Tuesday, June 26, 2012

On a sultry, summer day... ice cream for lunch, and egg salad for dinner...

Just once in my life, I would love the satisfaction of dramatically tossing back the last contents of my drink into my mouth and then flinging the glass against the wall, like they do in the movies.  In too many movies.  And yet, I know I never will.  For one, I'm not that dramatic.  But more importantly, isn't the thought of cleaning up all those shards of glass enough to keep a person from intentionally breaking things in their own home?  Not to mention, I like my matching wine glasses.

This really has nothing to do with anything, except that I just watched this scene play out on TV, while watching a movie called The Magic of Belle Isle - one that Jamie wouldn't much care for - but I happen to have an evening to myself.  Taking full advantage of sole control of the remote on such nights is important.

And maybe I'm contemplating ways to vent frustration due to just having spent $450 on car maintenance, and still have a cracked windshield - a crack that is widening by the second in this heat - that has to wait its turn for a few more paychecks, as well as other maintenance issues due from all the mileage I've put on my car from my commute.  The only thought that comforts me is the one I keep repeating to myself:  Coulda been so much worse...  Coulda been so much worse...  Coulda been soooo much worse...

It's been a hot day - too hot - reaching 99 this afternoon.  The thought of cooking, or eating, anything hot or heavy was unthinkable.  So this morning after breakfast, I peered into the fridge, looking for anything that could be turned into ice cream without too much guilt.

Last night, we made sushi at home, a few rolls, some salmon, tuna tartar and crab.  After shopping for sashimi-grade fish from the Asian market, Jamie also brought home a cute little melon, a white Gaya melon or Japanese melon, which was slightly sweet, watery like melons are, but lacking in much flavor.  Not as memorable as something like a cantaloupe.  And a few Asian pears.

I wondered if I could make a custard with the juice of the leftover melon and pear, along with egg yolks and a little sugar.  No milk or cream (as we had neither in the house, anyway, being the end of the week and almost shopping day).  So I liquified the fruit, yolks, sugar and a touch of vanilla in the blender, and then cooked it on the stove like I have other custard-based ice creams.  Soon it thickened, and I strained and cooled down the mixture in an ice bath (so as not to have to wait to make it into ice cream), and then immediately churned the custard in our ice cream maker.

After straddling the back of Jamie's motorcycle for the ride back to the shop to pick up my car and part with $450, we picked up the groceries for the week.  Arriving back home, hot and sweaty, I was pleased to see that the ice cream had firmed up enough to eat.  The flavor of the fruit was subtle, and it was pleasantly eggy, like a custard is, with a hint of vanilla - part sorbet and part custard.  All in all, a guiltless snack.  No different, really, than eating fruit and eggs for breakfast, with a spoonful of sugar in your coffee.  I would be curious to try it with watermelon, or other types of fruit.  I imagine it would be fantastic with a mixture of berries.  I'm excited to try it with bananas.

Later that evening, the house and a bottle of wine to myself, I made a bowl of egg salad.  I don't know what made me think of egg salad - it's not something I've eaten often since I was a kid - but it was something I always loved.  Mounds of creamy eggs, mustard, mayo and celery tucked between slices of soft wheat bread.

It appealed to me on this evening, though, since it wouldn't warm up the kitchen at all to prepare.  My somewhat grownup version includes shallots, sauteed until golden, fresh dill, celery, green onions and lemon juice.  A little Dijon mustard and olive oil-mayonnaise for the creaminess.  Piled on top of slices of a loaf of rustic wheat bread, lightly toasted, and on-the-vine tomatoes, the open-faced sandwich was the perfect cool and refreshing dinner on a hot night.

As it turns out, Jamie just came home early - I suppose I'll have to share the wine now...  which of course I don't mind since I love a night at home with him.  And now he gets to watch the rest of the movie I picked with me...

Melon and Pear Frozen Custard-Sorbet
printable recipe
  • 1 1/2 pounds melon, peeled and chopped
  • 2 pears, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.  Pour into a saucepan.  Cook, stirring constantly, over medium-low heat, until thick enough to coat a spatula.  Strain through a fine mesh strainer, pushing through as much liquid as possible.

Cover and chill overnight (or place the bowl of custard inside a larger bowl filled with ice water and stir until chilled).  Freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions of your ice cream maker, then freeze until firm, 4-6 hours.

Yields 1 quart (about 6 servings)

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen

Open-faced Egg Salad Sandwiches with Dill, Shallots and Lemon
printable recipe

  • 6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 green onions, green and white parts, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped dill
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil-mayonnaise
  • coarse salt and cracked black pepper
  • 3 tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 small loaf bakery wheat bread, sliced 1/2 inch thick

Cook the eggs, cool, peel, chop, and set aside.  In a skillet, heat the olive oil and butter; add shallot and cook for 5-6 minutes until golden.  Add to the eggs.  Add the celery, green onions, dill, lemon juice and Parmesan cheese, and toss to combine.  Add the mustard and mayonnaise; season with salt and pepper.

Serve open-faced on toasted slices of bread, topped with the tomato, then the egg salad.  Garnish with extra dill and green onions.

Yields about 4 servings.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen