Cajeta is one of Mexico's most famous desserts. It's basically a syrupy caramel made of goats milk. However, now they make it in many varieties -- half goat/half cow, all cow, etc. Growing up, it was one of my favorite things to eat. You can put it on bread, over fruit, and pretty much on anything.
For Cinco de Mayo, we decided to make homemade Cajeta Ice Cream.
When I was young, one of my aunts taught me how to make cajeta at home. Although I'm sure it's the poor man's kind, it still tastes really good, especially when you can't get the "real" kind. Other people call it Dulce de Leche or Leche Quemada. Making cajeta at home is so easy that I wonder why I don't do it more often :)
To make Cajeta:
1 can of condensed milk
Boil the unopened can of condensed milk in a pot of water for at least 2 hours. Three hours is ideal. I've never been able to see what happens at 4 hours -- if you do it, please let me know.
To make Ice Cream:
(You want to make a frozen custard -- use your favorite recipe)
- 6 Yolks
- 1 C sugar
- 2 C half/half
- 1 C Milk
- I C Cajeta
(no one said this was healthy!)
Whisk yolks with sugar
Heat milks but don't allow to boil
Incorporate the mixtures together by adding a little (a cup at a time) of the hot mixture into the cold mixture SLOWLY (unless you want scrambled eggs). Heat the mixture again and refrigerate over night (or at least a 3-4 hours).
Pour custard mixture into ice cream maker and follow instructions. For the last 15 minutes of ice cream maker time, add the cajeta.
I guess that Spring is supposed to be here. But somehow, while the sun has been out visiting Florida and California, rain and snow have been having an affair in the UP! And, like all affairs, it's been ugly!
Today, however, we got some sun back. Hopefully it'll be here to stay this time. To celebrate, here is a springy brunch dish that I've really enjoyed. The pistachios in this dish add a nice texture to the polenta or grits.
Make this dish by cooking the grits in a good stock (I use a vegetable stock that I got from the food co-op in Marquette). Once the grits is reaching the desired consistency, I added a tsp of butter or margarin and salt to taste.
For the asparagus, I cooked them on medium high heat in olive oil and margarin/butter and added the zest and juice of a lemon -- cooking them for a minute or two so that they keep their freshness and crisp.
I've been toying with the idea of making vegan homemade ice cream. Outside of Tofutti, there isn't a brand of non-dairy ice cream that I really like. I'm guessing that when the summer hits, I'll make a few attempts at making some type of ice cream out of coconut milk or something.
In the interim, however, I've been experimenting with making regular ice cream to 1) really find out if my ice cream machine (a wedding gift) knows how to make ice cream (all of our previous attempts have failed, but it was when we were making soy ice cream) and 2) get to know my machine. I've learned a few things already. The most important one: patience is a virtue. I think that in the past, my soy ice creams would have eventually reached the proper consistency had I left them in long enough. But the world will never know, I guess.
So I made two types of ice cream recently: Lemon Custard and Maple Syrup.
Last Thanksgiving, I don't know what got into us. We just started experimenting on multiple levels. Our friend Jen came to visit as is our custom for the last several years. Our other friend Sebastien, said he would visit, but didn't -- as is his custom for the last several years. He's the hardcore vegan one. So with him out of the picture cashews and tofu had no hope! We bought some heavy whipping cream and looked up recipes. We ended up going with lemon because it was easy and refreshing after a heavy TG meal.
Judy has a bible study at our house on Mondays. Since it's supposed to be my day off, I get to watch the kids. Shawna brings her mom to the bible study and gets to hang with the Ramos boys! Things can get pretty busy sometimes for a dad trying to keep things under control -- especially when the weather outside is frightful EVEN THOUGH IT'S LATE APRIL!!!
Last week, Shawna brought us so legit real homemade maple syrup. We looked in the fridge, discovered that someone had purchased real milk (we drink soy), and began our quest to make Maple Syrup Ice Cream.
If you want to know how to make them, just google. That's what we did :)
It's supposed to be Spring in the US of A. But unfortunately, the UP hasn't gotten the memo. It snowed 6 inches plus last week and we have 100% chance of snow tonight. The up and down temps are tricky and tend to mess me up -- I'm feeling a little sick right now, but I think I'll beat it.
On cold days nothing beats hot food: temperature hot and spicy hot. The warm spicy soup base feels nice and smooth going down and it hits the spot on cooler days.
This Kimchi Stew has a few basic ingredients: silken tofu, shiitake mushrooms, chili paste & powder, and kimchi.
How to make:
- Get a pot hot (preferably an iron-cast pot)
- Add FRESH sliced shiitake mushrooms with a TSP of sesame oil
- 1 1/2 C of roughly chopped kimchi
Turn heat down
- Add dried shiitake mushrooms
- 1/2 C of kimchi juice (gently squeeze it out of kimchi)
- Garlic & Onion powder to taste (1TBS)
- 2 TBS of Soy Sauce (or to taste)
- 1 TSP of Ginger
- 2 1/2 C of broth
- As much Gochujaang as you dare (1 to 1 1/2 tbs)
- As much red chili powder as you dare -- you want it spicy, but you also want to enjoy it (I use 1tsp)
- Half a lb of silken tofu
- After it boils and you're ready to serve, add a tsp of butter (got this idea from norecipes.com)
Kimchi is a great ingredient to work with. Its strong flavor forces anyone wanting to use it to think creatively. Recently, we had our friends over: Dan and John. All of us like kimchi, so we messed around with it a few times during their 4-day visit. One of the dishes we made was a Kimchi Baked Potato with chive sour cream and fried shiitake mushroom baco bits.
I actually got the idea from my friend Jessica's facebook page. And we ended up making it on her b-day. So, this one's dedicated to her.
4 Russet Potatoes
Poke 4 times with fork on each side (so they don't blow up)
Drizzle in olive oil
Sprinkle with sale
Bake at 400 for ~45-60 minutes (it really depends on size)
(I don't cover potatoes in foil -- it's a baked potato, not a steamed one)
Kimchi Topping Preparation:
- 1 TBS of olive oil
- 1 C of kimchi
- TSP gochujang chili paste
- Fry until it's got a little caramelization
Mushroom baco bits
- Microwave dried shiitake mushrooms in water (about 4 minutes)