Tag Archives: Chef Basics

Skip the carton, Make a Pitcher of Homemade Nog

One serving appears more ladylike when divided into three small glasses.

Today is the day we decorate our tree.  The Christmas Tree is my favourite part of the holidays.  As unexcited as I am to dig through the pile of boxes in the basement on the annual ornament hunt (why do I have two bins of Easter decorations?  Really?) I am pretty psyched to get the tree going.

Thinking that many of us might be putting up lights, Christmas shopping or lamenting the start of carols on the radio, I figured egg nog and alcohol could settle us right down.  Cursing also helps immensely.

If you’re going out for the weekend grocery shop, you only need  few ingredients to make your own egg nog: eggs, milk, cream, sugar. (I know! Why have you not done this before?)

My friend swears by the Mac’s Milk version (and I too admit to glugging the store-bought) but this is lighter, frothier and fresher and really a cinch to make.

HERE IS THE LINK TO MY CHEF BASICS  EGG NOG MAKING VIDEO.

Once this becomes your signature holiday drink–you can move onto your own egg nog serving set.

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EGG NOG RECIPE

Make sure you use the freshest eggs possible and have an alternate beverage available for guests like pregnant woman, children or the elderly who shouldn’t consume raw eggs.

Servings: 6

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Ready In: 45 minutes (includes 30 minutes cooling)

Ingredients

4 eggs, separated

1/3 cup sugar (reserve 1 tablespoon)

2 cups whole milk

1 cup whipping cream

fresh grated nutmeg

pinch salt

Method

With an electric beater whisk together egg yolks and sugar until sugar dissolves and yolks are pale and fluffy. Add milk, cream and nutmeg and whisk until well combined. Refrigerate until cold.

Just before serving whisk egg whites (at room temperature) and a pinch of salt to soft peaks. Add teaspoon of sugar and whisk until firm peaks.

Fold into eggnog to make it extra light and fluffy.

If you want to add alcohol you can whisk in 2 to 3 ounces of bourbon or rum before adding the egg whites.

Another opportunity to use my beloved nutmeg grater. (purse size convenience!)

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Filed under All Recipes, Blogs with cooking tips, Ruminations on the Edible, Uncategorized

Tis the Season for Pomegranate Ice Cream

Pomegranates are here.  And so is my reluctance to buy them and take the time to extract the delicious seeds (arils).  Lazy, yes.

But then I was inspired to take the healthy pomegranate and fatten it up into a simple and delicious, no-churn ice cream.  (Using a recipe from Nigella Lawson‘s cookbook Nigella Express.)  Who other than Nigella could completely kill the heart-healthy attributes of a pomegranate with 2 cups of whole cream?   Screw sprinkling the arils on a salad, I latched onto her bandwagon fast.

And really, de-seeding the pomegranate is not that tough.  Lots of people/websites suggest cutting the fruit in half and then simply tapping it until the arils easily plop out into the awaiting bowl.  I have tapped pomegranates, I have spanked them with a wooden spoon and for me, about maybe 1/4 of the arils ever fall out, no matter how ripe.  So I prefer the underwater method (not you, just the pom.)

I demonstrate this in a Chef Basics Video-so just click on the link for a demo.  Basically, it’s like this:

Take the pomegranate and halve, then quarter. (cut off the crown and score the outer skin with your knife and pull apart).

Now take the pieces and in a bowl of cold water, submerge one at a time and gently pop out the seeds with your hands.  No squirting juice to deal with and the heavier seeds will sink to the bottom while the pith floats on top.

(Bit of a blood bath, isn’t it.)  Now you can scoop of the pith and drain the seeds. Next, to juice, into the food processor they go.

For the recipe, you need to de-seed 2 pomegranates and just buzz them for a few seconds –then drain through a fine sieve. You need 3/4 cups juice for the ice cream but I got about 1 cup. (You will never buy a POM drink again after you taste this).

Next,  juice a lime.  (or have your kid do it)

Total unneccessary picture but how cute are Felix’s little hands!  Add the lime juice to the pom juice and put it into a medium size bowl.  Add 1 1/2 cups icing sugar.  (I was a little leery of the amount of sugar but the balance of flavour was good in the end.) Then add in the 2 cups whipping cream.  And well, whip it, whip it good!  It will be light and fluffy and a very very pretty.

Beware of how much you “taste” at this point. It’s crazy delicious. Sweet, rich and yet a little tart from the fruit.  Spread it into a Tupperware and put on lid, then straight into the freezer.

Ultimately, I left it overnight before serving, Nigella says four hours in minimum.  Was still a bit soft at four hours in my freezer.

Really depends on your freezer and where you put it in the freezer I imagine.  (While making room in my freezer I discovered I had a whole duck in there that I completely forgot about. Plus some half-used puff pastry and a frozen wedge of birthday cake.)

The results:

So good I ate it for breakfast. (Never skip breakfast, bad for your health) .

This whipped ice cream softens fairly quickly so does not have the denser texture of a typical custard based, churned ice cream, but I think it would make a gorgeous finish to a meal if you were entertaining.  It’s really light and creamy, and so easy to do in advance.  For myself, I know how I’ll be getting my daily servings of dairy this week.

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