summer

Sweets

Sweet Corn Ice Cream

Sweet Corn Ice Cream | www.hungryinlove.com
Sweet Corn Ice Cream | www.hungryinlove.com

Do you ever latch on to an idea and insist on seeing it through now even though in your heart of hearts you know it's best to wait? Guilty. Right over here.

We received an ice cream maker as a gift nearly a year ago. Since then I have been holding out on making my first batch because I really wanted to try sweet corn ice cream. I can't remember where I first heard of this concoction but it sounded just awesome (spoiler - it is!). I waited through all those seasons that come before summer. And then we entered July - ice cream time! I was practically skipping when went to pick up the ingredients. I was ever so slightly bummed by the corn display that met me at Whole Foods. It looked good, but just good. It did not look like a triumphant vision of summer. Yet I remained undaunted. It was only after I returned home and began shucking that I became unsettled. I tasted a kernel. Drat, not sweet. I'm a little embarrassed to admit this but I actually turned around and went back out to a different store in search of better corn. I did find it, but its superiority was barely discernible. At this point I could have (some might say should have) abandoned the project. But I'd just bought $10 worth of milk and cream so that was not an option. I forged ahead.

Remarkably, after all that drama, this ice cream did indeed taste of luscious sweet corn! I'm not sure whether the takeaway is 'mediocre corn can yield great things' or 'all ice cream is awesome'. Both may be true.

Breaking Eggs | www.hungryinlove.com
Ice Cream Custard Base | www.hungryinlove.com
Sweet Corn Ice Cream | www.hungryinlove.com
Sweet Corn Ice Cream | www.hungryinlove.com

This recipe is a mash-up of a couple I found here and here.

Special equipment: ice cream maker & cheesecloth

Ingredients

  • 2 ears sweet corn, shucked and kernels cut from the cob (reserve cobs)
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt

Prep

Day 1

  • Place the bowl of your ice cream maker in the freezer (I use the KitchenAid stand mixer attachment which needs to freeze a minimum of 15 hours)
  • Make your ice cream base:
    • In a heavy bottomed saucepan, combine milk, corn kernels, and cobs. Over a medium flame heat the milk until it's just hot, about 2 minutes (you should still be able to dip your finger in comfortably)
    • Turn off the heat, cover and let milk steep for one hour. Disgard cobs. Using an immersion blender blend milk and corn kernels until smooth. Next you want strain the milk through a cheesecloth to remove pulp. Set a colander lined with cheesecloth over a bowl. Pour milk through. Squeeze cheesecloth to save as much liquid as possible. 
    • Return strained milk to your saucepan and add heavy cream. Turn heat to low to warm through.
    • Using an electric mixer, beat egg yolks and sugar on high until smooth and light yellow (1-2 minutes).
    • Turn the mixer speed to low and temper the egg yolks by adding one cup of the warmed milk/cream mixture to the eggs in a steady stream. Once combined turn off mixer.
    • Pour egg mixture into your saucepan with remaining milk/cream. Heat over medium heat stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Cook until it begins to thicken into a custard and coats the back of the spoon (about 5-7 minutes).
    • Let custard come to room temperature. Store in a sealed container in fridge overnight.

Day 2

  • 15-20 minutes before you're ready to make the ice cream, place custard in freezer so it gets very cold. While you're at it, put the ice cream storage container you're going to use in the freezer as well. I used a metal loaf pan.
  • Make ice cream according to your ice cream maker's instructions.
  • Enjoy! and/or pour into storage container, cover and freeze.

Salads

Watermelon, Cucumber, + Feta Salad

Watermelon, Cucumber, + Feta Salad | www.hungryinlove.com
Watermelon, Cucumber, + Feta Salad | www.hungryinlove.com
Chopping Watermelon | www.hungryinlove.com
Chopping Cucumber | www.hungryinlove.com
Watermelon, Cucumber, + Feta Salad Mise En Place | www.hungryinlove.com
Feta | www.hungryinlove.com
Basil | www.hungryinlove.com
Watermelon, Cucumber, + Feta Salad | www.hungryinlove.com

My heart is so happy right now I could squeal! We've just returned from our family's 29th annual reunion in South Carolina. Back when I was a wee lass my grandparents had the good sense to institute a summer tradition of gathering their five children plus families for a week at the beach. God bless them, they stuck with it. I've always cherished this trip but have grown to appreciate it more with each passing year. With a new crop of itty-bitty babies our head count this summer totaled 33. Besides the good company, I adore that this week is a true vacation. There's nowhere to go, nothing to see. Upon arrival it takes but minutes to fall into the familiar routine we've perfected over nearly three decades. Tennis/jogging/straight up lounging in the morning; lunches of build-your-own honey baked ham sandwiches and pimento cheese (while it lasts); afternoons on the beach, stocked coolers in tow; cocktails and hor d'oeuvres on the porch; dinner together at the big long table (actually three pushed together to make one); party and card games in the evenings. Sleep and repeat. It's magic. Scroll on for a few snaps.

