Sunday, March 16, 2014

Nigella's Coffee Ice cream - Recipe Review

Last year I had the opportunity to meet Nigella Lawson at a book signing for her book 'Nigellissima'. In an interview before the signing she mentioned that her coffee ice cream recipe from the book is one of her favorite recipes. What's good enough for Nigella is good enough for me, so I tried it and it turned out to be fabulous! It was hard to believe it was made without an ice cream maker and yet tasted exactly like great ice cream.

Apparently it is the alcohol that keeps the ice cream from become icy.
I followed the recipe from the book, which is slightly different from the recipe from her blog, though I don't know if that matters.

For the instant espresso powder I used Medaglia D'oro brand. Next time I would reduce its amount from 2 tbsp to 1.5 tbsp as I thought the ice cream was a tad stronger than I'd like.
I think it would be ok to use instant coffee too, though in that case you might need more of it.

For the coffee liqueur I used Kahlua and it seemed to have worked well.
I also thought the ice cream was a bit too creamy. I don't know if half-n-half can do the job of heavy cream in the recipe. I might try out a 60-40 mix of heavy cream and half-n-half next time.

I served the ice cream with a stick of chocolate wafer. Next time I'm planning to add some kind of nuts such as walnuts or chocolate-covered almonds to the ice cream before freezing it. Or even choc brownie pieces. The possibilities are endless!

One thing to note: The ice cream took an awfully long time to freeze. I made it in the morning and served it at night, but it was far from set. But after a couple of days it set beautifully and the picture above was taken at that time.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Breakfast Casserole with Sausage and Roasted Red Pepper

Dishes like casseroles and lasagna - as you can figure from my recent posts - are my newfound favorite type of recipe. They are pretty easy to make, especially for large groups and require little active time.

Recently I made a cauliflower and penne casserole with white sauce (bechamel) the night before we were heading out of town. Worked out perfectly to finish off some leftover cauliflower that would have gotten really sad sitting in the fridge for a few more days.

Here's the recipe for the breakfast casserole. I'm looking forward to making this for a larger group by doubling all quantities. If you try that, remember to use a larger baking tray!

Serves 4

sausage                       3/4 lb (I used Isernio's Italian chicken sausage)
bread                           4 slices of regular pre-sliced bread
milk                             1.5 cups
eggs                             4
grated cheddar cheese  3/4 cup
roasted red pepper        1/2 pepper

Seasoning -
dijon mustard               1 tsp
salt                              1 tsp
ground black pepper      1 tsp

Method -
1. Make bite-sized pieces of the bread.
    Dice the roasted red pepper.

2. Cook sausage in a pan with a little bit of oil while breaking it up into pieces until brown and thoroughly cooked.

3. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Add all other ingredients to the bowl and mix well.

4. Pour everything into an 8x8 baking pan. Bake at 350 deg F for 25 to 40 mins or until set.

If desired, top with some more cheddar cheese and bake for a few mins until cheese melts.
Take out when it is still moist and juicy.
If using french/ italian loaf bread, soak the bread in the milk mixture for 30 mins before baking.