Can you spare five minutes to be silly? In these somber times we still need to step outside our life box of concerns and shake it up. You have lots of happy breaths stored beside those worried and stressful ones. Just dig deeper and gulp.
It’s CooktheBookFriday, time to share the exceptionally-talented David Leibovitz’s recipes with you. From his My Paris Kitchen cookbook, Raw Vegetable Slaw with Creamy Garlic Dressing and Galettes Complètes (Buckwheat Crêpes with Ham, Cheese and Egg). Because it’s homemade ice cream time, I pulled out his popular The Perfect Scoop cookbook and made vanilla bean ice cream embellished with booze. Why not? Bourbon and Roasted Walnut Ice Cream is so adult.
Before the yummy food, let’s do silly. Recently, while on my 7,500-mile junket, I was Ms. Michelin, spending considerable time planning and researching my itinerary. Remember Michelin’s three-star system for recommending sights: Worth a trip; Worth a detour; and Interesting? Doing that certainly enhanced my experiences this past winter and challenged my limits.
This summer it occurred to me I should check out my own back yard. Although I’ve lived in Aspen since 1988, were there activities I’d missed or sites unseen? If not now, when? While most of you do not live in my Valley, these suggestions might trigger local adventures of your own. Wiggle out of your comfort zone. It’s healthy.
Here are five To-Dos-This-Summer from my List:
1. Music Appreciation, MUS-120. Dr. Thomas Buesch, Colorado Mountain College – Since moving to Aspen I’ve taken liberal arts courses from Dr. Buesch, the best of college professors. His summer 10-week music course, given in conjunction with the Aspen Music Festival, is always oversubscribed. This year I jumped in early, committed to the task and I’m all ’bout that bass. (IN PROCESS)
2. The contemporary Powers Art Center, designed by architect Hiroshi Nanamori of Japan in 2014, is located in a cow pasture in nearby Carbondale. The art center showcases Jasper Johns’ works on paper and is a memorial to the life of art collector John G. Powers, a longtime Valley resident. Worth a visit. (TO DO)
3. Independence, Colorado. In the late 19th century about 300 people lived in this ghost town. Located 12 miles from Aspen, at 10,900’, Aspen Historical Society guides give engaging daily tours at this National Register Historic Site. (TO DO)
4. PokémonGo, an outdoor, free smart-phone game. Load it. Play it. (IN PROCESS)
5. First Aid/CPR Class. Whether you’re almost 15-years old (I’m talking to you, Ms. Emma) or a Baby Boomer, take an American Red Cross-sanctioned First Aid/CPR/AED day-long class. I took a course, sponsored by the USFS, in June and was surprised to learn new methods and utilize life-saving equipment. It’s a responsible thing to do for yourself and others. (DONE)
Before you start making your own summer list, here’s the lowdown on this week’s recipes.
RAW VEGETABLE SLAW with CREAMY GARLIC DRESSING by David Lebovitz, My Paris Kitchen
Why this works: Slice or chop up a 6 cup combo of veggies you already have in the fridge. Cabbage, endive, kohlrabi and fennel are a nice touch. I use the leftover dressing for dip.
Two main course servings/4 side salads
1 cup mayonnaise
4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 cups sliced, chopped or shredded raw vegetables, any mix of:
cabbage, red or green
radicchio or Belgium endive
broccoli or cauliflower florets
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
2 tablespoon chopped chives, plus more for garnish
1. To make the dressing mix the mayonnaise, vinegar, garlic, mustard and pepper in a small bowl until smooth. Cover and chill. May be made 2 days ahead.
2. In a large salad bowl, mix together the raw vegetables. Add the parsley and chives. Toss with the dressing and mix well. Garnish with parsley and chives.
3. Serve immediately.
BOURBON & ROASTED WALNUT VANILLA ICE CREAM adapted from The Perfect Scoop, David Lebovitz
Why this works: Leibovitz’s vanilla ice cream recipe is my choice…always. To add this grown-up touch is fun.
About 1 quart
1 cup whole milk
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 cups heavy cream
6 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 TBS Bourbon (or, Licor 43 or, your choice)
2 cups of walnuts, roasted and chopped coarsely
1. Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Using a paring knife, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the warmed milk. Then add the bean pod to the milk. Cover, remove from heat, and infuse for 30 minutes.
2. Set a strainer over the top of the smaller bowl and pour the heavy cream into the bowl.
3. Set up an ice bath by placing a 2-quart (2l) bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice.
4.. In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks. Gradually pour some of the infused warmed milk into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour. Pour the warmed yolks and milk back into the same saucepan.
5. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.
6. Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Add the vanilla extract and stir over the ice until cool.
7. Stir in the bourbon. Refrigerate to chill thoroughly, preferably overnight.
8. Freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
9. After the ice cream is churned, stir in the roasted, chopped walnuts. If not serving immediately, put back in the freezer to harden more.
GALETTES COMPLÈTES (Buckwheat Crêpes with Ham, Cheese, and Egg) by David Lebovitz, My Paris Kitchen
Why this works: There are some gems I want to leave to the Pros and that’s how I feel about crêpes. Still, making this recipe, Galettes Complètes (Buckwheat crêpes with ham, cheese, and egg) was a worthwhile cooking experience. Try experimenting with buckwheat flour using this recipe or Dorie Greenspan’s Buckwheat Blinis with Smoked Salmon and Crème Fraîche or from the multitude of buckwheat flour recipes on Pinterest. To be correct, a crêpe is made with white flour and a galette with buckwheat flour.
CooktheBookFridays is a virtual international group making its way through David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen cookbook.To see what others have mixed up this week or to join, go here.