Every night a different family takes a turn cooking dinner for the crowd. Some version of this watermelon salad usually makes an appearance, and for good reason. It's simple, brilliantly pretty, and a surefire crowdpleaser.

The beach house...

The beach house...

...and 180 degrees.

...and 180 degrees.

South Carolina surf.

South Carolina surf.

My adorable grandparents with their five children. Props to my mom for holding her own with four brothers!

My adorable grandparents with their five children. Props to my mom for holding her own with four brothers!

Watermelon, Cucumber, + Feta Salad | www.hungryinlove.com

Ingredients

Serves 4

  • 1 small watermelon, cubed (if you have a large melon, use 1/2)
  • 4 Persian cucumbers, quartered lengthwise and diced
  • 1 serrano chile, sliced into thin rounds (if you don't like heat, omit!)
  • 8 oz. feta*, cubed 
  • 12-16 basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 12-16 mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • Juice of one half lime
  • Sea salt
  • Olive oil

Prep

  • Toss watermelon, cucumber, serrano, feta, basil and lime juice in serving bowl
  • Sprinkle with sea salt and drizzle with olive oil
  • Serve immediately (If allowed to sit the watermelon and cucumber will release water. Toss ingredients as close to serving as possible.)

*A few notes on feta from our resident cheesemonger. High quality feta will make this salad sing. Feta can be made from cow's milk, goat's milk, sheep's milk, or some combination of these. In the States cow's milk is the most ubiquitous, found in those little vacuum sealed squares at the grocery store. Those will do in a pinch but you're better off seeking out a feta packed in brine. 100% sheep's milk is my favorite. French, Greek, or Bulgarian are all excellent bets but never rule out the feta you find at your local farmer's market. 

Soups

Poblano Soup with Shredded Chicken + Lime

Poblano Soup with Shredded Chicken + Lime | www.hungryinlove.com
Potluck at Midnight Farm Cookbook | www.hungryinlove.com
Green Vegetables | www.hungryinlove.com

After college I did a summer internship at Cape Cod Life magazine. It was a pretty sweet gig. I got to zip around the Cape interviewing B&B proprietors, give my two cents on the annual 'best of' issue, and even sit in my own little office with a window. 

But the best perk of all were the cookbooks. My stint coincided with the magazine moving to new offices across town. Like any move, there was years worth of clutter to contend with. Except this wasn't you're ordinary junk. The magazine received a steady stream of books from authors and publishers all clamoring for a few favorable words in print. These hopefuls accumulated in little stacks all around the office. Everywhere you turned, books, books, books. When moving week rolled around we were green-lighted to 'take what you like'. That day just about made up for the internship being unpaid. Among the bounty I took home was a cookbook called Potluck at Midnight Farm. The recipes are nice but the real draw is that it's a book about fabulous parties in even more fabulous settings on Martha's Vineyard. Farms, beaches, bluffs! The author is friends with Carly Simon so as an added bonus there are pictures of Carly being gorgeous scattered throughout. It's almost like you're friends with her too!

This soup is not in that cookbook, but its inspiration is. The 'arroz verde' (pg. 68) is loaded with poblanos, cilantro, scallions, zuchinni and other green goodness. The combo felt appropriate for a summertime soup.

Poblano Soup Prep | www.hungryinlove.com
Roasted + Peeled Poblanos | www.hungryinlove.com
Poblano Soup Prep | www.hungryinlove.com
Poblano Soup with Shredded Chicken + Lime | www.hungryinlove.com

 

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 4 scallions, chopped (separate white and light green parts from the dark green tops; reserve latter for garnish)
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1.5 lbs. poblano peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded and diced (see here for instructions on roasting and peeling peppers)
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 Tbs. lime zest
  • 1 Parmesan rind
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • 2 cups shredded chicken
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, sliced into thin strips
  • 4 Tbs. chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tbs. chopped dill
  • 2 Tbs. lime juice
  • Diced avocado + radish (for garnish)

Prep

  • In a large dutch oven or saucepan heat olive oil over medium heat
  • Saute scallions (white and light green parts) and celery for 2 minutes
  • Add zucchini, garlic, and poblanos and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently; season vegetables with 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Add chicken stock, lime zest, chickpeas, and Parmesan rind; bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer; cook uncovered for 30 minutes
  • When ready to serve add chicken, romaine, cilantro, dill, lime juice, and dark green parts of your scallions; cook for 2-3 minutes until chicken is warmed and lettuce has wilted
  • Serve garnished with diced avocado and radishes

Sweets

Strawberry Crostata + Basil Whipped Cream

Strawberry Crostata | www.hungryinlove.com
Basil Whipped Cream | www.hungryinlove.com

