Well, maybe not, but it seems every time we watch a program, we wind up making more unhealthy food. This week it was homemade ice cream. Specifically some butter pecan. I don't even remember what show we were watching, but I turned to Brenda and said, "we should make some ice cream" then off to google to search for some recipes, and a little while latter we were sampling our latest concoction. Here's the recipe we used:
2 Tbls butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
2 cups milk (We went out to get whole milk for this, not sure how it would turn out with the 1% that we usually have int he fridge)
2 cups heavy cream
7 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
Place the chopped pecans in a pan over medium-low heat and cook, tossing frequently, until you can smell the nuts and they are lightly toasted. Remove from heat and quickly stir in the butter and salt stirring until the butter melts completely. Set aside to cool.
Put 1 cup of the brown sugar, the milk and the cream into a medium saucepan. Begin cooking over medium heat, stirring occasionally. In the meantime, place the remaining 1/2 cup of brown sugar in a large bowl with the egg yolks. Whisk until ribbons form, keeping an eye on the cream.
Just before the cream mixture begins to boil, use a ladle to add about 1/2 cup of the hot cream to the egg yolks and whisk immediately to temper the eggs. Pour the egg yolk and cream mixture back into the saucepan and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the mixture starts to thicken.
When the custard has thickened, remove it from the heat and pour into another container. Allow to cool slightly, then press plastic wrap over the surface and place it in the refrigerator to cool.
After your custard has cooled completely stir in the vanilla. Pour it into your ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's directions. Just before putting it into the freezer to set up, stir in the buttered pecans.
A few years ago (okay, maybe it was many years ago, like 11) brenda and I took a vacation to Europe. While in Brussels we had to try the "Belgian" waffles that were sold by street vendors all over the city.
They were amazing, and ever since then we have searched for a recipe that would even come close to the hot, crunchy, soft, buttery and sweet waffles that we had there. Finally, I think we may have found it! We were watching an episode of Bobby Flay's Throwdown, and he challenged a NY Waffle cart guy from Belgium who explained that what Americans call "Belgian waffles" are known as Brussels waffles in Belgium, and that there is a second kind called Liege waffles that are sold by the street vendors. The waffles that he made looked like the waffle that I have been craving all this time. So we have ordered up the 1 unique ingredient that we need, and found some recipes to try out, and hopefully we will finally be sucessful in our quest for the perfect waffle. This is the recipe that we are going to start with.
1 package yeast
1/3 cup lukewarm water
1 1/2 Tbs sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
1 cup Belgian pearl sugar (this is the unique ingredient that I had to order online)
Mix the yeast, water, sugar and salt in a bowl and let it develop or sit for 15 minutes. Place the flour in a separate mixing bowl and make a well in the center of the flour.
Pour the yeast mixture into the well and mix until blended on medium speed. Add the eggs (one at a time), melted butter a bit at a time, and the vanilla and cinnamon. Be sure to mix well after each addition to the batter. The dough will be thick and VERY sticky.
Set the dough aside to rest until it doubles in volume. Gently fold in the pearl sugar and let the dough rest for 15 more minutes. While the dough is resting, heat the waffle iron.
Sprinkle a little bit of the pearl sugar onto the hot waffle iron, then spoon about a 2″ ball of dough into the center of the waffle iron (this should yield a waffle that is about 4″ in diameter). The pearl sugar should carmelize on the outside of the waffle making a crisp sweet outter crust with a nice chewy center. Waffles will take 3 to 5 minutes to bake.
Recipe makes 8 – 10 waffles.
I am actually worried that these will be as good as I remember them, and I will soon be gaining a lot of weight from eating so many waffles.
It's only January 10th, but I have already had enough winter. I suppose people in Atlanta, and other cities across the south are waking up to that same sentiment today. At least the snow they got this weekend will be gone in a few days. We have another couple of months of cold left. Ugh.