Monday, April 20, 2009

Inspired by Chinatown

Let's go to Chinatown. You know you want to. I'd like to take you to two places - one I've been shopping at for years while the other one I visited for the first time last week. Such as Chinatown, NYC. The more you know, the more you don't know.

For those of you who haven't had the pleasure, allow me to introduce you to my new friend, Bangkok Center Grocery. This place has so many wonderful things to stick in my machine. My goodness, that sounds a whole lot dirtier than I intended...and I'm not even sure why! Anyway, I'd never seen a Thai store in NYC though I didn't for one second doubt one existed. I purchased a pound of Thai tea - yes, the orange, powdery loose tea used to make the ice tea concoction served in Thai restaurants. I also got kaffir lime leaves and a can of lychees but we'll have to use those at a later date because I got distracted at New Kam Man.

I am positively addicted to buying small serving dishes in Chinatown which is why I've been shopping at here for so long. They have an amazing selection of sweet little dishes from China and Japan. It's been a healthy habit. So far.

New Kam Man also has groceries so I picked up a bag of black sesame seeds along with a few new dishes and goodness gracious - you know this is going, don't you? It's going straight down the path of utter delectably and there's absolutely nothing you can do to stop it - nothing!

Thai Tea Ice Cream

1 1/2 c whole milk
1/2 c Thai tea
3 egg yolks1c sugar
1 1/2 c heavy cream (or half and half for ice milk)

Heat milk to nearly boiling. Steep tea in hot milk for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and strain.

Add cream to tea infused milk and return to heat. Stir mixture until hot but not boiling.

Combine eggs and sugar in a bowl. Slowly add a few tablespoons of the hot milk mixture into the yolks. Mix well.

Add egg mixture to the pot with the tea mixture, stir constantly over low heat until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Strain, if necessary, and cool in the refrigerator until well chilled.

Pour into an maker and process according to the manufacturer's directions.

Black Sesame Ice Cream

3 tablespoons black sesame seeds, roasted and crushed (with a mini-food processor or blender)

2 heavy cream

2 c milk

1/2 c sugar

4 egg yolks

Add sesame seeds, heavy cream, milk, and 1/4 cup of sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat on a stove, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat. Beat together the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar with the egg yolks in a medium bowl.

Very slowly pour the milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking the eggs the entire time, being careful not to cook the eggs

Return the contents back to the saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly for 5 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened to a custard. Remove from heat, and cool to room temperature.

Process in an ice cream machine. Chill overnight in the freezer before serving.

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