Before this here pie, the last time I enjoyed strawberry and basil together was in a vodka drink. They're splendid companions whether the accompanying vice is booze or butter (as in this case). Do you ever draw recipe inspiration from cocktails? It's a great place to go hunting. Cocktail lists these days are chock full of cryptic, trendy-sounding mash-ups like 'Balsamic, Sassafras + Peat' or 'Cocoa, Orange Blossom, + Smoke'. Eh? It's pretty much impossible to forecast what the drink will taste like but there's entertainment value in the puzzle. Strawberry + basil on the other hand is a more down-home combo. I know exactly the flavors they'll deliver: summer weekend. Since Memorial Day graced New England with one of those I was reminded of the note-to-self I'd filed after that cocktail: 'strawberry season - subtract vodka - add whipped cream'. The strawberries haven't quite arrived yet here but I couldn't wait that long.

Strawberry Crostata | www.hungryinlove.com
Strawberry Crostata | www.hungryinlove.com
Strawberry Crostata | www.hungryinlove.com
Strawberry Crostata | www.hungryinlove.com
Strawberry Crostata + Basil Whipped Cream | www.hungryinlove.com

Ingredients

Strawberry Crostata

For the Crust

This is a killer crostata dough from Bon Appetit's May 2011 issue. The original recipe features a filling of raspberry and rhubarb. I've enjoyed it many times and also dabbled with other berry combos. They all shine with this crust as the foundation. I heart it. You will too.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 12 Tbs. chilled unsalted butter (1.5 sticks), cut into small cubes (cold butter is key; after cutting place in a bowl and pop in the freezer until ready to use)
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbs. whole milk or half-and-half

For the Filling

  • 4 cups strawberries, hulled and cut in halves or quarters
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbs. cornstarch
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 2 Tbs.)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Sea salt and granulated sugar

Basil whipped Cream

  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 6-8 sprigs fresh basil
  • 2 Tbs. confectioner's sugar

 

Prep

Infuse the Cream

  • In small saucepan heat cream over medium-high heat just until bubbles begin to appear around the edge of the pan
  • Remove from heat
  • Add basil and allow to steep for ~20 minutes
  • Move the saucepan to the fridge and continue to steep until thoroughly chilled, about 2 hours

Make the Dough

  • Whisk egg and milk (or half and half) together in a small bowl, set aside
  • In a food processor pulse flours, sugar, and salt until blended; about five seconds
  • Add cubed butter and pulse until mixture is gravely and butter is the size of peas, about 6-8 pulses
  • Add egg mixture and pulse until dough begins to come together into moist clumps
  • Turn dough onto a floured surface and gather into a ball
  • Wrap in plastic wrap and put in fridge to chill, at least 90 minutes

Prep the Strawberries

  • About 30 minutes before you're ready to assemble the crostata, prep the strawberries
  • Cut into halves (or quarters if very large) and measure 4 cups
  • Stir together strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice in a bowl and let sit for ~20 minutes

Assemble the Crostata

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Whisk egg in a small bowl and set aside
  • Tear a sheet of parchment paper (roughly the size of your baking sheet) and place on your work surface; dust with flour
  • Use a rolling pin to roll dough into a 12 inch round on the parchment paper
  • Lift parchment paper and place on baking sheet before adding the filling
  • Brush dough with beaten egg
  • Scoop strawberry filling into the center of the dough and carefully spread, leaving a 1.5 inch border
  • Fold edges of dough over strawberries
  • Brush dough edges with beaten egg and sprinkle lightly with sugar and sea salt
  • Bake until the crust is browned and filling bubbly, about 45 minutes
  • Let cool before cutting and serving

Make the Whipped Cream

  • Remove cream from fridge
  • Discard basil sprigs
  • Place cream and sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (chill the bowl and attachment first for best results)
  • Beat cream on medium-high speed until firm peaks form, about 6-8 minutes (don't over beat or you'll end up with butter)

Serve crostata slices dolloped with whipped cream and basil chiffonade.

 

 

 

Snacks

Roasted Green Grape Guacamole

Roasted Green Grape Guacamole | www.hungryinlove.com

This weekend Tripp and I mapped out our grand calendar of upcoming summer adventures (Carolina! Maine! France!). Besides making me totally giddy, the activity put a rumble in my belly for summery fare, picnics, and parties. With a few weeks left of New England spring, testing summer recipes inside on rainy days is a substitute for the real thing I won’t turn down. Hence, guacamole.

Ah yes, guacamole: friend-maker, woe-mender, harbinger of good times. If I were someone who believed in magic, these powers might seem reasonable. But I’m a notorious skipper of horoscope sections so an alternative explanation is in order. Perhaps it’s nothing beyond the singular alchemy that is avocado + lime + salt.

