Monday, August 15, 2011

Gremolata Love and Ice Cream Trials

gremolata love.
Cooking at home is another wonderful way to celebrate free time.
Gremolata is an Italian dry condiment made up of chopped parsley, garlic, lemon rind and salt. It is typically paired with osso buco (veal shank) or braised beef short ribs.
Gremolata Components: Italian Parsley, lemon zest, raw garlic, salt, pepper
I like gremolata on just about everything. To me, it is a perfect combination of flavors and textures. Parsley provides the freshness of greens, garlic imparts its pungent warmth and the lemon zest punches with a fragrant tang. I mix Parmesan cheese into mine to add a rich, salty depth. It improves almost everything it is added to.
Additionally, it couldn't be simpler to make.
Simply clean and pluck the parsley leaves, zest an entire lemon and peel some garlic cloves. This can all be chopped by hand or take a couple pulses in a food processor. Mix Parmesan in by hand.
Pulse parsley, lemon zest, garlic and salt & pepper 
Mix in Parmesan by hand
Finished Gremolata
I tossed the gremolata with green beans and sprinkled a little on top of a Portabella Parmesan to make a nice, hearty dinner.
gremolata green beans
portabella parmesan
By the way, portabella mushrooms make a much easier (and arguably better) 'Parmesan' than eggplant Parmesan.

We decided to put in a little elbow grease for dessert. With the big upcoming camping trip at our heels, we decided it would be wise to try out the camping ice cream maker beforehand. The last two times we tried using the camping ice cream ball while camping, the ice cream never set. In an effort of full disclosure, both those times a capful of whiskey was (brilliantly) added, the alcohol of which likely threw off the freezing point of the ice cream.
In theory, making the ice cream should be as easy as 1-2-3:
1. fill the bottom basin with ice and ice cream salt
Ice filled bottom basin
2. combine the ingredients: heavy cream, sugar and vanilla extract in the top basin.
heavy cream
vanilla extract
3. shake the living hell out of the ice cream ball.
Ice Cream Workout
Acrobatic DH
DH putting some muscle into it
After about a half hour of tossing, twisting and shaking we had what looked and tasted like vanilla ice cream. 
Vanilla ice cream w. Campari & Orange zest
Though I was tempted to top even this with the gremolata, I opted instead for another classic italian pairing: orange zest and Campari!
I'll admit it was not the most outstanding ice cream ever made, but by a campfire it'll be pretty near perfect!

***Editor's Note: we just got back from the camping trip and I am chagrined to report we we're having so much fun with each other we completely forgot all about the camping ice cream experiment. After all that!
C'est la vie.

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