The Internet has changed the world, but has it made us better people? To a degree, the answer is "yes" - for example, I ofter regret that I can only understand recipes in English, Russian and, lately, Italian. All the French, Turkish, Greek (the list goes on and on) cooking wisdom available on the Web is inaccessible to me, unless I happen upon a translated version. Sad, isn't it?
But, even with my limited linguistic skills, every now and then I happen upon a true gem. Below is an absolutely mouthwatering recipe for avocado ice cream found at a site called "Pozdnee Utro - nososti dlya sov" ("Late Morning - news for owls"). The author, Elena Borovitskaya (who gave me permission to translate the recipe and post it here) calls her creation "Eshe ne vecher" - "The night is young":
I don't like ice cream, because it is sweet and sticky. I like it, though, because it is cold For a long time, I've been trying to think of a way to get rid of the sweetness while keeping the coldness. All that thinking finally resulted in a (more than) successful experiment: avocado ice cream with basil.
You'll need the following ingredients:
- Two large avocados
- Slightly less than a cup of heavy cream
- Two cloves of garlic, minced
- A small bunch of basil, finely chopped
- One jumbo or two small eggs
- Two or three tablespoons of not-too-flavorful vegetable oil (such as grape seed)
- A little bit of spicy mustard
- Juice of one lemon (by the way, the whole lemon processed in a blender will work, too)
- Salt, pepper and whatever else you may want to make the end result a bit more hot and/or tart
Note that, starting with eggs, all the ingredients bring to mind a basic recipe for home made mayo. One (small) egg and all the rest may be replaced with two or three tablespoons of mayo - just keep the second egg for the mixing process.
Peel and cut the avocados, basil and garlic. If using mayo, put all the ingredients (including the egg) in a mixing bowl. If preparing everything from scratch, leave the cream out until all the other ingredients are well mixed together. Using mixer, whip until light, fluffy and beautifully green. Pour into your favorite containers - even disposable plastic cups will do - and put in the freezer (or an ice cream maker). ATTENTION: if not using an ice cream maker, stir with a fork about once an hour. Using a fork (and not a spoon) is important - a fork is much better for breaking the newly formed ice crystals. Without stirring, the end result will be murky colored basil and garlic flavored ice. In about five hours the ice cream will be ready.
If you don't want your ice cream to be too creamy, dilute the cream with plain yogurt. But then be careful with lemon - yogurt is fairly tart on its own.
Now about the taste and serving suggestions. Everyone participating in the tasting agreed: this dish is not a dessert. It is spicy, salty and, if sprinkled with grated cheese, simply unbelievable. It is more of an appetizer. Your guests are guaranteed to be crazy about the dish - it breaks so many culinary stereotypes. Perhaps, it'd be a great addition to a wine and cheese party. Personally, I think it that it would be a pleasant surprise for a romantic dinner with your special other. In short, very flexible and capable dish. And if the dinner is not too romantic, the ice cream goes great garnished with Korean spicy carrots, sprinkled with finely chopped garlic, and perhaps thinly shaver sharp cheese and pistachios to make the ice cream even more salty and spicy.
Next question was - what wine to serve with the ice cream. For now, the consensus calls for Pinot Grigio, Pinot Blank or something similarly neutral and light. We agreed that Sauvignon Blanc kills the taste of the basil.
As I said - speaking a foreign language sometimes comes in handy. Now, are there any good recipes in Latin?