Friday, July 06, 2007

happy 4th!

We had a great time. Constance (I cannot figure out why she is still single, unless all the single men around her are idiots) and her mom came over. The lovely Carol made apricot pie (page 99 in the Betty Crocker cookbook, except we used ½ cup of sugar instead of their suggested 2/3 cup), and a salad.

I made burnt caramel ice cream, using a recipe mostly taken from the Atlantic, and barbecued chicken. Both turned out really well so I thought I'd tell you about them.

Burnt caramel ice cream

  1. Combine:
    • 1½ cups heavy cream
    • 3 cups whole milk
    . Put about half of it in the fridge or something, and the other half in a big measuring cup or pitcher or something.

  2. In a 2-3 quart saucepan (Corby Kummer says: don't use your best one), put:
    • 1 cup sugar
    • ¼ tsp salt. Make that a rounded ¼, more like 3/8 tsp.
    and turn heat to the higher end of the "medium" range. Tip the pan, slide it around, whatever, so that everything melts and begins to brown.

  3. When the first black spots appear, you'll notice a slight smoky smell. When this happens, pour in half the milk-cream mixture set aside in step#1. It's very interesting to note what happens to the caramel mixture.

  4. Leaving the heat as it is, stir the pot occasionally until the caramel dissolves.

  5. The original recipe said to simmer it for 20 minutes until it thickens and darkens; you're supposed to be able to leave a line on the bottom of the pan when you stir it, but it never got that thick for me -- either that or I'm too impatient.

  6. The recipe also said there would be "strings" which you'll want to strain out. I never saw them, but if you do, strain the mixture from the pot into the other half of the milk-cream mixture that you had sitting in the fridge.

  7. Let the whole works chill thoroughly, a few hours.

  8. Put into the ice cream freezer, following manufacturer's directions. Be sure you have enough rock salt and ice!

  9. Once your ice-cream maker stops, put your ice cream into the freezer to harden a bit. I recommend letting it sit at least 4 hours before eating.

Barbecued chicken

Basically, put about 40 briquets into your Weber® 22-inch kettle barbecue, light them, and then separate them into two piles at opposite sides of the kettle. Take as much of the fat off the chicken pieces as you easily can -- skin the legs/thighs (and the breasts too if you dare) and place them between the coals. We're talking indirect heat here.

After about 25-35 minutes (less if your coals are too hot) it's time to turn the pieces and brush sauce on the sides that are now facing up. There's probably a nice tangy barbecue sauce recipe out there somewhere, but we just use stuff from a bottle. (I guess that comes from affluence and laziness.)

In about 10-15 minutes, turn 'em again and brush the sauce on the sides that are now facing up. A few more minutes and you're good to go.

You probably think I'm a pervert, but we had steamed rice with all this. It's a free country though; it won't offend me if you prefer potatoes, bread, quinoa, triticale, beans, or whatever...

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