I grew up with the understanding that all Mexicans could cook. Although that may seem like a hasty generalization, life experiences had not proved otherwise…..that is until I got married.
As Mexicans go, Siete is a few sandwiches shy of a picnic. None more obvious than her lack of expertise in the kitchen. To say that she could burn water is a vast understatement. So when she and my daughter Schitney decided they wanted to make homemade ice cream for Father’s Day, I was a bit taken back and concerned for the family’s well being. I double checked to make sure my life insurance policy was all in proper order.
In the beginning, I was quite impressed with their maneuvering around the kitchen. Separating egg yolks with ease, making accurate and precise measurements and whisking with confidence. Could I have underestimated her talents?
As it goes, the making of homemade ice cream is a fairly easy process. Pour in your ice cream mixture, plug in the motor and ice the schit out of it. Ice, rock salt, ice, rock salt. Hell, the ice cream maker even has a built-in timer “when the motor stops running, you are done”. Doesn’t get much easier than that, right?
Thirty minutes in, I am feeling good about their efforts. All seems to be going as planned. The motor is churning, ice is packed high and a stream of melted ice is seeping from the weep hole. Forty-five in and I am getting a bit apprehensive; but knowing not to interfere, I go back to drinking beer. Fifty minutes in and the questions starts ringing….. why is the motor still running full-bore, does she really know what the hell she is doing, maybe it is time I step in. One hour in and I am fully aware this schit ain’t right. “She didn’t ice it enough, she left out an ingredient and she is a complete moron when it comes to the kitchen, Crap Fire.”
After one hour and fifteen minutes, I step in and take charge. Needless to say, it was a freak’n disaster. What was supposed to be homemade strawberry ice cream was more like homemade strawberry gazpacho. I will admit, the cold soup had a lot of flavor, but it did not have much body. “Hey Siete, where is the recipe you used?” Come to find out it was one of mine, so what the heck happened. I start running through the ingredients with her….. “Milk”. “Yep”. “Sugar”. “Yep”. “Cream…..” “Cream….” “We didn’t have any cream, so I just used milk”. “We didn’t have any cream?” “No, plus cream has too much fat in it. I thought milk would be much better for us.” “So you left out the cream.” “Yep.” Wow, who would have thought “cream” was such an important part in the making “homemade ice CREAM”. I can understand how that would be confusing. Never more.
Webster defines twisted as ”having an intended meaning altered, misrepresented or perverted”. In lame man’s terms….”my philosophy towards life”. So, it should come as a surprise that the recipe I am sharing with you is “Just A Bit Off Center”. I have said it many times before, if you put goat cheese on a turd, I am going to eat it. Well, this ain’t no turd and the goat cheese adds a nice “twist’ to this ice cream. BTW, I don’t suggest substituting milk for cream……fat tastes good and more importantly, is a key to making of ice cream.
Goat Cheese Ice Cream
1 c heavy cream
1 ¼ c sugar
1 t vanilla
¼ t kosher salt
8 egg yolks
4 oz goat cheese
8 oz fresh strawberries, quartered
½ c balsamic vinegar
Zest of 1 lemon
In a large bowl, combine ½ cup of sugar, balsamic vinegar, lemon zest and strawberries. Stir to thoroughly coat the strawberries, cover the bowl and refrigerate until ice cream is ready to make.
In a large sauce pan, combine half and half, cream, goat cheese, ¼ cup of sugar and vanilla. Place over medium heat and simmer, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Once dissolved, remove from heat and set aside.
In another large mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks, salt and remaining ½ cup of sugar until combined. Slowly pour milk mixture into the bowl so not to cook the eggs and whisking constantly to combine ingredients. Next, pour custard back into sauce pan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Bring custard to a simmer, cooking until it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. You will know that the custard has achieved the proper thickness when you can draw your finger across the back of the spoon and the custard does not bleed back together. Strain the custard through a fine mesh sieve into a container, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours.
When you are ready to make ice cream, strain chilled strawberries over a small bowl and reserve the liquid. Pour strawberries and custard into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. While ice cream is making, pour reserved balsamic liquid into medium sauce pan and reduce liquid by one-half or until it creates a thin syrup. The balsamic reduction is a nice topping and gives the ice cream a surprising and delicious twist.
Makes 1 ½ quarts.
Twisted Epilogue: I have used a little creative editing on the above story. Truth be known, Siete and I had a bit of an ice cream “throw down”; a competition to see who could make the best ice cream. I was actually the one who forgot to add cream to my custard and she won the competition. My above version is much more entertaining and makes me feel a lot better about myself. As much as it pains me, congrats on the win my Siete.