Tag Archives: cornstarch

Coquito Ice Cream

25 Dec

I have been meaning to make an ice cream using my Coquito recipe for years… but recently I asked my mom for her ice cream maker and I have become a frozen dessert maniac.

I educated myself on making ice creams… proportions, flavors, textures. And the best ice creams always included some sort of egg component. And as you know, eggs are no-no’s in KarmaFree Cooking. I was willing to give this project a few tries, but making Coquito takes a few steps and I didn’t want to be wasteful.

I struck gold when I took my ice cream making inquiries to a Facebook group we have – the Serious Eats Water Cooler. There a few friends introduced me to Max Falkowitz, an ice cream guru who’s also part of the editorial team at Serious Eats. Between his recommendations and my friend Jerzee Tomato’s input, I came up with a brilliant combination of texture and smoothness.

Create a custard… without using eggs and mix in the Coquito. Genius!!! The Coquito has fat from the coconut milk, evaporated and condensed milks so all you need to do is add some more to the custard.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!   My mom was in awe when she tried it…  as has been each and every person who has tasted it after that.  This was a home run!

Coquito Ice Cream


COQUITO ICE CREAM

2 cups of my Coquito Recipe
1 ¼ cups half and half
2 tsp cornstarch
½ cup brown sugar

First we need to create the components… you can make a batch of Coquito first and then make the cornstarch custard.

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add 1 cup of half and half and sugar. Add the cornstarch to the remaining ¼ cup half and half. Whisk well to create a slurry and while whisking, add to the saucepan with the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Whisk or stir constantly using a wooden spoon to avoid any lumps while the mixture thickens. It’ll take about 5-6 minutes. The custard is done when it coats the back of a wooden spoon and when you run a finger thru it, the sides of custard will not get back together.
  3. It may look a tad loose, but it’ll thicken in the fridge while it cools.
  4. Transfer the custard to a heatproof bowl or even a glass measuring cup and chill in the fridge at least 2-3 hours. I place a plastic film over the custard to avoid it creating a film on top. You can do this even a few days in advance if you want. Just like making the Coquito in advance.
  5. When you’re ready to assemble the ice cream, in a pitcher bring together 2 cups of Coquito and the cornstarch custard, which should measure just a tad more than 1 cup. Mix well to combine and add to your ice cream maker. Churn 25-30 minutes according to your ice cream machine’s instructions.
  6. Transfer to a container to freeze in the freezer for about 2 hours before serving. It’s delicious right off the ice cream maker… but it’s at its best after a few hours in the freezer.
  7. When you’re about to serve it… leave it a few minutes at room temperature before scooping.

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The end result is a smooth, spicy and creamy ice cream that feels as rich as any premium ice cream around.

Merry Xmas, Happy Holidays and may 2014 be filled with lots of blessings.

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Tembleque, my version…

23 Dec

I have several recipes for tembleque here in KarmaFree Cooking…  All of them I have made, all of them I have enjoyed… but none of them I have developed myself.

My friend Aniette told me she makes a recipe she got from YouTube and that her Houston friends, who have never had tembleque, loved. Aniette has never tasted the actual recipe, because she’s allergic to coconut. And no offense to her Houston friends, but the texture of the recipe is not what tembleque should be like… IMHO. It was more like a coconut mousse, not tembleque.

What I really enjoyed about the youtube recipe was that it only had 4 ingredients. Tembleque is a simple recipe that shouldn’t be complex or difficult to make. To me, tembleque is the perfect recipe to teach at a Xmas-themed cooking class.

So I made about 4-5 batches of  tembleque before I felt comfortable to teach who to make it at the most recent KarmaFree Cooking cooking class. The results are tasty, jiggly and smooth like a tembleque should always be.

Tembleque My Way

TEMBLEQUE, My Way

2 cans coconut milk (one large 25oz can)
1 cup water
6tbs cornstarch
2/3 cups brown sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 or 2 sticks of cinnamon
Ground Cinnamon to taste
  1. In a large saucepan or small pot at medium high heat, add the coconut milk. Feel free to use a larger pot than you think you might need so you’ll have enough space to stir the mix.
  2. Add the sugar, salt,  cinnamon sticks and stir well with a wooden spoon.
  3. Add 1 cup of water to the cans to “wash them” from any leftover coconut milk. Add the cornstarch to this water to create a slurry. Mix well with a small whisk and add to the pot on the stove.
  4. Stir the mixture kinda constantly to avoid the cornstarch to fall to the bottom of the pot and create lumps. When the mixture feels it’s starting to thicken, lower the heat so the bottom doesn’t scorch. Continue stirring making a figure 8 until the mixture coats the back of the spoon and when you run your finger thru the coating the side do not come together again.
  5. Transfer to a heat resistant mold or transfer to individual plastic cups for individual servings. I like 3oz cups. They’re a nice little serving and if you want some more, just have 2.
  6. Allow to slightly cool for about 20 minutes on top of the kitchen counter. After that, transfer to the fridge to cool and set for about 2 hours. The final product will set but still be “jiggly” when you shake the mold or cup.K

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Cashew and Tofu Stir-Fry

4 May

I’ve always loved Chinese food.  Ever since I was little my parents have been taken us to Chinese restaurants regularly…  past favorites were always Sweet and Sour (fill in the blank), Pepper (fill in the blank), BBQ (fill in the blank)…

When I first moved to NYC, I went to lunch with my dad and he suggested I should try the Chicken with Cashew Nuts…  Cashew Nuts!!!  What are those??  Well a few minutes later, I was a convert for life.  And after that day that became my usual order at Chinese restaurants.

