Friday, June 25, 2010

I've got my head in the clouds.

Last night, John and I were lucky enough to come across some unbelievably fresh Wild King Salmon. We were told it had just been taken off the truck from Washington only two hours before, and in that moment, we were sold. The Salmon being the star of the meal, we decided to marinate it in a Teriyaki sauce and then pan sear it. We gravitated towards some bright green and vibrant looking Swiss chard, and agreed to saute it the usual way with olive oil, garlic and a bit of lemon juice. We plopped a few Garnet yams into our basket, with visions of them baking in the oven, and just like that, dinner was planned.

I am an unabashadly huge fan of baked yams, and when they are roasting in the oven with olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper, I can't imagine why anyone would not be. Filled with vitamins and nutrients and lots of flavor, yams (if not already) should be your best friend in the kitchen. They also pair perfectly, if I might add, with the sweet and buttery flavors of our Teriyaki Salmon.

I would like to say that I stopped here, but no, I just had to make homemade ice cream. I just had to place a saucepan with cream and sugar on the stove top, and then apparently, when I walked away for approximately 30 seconds, it just had to bubble and boil over and spill onto the stove, where it instantly spread and crackled into a thin layer of burnt crisp.

Well. Wasn't that fun? I hope you enjoyed reading that as much as John and I enjoyed cleaning it up and watching our kitchen smoke up so bad that we could have played Marco-Polo with our eyes open. Apparently I wasn't done with the fun, or maybe I couldn't think straight inside the cloud of burnt milk. But somehow, the car was started, a trip to the grocery store was taken, and suddenly I found myself staring at a brand new carton of heavy whipping cream, in a somewhat less smoky kitchen.

Let me tell you reader, if you think that was the end of that, you are very, very mistaken. Honestly, you really should know me better at this point. You've read about my adventures with the Tomato Tart, after all. It should come as no surprise, then, that in the time it took to finish dinner, I had whipped and stirred another batch of ice cream into submission, and had even added bits of chocolate chunks to it at the last minute, on a whim.

After an unbelievably delicious meal (the salmon, with a caramelized top and a buttery inside was beyond good, I tell you- beyond), we sat down with cups of our ice cream topped with fresh strawberries, and it was, alright. Not amazing, just alright. I've made some really tasty variations of ice cream in my day, and the consistency of this one was perfect. But after a few bites, it was decided that the recipe I used had called for too much sugar. I like my ice cream smooth and rich but not too cloyingly sweet. I'm sure you'd agree.

So you see, I can't give you the recipe for the ice cream, because I would never, ever give you a recipe I wasn't completely enamored with. Don't worry though. It's only the beginning of summer, and I promise to supply you with some of my favorite homemade ice cream recipes in the very near future. But what I can give you right now, is the recipe for the baked yams. Easy, simple, and perfect- every time.

Baked Yam Halves
Serves 2

  • Two medium yams (we used Garnet, but you can obviously use Jewel instead) 
  • good olive oil
  • one teaspoon or so freshly chopped thyme
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Halve the yams length-wise and place them in a shallow baking dish in a single layer, cut side up.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper.
  4. Bake until golden brown and very tender, about 40-50 minutes.

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