Thursday, April 19, 2007

beard awards

Ana Sortun's Spice cookbook is nominated for a Beard! I didn't realize that...I hope they get it because I really love that cookbook. But it's up against Claudia Roden's book Arabesque and it's sort of weird, they have one category for Asian food and then a whole other category that's just International.

I'm going to make reservations at one of the local nominated places for when my mother comes out, and I think I'm going to take my friend to Delfina when she comes in June. The chef at A16's nominated for Rising Star (and is up against David Chang, and Patrick Connolly from Radius and the guy from Eleven Madison Park). So we could go there or Jardiniere (has Traci des Jardins really not won a Beard yet?), or Quince, or Delfina which I'm saving for Leah because I think she'd like to go there and then go to the Lex afterward. Still want to go to Boulevard and Slanted Door and...and...

I made this weirdly disappointing strawberry ice milk yesterday. I made a giant base which only called for 4 yolks per 4.6 c. milk (which I boosted up to 6 yolks), and 1 c. sugar. Split the base in half, made half strawberry with some sugared and pureed strawberry and it came out kind of grainy. So, was it the liquid in the strawberries that made it grainy, or was the base not fat enough or was it not sweet enough, because one cup of sugar seems low for all that dairy plus there isn't a lot of fat from the eggs. The rest of the batch is going to be peppermint cookies and cream and I have some peppermint schnapps here, so the alcohol could help make it not come out grainy, or there's some rosemary simple syrup kicking around the fridge. Double checked my baking book and it could be any of those things--not enough sugar, milk fat or yolks, but which one? Oh, ice milk. According to wikipedia, it has the same sugar content as ice cream but less dairy fat. But I assume ice milk is not supposed to be grainy. The Gourmet recipe also called for 2 T cornstarch which I guess is what, a preservative to keep it from turning grainy? Maybe the containers are just really not airtight and so ice crystals are getting in. All I know is Claudia Fleming's ratios work just fine for me, so maybe this is my first and last experimentation with ice milk and I'll just go back to my 3/4 milk and one dozen yolks, and one of these days buy the Gramercy Tavern cookbook (along with the Tartine cookbook, and the Citizen Cake cookbook whenever it comes out).

Hopefully the schnapps will boost up the second batch but if not I'll be on hand with the simple syrup and with any luck it's be smooth thin mint ice cream!

Tomorrow at work I'm rolling out the David Lebovitz orange poppy cookies, and making strawberry meringues with lemon marmelade, doing more strawberry lavender tart prep and pastry cream and new upside down cakes, and working with tart shells.

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