I’ve long been a fan of fruit-laced guacamole (hello, mango). But last summer was the first time I enjoyed a grape-studded rendition. Plump and bright, grapes are a splendid counter to creamy, rich avocado. Throw roasted grapes into the equation and whoa, you’ve just made a dish with an ingredient ‘two-ways’ at home. I have to admit I was pretty proud of that.

Roasted Green Grape Guacamole Mise En Place | www.hungryinlove.com
Roasted Green Grapes | www.hungryinlove.com
Roasted Green Grapes | www.hungryinlove.com
Grapes: two ways!

Grapes: two ways!

Avocados | www.hungryinlove.com
Guacamole Mise En Place | www.hungryinlove.com
Roasted Green Grape Guacamole | www.hungryinlove.com

Ingredients

Makes 3-4 cups

  • 2 cups whole grapes (visually I think green grapes are best here but red are a fine substitute)
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil + salt
  • 3 ripe Haas avocados, peeled, pitted and diced into small cubes
  • 1 cup quartered grapes
  • 1/3 cup red onion, finely diced
  • 2 serrano chiles, finely diced (if you don't like heat, use only one or omit altogether)
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped (about 1 bunch)
  • Juice of three limes
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt

Prep

Roast Grapes

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  • Toss 2 cups whole grapes with olive oil, season with salt, and spread on a baking sheet
  • Roast for 15 minutes; grapes will release juices and start to caramelize
  • Transfer grapes to a plate to cool
  • Roughly chop

Assemble Guacamole

  • Place avocado, roasted grapes, quartered fresh grapes, onion, chile, cilanto, lime and salt in a mixing bowl
  • Use a fork to combine until all ingredients are evenly dispersed but avocado chunks remain
  • Taste for seasoning; add more lime and salt as needed
  • Serve with tortilla chips or crudite
  • The flavors will be doubly awesome if you allow guac to sit inthe  fridge (covered) for a couple hours

Salads

Napa Cabbage Salad + Peanut Dressing

Napa Cabbage Salad Mise En Place | www.hungryinlove.com
Napa Cabbage Salad with Peanut Dressing | www.hungryinlove.com

Well, we did it. Cut the cord. Cable television is no longer taking up residence at Chez Nichols. Good riddance Guy Fieri, Sister Wives, and Dance Moms. So shameful, yet so addictive. This isn't the first time we've abstained from cable. It's been an on-again, off-again saga. Regrettably we've always come crawling back for the one fix Netflix and Apple TV can't deliver: live sports. With the Patriots playoff game only days away, I'm reminded why relapse is an ever-present threat.

Now, I know we're not alone in this camp. As I've learned it's actually quite a trendy move. So trendy in fact that some big wigs have figured out how to capitalize on our situation. Apparently ESPN is leading the charge to unbundle a sports package that you can buy a la carte. I think we're about to enter a new era, my friends.

But in the meantime I've been looking for ways to fill the time House Hunters marathons used to occupy. This salad on repeat is one of them. I think this is our third go round in two weeks. I have to say it's far more satisfying than even the most tempting reality TV.

Peanut Dressing or Sauce | www.hungryinlove.com
Napa Cabbage Close Up | www.hungryinlove.com
Napa Cabbage Salad Mise En Place | www.hungryinlove.com
Napa Cabbage Salad + Peanut Dressing | www.hungryinlove.com

Ingredients

Napa Cabbage Salad

  • 1/2 head napa cabbage (also known as Chinese cabbage, napa is much more delicate than regular green cabbage and thus better suited for salads like this)
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves, chopped 
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 2 Thai chiles, finely diced (if you don't like heat, leave these out)
  • 3 green onions, finely diced
  • 1 package ramen noodles, crushed and lightly toasted in a dry skillet (discard the seasoning packets)
  • 2 Tbs. toasted sesame seeds

Peanut Dressing

  • Juice of one lime
  • 3 Tbs. peanut butter
  • 3 Tbs. peanut oil
  • 2 Tbs. rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs. honey
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. siracha
  • 1/2 sesame oil

 

Prep

  • To make the dressing, combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth, about 1 minute.
  • Cut the cabbage into thin strips: lay the half cabbage head on a cutting board and cut in half lengthwise, leaving the root end in tact. Then cut the remaining halves in half again lengthwise. Now cut all three sections crosswise into half inch strips until you reach the root end.
  • To prep the ramen noodles, crush lightly while still in packaging. Open package and discard seasoning packet. In a dry skillet over medium heat toast noodles until lightly browned, about 4-6 minutes.
  • Toss cabbage, cilantro, bean sprouts, green onions, chiles, ramen noodles, and sesame seeds with peanut dressing and serve. Tofu, chopped nuts, shredded chicken, or grilled salmon would all be top notch adds.
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