When I decided to become vegetarian, I would order at restaurants Chicken with Cashew Nuts WITHOUT the Chicken.  It was the simplest way for me to describe to Chinese waiters that I wanted sautéed vegetables with cashew nuts.  I even ordered it so often at a restaurant close to my former place of employment that I stopped describing it – just ordered the usual – Sautéed Broccoli with Onions, Peppers, Carrots and Cashew Nuts.

I just looooooove the combination of soy-based sauce with the crunch of the nuts…  This is the version I make at home.  This version has tofu, but most of the time I leave it out.  The protein in the nuts is enough for me.

 

 cashew-stri-fry

 

CASHEW AND TOFU STIR FRY

1 medium onion, chopped into medium sized pieces
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped into medium sized pieces
1 small carrot, peeled and sliced thin using a vegetable peeler
1 tbs canola oil
Canola Oil Spray
Marinated Tofu slices
¼ cup tamari sauce
1 tsp cornstarch
The juice of 1 lime
1 handful of roasted cashews
1 cup of whole grain basmati rice – to serve

 

For the Marinated Tofu:

  1. Take half a block of Extra Firm Tofu and slice it into ¼” slices.    I take a baking sheet, line it with 2-3 layers of paper towel, place the tofu slices on top of the paper towel, cover them with 2-3 more layers of paper towels, top with another baking sheet and apply some weight on top.  Press it for about 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  2. In a medium skillet, sprayed with canola   medium-high heat we need to get the tofu pieces golden.  Just place them on the skillet until they get some color.
  3. While that is happening, mix together in a shallow pyrex dish the tamari sauce, the lime juice and a bit of water.  Dip the tofu pieces in the tamari/lime mixture and let them soak the seasoning.  Soak them for about 15-20 minutes and set them aside.

 

Now on to the stir-fry…

  1. Prep the vegetables while the tofu pieces are marinating.
  2. In a medium-sized skillet, over medium-high heat again, heat up the canola oil.  Add the onions, peppers and carrots and sauté them until they begin to cook, but are still crunchy.  Add the tofu pieces so they can dry up a bit and get hot.  Stir everything together.
  3. Mix the leftover tamari/lime mixture with the cornstarch.  If you have little sauce left (less than ¼ cup) just add a bit more tamari or lime juice, whatever you prefer.
  4. After a few minutes, add the cashews to the skillet.  Mix well the tamari/cornstarch mixture and add to the skillet.  The sauce will thicken as it heats up.  When the sauce gets somewhat thick, turn the stove off.  Don’t let the sauce get too thick on you.

Serve over whole-grain basmati rice.

Coconut Tembleque

26 Apr

Tembleque is a Puerto Rican dessert, traditionally made mainly during Xmas time.   However, it can be enjoyed year round.  And it’s a special treat when you can taste it outside of Xmas… very unexpected.

The name “tembleque” comes from the verb “temblar” or “to tremble”.  The dessert is a jiggly/trembly custard made with coconut milk, sugar and set with cornstarch.  I added the word coconut in the name for the benefit of those who are unfamiliar to the tembleque dessert.  But, we do not add the word coconut in front; it would be “redundant”, because tembleques are only made with coconut milk… there are no other versions… yet. (This explanation is giving me ideas…)

We decided to make this because so many people in the Center who are avoiding wheat, spelt and dairy products so dessert options need to get more creative each time.  Plus, this would be a good accompaniment to other true Puerto Rican delicacies such as Arroz con Gandules and Alcapurrias.

It’s easy and super delicious…  check it out.

 

 

 

COCONUT TEMBLEQUE

Makes about 24 servings

 

12 cups of coconut milk
1 ½ cups of brown sugar
6 cinnamon sticks
1 ¼ cup cornstarch, diluted in some reserved coconut milk and ½ cup water
Ground cinnamon, to garnish

 

  1. In a large pot, pour about 10 cups of coconut milk, sugar, cinnamon sticks and bring to a simmer.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, mix together the remaining coconut milk, the cornstarch and water.  Whisk together well and pour into the simmering coconut milk. 
  3. Whisk in the whole coconut milk mixture until it thickens slightly.
  4. While it still hot, CAREFULLY (because it can burn you – I speak from experience), divide in individual servings, about  1/3 – ½ cup each.  
  5. Garnish with a sprinkle with ground cinnamon on top.
  6. Refrigerate for about 2-3 hours.  Serve cold.
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