Ginger Ice Cream
I tried to go off on a rant about what smarmy, disingenuous bastards Crocker and Petraeus are. I saw them both on the PBS News Hours. Maybe if they keep spouting that same bullshit line enough they will reach a point where their own fucking eyes buy into it. The problem with that is while I was wanting to rant I had Julie London singing "Don't Smoke In Bed" in front of the Nelson Riddle Orchestra which destroyed my angry.
The bottom line is that unless Congress suddenly decides that things have gone far enough. We are not going to achieve any discernable goal except to keep over 100,000 troops in Iraq so that Bush can had off the mess he created to the next administration. Then he plans to hit the lecture circuit and make beaucoup bucks.
Rather than lapse into total blank staring despair I figured I'd hit the kitchen and make one of my favorites.
I developed this recipe my very ownself. I have a beloved uncle who lives in San Diego who adores a little Thai joint in Ocean Beach. They make a great ginger ice cream which is the perfect capper to a spicy Thai meal. I asked them for their recipe and they politely refused. So, being as he's a favorite uncle and all that I went to work.
INGREDIENTS FOR GINGER ICE CREAM
1/2 cup Baker's sugar
1 vanilla bean split in half lengthwise
1/4 cup peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger
1/3 cup water
4 large egg yolks
pinch kosher or sea salt
1 1/2 cups manufacturing cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon Canton ginger liqueur (optional but it really helps with the consistency)
In a small, nonreactive saucepan, take 6 tablespoons of the sugar and the vanilla bean, scrub the inside of the bean with the sugar to remove as much of the little tiny specky looking seeds as you can. Leave the pod in the pan, add the ginger and the water and stir until the sugar dissolves. Heat over medium flame, stirring constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, stop stirring, and simmer for five minutes, without stirring. Remove from heat, cover, and allow to cool to room temperature.
Have a fine mesh strainer suspended over a medium size mixing bowl nearby.
In a heavy, non-reactive saucepan, using a wooden spoon, stir together the yolks, the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and the salt until well blended. In a small pan, scald the cream and the milk. Temper this into the egg yolk and sugar mixture a little at a time. Heat this gradually, stirring constantly until it is just below the boiling point, 170 - 180° (I would hope you've gotten an instant read thermometer by now). Steam will begin to appear, there will be small bubbles forming around the perimeter, and when your finger (scrupulously clean as always) is run along the back of the wooden spoon a well-defined track will be left. Immediately remove this from the heat and strain it into the mixing bowl, making sure to scrape the thickened cream from the bottom of the pan and force it through the strainer with your wooden spoon. Cool in the refrigerator for at least two hours.
Before freezing, strain the ginger syrup, remove the vanilla pod, and put the ginger into the mini-chopper and purée with a tablespoon of the syrup until it is very fine. Tiny chunks are acceptable, lumps are forbidden. Add this to the ice cream base with the rest of the syrup, stir in the Ginger liqueur and do a normal freeze job. This is very creamy stuff, so allow to ripen a little more in the container in the freezer before serving.
This is a great compliment to pear, peach, nectarine and persimmon pie. All by itself it can brighten up one whole day.
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