Tag Archives: sorbet

Food Matters Project Wrap-Up

This week is a wrap-up of the Food Matters Project.  It’s the final week of posting recipes from The Food Matters Cookbook.  Rather than another recipe, I’ve spent some time thinking of what I’ve learned doing this project, so here are some conclusions (in no particular order:

Mushrooms

1. My favorite and most memorable recipe: Rigatoni with Vegetables, Figs & Blue Cheese.  I loved the blue cheese and fig combination in a pasta, and I can’t wait to try this again when figs are in season!

2. We finally learned how to make our own pizza.  Thanks to the post on whole wheat pizza, we’ve explored other toppings and new pizza crust recipes.  This has definitely been a staple in a our house a couple of times a month.

3. We made hummus from scratch.  Although it wasn’t my favorite recipe at that time, we’re recently added a Vitamix into our kitchen- can’t wait to try making it again!

4. Bruschetta comes in different varieties- it’s such a time saver when you’re hosting a dinner party!

5. Chimichurri is another awesome dish when you have friends over for dinner.  Quick, easy and delicious- what more could you ask for?!?

6. We tried anchovies for the first time, and they are delicious in a salad.  Don’t miss out!

7. My favorite dessert adventure was due to FMP- we made kumquat sorbet.  It was delicious, and I am now less intimidated to break out my ice cream maker.  Sorbets on the porch, during a DC summer, are a perfect way to wrap up the day.

8. Give cookbooks without photos a chance.  They encourage your cooking imagination and creativity- it was so much fun learning this for over a year.

This was a wonderful opportunity, and I’m so glad our blog continued to participate in this project (although sporadically).  The idea of eating less meat should be encouraged in more households, and I hope we spread Mark Bittman’s words a bit more.  Definitely play around with more foods, especially vegetables.  There are flavors and textures out there you may not have ever tasted, but don’t be afraid to try.

Start with what we’ve made before, there are a number of delicious dishes out there!  Or check out the other participants blogs to see what they’ve made!

Recipes We’ve Made via the Food Matters Project

Squash with Chipotle Dipping Sauce
Seasoned Popcorn
Roasted Red Pepper Pesto
Rigatoni with Vegetables, Figs and Blue Cheese
Seared Bean Sprouts with Mushrooms
Hummus
Curry with Vegetables
Vegetable Coq au Vin
Vegetable & Bean Casserole
Cod in Spicy Rhubarb Sauce
Apple & Smoked Cheese Whole Wheat Pizza
Mostly Whole Wheat Bread
Asparagus & White Bean Soup
Black Bean & Corn Salsa
Bruschetta
Chicken in Green Salsa
Vegetable Burritos
Tomato, Leek & Brie Tart
Crunchy Fish Tacos with Chimichurri Sauce
Walnut Pâté Sandwich with Arugula & Pears
Beet Chips with Pistachio Dip
Fresh Corn Salsa
Chicken & Potatoes with Romesco Sauce
Asian Vegetable Rolls with Peanut Sauce
Greek Panzanella Salad
Veggie Stir Fry
Summer Tabbouleh Salad
Lemon Cornmeal Cake
Apples, Blue Cheese & Honey
Broccoli & Cherry Rice with Acorn Squash
Polenta with Mushrooms
Cardamom & Pistachio Pear Crisp
Lamb, Carrot & Turnip Stuffed Cabbage
Rice & Lamb Burgers with Spinach & Tzatziki Sauce
Provencal Pasta Sauce with Whole Wheat Spaghetti
Dal with Lots of Vegetables
Central American Red Beans & Rice
Spinach Cobb Salad with Caper-Anchovy Vinaigrette
Bulgur Wheat Mango Salad with Avocado
Spicy Grapefruit Scallops with Arugula
Kumquat & Orange Sorbet
Potato & Corn Fritters
Tomato & Romaine Salad with Smoked Mozzarella
Pasta with Tuna, Tomatoes & Capers

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Food Matters Project #41: Kumquat & Orange Sorbet

As the temperatures are warming up, we are all wanting desserts that are cold and refreshing.  Thankfully, my new friend Meg, of Fledgling Foodie, reminded us of this with this weeks Food Matters Project!  From Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook, Meg chose the Chocolate Tofu Ice Cream recipe.  Check out her post here.  Also, take a peek a what other Food Matters Project participants did here.

Kumquat & Orange Sorbet: Kumquat

I took the route of a frozen dessert…but I diverged a bit with a fruity one, rather than chocolate.  A couple of weeks ago I was reading a DC bloggers post about kumquat sorbet.  I’ve never had kumquats before, but the photo’s made it look so delicious.  So I blame Nik, of A Brown Table, for the fact that I didn’t follow Mark Bittman’s recipe.

I’ve been reading Nik’s blog for quite some time- he’s so inspiring by telling stories how he came to choose various recipes, reasons behind particular ingredients, and his amazing photos.  I think I pin most of his recipes on my Pinterest page since they all look so delicious.

Although I have never had a kumquat, I decided to try making this recipe.  I did buy extra kumquats to snack on, and figured it would be a great way to taste this new fruit.  They are sour (more than lemons), a little bitter, and somewhat sweet- definitely something I’ve never tasted before.  To add a little more sweetness, I did add freshly squeezed orange juice.

And now that the sorbet is almost gone, I’m trying to think of other frozen desserts for the summer months.  Any recommendations?  We’ve previously made a Pear Sorbet and Rum Raisin Ice Cream.

