The stars of the show.
The theme was Curry, in all it's various forms. Well, 5 of it's forms, to be honest. There are more than that, but how could you fit it all into one meal while trying to showcase each one? Masman, Red, Green, Yellow, and the one we will be focussing on today, Madras. I hosted this one. My house, my menu. The most interesting course (to me at least) was the dessert. Me, with my self proclaimed dessert indifference, had an idea for one. Being my first try at it, the original results were a little heavy on the mint, so this recipe will be a little lighter with it. Regardless, the results were amazing, and went well with both the Mango tart served with it (provided by Raquel) and the Bourbon County Stout, from Goose Island in Chicago, that was chosen to pair with it. Because the mint was so strong it fought with the beer a little bit, at least I thought it did, no one else present commented on it. Truth be told, I hijacked the base recipe from "The French Laundry" and tweaked it to get the mint and curry in. So here it is:
The Madras curry singled out
Madras Curry, Vanilla, Mint Ice Cream:
2 Tablespoons Madras Curry paste
1 Tablespoon Fresh Mint chiffonade
2 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split
10 large egg yolks
1/2 cup honey (preferably wildflower)
In a 1 quart saucepan over medium heat toast the curry paste lightly, stirring the whole time. When fragrant and starting to brown slightly, add the cream, milk, and 2 tablespoons of the sugar to the pan. Scrape the vanilla bean and add it to the pot with the pod. Bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat and allow the flavors to infuse for 30 minutes. Rewarm the mixture.
Madras curry/mint Ice Cream with Mango Tart.
Meanwhile, in a mixer or metal bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining sugar until thickened and lightened in color. Gradually whisk in one third of the warm milk mixture to temper the eggs. Return the mixture to the pan and stir over medium heat until the custard has thickened and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Add the mint chiffonade to a bowl set over an ice water bath and pour the hot custard through a strainer over it and stir in honey to combine. Let the custard cool at room temperature, move to a container to refrigerate for at least 5 hours. Overnight will give you an even creamier texture.
Freeze the cold custard in an ice cream machine. Remove to a covered container and freeze for several hours, or until hardened. Or for a shorter time if you like it softer. Scoop and serve.
I've made ice cream in the past and I always wonder why people think it's so hard and time consuming. It really isn't. Home made ice cream can really add flair to a dinner party and give the guests a sense that you went all out. So give it a go! The recipe above can be tweaked to provide a myriad of variations, too!
Next up I'll be reviewing this years crop of Oktoberfest options including the classics and whatever little known micros I can get my greasy paws on. So until then, make some damn ice cream!