Late spring is the time for strawberries, and this ice cream recipe featuring their tart sweetness comes to you just in time for some warmer weather. My tastes lean more toward the savory end of the spectrum, which was what prompted me to add goat cheese to ice cream in the first place, but is also why there’s not much sweetener in this recipe. However, the richness of the custard and the brightness of the berries makes this a satisfying treat, best enjoyed in little bowls with good company and a balmy evening breeze.
Roasted Strawberry and Goat Cheese Ice Cream
In a large saucepan heat the milk, cream and salt if using to just below a simmer (small bubbles should be forming around the edge of the pan), stirring occasionally to prevent a “skin” from forming on the surface. Reduce the heat to low.
Temper the egg yolk mixture by slowly (about one tablespoon at a time) adding up to one cup of hot dairy and whisking in each addition thoroughly. Add the egg and dairy mixture back to the pan with the vanilla extract and cook, stirring constantly, until the custard has thickened enough that it forms a thin coat on the back of a spoon, and a finger swipes a clean line across.
In a medium sized bowl, mash the soft goat cheese with a fork. Add in a little of the warm custard and stir to blend the goat cheese into a loose paste. Add the remaining custard, whisking thoroughly. Cool in the refrigerator, than pour into an ice cream maker and freeze, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
In a freezer proof container, layer the berries and the ice cream, beginning and ending with a layer of berries. I like to make lots of thin layers so that the strawberries are distributed well throughout the ice cream. Freeze for at least an hour before serving.
Immediately transfer the berries and their juices to a bowl and stir in the vinegar. Allow to stand for at least 30 minutes before layering into the ice cream.
At this time of year, I usually start embracing heat-free methods of food preparation, celebrating the warmth of late spring with lots of crisp salads. This spring has been unusually chilly, and I still find myself wanting something warm and fortifying when I come home at the end of the day. These tacos are hearty and taste rich, but are healthy and will easily suit a vegan diet if you skip the meat and the dairy toppings. Conversely, if you are serving meat-lovers, a bit of sausage goes a long way toward satisfying the carnivores around your table.
Black Bean Sweet Potato Tacos
Blend the dry spices in a small prep bowl and set aside. In a large baking dish, spread the sweet potato and onions evenly into a single layer. Sprinkle with the spice mixture and a big glug of olive oil and toss with your hands to coat. Roast for 25-30 minutes, or until the sweet potato is very soft but has not yet begun to brown.
When the potatoes have finished cooking, gently mix with the black beans and sausage, if using.
To assemble the tacos, scoop the black bean and sweet potato mixture onto a tortilla, sprinkle generously with cilantro and add any optional toppings.
Make it vegan: Skip the sausage and top with sliced green onions and your favorite hot sauce.
Make it gluten free: Look for gluten free, non-GMO sprouted corn tortillas.
I make no claims of authenticity for this recipe, but one day, faced with a craving for bulgogi and having no other way to satisfy it, I whipped up as close an approximation of it as I could, and found that it did the job nicely. It’s low on exotic ingredients but still manages to hit the salty, sweet and sharp notes that I enjoy so much in more authentic versions.
This recipe relies heavily on good quality, local beef as well as delicious honey and tons of spring onions–do not skip the onions, whatever you do. It is designed to feed four, but to be honest, my husband likes it so much that it often doesn’t stretch that far.
Serve over steamed rice with a generous scatter of green onions and some finely sliced red chili, if you like.
Make it soy-free: Use coconut aminos in place of soy sauce.
Make it low-starch: Use cauliflower rice in place of the steamed rice. To do this, grate a small head of cauliflower and then fry it in a large pan with a little oil.
Make it without red meat: Substitute ground chicken or turkey in place of the beef.
When you switch to a whole, local foods diet, sometimes it means giving up a certain measure of convenience. You might be used to grabbing cartons of vegetable or chicken broth to add to soups, for example. If you’ve never made your own, you may not be aware of how easy it is to make it at home. It’s also cheaper, healthier and more delicious than store-bought varieties!
In addition to its virtues as an ingredient, broth is also excellent on its own when you’re sick or need something simple and warming. Traditional foodies readily extol the health benefits of bone broth, and vegetable broth, seasoned with a bit of salt and pepper, is a perfect and simple side for lunch or dinner. Or heat a pot to boiling and toss in some rice or whole wheat noodles for an easy soup.
I’m a busy person, so I frequently use a slow cooker to make my broth. This requires virtually no effort and I have found that it delivers good, consistent results. When I have a bit more time, say I’m home all day on a Saturday, I sometimes choose to make broth on the stove top, since this process is a bit quicker and I find that the finished product is slightly more flavorful and rich.
To get you started, here are a few easy “recipes.” Adjust according to your preferences and what you have on hand. I never add salt to my broth so that I have more control over the seasoning in the food I will add it to later, but if you want to salt your broth during cooking, go right ahead.
Chicken or Turkey Broth
Beef or Lamb Broth
I like to make big batches of stock a couple of times a month, then freeze whatever I’m not going to use within 3-4 days. There are a couple of ways that I do this:
1. Pour broth into quart size canning jars and chill overnight. Move to the freezer and freeze for up to three months. Thaw by placing in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
2. Reduce the stock by simmering it on the stove top until it’s 1/4 of its original volume. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze. Once frozen, store the cubes in a freezer safe container. To use, pop a couple of cubes into any recipe that calls for broth, and thin with water if necessary.