Olive Oil Ice Cream with Jam Swirl

by Amanda Paa on October 25, 2014

Olive Oil Ice Cream with Pomegranate Jam SwirlAlright I know. This is a seasonal food blog and here I am posting a recipe for olive oil ice cream in the middle of fall. But being that there are swirls of pomegranate jam throughout this frozen treat, I’m giving it an in-season label.

Olive Oil Ice Cream with Pomegranate Jam Swirl | heartbeet kitchenI’d been wanting to make olive oil ice cream since licking a bowl of it clean at a funky ice cream shop last year in Austin, Texas. Normally I’m a salted caramel or peanut butter kind of gal, but I was so glad I took a chance on this one.

It was smoother than any ice cream I’d had, a texture I’d found only in gelato, without being quite as rich. The nuances of the olive oil shined through – a little fruity, savory and slightly floral.

Olive Oil Ice Cream with Pomegranate Jam Swirl | heartbeet kitchen I fell asleep dreaming about it, then scoured Pinterest the next morning for a version I could make at home. This one caught my eye right away, as well as this one I stumbled upon from the always reliable Dorie Greenspan. Due to the craziness of starting a new job (which I left recently, but that’s a whole story in itself) and getting my book off the ground, I never got a chance to to churn up a batch.

Until now. I created the base using a blend of the two recipes I mentioned above, and added my own touch with swirls of pomegranate jam. I reduced the sugar and honey slightly, knowing that the sweetness of the fruit would take its place.

Olive Oil Ice Cream with Jam Swirl | heartbeet kitchenThe olive oil adds a velvety mouthfeel and balance, smooth in both texture and taste, kind of like a fine wine. Know that the kind you use is important and will make a difference in how your ice cream tastes. You want to make sure it’s cold-pressed and doesn’t have a peppery finish. Instead, one that is fresh and floral will give you the best outcome. (Here’s a helpful list from California Olive Oil Ranch. I like to use the Arbequina EVOO.)

Olive Oil Ice Cream with Jam Swirl | heartbeet kitchenInstead of adding the jam while it was in the machine, I let the ice cream finish churning, then emptied half of it into the pan, spooned the jam over it, then covered it with the remaining half. That way you get to taste the olive oil on its own, with sporadic bursts of tart and tangy pomegranate. (Seedless raspberry would work great too.)

Olive Oil Ice Cream with Jam Swirl | heartbeet kitchenIt’s good. Really good. A little sophisticated some may say, but if I’m going to be fancy, let it be with ice cream.

Olive Oil Ice Cream with Jam Swirl

adapted from Adventures in Cooking and Dorie Greenspan’s recipe

3 large egg yolks, whisked in a medium-sized bowl
2 cups of whole milk
1 cup cream
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons honey
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 Teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup pomegranate jam (I love Just Jan’s, which is what I used here) or seedless raspberry jam

Heat the milk, cream, sugar, honey, and salt in a medium, thick-bottomed saucepan over low heat until the mixture becomes hot, but not boiling. Remove from heat and gradually drizzle 2 cups of the milk mixture into the bowl with the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Once the 2 cups have been incorporated, pour the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan, still whisking. Place the pan back onto the stovetop and cook over the lowest heat setting, whisking constantly, until the mixture has thickened, (about 7-10 minutes). Remove from heat, and whisk in the olive oil and vanilla extract until fluidly combined. Allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate overnight.

Prep your ice cream maker according to directions, mine have me freeze the bowl it will churn in overnight as well. The next day, remove the ice cream mixture from the refrigerator. If the olive oil has separated a little, just give it a good whisk before you pour it into your ice cream maker. Allow the ice cream maker to churn according to the manufacturer’s directions or until the mixture begins to freeze up and thicken considerably. (Mine took about 20 minutes.) Empty half of the ice cream into a freezer-safe container, then spoon jam over it evenly. Cover with remaining ice cream. Seal it, place it in the freezer, and allow it to freeze for 4 hours before serving.

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Fall Wild Rice & Butternut Squash Salad | heartbeet kitchenI know you may be tired of me evangelizing about squash. But please hold on! The best is here.

Several lovely blogging friends are helping me share a whole week of winter squash recipes from my book, Smitten with Squash, and we’re all giving you a chance to win a copy for your own kitchen. When you take a peak at the Gluten-Free Delicata Donuts or the Fresh Herb & Gruyere Spaghetti Squash Saute, I think you’ll fall in love with the curcubit family as much as I have.

For this week of #SquashLove, I thought I’d share one of my favorite recipes from the book, this vibrant & nourishing Wild Rice and Butternut Squash Salad. I also thought it would be fun to answer 3 of the questions people ask me about my writing and this vegetable I’m so smitten with.

