Sunday, July 19, 2009

Bud Bending

I like to press the envelope.

Next to pressing buttons, it's a great way to test boundaries and explore the dynamics of any scenario.

I especially like testing boundaries in the kitchen. There's something about throwing on an apron, surveying a cupboard full of spices and savory ingredients and just playing around in the sandbox.

This weekend offered up a unique opportunity to really play around.

A Dork and His Pork, fellow local blogger, die-hard foodie and all around nice guy, invited me to a cool ice cream making event at Ault Park this weekend.

The premise is this: With three ingredients, two Ziploc bags, and some ice and salt, ANYONE can shake their way to greatness.

Or at least make something cold, creamy and the height of cool.

Jeff amped up the competition, challenging his guests to bring the most unusual or unique ingredients to add to the ice cream.

The moment I heard that, it was game on.

No one was going to outdo my creative culinary creation.

I opted to go with a "Deconstructed Pesto" ice cream. The flavor base in the ice cream involved six shredded, fresh basil leaves and less than a thimble full of minced, jarred garlic in olive oil.

My initial inclination was to go with roasted garlic, but time was tight between Saturday's hair appointment and the afternoon ice cream event, so I was faced with the prospect of the fresh or jarred variety. I thought the jarred version that included the olive oil further added to the idea of "deconstructed pesto".

After 25 minutes of shaking icy Ziploc bags, I was delighted to discover my bizarro ice cream flavor actually worked.


I hurriedly spooned the ice cream out of the bag and into a little cup, topping it with the requisite pine nuts and carefully placed parmesan shavings (just two or three - all in effort to stay true to this pesto thing).

When it was all said and done, this is what it looked like:

Photo credit: West Ender of Clark Street Blog.

The basil and hint of garlic complimented the sweetness and creamy consistency of the ice cream. My taste buds were awash in freshness and just a hint of garlic and it's innate zip.

The pine nuts perfectly punctuated the ice cream, offering up a buttery flavor I've savored in many a pasta dish. The parmesan? I intentionally avoided a heavy handed sprinkle, topping the ice cream with but two or three shavings. It was an oddball flavor pairing with the ice cream and nuts, but its salty edge added a dynamic that cemented the whole pesto thing.

In all, it worked.

And I wasn't the only person who thought so.

I am now anxious and bubbling with anticipation for the next time I can make this Deconstructed Pesto ice cream.

Maybe next time I'll serve it after enjoying a dinner of Rocky Road pasta.

Maybe not.


Ziploc Ice Cream
(that's not it's official name, but that's what I call it. Read the directions, and you'll agree it's appropriate).

1 quart sized freezer bag
1 gallon sized freezer bag
Duct tape
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup cream
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup kosher salt
Flavor ingredients of your choosing
  • Pour milk, cream and sugar in the smaller freezer bag. Add any flavored ingredients of your choosing. Remove all air from bag before sealing Ziploc seal.
  • Take four pieces of duct tape, and place one piece on each edge of the bag, ensuring every edge is reinforced by tape.
  • Fill the larger bag half way with ice, a cup of kosher salt.
  • Place smaller bag inside larger, ice filled bag and seal.
  • Shake bag for about 25 minutes, or until ice cream concoction is firm.

Note: You may want to wear gloves or oven mitts while shaking the icy bag. Trust me.

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Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I am SO glad you posted this, Kate! In addition to thanking you for attending, I would certainly like to vouch for how tasty your ice cream was- just green enough, with just the right garlicky tang and and the crunchy finish. I'd let you design a flavor for me anytime.