March 23, 2012


It seems all the world loves gelato. The first time you taste it, it's an epiphany. It's better than ice cream - intense flavor, ultra smooth, richly satisfying. Whenever I'm in Italy, I often make three stops a day at gelato stands and shops, already planning the next flavor to try as I'm finishing the last spoonful of the one in my hand. I still haven't tried them all because it's so hard not to choose my favorites when I stop ~ pistachio, limone, stracciatella and my ultimate favorite, fiore di latte - flower of milk. There is no better name for what has to be one of the most perfect expressions of milk transformed. 

Some recipes contain egg yolk and have a cooked custard to start, others simply use cream. I'd intended making gelato di limone, but then saw my fruit bowl full of blood oranges and changed course. The result of my indecision turned into a delicious batch of gelato. 
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Blood Orange and Lime Gelato

4 medium blood oranges
1 large navel orange
1 medium lime
1/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. heavy cream

Peel 4 strips of the navel orange and 6 strips of peel from the lime, avoiding as much of the white pith as possible. Place in a small saucepan. Roll the fruits around on the cutting board before cutting and juicing them. Squeeze as much juice from each fruit as you can through a strainer over a large bowl. Discard solids. Add strained juice to the saucepan, along with the sugar. Bring to a boil, then simmer 2 minutes. Allow the mixture to stand, off the heat, for five minutes. Strain juice into a bowl and cool completely in the fridge.
Once it's cold, start your ice cream maker spinning (be sure the freezer bowl has been well frozen). Add the cream to the juice and pour immediately into the ice cream maker. In 15-20 minutes, your gelato will be ready.
Transfer to a freezer container (if you haven't eaten it all).
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March 3, 2012


Nasi goreng is Indonesia's national dish. It is to Indonesia what meatloaf is to America. Every family has their own recipe. Or so my Dutch friend told me. The Dutch East Indies became Indonesia after WWII, so the Dutch have melded quite a bit of Indonesian cuisine into their own. You can eat some great Indo food in Amsterdam! 

Nasi goreng means 'fried rice' in Indonesian. It's a one-dish meal that can be endlessly varied, depending on what vegetables and meats or seafood you have on hand. I like it best with shrimp or chicken (or a combination of both) but you could certainly use tofu or no protein at all, as my vegetarian friend does. It's a highly spiced dish, usually with a bit of heat. There are some basic ingredients common to the many versions of nasi goreng. Fried shallots, sweet soy sauce and cold rice, which is preferred to freshly cooked rice because it becomes soft and mushy during the cooking of the nasi. You can use ANY leftover rice for this dish. You needn't cook it in coconut milk.

You can make your own bumbu - spice mixture - or buy a commercial variety. The one I like best is made by the Rijsttaffel company. You can visit their website at You can use the recipe on the back of the package for guidance, but do your own thing with what you have around, or follow my recipe and get ready for some YUM.

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2 14 oz. cans light coconut milk *
1/2 c. water
1 1/2 c. jasmine or long grain white rice

Bring coconut milk and water to a boil. Add rice, stir and reduce heat to low. Cover and cook until almost done, when rice still has some bite to it - about 18 minutes. Drain well, reserving the milk. Place rice in fridge to cool (cold is best). 

3 T. canola oil
1 large shallot, chopped
1 large carrot, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 lb. large shrimp, cut into thirds
3/4 oz. Nasi Goreng spice mixture
2 T. sweet or regular soy sauce
1 c. frozen peas, thawed
Leftover coconut milk, as needed
Sambal oelek, to serve on the side, if desired ***

In large, deep sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add shallots and saute until turning brown. Add the carrots and about 1/3 c. reserved coconut milk. Cover pan and simmer on low until carrots are just barely tender. Uncover the pan, increase heat to medium high and add half of the spice mixture and the shrimp pieces. Saute two minutes, then add the cold rice, crumbling up as you add it to the pan. Squirt the soy sauce evenly over the rice, pour about 1/2 c. of coconut milk over it and mix all together gently. Let the rice sizzle, turning over occasionally, allowing the bottom to get browned and a little crusty. Turn the heat up higher, if you need to, watching carefully. This browning really adds to the flavor. Once you have some areas of nice browning, remove from heat and serve immediately, with sambal oelek on the side if you like it with a hot kick.
Serves 4 

* light is thinner, so the rice cooks more evenly OR use regular coconut milk, thinned with water
** use wild-caught shrimp to avoid a muddy taste
*** Sambal oelek is a ground red chili paste - HOT!


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Aspenglow / Buttered Lips by Gayle Nabrotzky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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