Rosemary Infused Pear Sorbet

Despite my frequent and weekly posting of ice cream, along with a number of other sweets posted over the past few weeks, I have been trying to cut back on my sugar intake over the last several weeks.  As a result, I’ve been looking for some frozen dishes that use less sugar, and this recipe that has a little bit of honey, meets expectations.  The recipe came from the Empowered Sustenance website.  When I go to take a bite, I have to remember that it isn’t going to be sweet.  It’s a bit like when I go to drink hipster water (LaCroix), I need to remember it’s not going to have the sweetness of soda.  Similarly, when I go to drink unsweetened iced tea, it’s not going to taste like Crystal Light.  But, as long as I go in with this mindset, the sorbet tastes like a great ending to a meal.  The rosemary does not come through strongly — it’s a slight undertone to the recipe.

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Rosemary Infused Pear Sorbet

4 big pears (or 5 small)
1/2 c water
1/2 Tbsp honey
1 sprig fresh rosemary

Peel and cut the pears into small pieces.  Place all the ingredients in a pot over medium-low heat.  Boil 10 minutes, or until the pears are soft.  Remove from heat and let cool.  Remove the rosemary sprig and transfer into a food processor.  Blend for 20 seconds or until smooth.  Transfer to a bowl and place in the refrigerator to chill.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for ice cream.

Rosemary-Maple Cashews

I have started doing a lot of snacking on nuts.  They are a great and filling snack, but I get a little tired of the regular nuts, and so when I have a moment to create something better or come across a recipe that looks particularly fascinating, I am trying it.  This recipe came about as I was looking through an old Food and Wine magazine.  It took me a couple times to make it because the first time I burned the cashews.  These are mildly sweet and the rosemary wasn’t overwhelming on the cashews.  The cayenne added a little kick, too.

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Rosemary Maple Cashews

4 c raw cashews
2 1/2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 1/4 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp minced fresh rosemary
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  In a large bowl, toss the cashews with the maple syrup, olive oil, rosemary, and cayenne pepper.  Spread the cashews on a large rimmed baking sheet and toast for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned.  Immediately season the cashews with salt and pepper; let cool, tossing occasionally.

Rosemary and Olive Oil Ice Cream

I was looking for a slightly savory ice cream to try to integrate more herbs and to complement the cornmeal cookies I made and so I started looking for different olive oil ice creams — I thought that might make for an interesting combination.  As I sought them out, every recipe I came across had eggs as the base, which I was not excited to include, and so I decided to go out on my own and integrate aspects of the different ice cream flavors into a Rosemary and Olive Oil Ice Cream, continuing to use Jeni’s vanilla ice cream as a base.  When I shared some with my parents, they were a little hesitant, but I think they enjoyed it overall.  The rosemary flavor was definitely strong, yet not overpowering.  I wouldn’t have wanted to assume I was going to be eating a sweet ice cream and then had this flavor hit my palate, but knowing this was the flavor, I am pretty pleased with how it turned out.

Rosemary Olive Oil Ice Cream

Rosemary and Olive Oil Ice Cream

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream:
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 ½ ounces cream cheese, softened
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 ¼ cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
4 sprigs of rosemary
1/3 c olive oil

 

To make the ice cream, mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry. Whisk the cream cheese and salt in a medium bowl until smooth. Fill a large bowl with ice and water.

Combine the remaining milk, the cream, sugar, corn syrup, and rosemary in a 4-quart saucepan, bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 4 minutes precisely. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a heatproof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.

Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Fish out the rosemary sprigs and stir in the olive oil.  Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.

After churning, pack into a storage container. Press a sheet of parchment paper directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least four hours.

 

Cornmeal Cookies

I don’t know why, but the dining hall on my campus makes sugar cookies that, to me, have a slight hint of cornmeal in them that truly enhances their flavor in a way that I could sit and eat a dozen of them in one sitting.  Ridiculously, then, I thought I should try to recreate that flavor at my house because you should always keep stock of the things you will overeat.  Nevertheless, when I saw this recipe for cornmeal cookies in the Iowa State Fair cookbook, I thought I should try them.  Luckily for me, while they taste great, they don’t quite have that component of I-can’t-put-them-down that the on-campus cookies contain.  A few notes — I didn’t find them to spread nicely, so I ended up flattening some of the cookies in later batches.  I also didn’t include the raisins because I was planning to serve them with an ice cream which I did not believe would be enhanced by raisins.  I did, however, add a sprig’s worth of rosemary to the dough for later batches.

Cornmeal Cookies

Cornmeal Cookies

3/4 c butter or margarine
3/4 c sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 c flour
1/3 c cornmeal
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c raisins

Mix butter, sugar, egg, flour, and cornmeal.  Stir in vanilla and raisins.  Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.  Bake in a 350-degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes.

