Food by the Howells for the Howells...

Food by the Howells for the Howells...and anybody remotely related to a Howell, or who may have met a Howell at one point in their life, or...yeah, pretty-much anybody.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

I have never been a huge fan of ice cream. Sure, I like it, but it's not my first choice when it comes to dessert. That has all changed now that I have my own ice cream maker. I have been experimenting with all kinds of ice cream flavors, and I am super excited to share this one. It tastes exactly like pumpkin pie, with actual pie crust pieces in it. This is the perfect ice cream for fall. If you love pumpkin pie, you'll adore this ice cream.

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup whole milk
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup pumpkin puree (I used my own home made puree rather than the stuff in the can. If you want your ice cream to be more orange, you'll need to use the canned variety)

For the crust:
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 1/2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. cold water

Mix flour and salt. Add oil and mix until it looks like coarse crumbs. Sprinkle with water and mix again until dough pulls together. If it is too dry, add a little more water. Put aluminum foil in a shallow metal pan and roll dough out onto it. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon if desired. Bake at 450 degrees for 8-10 minutes (until edges begin to brown). Cool, then break into bite-sized pieces.

Bring cup of milk to room temperature (or warm in microwave). Add sugar and stir until sugar dissolves. Add all the other ingredients and whisk together until well mixed. Put in refrigerator to chill before adding to ice cream maker (about 3 hours, or if you don't want to wait, you can put it in the freezer for about an hour, give or take). Add to ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer's directions. When soft-serve consistency, transfer to airtight container and gently fold in crust pieces. Freeze for several hours, or overnight. Overnight is best, as it allows the flavors to really meld. When ready to serve, top with whipped cream.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Chicken Tikka Masala

I love Indian food. There's something so exciting me about trying exotic flavors, especially when I know nothing raw or slimy is involved. I got this recipe off the Pioneer Woman's site, although it's not actually her recipe (it's Pastor Ryan's). This is comfort food, and I love how the colors all work together, especially with the turmeric rice and peas. This is not spicy or weird. My 3-year-old eats it. It's just plain yummy :)

2 chicken breasts
1/4 cup plain yogurt (or sour cream, or honestly, you can skip this altogether, although some Indian food purists would probably get mad at me for saying so)
3 Tbsp. butter
3/4 cup heavy cream
14 oz. can diced tomatoes
1/2 large onion
2 cloves garlic
1 inch chunk of fresh ginger
1 1/2 Tbsp. Garam Masala spice (found in the spice section with all the other bottles of spices). It's a mixture of cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, black pepper, and coriander.
Ground coriander
Kosher salt

Fresh cilantro
Chili peppers

Start by seasoning the chicken breasts with kosher salt. Then sprinkle both sides with some coriander and cumin. Then coat the chicken breasts completely with the plain yogurt. (This is the part I think you can skip if you like). Set the chicken on a metal cooling rack over a foil-lined baking sheet and place it about 10-12 inches below a broiler for 5-7 minutes per side. You want the chicken to get slightly blackened (not charred, like a burnt offering).

While the chicken is broiling, cut the onion into large chunks. In a large skillet, melt 1 Tbps. butter over medium-high heat, then add onions and sautee until they are slightly browned. Mince or press your garlic and ginger and add to the onions, along with about 1 1/2 tsp. of salt.

Next, add the Garam Masala spice and also hot chili peppers if you have opted to do this. (I have never added peppers, but I think I would like it). Add your can of diced tomatoes. Continue cooking and stirring, scraping the bottom of the pan. Add about 1 1/2 tsp. sugar. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Add your heavy cream, and then add your cut-up pieces of broiled chicken. Serve over plain Basmati rice and top with cilantro if desired. Or you can make the turmeric rice with peas. It doesn't really taste any different, but it looks pretty :)

Turmeric Rice With Peas
2 cups Basmati rice
4 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. ground turmeric
4 cups water
1/2 cup (or more) of frozen peas

Add all ingredients except peas to a rice cooker. Turn on and walk away. When the rice is done, throw in the peas and close the lid. The steam will cook the peas and they will retain their lovely green hue.

Now you have a truly impressive dish!