Thyme & Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Roasted Pecans (No-churn)

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This is a very easy ice cream recipe and the best part is that you don’t need an ice cream machine to make it. Like all ice creams it requires some waiting, but the amount of time you actually need to do something is minimal. I have a thyme plant by my kitchen window that I use very often. I just grab a pair of scissors and cut as many sprigs as I need for a recipe. I really like the flavor that it infuses in the ice cream. It’s not too strong and it goes well with vanilla. I also served the ice cream with some buckwheat-banana waffles. The recipe for the waffles is still to come.

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Ingredients:

For the ice cream:

2 cups of cream

1 can of condensed milk, 400ml

15 sprigs of thyme

1 vanilla bean or 1 tablespoon of vanilla essence

For the pecans:

100grs of pecans

1 tablespoon of butter, melted

1 tablespoon of honey

1 tablespoon of sugar

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Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

Melt the butter with the honey in the microwave. Add the pecans and sugar. Mix well. Spread the pecans on a tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 minutes. Then allow to cool before roughly chopping them.

Slice open the vanilla pod, scrape off the seeds. Place the cream, vanilla seeds, vanilla pod and thyme leaves in a pot over medium heat. Once it starts to boil, turn off the heat and cover it with a lid. Let it steep for 1 hour.

Once the hour has passed, pass the cream through a sieve. Place the cream in the fridge and let it get completely cold.  This will take a couple of hours.

Once the cream is cold, whisk it until soft peaks form. This will take about 3 minutes (I used the stand mixer).

Place the condensed milk on another bowl. Add 1/3 of the whipped cream and mix it. Then slowly fold the remaining whipped cream into the condensed milk. Once it is all mixed, add the chopped roasted pecans.

Pour the ice cream into a freezer container and smooth out the top with a spatula. Press a piece of parchment paper on the top to prevent it from forming ice crystals. Cover it well with plastic wrap or if you have a large enough Ziploc bag, just place it inside a bag. Let it freeze for at least six hours or overnight. The ice cream lasts for up to 2 weeks. But it is better to eat it within a few days from making it, as it is softer.

Pecan Pasta Sauce

pecan pasta

I love this rich pecan sauce. It’s not something I eat very often but when I do, it is so satisfying. Especially during these cold months.  It is one of those dishes that I would ask my mom to make me as a kid. But with time I kind of forgot about it.  It is not until a couple of years ago that I started to make it. It is super easy to make.This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

3 medium white onions, sliced

2 tablespoons of olive oil

4 sprigs of thyme

1 garlic clove, minced

100gr of pecans, chopped

250ml cream

½ cup of milk

40gr of grated parmesan

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

¼ cup of the pasta cooking water

400gr of the pasta of your choice

 

Over medium heat, add the olive oil to a large pan. Add the sliced onions and thyme. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time. Then lower the heat and cook for another 4 minutes.  Add the garlic, pecans, cream and milk. Stir and then put it all in a blender. Add the grated parmesan and blend.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the pasta as instructed on the package.  Reserve ¼ cup of the pasta cooking water to loosen up the sauce.

Add the reserved pasta water to the sauce and mix until combined.

Mix the cooked pasta with the sauce and serve it right away. If you want, you can add a bit of chopped pecans and some thyme leaves to decorate the plate.

Olive Tapenade Biscotti


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I am a big fan of olives; I think I could pretty much snack on them every day.  I thought of making savory biscotti by adding to it some black olive tapenade and fresh thyme. The tapenade gives it a nice marbled effect as well. They are really nice to eat by themselves or you can use it as a crostini and accompany it with some cheese, or any other topping that you may like. This recipe makes one log, about 26 pieces of biscotti.

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Ingredients for the tapenade:

1 cup of black olives (I used Kalamata)

1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon of lime juice

1 clove of garlic, peeled

1 teaspoon of capers

3 anchovy filets

¼ cup of almonds, chopped

5 sprigs of thyme

¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil

Black pepper

Ingredients for the biscotti:

2 cups of all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon of baking powder

½ teaspoon of salt

Pinch of sugar

85gr of butter, room temperature

2 eggs

½ cup of milk

8 sprigs of thyme

1/3 cup of the tapenade previously made

 

First make the tapenade. Just put all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until it becomes a paste.

To make the biscotti, first preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

In a large bowl, whisk the butter, then add the eggs and milk.

Slowly add the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and mix well. Finally add the thyme leaves and 1/3 of a cup of the tapenade. Mix well.

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Place the dough in a floured surface and form a log. Place the log in a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  The dough is quite soft so you will have to re-shape it a bit once it’s on the baking sheet.

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Bake for 30 minutes. Then allow to cool down for about 15 minutes.

Lower the temperature of the oven to 150C/300F.

Transfer the log to a cutting board.  Using a bread knife; cut it into slices of about 1 cm thick.

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Place the slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for another 30 minutes.

After the timer is up, turn the biscotti and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.  Once cooled, keep in an airtight container.