So, this is a continuation of my just previous post about the wedding, and the wedding weekend food. Three of my four sons (my youngest, whom Bill and I visited in Vanuatu in July, is in the Peace Corps), my daughter-in-law, and my granddaughter (who was the most amazing flower girl, EVER), came to stay with us over that weekend. What did we feed them and the rest of the family who came from near and far? Good question, especially because my handsome, witty, and incredibly smart sons can eat. Seriously.
On the Thursday night before the wedding, when about a dozen of us were gathered at our place, we ordered pizza from Hideaway Pizza here in Edmond. Hideaway – with the hand tossed crust – is always my first choice for pizza. The balance between the crispy/slightly chewy crust and the toppings is outstanding (and this coming from a Jersey girl who’s lived in six states and had many, many, many pizzas!).
My favorite Hideaway pizzas are the Paradise Pie (alfredo sauce, mozzarella and smoked provolone cheese, garlic chicken, smoked bacon, fresh sliced mushrooms, fresh spinach and diced Roma tomatoes, and the Chicken Florentine (pesto sauce and fresh spinach, mozzarella and feta cheese, garlic chicken, sliced mushrooms, and roasted garlic). We ordered a couple of both of those pies, but also ordered the Cimarron which has some nice heat from the jalapenos. Yummy.
We supplemented the pizzas with Jenny’s Salad (recipe from a previous Seconds post), and for dessert I made Aaron Sanchez’s Mexican Brownies (modified, slightly) and homemade vanilla ice cream à la the Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker. I also made hot fudge sauce to go with. Divine!
I wish I had some pics of the brownies and the ice cream with the fudge sauce, but I was just a tad busy that weekend…so here are the recipes:
Aaron Sanchez’s Mexican Brownies
(slightly modified, see Added Info, below)
Makes one 9 inch x 13 inch pan
2 sticks (1/2 lb.) unsalted butter (plus a little more for greasing the pan)
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (use the real stuff, always)
2/3 cup plus 1 Tablespoon of good unsweetened cocoa
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground Mexican cinnamon (canela)
1 /2 teaspoon of pequen/piquin chili powder (or cayenne)
1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 350°
Grease a 9 inch x 13 inch pan with unsalted butter. Melt the two sticks of butter in non-stick saucepan (make sure it’s non-stick!) over medium-low heat, do not boil. Remove from heat and let cool slightly (about 5 minutes, enough time so that when you add the eggs, below, they do not curdle).
Add the sugar, eggs, and vanilla to the saucepan, stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Add the cocoa, flour, cinnamon, chili powder, salt and baking powder, and mix until smooth.
Spread the batter in the prepared pan and bake about 20 to 23 minutes (toothpick inserted in the middle should come out fudgy). Cool, cut and serve.
Option: For an added chocolately bite, I often add 1/3 cup of semi-sweet chocolate pieces on top of the brownies, just before baking (lightly press them into the batter).
(Added Info: In addition to the Option above, the changes I made to the original recipe include using 2/3 cup plus 1 Tablespoon cocoa vs. 2/3 cup cocoa; and 1/2 teaspoon of pequen/piquin or chili powder vs. 1/4 teaspoon.
Vanilla Ice Cream à la the Cuisinart Ice Cream Machine
(a.k.a. Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker)
Recipe by Cuisinart
Makes about 1 quart (I have a discontinued model that I love, the Cuisinart Flavor Duo, which can make two, 1 quart bowls. The newer model makes one, 1-1/2 quart bowl, so increase the ingredients by 50% if you’re using a larger capacity machine.)
This recipe couldn’t be any easier. Mix together the ingredients, pour them in the Cuisinart ice cream maker bowl you’ve pre-frozen (which comes with the machine, and the liquid inside the bowl MUST be completely frozen before using), turn on the machine, and ta da! 20 minutes later you’ve got rich, creamy ice cream. It’s pretty impressive, and it sure beats the heck out of cranking the machine by hand and adding the ice and the rock salt that we had to do “back in the day…”
3/4 cup milk, well chilled
(the recipe from Cuisinart says to use whole milk, but I’ve used skim milk, 1%, whatever, and it turns out just as well, and it’s even a little bit healthier…)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
(try to use “superfine” or “baker’s” sugar since it dissolves faster; you could also use a sugar subsitute, but check for the correct equivalent)
1-1/2 cups heavy cream, well chilled
(you can use a “light” cream, half and half, or 1/2 cream and 1/2 milk – just remember to keep the volume the same, and that the consistency and richness will be a little different)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In a medium bowl, use a hand mixer or whisk to combine all the ingredients until the sugar is dissolved (about 1 minute). Turn the machine ON, and pour the mixture into the previously frozen freezer bowl, and let the mixture thicken, about 20 to 25 minutes. The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture (kind of like “soft serve”).
I usually scoop the ice cream into another container (with a lid) and put it in the freezer for at least a couple of hours until it firms, or “ripens.” And licking the dasher is always a bonus!
Hot Fudge Sauce
Recipe by Craig Claiborne, The New York Times Cook Book. New York: Harper & Row, 1990.
This recipe is, by far, the best homemade fudge sauce I’ve ever tried. Very chocolately, thick without being hard upon impact with the ice cream, and leftovers (as if!) can be reheated in the microwave. Absolutely delicious. Bonus: it’s easy to make.
Makes about 2 1/2 cups
1 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup good, unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup half-and-half, heavy cream, or evaporated milk (I use heavy cream)
2 Tablespoons butter
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine all the ingredients in a non-stick saucepan, except the vanilla, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a full rolling boil. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove the mixture from the heat and add the vanilla, stirring to combine. Serve warm.
To store any leftover sauce, pour into a glass container, cover and refrigerate.