Hello from the top of the mountain where a blustery wind continues to blow so strong the siding on the house creaks. Constantly changing clouds of every color and shape whirl around the sky. To the west I can see rain is falling and headed this way. The bay is varied shades of blue, grey, turquoise and green. Rain pelted the windows last night as an autumn weather front continues to move over the peninsula. It’s time for comfort food. A cup of warm tea sounds perfect while I write.
There are so many ripe raspberries hanging from their stems in our patch that their branches are laying on the ground. They’ll have to continue to wait for me to relieve them of their sweet red berries; I hope tomorrow will be a better day to pick. This year another bumper crop grew and I’ve already picked at least a bushel basket full. What great treasure to have tucked away in the freezer.
Here’s a tasty recipe I made for a pretty pink, not too sweet, creamy ice cream that incorporates a few of the many raspberries we have picked, and another favorite ingredient: chocolate. If you are using a smaller counter top ice cream maker with the frozen bowl, you will want to do it in two batches, as the recipe makes more than will fit in at one time.
Chocolate-Flake Raspberry Ice Cream
(Dorie Greenspan – from the New York Times)
For the chocolate flake and topping:
12 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil
For the ice cream:
8 ounces fresh or frozen raspberries (if using frozen, don’t defrost)
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup buttermilk (shake well before measuring)
½ cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons powdered milk
*mix sugar and powdered milk together in a small bowl to avoid milk clumping
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons vodka
2 tablespoons freeze-dried raspberry powder (optional)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
Make the chocolate flake and topping: Mix together the chocolate and oil in a heatproof bowl fitted over a saucepan of simmering water. Gently heat and stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is glossy and smooth. Set aside 1/2 cup to use as the flake and the rest for the topping. You can make the flake and topping up to 5 days ahead and keep it covered in the refrigerator. Warm to melt before using.
Make the ice cream: Working with a stand or immersion blender, blend all the ingredients, scraping the container occasionally, until smooth. (Pay attention to the mixture as it will start turning into whipped cream if mixed too long.) Cover, and refrigerate the mixture for up to 1 day, or churn right away. When you’re ready, pour the mixture into the ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Just before the ice cream is ready, open the top of the machine and, with the blade spinning, slowly and gradually drizzle in the reserved 1/2 cup of warmed chocolate flake. Churn for another 1 or 2 minutes to fully incorporate the flakes. Pack the ice cream into a container, cover and freeze for at least 6 hours before serving.
Once the ice cream is ready to serve, take the container out 5 minutes before scooping. (Its texture is best after it’s had a few minutes on the counter.) Rewarm the remaining chocolate topping, and pour it over the individual servings of ice cream. It will immediately harden into a chocolate shell.Garnish with fresh raspberries if desired.
Who doesn’t crave a good onion dip with potato chips? As a bonus, it’s an easy appetizer to whip up in no time. I made this for a get together and got requests for the recipe.
Charred Scallion Dip With Lemon and Herbs
(Alexa Weibel – New York Times)
This creamy scallion dip could be the cooler cousin of ranch dressing or sour cream and onion dip. Grilled scallions add smokiness, while fresh chives and raw scallions lend brightness to the tangy, herb-flecked dip. If you don’t have a grill or grill pan, you can broil the scallions in your oven. Once assembled, the dip benefits from chilling to round out the flavors. At least an hour works, but it’s better after a day. It needs nothing more than potato chips alongside, but it’s also great with crudités, crackers, grilled vegetables, fried chicken or slathered on sandwiches.
12 scallions, roots and tops trimmed
1 tablespoon canola oil or other neutral oil
3 tablespoons minced fresh chives
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill, or 1 teaspoon dried dill
Red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and black pepper
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sour cream or Greek yogurt
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon lemon zest plus 2 teaspoon2 lemon juice ( I like lots of lemon flavor, if you don’t, half the lemon zest and juice)
½ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon granulated sugar
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling (if desired) Potato chips, for serving
Heat a grill or a grill pan over high.
As the pan heats up, prepare the scallion-herb mixture: Halve 2 scallions lengthwise, then slice very thinly crosswise. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in chives and dill. Add a pinch or two of red chili flakes. Season with plenty of salt and pepper, and set aside.
On a baking sheet, toss remaining 10 scallions with the canola oil. Season generously with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Working in batches if necessary, grill the scallions over high heat, turning occasionally, until deeply grill-marked and slightly softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board to cool.
While the scallions cool, add the sour cream, cream cheese, lemon zest and juice, onion and garlic powders, and sugar to the medium bowl with the scallion-herb mixture.
Thinly slice the grilled scallions, then add to the sour cream mixture and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour or ideally 1 day. (The flavor will deepen as it sits.) To serve, drizzle with olive oil. Serve with potato chips for dipping.
Enjoy autumn my friends!