What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Food for Sharing: Kulfi with Pistachios and Lavender Buds! Kulfi is a type of homemade ice cream popular in Southeast Asia and India. This “instant” version can be made in your very own kitchen without the cost or hassle of an ice cream maker. Flavored with pistachio nuts and a hint of lavender make it a delectable frozen dessert worth crowing about.
KULFI WITH PISTACHIOS AND LAVENDER BUDS
10 ounces evaporated milk
1 cup heavy cream
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons cardamom
1/2 cup pistachios, chopped
1 teaspoon lavender buds, crushed
1 teaspoon lavender extract
Combine evaporated milk, heavy cream, and sweetened condensed milk. Blend until smooth. Add cardamom, pistachios, lavender buds, and lavender extract. Stir. Pour into bouchon molds, fluted pan, or popsicle molds. Freeze overnight. Before serving, dip the molds in warm water. Invert kulfi onto a dessert plate. Garnish with crushed pistachios.
Dining Outside the Home: Mon Ami Gabi in Las Vegas, Nevada! An afternoon shower can provide a welcome respite from constant motion along the Las Vegas Strip. Slip through the French turquoise doors of Mon Ami Gabi at Paris for a sip of this and a nibble of that. Might I suggest an unpretentious Aperol Spritz to accompany the “Fruit de Mer” succulent Shrimp Cocktail platter. The magnificent essence of orange moscato is aromatic with citrus notes, which makes it perfect for any afternoon.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Food for Sharing: Jambon de Bayonne Baguette! If you don’t have time to run by the local artisan bakery, consider this option. By using ingredients you may already have on hand from the local supermarket deli, this homemade version of a Parisian favorite can be done in minutes. It’s basically a ham and cheese sandwich stepped up a notch.
JAMBON DE BAYONNE BAGUETTE
1 baguette, cut in half (serves 2)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon Herbs de Provence
1-2 Roma tomatoes, sliced
3 ounces Jambon de Bayonne, or aged prosciutto
2 romaine lettuce leaves
2 slices espresso/lavender rubbed cheese
8 cornichon gherkins
Slice baguette lengthwise, without cutting all the way through to create a submarine sandwich. Spread a fine layer of Dijon mustard over each baguette half. In a small bowl, combine olive oil and herbs de Provence. Add slices tomatoes to coat, reserving olive oil mixture. Place one layer of tomatoes in each baguette. Next divide prosciutto, romaine lettuce, and gourmet cheese between baguette sandwiches. Top with cornichon gherkins. Drizzle with remaining herbed olive oil. Close and serve. Bon Appétit!
“Think twice before you speak,
because your words and influence
will plant the seed of either success
or failure in the mind of another.”
~ Napoleon Hill
“If you fall seventy times a day,
rise seventy times and return to God
so that you will not fall too often.”
~ Johannes Tauler
Dining Outside the Home: Nacho Daddy in Las Vegas, Nevada! What’s not to love about a Mexican restaurant whose name is Nacho Daddy with a slogan of “Never a Dry Chip”. The name alone sounds like a party. Peruse the menu to find a list of incredible nacho combinations smothered in cheesy queso and spicy salsa. But the challenge doesn’t end there. Nacho Daddy double-dog dares you to sling back an original Scorpion Shot, which is actually served with a real scorpion in the tequila glass. If you go to Vegas and want to return home with a story to tell, check out this must-see hotspot and #getstung as seen on the Food Network.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Food for Sharing: Iowa Loose Meat Sliders! If you’ve ever taken a road trip through Iowa, or are fortunate enough to live there, you’re already familiar with its popular loose meat sandwich found at local diners. Made of 100% freshly ground beef, the Midwest tradition began around 1926. Bypassing the form of a patty and omitting the sauce of a sloppy joe, what you saw was what you got—all loose meat. The steaming technique plus the combination of spices remain a trade secret. But if you’re willing to come pretty close, give this recipe a try. Just remember to hold the ketchup.
IOWA LOOSE MEAT SLIDERS
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 Vidalia onion, minced
1 pound lean ground beef
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoon Lea & Perrins sauce
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 1/2 cups beer
1 teaspoon beef bouillon granules
6 slider buns
Sliced dill pickles
In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté onions in olive oil until translucent. Add ground beef. Cook until brown and crumbly. Add yellow mustard, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, garlic powder, seasoned salt, and black pepper. Mix well. Stir in beer. Bring to boil. Add beef bouillon. Reduce to low heat. Simmer uncovered until all liquid is absorbed. Serve on toasted slider buns. Top with dill pickles, mustard, and minced onions.
Dining Outside the Home: Harry’s Restaurant in Washington, DC! With a sidewalk café that stretches at least half a block, Harry’s Restaurant is a place for meeting old friends and making new ones. Its patriotic surroundings bring a homey mixture of local flavor, genuine history, pub grub, and thirst-quenching beverages. It’s the perfect spot away from the tourist traps; the kind of place to sit back and unwind with a drink before heading elsewhere. If you’re hungry, try the Harry’s and Harriett’s Burger. It’s a half-pounder, cooked medium, with melted cheese, veggie sides, potato chips, and coleslaw. The surprise ending is an Oreo cookie. This is America after all.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Food for Sharing: Hamburger Strudel! Dress up a classic meatloaf recipe with this super simple crust to create an elegant wrap for a main course. No, it’s not Beef Wellington, but it’s a tasty alternative at a fraction of the cost. I highly recommend an all-natural organic lean beef for fabulous results. It’s dinner-party worthy!
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 onion, chopped
1/4 pound mushrooms, sliced
2 pounds ground beef
1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup parsley
1 tube 8-count crescent rolls
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
Pinch of parsley
1 cup sour cream
2 green onions, snipped
Preheat oven to 375°. Spray a baking pan with nonstick oil. In a large skillet, sauté onions and mushrooms in butter. Add ground beef. Cook until crumbly and brown. Drain excess liquid. In a large bowl, combine meat mixture, sea salt, black pepper, oregano, and garlic powder. Let cool slightly before folding in beaten eggs. Add cheddar cheese and parsley. Form into a loaf pan and freeze for one hour. Carefully remove chilled loaf from pan. Unroll tube of crescent rolls. Pinch seams to seal. Wrap dough around meatloaf; seal. Transfer to the prepared baking pan. Brush with butter; sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and pinch of parsley. Bake 30-35 minutes. Cut into 1″ slices. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and green onion snips.