeño, thinly sliced, without seeds
1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 firm-ripe mangoes, pitted, peeled, and thinly sliced

For shrimp:
16 jumbo shrimp, shelled, leaving tail and adjoining first segment attached, and deveined
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 fresh jalapeño chile, minced, including seeds
2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp salt

Assemble the mango salad by whisking the brown sugar and lime juice in a large bowl until sugar is dissolved. Add the jalapeño, shallot, cilantro, and mint, whisking together. Add the sliced mangoes and toss gently. Set aside.
To prepare the shrimp, insert a skewer lengthwise through each shrimp (starting at the head end), then transfer to a tray. Prepare the grill for cooking. Whisk together oil, jalapeño, cumin, and salt, then brush on skewered shrimp until well coated. Grill shrimp, turning occasionally, until lightly charred and just cooked through, about 4 minutes.
Toss mango salad again and divide among four plates. Arrange four shrimp on top of each.

4 Servings as a first course, or 2-3 servings as part of a meal

posted in Main Dishes | 4 Comments

2nd May 2009

Toasted Coconut Cilantro Rice


This rice was fantastic! We heart cilantro — added to the combination of the toasted coconut and the hint of spice from the jalapeño, this rice has a great burst of flavor. It was the perfect accompaniment to a shrimp and mango salad. I scaled down this recipe from the one posted at epicurious.

Chris says:

Hey, come here and taste this!

Lisa says:

Whoa, that’s awesome… the toasted coconut adds a nice crunch.

Chris says:

It does — I was a little leery about using the sweetened coconut, but it didn’t end up making the rice overly sweet.

Lisa says:

So it’s basically just the rice, coconut, and cilantro?

Chris says:

Pretty much… the rice is cooked with some ginger and jalapeño, and then you just stir in the rest after it’s cooked. Really easy. Some reviewers suggested cooking the rice with a little coconut milk to add even more flavor, but I like it as is.


Toasted Coconut Cilantro Rice
1 cup basmati rice
1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 tsp finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 tsp finely chopped fresh jalapeño including seeds
3 tsp vegetable oil, divided
1 1/3 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cups packed fresh cilantro sprigs
2 scallions, chopped (1 cup)

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.
Wash rice in several changes of cold water in a bowl until water is almost clear. Soak rice in cold water 30 minutes, then drain well in a sieve.
Spread coconut in a shallow baking pan and toast in oven, stirring occasionally, until pale golden, 6-7 minutes. Watch carefully to make sure it doesn’t burn, then cool completely.
Cook ginger and jalapeño in 1 tsp oil in a 4-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring, until chile is softened, about 2 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in water and 1/4 tsp salt and bring to a boil, covered. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until rice is tender and water is absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork and transfer to a large bowl.
While rice cooks, pulse together coconut, cilantro, scallions, and remaining 2 tsp and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a food processor until finely chopped.
Add cilantro mixture to cooked rice and stir gently until combined well.

3 Servings

posted in Main Dishes | 9 Comments