Friday, July 06, 2012

It's summer! It's hot! The only complaint you'll hear from me is that the AC's too high, but a quick run to the mailbox will cure that.

My mom came for dinner last night, and we cooked up the most perfect summer meal. A gazpacho with avocado ice cream {that's right} and a salmon and asparagus quiche. Let's focus on the zpach and cados.

The hardest part about this recipe is finding enough ripe avocados, so just plan ahead and buy a pile of hard ones a few days before you want to make this.

Ingredients :: ~ 2 pounds ripe avocados ~ the juice of one lemon or lime {I've seen recipes with either, and they are both a great flavor for both the ice cream and the gazpacho}. ~ 1/2 cup of sugar. Some recipes call for more, but I didn't want it too sweet. ~ 1 and 1/2 cups coconut milk

Avocados can be expensive, but in the grocery stores near us, they will have $1/avocado sales. Unless you get lucky like my mom and find 10cent avocados, $1 may be the best price you'll find. This is a tricky fruit ~ they won't ripen unless they are picked from the tree. So when you walk into the grocery store and find a pile of brick hard avocados, that's fine. Take them home, put them on your counter, and they'll be ripe in no time. You'll know they're ripe when you squeeze them {not too hard} and they feel like a perfectly ripe peach.

Avocados are one of those fruits, like apples, that turn brown when exposed to oxygen. If you squirt some lemon {or lime} juice on them the citric acid will slow or stop that process. So the citrus in this recipe is doing double duty ~ adding a nice zip while keeping it green. Even with the juice, you may notice that the ice cream on the top of your container will have a slight brown tinge compared to the stuff in the center. One more way to stop this is to cover your finished ice cream with plastic wrap, making sure that the plastic wrap is directly touching the ice cream and creating a barrier between it and the air.

Finally, between the fats in the avocados and the coconut milk, this can be a delicious but heavy ice cream. I recommend using a light coconut milk. As Sarah and I learned in Thailand, the only difference between regular and light coconut milk is that the light milk comes from the second "squeeze" of the coconut.

On with the recipe ~ peel, pit, and dice your avocados. Put the avocados and the remaining ingredients in your blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture in your ice cream maker and process according to those instructions. {Make sure to run everything by your quality control pooch.}

Just a quick note on ice cream makers ~ C and I received the ice cream maker attachment for our KitchenAid as a wedding gift {thanks Aunt Shelly!}, and we love it. We keep the bowl in our freezer so that we can make ice cream on a whim, and it's so easy to set up and let go.

We made this ice cream last week expecting to just eat it and love it, but everyone in the house found it to be slightly too rich for our liking. The ice cream is delicious, so we were trying to come up with ways "dilute" it. And that's when our idea for the gazpacho ice cream combo was formed. This worked really well for us since we didn't make it too sweet.

Last night we made a batch of Ina Garten's basic gazpacho recipe. To serve it we put a small {1/4 to a 1/2 cup} serving of the ice cream in each bowl and then added the gazpacho.

It received rave reviews around the table. It was so, so delicious. The soup was the perfect remedy for the overly rich ice cream, and I think the heaviness of the ice cream added some healthy weight to the gazpacho. I often eat gazpacho and am left wanting more, but this time I was thoroughly satisfied.

If you're serving this for a party or guests, it would look more polished if you made scoops of ice cream before it's thoroughly solid ~ just scoop the semi-solid ice cream, put it on a cookie tray covered with wax or parchment paper and put them back in the freezer. That way you'll have perfect little balls of ice cream that look pretty and are easy to manage when it's time to serve.

Enjoy! And stay cool*

1 comment:

oversetter said...

That looks so good!
Will try to do it myself.

All the best from Lene in NOrway