Time for the monthly Royal Foodie Joust! What’s the Joust, you ask? It’s a monthly contest started by Jenn, The Leftover Queen. Who also runs The Foodie BlogRoll. And if you have a food blog and haven’t joined yet, what are you waiting for? They have giveaways happening all the time, and all you need to do to enter is join the BlogRoll. Plus, there are forums that are a great way to network, meet other bloggers, and find lots of great information. So get on over there and check it all out!
Last month’s Joust was won by Peter and Christey at http://fotocuisine.com/, and they won with their entry for Almond Crusted Asparagus Rolls with Lemongrass Hollandaise. How amazing does that look? Well, everything they have posted does, right?
The winner of each Joust gets to choose the three ingredients for the next Joust. And this time, instead of choosing specific ingredients, Peter and Christey chose Red, White, and Green. I loved this idea, because it leaves the Joust wide open to interpretation. Feeling sweet, savory, traditional or daring? Doesn’t matter—as long as you use some red, white and green.
This past Saturday, I was having a short chat with Michele, at Life, Lightly Salted. She’s a real sweetheart and has an outstanding blog, so please go and say hello to her. We were talking about ice cream, and she was saying she was going to try making some avocado ice cream. I swear, I almost saw the light bulb go on over my head. I love guacamole, and what if I could make avocado ice cream, but make it look like the dip I love so much?
It all fell into place. Since I’d always wanted to try avocado ice cream, I knew this would be fun—plus my ice cream maker was growing far too lazy. I decided to use diced strawberries instead of tomatoes, shredded coconut in place of diced white onion, and mint would stand in for cilantro.
I used a basic recipe for the ice cream from Alton Brown. You just can’t go wrong with his recipes. I didn’t let the mixture chill for 4-6 hours, though. More like 30-40 minutes, and I had no problems. Damn my lack of patience! And toward the end of the cycle, I tossed in a few small handfuls of coconut, and about 6 large diced strawberries. I almost forgot the mint until my husband reminded me. Whew! I’d have hated to have forgotten that. I just folded that in myself and them tossed it all in the freezer to set better.
I should have taken a photo before scooping some out, though, because when it was in the container, it looked just like guacamole! My daughter came in and said, “gross, mom, that ice cream looks like guacamole!” Good! that’s what I was going for! ;)
My “tortilla chips” would be played by shortbread cookies. This recipe is from my grandmother, and we made it almost every year for Christmas. The cookies are so pretty with red and green sugar on them. We usually make them into individual cookies, but since I was trying to get the tortilla chip thing going, I split the dough into two portions, and patted it out into two circles on a parchment lined sheet. Lightly score the dough into wedges, then bake. After baking, you can separate the wedges. (They take a little longer to bake this way—about 10 extra minutes. they should feel set on the top.) I know, most shortbread recipes don’t use any eggs, but I adore this recipe. They seem lighter, and not so heavy.
Mom's Shortbread Cookies
This is my mom's tried and true shortbread recipe. She got it from my grandmother. These are great any time of year, but especially nice for Christmas gifts. You can sprinkle them with green or red sugar before baking. The flavor of these cookies improves with age, so make them a few days before you plan to give them away.
2 cups flour
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 fresh lemon rind, of grated
Sift flour and baking powder together in a small bowl.
Cream butter, add sugar slowly, mixing well.
Mix in egg and lemon rind.
Add flour/baking powder mixture, mix in well.
Shape into balls about the size of a golf ball, place on pan, flatten slightly with the bottom of a glass.
Bake at 300° for 15 to 20 minutes, just until a bit golden on the edges.
These last well if kept in a tightly covered container, and actually taste even better after a day or two as the flavors develop.
Yield: 48-60 cookies
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Ready in: 30 minutes