Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Summer Clambake

Boy, I woke up with a big one today. A craving that, is. By the time I had my morning coffee I'd decided I wanted scallops for dinner. I went to the fish store at lunchtime, and i knew i was in businesss when the fishmonger smiled at my order. "These are the best scallops I've had all year," he said. I'll say, they were were lovely. The littlenecks caught my eye too, so I picked up a dozen and a summer clambake was born.

Spoon added a loaf of french bread, some corn from the market and a bottle of Pinot Grigio and hit the kitchen to whip up a quick and glorious feast of grilled sea scallops with steamed little neck clams (clam juice on the side, with a dash of fresh mint, great for the french bread). On the side we had a crisp salad of romaine hearts, red onion, fresh corn and bleu cheese and some leftover quinoa. Quinoa is a grain not unlike coucous. Spoon makes a deicious cold quinoa salad with black beans, tomato, green onion and lime juice. For dessert, homemade ice cream: let me hand it over to Spoon...--F

For this week's ice cream installment, I wanted to make some sort of raspberry chocolate ice cream, but by the time I got to the market this evening, every stand was out of raspberries. One stand was selling gooseberries, and after tasting one, I figured I'd try them, not as a substitute, per se, but as an alternate in the Chocolate-Raspberry Ice Cream recipe from The Perfect Scoop.

I'd noticed gooseberries around the market over the past few weeks; they seem to be this year's it fruit. The ones I bought are red, although gooseberries also come in green. They resemble grapes, with little pinstripes running across each one vertically, and taste sweet and tangy. They have prickly tips, which were a little annoying to remove, but I tried to get into the Zen of the activity, which helped.

This Philadelphia-style ice cream calls for cooking heavy cream, sugar and dutch-process cocoa powder on the stove, and then steeping the berries in that mixture, lid on, for 10 minutes. You then puree the concoction, chill it and churn it. The finished product is a rather elegant frozen dessert. Like the blueberry ice cream, this ice cream is best eaten sparingly--one scoop at a time. Take it easy, and, in the words of the ice cream vendor my mom used to buy ice cream from as a kid, "take your tongue for a sleighride!"--S

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