Summer Fest is back again and the theme for this week is herbs, beans and greens. To participate, read more about Summer Fest on Away To Garden from Margaret then come join the community! Catch up on this seasons previous themes on the bounty of Cukes N Zukes and Sweet Corn.
There are few herbs which give the connotation of “fresh” like mint does. A vibrant, bright, opening of the senses. As most home gardeners will know, there is hardly only one kind of mint. For culinary use, it is easiest to break it down to two main types, spearmint and peppermint, then allow the derivatives flow from there.
Spearmint will be the most common mint directly eaten. A bit more mellow, it imparts that beautifully fresh flavor without blowing open the sinuses with an overly bright impression. Garden Peas or Roasted Carrots with Mint – spearmint. Mint clustered in billowing piles served alongside Vietnamese cuisine – spearmint. For those mojitos, grab the spearmint. For our garden, 75% of the mint we grow is spearmint. It gets used incessantly in our cooking, especially with Vietnamese dishes being our culinary staple.
Then there is peppermint. Bright, full of life and freshness, but often overpowering when eaten straight. Think – mint chip ice cream or candy canes. That is the flavor of peppermint. It was with mint chip ice cream in mind which drove us to dedicate a plot to this sinus clearing bite of freshness.
In digging up a mint chocolate chip ice cream recipe, one doesn’t have to look any further than the cult-favorite ice cream bible, David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop. Nearly any internet savvy ice cream churners will swoon praises of David’s scream and squeal inducer of a book. This is nearly always the first and last book we grab for frozen delicacies and for our mint chocolate chip ice cream was as true as ever.
By combining his Fresh Mint Ice Cream recipe with the Stracciatella instructions, we had the perfect mint chip ice cream. First infusing the peppermint into the milk and sugar until it was a beautiful “emerald” green. Then after mixing, straining, chilling and churning everything together; melted chocolate is slowly drizzled in, instantly hardening then breaking up into perfect “chips.” Our weed-like peppermint has no chance of overgrowing now. This mint chocolate chip ice cream has become a household staple.
Mint Chip Ice Cream Recipe
Yield: 1 quart
Total Time: 5 hours
Adapted from David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop
- 1 c (250ml) Milk
- 3/4 c (150g) Sugar
- 2 c (500ml) Heavy Cream
- pinch of Sea Salt
- 2 c (80g) lightly packed fresh Peppermint Leaves (or more if you like)
- 5 lrg Egg Yolks
- 5 oz (140g) Dark Chocolate, finely chopped (do not use choc. chips)
- Combine the milk, sugar, 1 c of the heavy cream, and sea salt in a saucepan and gently warm until bathwater warm. Squeeze mint leaves in your hands to help release the oils a bit and add to warm milk mixture. Stir until they are all settled into to the saucepan, remove pan from heat, cover, and set aside for 1-2 hours (depending on how minty you'd like the ice cream to be.)
- Strain the mint-infused mixture into another med. sized saucepan, using a fine mesh strainer. Squeeze the mint leaves to extract as much of the delicious minty-ness you can out of them, then discard the mint leaves.
- Prepare for the final step by putting the remaining 1 c of heavy cream in a medium bowl with a fine mesh strainer over the top. Prepare an ice bath which this medium bowl will fit into. Set both aside.
- Gently re-warm the mint mixture, and in a separate medium sized bowl whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the mint mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan and return to the heat.
- Heat over med. heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon. Pour the thickened mixture through the fine mesh strainer into the remaining heavy cream. Place bowl in the ice bath and stir to combine and cool the mixture in the ice bath.
- Chill the mixture in the refrigerator until fully chilled.
- After mint ice cream mixture is fully chilled in the fridge, begin gently melting dark chocolate in a saucepan over simmering water (or directly in a saucepan if you have a cooktop which will cycle on and off like Thermador's XLO (ExtraLow) function.
- Begin churning ice cream in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. When the ice cream is nearly finished freezing in the ice cream maker, slowly drizzle the melted chocolate into the ice cream, trying to avoid pouring onto the paddle or dasher. If the chocolate clings to the paddle (dasher) stop the ice cream maker and use a spatula or spoon to break up any chunks. Put mint chip ice cream in freezer to finish setting the ice cream if necessary.
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P.S. We just noticed David posted about his Mint Chip Ice Cream recently. He gives a beautiful rhapsody about ice cream and of course mint chip ice cream. Make sure you check out the source of this recipe and see how the main man does it!
This great annual cross-blog event celebrates the peak harvest season where we all share recipes or growing tips for all our harvest fresh ingredients and produce. Everyone is encouraged to participate by sharing a recipe or tip each Wednesday’s specific theme the the event ends.
Summer fest is a community celebration of shared cooking and gardening tips. All you have to do is contribute a post based on the weekly theme and share your links on all the host bloggers who are collaborating in Summer Fest. If you don’t have a full post, you share your comments too! Leaving your link will allow everyone in the Summer Fest community to feast on your creations.
For complete Summer Fest information & schedule, visit Margaret at Away to Garden.
After writing your post, please visit all the host blogs and leave your link to share & follow on Twitter :
Away to Gardenwith Margaret Roach @MargaretRoachScripps/Food Network with Deb Puchalla @DebPuchallaHealthy Eats, Food Network Blog with Elizabeth Gray @healthyeatsFood Network Dish & Cooking Channel, Kirsten Vala and Sara Levine, @foodnetwork, @cookingchannel, @KirstenvalaCooking Channel Devour The Blogwith Michelle Buffardi, @mbuffardiFood2 Blogwith Alison Sickelka, @ali_sJust A Taste with Kelly Senyei, @justatasteFood Philosophy with Jennifer Iannolo, @foodphilosophyRemarkable Palatewith Chef Mark Tafoya, @chefmarkAlice Q Foodie with Alice, @aliceqfoodiePinch My Saltwith Nicole,@pinchmysaltCaroline Wright Food with Caroline, @chefcarolineSan Diego Food Stuff with Caron Golden, @carondgSweet Nicks with Cate O’Malley
Gluten Free Girl with Shauna and Danny Ahern, @glutenfreegirlThe Sister Project with Paige Smith Orloff, @paigeorloffTea and Cookies with Tara Weaver , @tea_austenEat From the Ground Up with Alana Chernila, @edability
Tigress in a Picklewith Tigress