Tag Archives: half and half

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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Spinach, Tomato and Cheese Stove Top Macaroni

22 Feb

I prefer stove-top mac and cheese recipes to mac & cheeses you bake in the oven…

Why?? After the pasta is cooked and the cheese sauce is made, why do we need to cook it all over again??? I like a cheesey topping just like the next person, but I also like to have my macaroni with lots of sauce and unfortunately, baking dries much of the sauce out.

So this is a recipe that came about with no recipe in mind at all… My aunt likes when I make pasta in cheese sauces. I was in the supermarket and I started buying ingredients without knowing how I would make them in the end. The result was a great pasta dish that delighted not just the people who ate it with me initially, but my friends on the internet as well. So to all of you who were drooling over the pic on FB, here’s the recipe!!!!

This is a large recipe for me… I rarely ask you to make the whole box of pasta at once. This will feed about 8 people or 4 people with leftovers. You can certainly halve this recipe… I do it aaaaaaalllllllll the time.

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SPINACH, TOMATO AND CHEESE MACARONI

1 box of whole wheat macaroni
½ bag of frozen chopped spinach
1 small onion, diced
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tbs olive oil
2 cups diced tomatoes
2 cups half and half
4 oz cream cheese
2 cups Italian blend shredded cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
Parmesan Cheese, grated to garnish

 

  1. In a large pot, much larger than you think you’ll need, bring about a gallon of water to a boil. When the water reaches it’s boiling point, salt the water and add the pasta. Stir a few times so the pasta won’t stick together. Cook the pasta according to pasta directions until al dente.
  2. While the pasta cooks, we make the sauce… they’ll be done at about the same time.
  3. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat add some olive oil, the onions and garlic. If you have sofrito, you could add a tbs if you want as an added bonus. Sautee them for a few minutes so the onion softens. Avoid the garlic getting burned.
  4. Add the spinach still frozen… the heat from the pan will thaw it. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the sauce pan for a few minutes. This will help the spinach thaw quicker.
  5. When the spinach is thawed and looks more cooked, add the diced tomatoes and cream cheese. Stir well to combine. Afterwards, add the half and half and allow it to softly boil so the sauce will thicken in consistency. Season again lightly with salt and pepper. Stir a few times as the sauce is thickening to avoid any scorching on the bottom of the pan.
  6. When the sauce has gotten a tad thicker, but is still runny, turn off the stove and add the shredded cheese in small batches. Stir consistently and allow the cheese to melt into the sauce.
  7. When the pasta is done, drain it well… but even if a little water is kept it’s no big deal. Return the pasta to the larger pot and add the sauce to it. Stir well to combine. Try to stir carefully to avoid breaking up the pasta…

Serve with grated parmesan on top with your favorite salad ( we had to have avocados in Miami) and baked sweet plantains.

 

Tell me what you think… Are you brave enough to “invent” a pasta dish on the fly like that??? I want to hear from all my friends on FB that were ohhhh-ing and ahhh-ing when they saw the picture initially. Have you made it?? Tell me what you think. Gracias!!!

Garlic-infused Mashed Potatoes

8 Feb

I once saw Tyler Florence do mashed potatoes boiled in a mixture of cream and milk.  He infused the liquid with lots of flavors – bay leaves, garlic and salt, among others.  This is my rendition of those potatoes…

I used half and half – partly because I already had it in my fridge, partly because that’s exactly same thing as mixing equal parts of milk and cream…  why buy two things if you can buy only one.  What I liked about adding the garlic whole and letting it cook with the half and half is that it mellows the strong taste of garlic…  giving it a smoother, almost roasted, taste to the mashed potatoes.

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GARLIC-INFUSED MASHED POTATOES

About 10-12 fingerling potatoes – I would also use Yukon Gold or Red Bliss Potatoes, which are my favorites
About 2 cups of half and half – enough that would cover most of the potatoes
1 bay leaf – fresh or dry
2 medium garlic cloves – smashed and with the peel removed
Salt to taste – I used about 1 tsp
Freshly Cracked Black Pepper – optional
 
  1. Wash well the potatoes  – It is very important to wash well the potatoes because we will not discard the liquid they’re being boiled in.  Cut them in half or even thirds if the potatoes are a bit large. I usually do not cut my potatoes too small, but because we’re boiling them with the same liquid we’re mashing them in, none of the nutrition will be “drained away”. 
  2. Add the potatoes, half and half, salt, bay leaf and garlic to a large pot.  You might think the pot is too large, but this is to prevent any spillovers.  I tend to cover my pots when I boil potatoes, but because we’re doing it in a dairy product, only half-cover the pot for now.  This will help bring the liquid to a nice simmer/ light boil.
  3. Boil the potatoes for about 30 minutes, until they’re fork tender.  Fingerlings tend to be a bit tougher than Yukon Gold’s or Red potatoes… just so you know.
  4. When the potatoes are done, cover the pot and let them be for about 10-15 minutes.  The steam inside the pot will ensure they’ll be thoroughly cooked and the liquid will not be as hot for you to handle the mashing…  this is experience talking here.
  5. When the time has elapsed, discard the bay leaf, drain some of the liquid out (this will make the mashing a bit easier) and mash potatoes with remaining liquid with a potato masher.  Add more of the boiling liquid if you see they’re not as creamy as you would like them to be.  I use most of the half and half when I make them.   As you’ll see, the garlic is soft enough and mashes easily into the potatoes.
  6. Check for seasonings.  Add more salt if needed.  Add cracked pepper is using.

 

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