Tag Archives: time:45-60 minutes

Taro Coconut Milk with Tapioca (西米露)

31 Jul

Summer is a time for cool, refreshing desserts. Xi mi lu is a popular Asian dessert commonly served after dinner at restaurants, and it is suuuper easy to make. The only difficult part is waiting for the damn thing to cool enough to count as “refreshing”. I burned about fifty layers of skin off the roof of my mouth by tasting it as it cooked.

PSA: Coconut milk fresh off the stove is Very Hot.

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Taro Coconut Milk with Tapioca (西米露)
Adapted from Eupho Cafe (Recipe in Chinese)

Ingredients
2/3 cup mini tapioca pearls
600g (about one med) taro
2 cans coconut milk
1/2 cup sugar

Cook the tapioca. The original recipe says to boil water, turn off the heat, add the tapioca, and cover for 20 minutes. Reboil, turn off heat, and cover for 10 minutes. This doesn’t make any sense to me because when you cook tapioca, you have to stir constantly to make sure the pearls don’t stick to each other.  However, I followed the directions blindly and ended up with a solid block of tapioca. I spent the next hour or so trying to separate the pearls. Go Christine. You’re a smart one. Also, I don’t know why my tapioca is green.

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SO. Let’s try this again.

Cook the tapioca. Bring about 3 cups of water to a boil and reduce to medium heat. Add the tapioca and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly. The pearls should turn clear when they’re cooked, with no opaque white dots in the middle. Cooked tapioca is slightly chewy (or “QQ”), neither hard nor mushy. Immediately drain and transfer to a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking.

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Now, taro is a PAIN to work with. They’re tough little buggers to peel, and bleed starch all over your hands. Do you best to cut them into 1cm cubes.

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Toss them into a pot with the coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Add the sugar and cover, stirring occasionally until taro becomes soft, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and chill in the refrigerator. When ready to eat, drain the tapioca again and add to the taro/coconut milk soup. Mix and serve.

Length of Procrastination: 50 minutes of hands-on time, forever and a half to chill.
Ways to Prolong Procrastination: Cook the tapioca wrongly and spend forever trying to separate the chunks.

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Meet My New Toy

16 Jul

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She was sitting on the shelf at Rite-Aid with a little $19.99 tag in front of her. I walked past her and stole a glance. She glanced back. I walked past again, this time looking pointedly, but trying not to act too interested. She looked pointedly back. On the third pass, I stopped in front of her and stared. She stared back, flashing her cardboard box seductively so that the light bounced off the words “delicious versitility” and “fully automatic”. I nervously shifted my weight from one foot to the other, then stooped down to look her in the eye. She cocked her head and winked at me. I caved.

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Yes. I bought an ice cream maker from Rite-Aid. I dare you to judge me after eating some of the ice cream that comes out of it (I feel like using the feminine pronoun here would be inappropriate for some audiences). I don’t have $50 to blow on some gorgeous Cuisineart supermodel. My cute little Hamilton Beach does the job and does it well. Sure, her extension cord is only about a foot long. Sure, it takes an entire freezer full of ice, plus half a carton of salt, for her to freeze ice cream properly. Sure, she’s a bit bulky and unwieldy, but dangnammit, she makes a gallon of ice cream in the flavor of my choice. And that, my friends, is true love.

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I’ve made two kinds of ice creams so far: green tea and raspberry+apricot. The green tea was the honest-to-goodness best green tea ice cream I’ve ever had. It’s not made with a custard base (no eggs!), so it’s got a much lighter texture–just like green tea is supposed to be. I’ve always thought that the store-bought versions were too creamy and too sweet, but this ice cream is absolutely perfect. Plus? No heat, so you can go from mixing bowl to mouth in less than an hour.

The raspberry and apricot ice cream came out with a consistency more like frozen yogurt than ice cream, probably due to the amount of water in it. This didn’t bother me, but the apricot syrup did come with a whole ton of sugar, making the final product really crazy freaking sweet. Not that I’m complaining or anything, but I’d probably cut the amount of granulated sugar I put in by half if I were to make this again.

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Green Tea Ice Cream
From Jason Truesdell

Ingredients
4 cups heavy cream
4 cups whole milk
2 cups  sugar
4 heaping tbsp matcha (green tea) powder
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Whisk the matcha with the milk and sugar, making sure the powder dissolves. Stir in the cream and vanilla. Chill in the freezer for 15 minutes, then freeze and churn according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.

Makes about 3 quarts.

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Raspberry and Apricot Ice Cream
I made it up! Seriously.

Ingredients
5 cups milk (I used 2%)
3 cups + a sprinkle of sugar
1/4 tsp salt
6 large eggs, beaten
4.5 cups heavy cream
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 can of apricot halves (12 oz.)
2 cups frozen raspberries

Combine milk, sugar, and salt in a saucepan over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Do not boil!

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs as you pour half of the hot milk mixture into it. This tempers the eggs so that you get custard instead of scrambled eggs when you pour everything back into the saucepan. Cook over medium heat while stirring until the mixture coats the back of the spoon. It’ll be nice and thick and almost gooey. Chill in the refrigerator (or freezer).

While you’re waiting for your custard base to cool, scoop out your apricot halves and dice them. Save the syrup! Size doesn’t matter a whole heckuva lot. Just make sure you’re okay with that size apricot going into your mouth. Add the syrup and apricot pieces into your cooling custard.

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In a small saucepan, heat the frozen raspberries with a sprinkle of sugar so that their juices come out. Stir and squash them as best you can, then pour the raspberries through a strainer into your apricot-flavored custard. This’ll remove the raspberry seeds and residual pulp, but feel free to skip this step if you like the crunch.

When everything’s cold, stir in the heavy cream and vanilla. Freeze and churn according to your ice cream maker’s directions.

Makes one gallon.

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Length of procrastination: 50 minutes  (green tea), 1.5 hours (raspberry apricot)

Ways to prolong procrastination: Repeatedly open the freezer door to check whether the custard is cool yet. The answer is no, and it probably prolongs the cooling process. Oops.

Also: Bobby’s back! All the nice, high-res artsy-fartsy photos were taken by him. Visit his blog for more pictures and general awesomeness. ^^

I’m submitting these to the Ice Cream Social hosted by Savor The Thyme, Tangled Noodle and Scotty Snacks.

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