Sunday, September 22, 2013

Day of Cooking Trials: Anise Ice Cream & Garden Fresh Tomato Soup

I've had a few recipes on my to-do list for a week now and was finally able to try them out this afternoon. 

This past week was my friend Lesley's birthday and she's a huge black licorice fan. Once day while I was praising my attempt at homemade ice cream, she asked for Black Licorice Ice Cream. Well, any recipe these days is just one search away. Google and Pinterest are always a cooks best friend. It might be easy to find a recipe, but it's HARD to decide which recipe to try. In this case, there was "white" black licorice ice cream and "cement grey" black licorice ice cream. The second is a bit more detailed and requires alot more work, so I went with the first choice and a simple NO COOK recipe. I have no photos (sorry), but I highly recommend the recipe. The prep was easy and it actually tasted great. I'm not a fan of anise flavoring, but I wasn't going to give it to someone without trying it first. I had a few spoonfuls and that was enough for me, but I knew I struck gold when Lesley called and offered another marriage proposal. So far, I've received a marriage proposal, for my mashed potatoes, my shepard's pie and now THIS.

Anise (White) Licorice Ice Cream

1 1/2 c. Half and Half
3/4 c. Sugar
1 1/2 c. Heavy Cream
2 tsp Anise extract

Mix all ingredients together until sugar is dissolved. Pour into ice cream maker and then follow manufacturing instructions for your ice cream machine. * I doubled my recipe and it made 3-4 quarts once churned 

Now, my next adventure was making some homemade tomato soup. I had about 12 or 14 medium size Roma tomatoes from my garden I wanted to use.  Now, I will say, the recipes calls for 4 cups of diced tomatoes and after I peeled mine, I was left with only 2 cups of tomatoes. That's obviously not enough for a full batch, so my photos only reflect half of what's listed in the recipe. And I'll also note, that recipe reads "6 servings" and unless you are going to drink a half cup of soup, that's not accurate. When I was done with a half batch, I had ONE nice size bowl of soup for my husband. I'll show you the recipe as it read and then talk you through the adjustments I made. 

Garden Fresh Tomato Soup

4 c. chopped fresh tomatoes (I peeled mine with the Hot Water method)
1 sliced whole onion
4 whole garlic cloves
2 cups chicken broth
2 TBSP butter
2 TBSP all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp white sugar or to taste


In a stockpot, over medium heat, combine the tomatoes, onion, cloves and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, and gently boil for about 20 minutes to blend all of the flavors. 

 Remove from heat and run the mixture through a food mill into a large bowl, or pan. Discard any stuff left over in the food mill. 

(I don't have a food mill, so I first used a submersion blender and then ran the mixture through a small strainer and pressed the mixture until I was just left with the juice) 

In the now empty stockpot, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour to make a roux, cooking until the roux is a medium brown.

Gradually whisk in a bit of the tomato mixture, so that no lumps form, then stir in the rest. Season with sugar and salt, and adjust to taste.  

I go through all that and forget to take a picture of the final shot and finished dish. But I quickly grabbed my husband half finished bowl and took a snap shot. He's the big tomato soup fan in the house, so I selfishly gave him the one bowl it produced. H did tell me that I can waste 12 tomatoes on him any time. He wanted me to know he really enjoyed it and "wasn't just telling me that to make me happy". So I think I officially got a thumbs up on this recipe.

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