Recipe: pandan ice cream
[Today is the last day to get the early bird registration discount of $50 for the Food and Light food photography and styling workshop in Boulder, Colorado this summer. We are so looking forward to working with you!]
P is for party! In my case, a dosa party hosted by my favorite little blogger down the road, Manisha. She has ruined me, ruined me. I dare not set foot into an Indian restaurant lest I be disappointed that it’s not as good as Manisha’s cooking. [I'm sorry, I don't have good photos of the dosas because I was too busy EATING them... Priorities, man.]
manisha tops the little papads (which i kept sneaking)
mango panna cotta with cardamom and pistachios
Did I mention that I love having friends who cook? It seems to be a problem that plagues many of my food blog friends who happen to be phenomenal cooks – none of their friends cook. Sure, people eat, but few people actually know and prepare their food at a fundamental level these days. I’m guessing this readership is in the minority when we consider our society of convenience and junk and corporate-mystery-crap-peddled-as-nourishment. But back to friends who cook… Just the other day I was having a pleasant catch-up with Lisa over breakfast and she bemoaned that all too familiar plight of the avid cook: no one invites you over for dinner. Foodies (I know some people hate that word – so call them food enthusiasts or whatever, I really don’t care) are always told “I can’t cook like you.” That’s not really the point. Both Lisa and I agreed that being invited over for take out pizza would be terrific because it’s about spending the time together, not going head to head to outdo or impress. At least, that’s not what my friendships are based on.
(from left to right) great cooks: kitt, manisha, birthday girl dana, and teri (not pictured: kathya)
I was lucky in grad school because I had two girlfriends who were great cooks and we took turns inviting each other (and partners) over for big bash meals – something to take your mind off the grind of research for an evening. I bond with people over food. My dad had a rule in our house: we all sat down to dinner together as a family and the television was turned OFF. And you know what? It was nice (except when the topic turned to SAT scores, college admissions, and why the heck I insisted on playing field hockey). It took a while, but after a couple of years in Colorado I have found a great gaggle of gal pals who love to cook and love to feed one another. We go to ethnic grocery stores together like fifth graders on a field trip. So it was a few weeks ago that Kathya and I were cruising around H-Mart in Denver.
p is also for pandan
Truth be told, I didn’t know what pandan leaves were. I just knew that southeast Asian bloggers loved the stuff and made pretty green desserts with it. I held the bag in my hand… a mere two dollars or such. “What is it?” I asked Kathya. Her face melted into a big smile and she told me she loves the stuff and it’s a little nutty, a little floral. I put the packet in my cart thinking I would enlist the help of the interwebs later to figure out what to do with the leaves.
tie into a knot for ease of retrieval
milk, sugar, cream, and a pinch of salt
steep the leaves in the hot cream
Pandan is screwpine leaf and the flavor is nutty, floral, and a tad piny, if that makes sense. It’s subtle and lovely. I was always drawn to it because it’s green and I’m a sucker for green foods. What I learned was that the green color comes from pandan extract, which I didn’t have. So I chanced a visit to my local Asian grocer and found it. I picked up a bottle for myself and another for Kathya.
**Jump for more butter**