Restaurant Rosemary Bread

In the ongoing bread-making that I’ve been doing since my dad and I took a bread-making class together a few months ago.  If you are a loyal reader, you may have noticed an increase in the breads I’ve put together over the past several months.  Everything from cranberry multi-grain bread to wild rice bread, to old-fashioned milk bread.  This is probably the last bread I’ll throw together for a little while, but it is a tasty one.  I recommend anyone who loves rosemary throw this together.  The recipe was originally adapted from Food Network Magazine, April 2011.

restaurant-rosemary-bread

Restaurant Rosemary Bread

1 1/4 oz packet active dry yeast
2 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 1/2 c flour
4 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Stir the yeast, sugar, and 1/4 c warm water in a large bowl (or in the bowl of a stand mixer).  Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.

Add 1 Tbsp olive oil, flour, 1 1/2 Tbsp rosemary, salt, and 3/4 c warm water; stir with a wooden spoon (or with the dough hook if using a mixer) until a dough forms.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, dusting lightly with flour if necessary, until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. (Or knead with the dough hook on medium-high speed, adding a little flour if the dough sticks to the bowl, about 8 minutes).

Brush a large bowl with olive oil.  Add the dough, cover with plastic wrap, and let stand at room temperature until more than doubled, about 2 hours.

Brush 2 baking sheets with olive oil.  Generously flour a work surface, turn the dough out onto the flour and divide into 4 pieces. Working with one piece at a time, sprinkle some flour on the dough, the fold the top and bottom portions into the middle.  Fold in the sides to make a free-form square.  Use a spatula to turn the dough over, then tuck the corners under to form a ball.  Place seam-side down on a prepared baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining dough, putting two balls on each baking sheet.  Let stand, uncovered, until more than doubled, about 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Bake the loaves 10 minutes, brush with the remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with the kosher salt and remaining 1/2 Tbsp rosemary.  Continue making until golden brown, about 10 more minutes.  Transfer to a rack to cool.  Serve with olive oil seasoned with fresh or dried herbs, salt, and pepper.

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes with Goat Cheese

When I started cooking dinner for folks on occasion, I found myself experimenting with ingredients I had never before used.  Sometimes this was something that I couldn’t find in my small Minnesota town.  Other times it was something that was present, but hadn’t been part of our regular menu.  This recipe for rosemary-roasted potatoes with goat cheese caught my eye as I was intrigued by the use of goat cheese.  One of my guests enjoyed this recipe mostly because they liked hearing my Minnesota accent come out with an elongated oooooo in the goat and the shortened ee in the cheese.  With that in mind, here is this recipe, originally from Cooking Light.

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Raspberry Rosemary Honey Butter

Last week I had a group of students and a colleague over for dinner.  As we prepare to adjust to some changes at work, I thought it was important for us to get to know each other and begin to form some new relationships.  I’ve enjoyed starting to work more closely with the Admissions staff, who are a great group of professionals and folks who have really helped to make the summer go more smoothly for us, somewhat by necessity (sharing space together in the building) and somewhat out of the kindness and collegiality that a small campus seeks and needs in order to function more smoothly.

Anyhoo, when some of the orientation staff came over for dinner, along with the admissions staff member who will be working with me on orientation,  I made a few new dishes, which I’ll continue to share in the upcoming weeks.  The main dish was the Gorgonzola Pasta that has become a favorite way to use summer vegetables in the meal.  But one of these things is something I keep eating all week because I don’t want it to go bad.  I put together a compound butter, if you will.  I don’t have a clever name for it, except one that states all of the different ingredients in the butter.  It was: Raspberry Rosemary Honey Butter.

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Raspberry Rosemary ButterRaspberry Rosemary Honey Butter

1 c butter, softened

2 sprigs rosemary

2 Tbsp honey

Handful of raspberries

Whip all ingredients except raspberries together until well mixed.  Add raspberries at the end, and only until just mixed, so as to not completely crush the raspberries.

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It was super-easy.  I read online a bit about compound butters, but then just took food that looked like it would taste good together and hoped for the best.  We ate it on fresh bread the first day when my guests were here, but since then I’ve been using it mostly for making grilled cheese.

grilled cheeseI bought some grain-filled bread and muenster cheese and have been eating these most nights this week.  It’s such a great combination with the gooey cheese and fruitiness of the raspberries.  I don’t think I could ask for a better flavor combination.  And, just when I can’t taste the rosemary, some of it sneaks through and I find myself having a sweet-savory-creamy combination of flavors in my mouth.  What could be more satisfying?

Try it yourself!  I hope you find it as tasty as I did!