Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Dining with the Bloggers - June 8th

I think summer arrived yesterday. We had a blazing hot and humid day - as is typical of DC summers - capped by a dramatic thunderstorm in the evening. Thanks to Dining with the Bloggers (and more specifically, Reid), I had the perfect summer evening treat waiting in my fridge for a quick spin in the ice cream maker.

The theme this week is "snacks" and originally I was thinking in terms of a salty snack or an appetizer, but I've already talked about those great roasted chickpeas, and I was having trouble finding an appetizer that appealed to me. I don't know why I had initially excluded sweets when thinking of possible snacks, but the fact is a goodly part of the many snacks I've eaten over the years have been sweet. And I can't count how many times I've dipped into a carton of ice cream or other frozen confection for a little relief from the summer heat!

When I came across Reid's recipe for Kumquat sorbet I recalled that I had just seen some little packs of kumquats at Whole Foods. When I saw them I had done a brief double take, thinking "hmm, those are interesting, wonder what you do with them?", but moving on pretty quickly. When I found Reid's recipe I was glad for an opportunity to try kumquats and luckily they still had some at the store.

Making the sorbet was very simple - the kumquats are cooked briefly in a sugar syrup, pureed together with the syrup, and frozen in an ice cream maker. Either lemon or orange juice is added to the mix before freezing. The sorbet is sweet, tart and delicious! It froze beautifully, too. I had some more tonight and unlike the ice cream I've made (which has always been just part cream), it is still very scoopable even after a whole day in the freezer. I think it would be great served with chocolate cake or even chocolate ice cream. I have more kumquats, so I'm planning to make some more sorbet, but next time I'll try the orange juice rather than the lemon juice. The kumquats together with the lemon juice are quite a puckery combination and I'm thinking the orange juice might moderate the tartness just a bit. Be it with lemon juice or orange juice, I'll be making this sorbet again and again. Thanks Reid for a great recipe!!

With summer here, I'm anxious to spend some time visiting the farmers' market and looking to it for inspiration. I hope to dream up a few creations of my own, too. Dining with the Bloggers will be taking a vacation until September, but it'll be back!

If you haven't already, go see what Zarah is serving up for a snack and wish her luck on her exam while you're at it. Have a great summer everyone!


Reid said...

Hi Cathy,

I'm glad you liked the kumquat sorbet. The flavor takes a bit of getting used to though. Did you know that the flesh of the kumquat is what gives it that tart flavor? The skin is actually a bit sweet. To cut down on some of the tartness, what you may want to do, is squeeze out the juice and reserve. Remove the flesh and pith (is that what it's called?) from the skin. Put the skins and juice into the pot, then cook to soften. You may enjoy the taste a bit more.

Cathy said...

Hi Reid - oh I didn't mean to imply I didn't like the flavor - quite the contrary! I loved it and actually really enjoyed the tartness as well. It's just when it's that tart, I couldn't eat more than one scoop at a time. I also noticed that you had used orange juice, so I'm curious to try it that way. But yes, I did know (or figure out) that the flesh is tart and the skin is sweet. I ate one and was so surprised!

I really do love this sorbet and with the fantastic texture it has it's hard to believe it's homemade!

Reid said...

Hi Cathy,

Oh OK. I don't normally eat more than one scoop myself. I like it to have it with some nice buttery poundcake. =)

BTW...when you ate it whole, did you also eat the seeds? Kumquats also make very nice preserves as well.

Nic said...

Hi Cathy. Sorbet is a prefect summer snack! I'll miss Dining with Bloggers while you guys are on hiatus this summer, but I'll be looking forward to your farmer's market finds.

Cathy said...

Hi Reid - actually, preserves sound wonderful! I did take the seeds out before I ate it - it's kind of funny what big seeds those little guys have!

Hi Nic - thanks! I'm looking forward to a little less structure for the summer, but I'm glad to hear you'll be looking forward to the return of Dining with the Bloggers!

Rowena said...

Argggh! When did you get back? I'll have to catch up on a few of your posts and read about your trip! But one thing first, may I put your blog link on my page? I'm in the midst of updating the sidebar.

Cathy said...

Hi Rowena! It seems like I've been back forever (why does the euphoria of a vacation wear off so quickly?), but I've actually been back about four weeks. I've still got a ways to go in writing up my trip - I've been doing it very slowly.

You may certainly post a link to my site - I'd be honored!