Kumquat & Orange Sorbet

Kumquat & Orange Sorbet
Adapted from: A Brown Table

Boiling the kumquats takes out the bitterness from the fruit, I highly recommend doing this. 

12 oz kumquats
6 cups water (to boil kumquats)
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 inch ginger, peeled
juice of 1 orange

Rinse the kumquats, cut the ends of each fruit- discarding the cut pieces.  Then cut each fruit in half, and pick out the seeds.  Add the kumquats to a medium saucepan, and cover with 2 cups of water.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, then discard the water and repeat this process 2 more times.  Once you’ve repeated this process, drain the kumquats and puree them in a food processor.

In a medium saucepan combine 2 cups of water with sugar and ginger.  Continue to stir until the sugar water is boiling.  Once it boils, take out the ginger and pour the sugar water mixture into a bowl, add in the kumquat puree and orange juice.  Place that bowl into a large one, which has ice and cold water in it.  Keep the liquid in the ice bath for at least 30 minutes, or until the mixture is cold.

Then pass the mixture through a sieve, making sure to squeeze out as much juice out of the pulp as you can.  Chill this mixture for about 20 minutes in the freezer.  Then once it’s cold, follow your ice cream maker instructions to prepare the sorbet.  The sorbet will be done once it’s frozen and has a milky orange-yellow color.  Scoop the sorbet into a freezer-proof container, and freeze for a couple of hours before serving.

Chinese New Year Sorbet with a Crisp

Yesterday (January 23rd) many celebrated the first day of the lunar year.  For the next 15 days the Chinese New Year festivities will continue, ending on the day of the full moon.

When I had some friends over for our monthly dinner, I decided to go with the theme of Chinese food.  I had made egg rolls, lettuce wraps, rice noodles with vegetables and some sesame spinach.  In true foodie fashion, I think I need to work all of those a bit more before they are presented on the blog.

But I think the dessert turned out well, I even had some last night.  This was the first time I’ve ever made a sorbet.  Although it’s not the perfect January dessert, it was very light and refreshing (definitely would be a great summer dish).  The pear sorbet included a Sesame Wonton Crisp, which was extremely easy to make.  It’s a great little “extra” on an ice cream or sorbet!

Want to try another chilled dessert?  How about Rum Raisin Ice Cream or Kumquat & Orange Sorbet.  Let us know which is your favorite!

Pear Sorbet
Adapted from: Lottie + Doof

5 juicy pears (peeled, cored and roughly chopped)
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup of sugar
1/3 cup pear brandy
2 drops  of vanilla extract

Remember to store your ice cream maker in the freezer at least 6 hours before this (this note is from personal experience).

Make a simple syrup, heat up the water in a small saucepan until its boiling.  Then add the sugar and keep stirring until it dissolves.  Once it’s dissolved, then turn off the burner and let the syrup sit until it cools off.

Puree the pears in a food processor until the mixture is smooth (really smooth).  Then transfer the mixture to a bowl.  Add the simple syrup, brandy and vanilla extract.

Process in the ice cream maker per the directions.  For example, I did mine for about 30 minutes.  Transfer the sorbet into a container and keep in the freezer so it firms up.  Serve with a wonton crisp!

Sesame Wonton Crisps
Adapted from: yumsugar

8 wonton wrappers
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp heavy cream
2 tbsp sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Place parchment paper on top of a cookie sheet.  Arrange the wontons, leaving space in between each of them.

In a small bowl mix together the sugar and ginger.

In another small bowl mix together the egg yolk and heavy cream.  Brush the top of the wontons with the egg wash.  Then sprinkle each with the sugar mixture, and lastly with the sesame seeds.

Bake the wontons until they are crisp and golden, this should be about 8-10 minutes.  Let them cool, and then add them with a sorbet.

Review: Birch & Barley

Last Saturday we went to dinner at Birch & Barley with our friend B*.  All of us were excited to try this new place.  It opened up in the fall of 2009, and it’s been on our list to check out.  I wish we had tried it sooner!  I think it might be one of my top restaurants in DC.

So the next time you’re around Logan Circle, definitely check this place out!

To start out our dinner we began with a Butcher’s Board:

It consisted of fresh and cured charcuterie, fresh bread, mustard and butter.  The start was not only delicious, but it was so beautifully presented.

Next, came the entrees.  The waiter asked if we would like tasting plates so we could share the food amongst ourselves- it was a great idea!

Sam had the roasted loin of lamb with braised lamb belly, fava beans, bulgur wheat and garlic scapes.

I noticed there was a prosciutto wrapped veal strip loin, and I had to have it!  With it there was barley, peas, artichokes and cippolini onions.

Lastly, B* had the honey glazed duck breast leg confit with the gorgeous wild rice, brandied cherries and radishes.

After such a delicious dinner, we just had to try the desserts- they had to be just as good, right?  (and they were!)

Sam got the house-spun sorbets, which included the following flavors: buttermilk, banana, creamsicle, rhubarb and a mix of exotic flavors.

I have a weak spot when it comes to hazelnut, so the ganache had to be mine.  It was topped with the homemade sorbet and shaved chocolate.

Lastly, B* ordered the strawberry shortcake.  It was an olive oil cake, with strawberries, balsamic and whipped mascarpone.

Wasn’t this delicious?!?  I hope you all make a reservation as soon as possible.  And if you’re visiting DC, definitely add this restaurant as part of your visit.