My husband went out of town last week, and I decided to make all the things he doesn't really like. I had a whole bunch of eggs from a lady at my great new job who raises these kinds of chickens that produce different colored eggs. Aren't they beautiful?
I was browsing at Penzey's at Crossgates where I spotted some spearmint and thought making some mint chocolate chip ice cream was a great idea (both of our sets of parents can't get enough of it, and he's always saying how he doesn't get why people love the flavor so much). I have to say that I really really love Penzey's, and I love that they came to our area. I really want to support them. I love that you can go and stick your nose on into all their spices. I love their cocoa powder for making cakes. I love their green goddess salad dressing base. Their staff is always really friendly, knowledgeable, and often inspirational ("Hey, you like tacos? I will tell you what to try!"). Also, their catalog is good reading. I have actually made recipes from their catalog that turned out great - like a carrot cookie recipe that was moist and healthy. In their current catalog they have a west Texas theme which includes chili served on top of a savory waffle. You can always count on some weird sounding recipe in their catalog offered up by a real live home cook that just might be delicious if you give it a try. You may not think that spices matter that much (or the freshness of your spices - try to tell me you don't have something in your cupboard you brought from the city you lived in before this one, or unfortunately for us, things my husband had from the city he lived in 2 before this one - "Your sister just made ice cream out of chai powder I bought when I lived in Seattle?!!"). But once you start getting really tasty and fresher spices there is no going back. I love the cinnamon - they have like four kinds, but I like the Vietnamese the best. The dried peppers are great, and this time I also bought some "Sandwich Sprinkle" which has garlic, oregano, and many other things which I am sure will really knock a sub from Roma Foods out of the park. Anyways, I love it, and I think we are lucky to have a Penzey's in our area. They do a great job.
So I came home to mix on up a custard to make the ice cream. My recipe was from Ad Hoc at Home. You've got 2 cups of milk and cream that you simmer over a medium heat which you throw 1/2 cup of mint leaves into. You let it sit off the heat for 20 minutes. You strain the milk into a fine mesh strainer, add 2/3 cup sugar and whisk over medium high heat to dissolve the sugar.
You whisk 2/3 cup sugar and 10 egg yolks (I know its insane, but really delicious - also egg yolks stabilize the ice cream lessening the chance of developing ice crystals), until slightly thickened. Slowly, while whisking, add about 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture to the yolks, then whisk in the remaining milk mixture. Strain the whole mixture in a fine mesh strainer again into a saucepan. Prepare an ice bath. Put the mixture over medium heat, scraping it with a wooden spoon constantly until steam rises, and the custard thickens enough to coat the spoon. Strain the mixture, place the bowl in the ice bath, and let it cool completely stirring it occasionally. Refrigerate the mixture until totally cold, then put it in your ice cream maker for half an hour adding the chocolate chips in the last five minutes. I deviated a little from the recipe in that I added green food coloring cause I am sure that made it taste better than it would have if it stayed a weird light colored seaweed color. I also added in some white chocolate chunks, which I think were a nice touch. In my experience, it is really important that your mixture be really cold and the middle part of your ice cream machine be rock hard frozen in order to get a great final texture.
It turned out I didn't get around to actually putting it in the ice cream machine until Scott came back, and he had some and said it was delicious. That was a surprise. If only I can get him to say the same thing about pineapple on pizza.