Wild Rice & Butternut Squash Fall SaladA whole book on squash? Why?

When my publisher contacted me in early 2013 about writing a book for their Northern Plate Series, each being a cookbook and resource guide on a single Midwest ingredient that has been a strong part of our culture, I immediately knew my proposal would be on squash. Living inn an area where growing seasons are short and very unpredictable, squash is one of the only families that is nearly “in-season” all year round. Between the long and slender summer squash varieties, to the thick skinned blue hubbards and kabochas that last for months when cellared properly, the curcubit family holds a special place in my heart. They bring a sense of comfort and nostalgia, like your grandmother’s buttery zucchini bread or a butternut and sage pasta that warms your soul in the middle of winter.

And then there’s the possibility of new ideas that I found so delicious and eye opening. Like how wonderful red kuri can be when braised in an ethopian spiced peanut stew or the silkiness that blue hubbard adds to a cinnamon spiced pudding, topped with macadamia nuts for good measure.

I’d like to cook with squash more, but prepping/cutting it up is a little scary and a lot of work. Do you have any tips?

Many varieties of winter squash are wobbly, dense and tough to break open. When I was creating all of these recipes, I quickly found out that safety and efficiency in working with them was going to be key, as well as something I wanted to help you with. You’ll find lots of information on that in the book, and here’s a one minute video that I filmed with Jennifer Simonson of MPR (she’s so talented!) on how to easily cut & prep a butternut squash:

I also spent some time with The Kitchn, sharing my 7 tips to easily cut and prep any winter squash, not just butternut. You can find that article here. In short, it comes down to two key things: a very sharp knife & stabalization.

how to cut & dice butternut squashAcorn and butternut are the only squashes I’ve tried. What other types do you suggest I explore?

Butternut and acorn are no slouch in the squash family, but we tend to make those all the time because they’re familiar. However, one of the reasons I wrote the book was to introduce people to the other delicious varieties that farmers are growing. Most of the time people see a kabocha, delicata or blue hubbard, they’re a little unsure of what they taste like or how to prepare them so they pass them by. It’s kind of like how people used to perceive weird looking or oddly colored tomatoes. Once you try one, you’ll fall in love with the unique differences in taste and texture. Challenge yourself this year by picking one up that you’ve never cooked with and experiment. That was the way I started, and my book can help guide you through using them in the kitchen.

On a side note, I think squash is the new pumpkin in terms of seasonal baking. Less water content and starchier flesh makes the puree a wonder to work with. Give that a whirl and let me know what you think.

Wild Rice & Roasted Butternut Squash Salad {gf, vegan}And here’s a chance for you to win your own copy of the book! Just enter using the widget below from now until Wednesday, October 22nd at 11:59pm. Open to US residents only. Thanks for all your support with the book and your embrace of #squashlove. xo

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Wild Rice & Butternut Squash Salad with Maple Balsamic Dressing
from the Smitten with Squash Cookbook
serves 6

I adore this splendid autumn salad that includes some of Minnesota’s very best natural ingredients. Butternut squash works well for this dish because it holds its shape beautifully after being roasted. The combination of nutty wild rice, a simple maple dressing, and fresh herbs are not only delicious together, but their vibrant colors combine to make one stunning dish.

Dressing:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
scant 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 clove garlic, minced
Prepare dressing by pureeing all ingredients with an immersion blender or by vigorously whisking

Salad:
2 1/2 cups peeled and finely chopped butternut squash
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt
black pepper
2 1/2 cups thinly sliced kale (lightly massaged) or spinach
1/2 cup thinly sliced leeks, both white and green parts
1/2 cup dried cherries (or dried cranberries)
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
3 cups cooked wild rice, warmed

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss squash with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread onto a baking sheet and roast for about 25 minutes, stirring once, until fork tender. In a large bowl, combine spinach, leeks, cherries and basil. Stir in warm rice and squash so that spinach wilts slightly from the heat. Stir dressing (recipe below) into salad; taste and adjust salt level if needed. Serve at room temperature.

12 comments   • • •   as featured in:   Fall, Featured Recipes, Main Dish, Recipe Box, Salad, Seasonal, Vegetarian, Winter



My Best Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

by Amanda Paa on October 9, 2014

Best Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies | heartbeet kitchenPlenty of really good gluten-free chocolate chip cookies have come out of my oven before, ones that nobody can guess are labeled with the “gf” word. But these are THE ones. My favorite, my best, gluten-free chocolate chip cookies – the result of dozens of batches and several years of experimenting. (I don’t like referring to them as “The Best” because I haven’t tried all the chocolate chip cookies in the world and everybody has their own set of characteristics that they measure against.)

It’s taken me a long time to nail down the cookies you see here partly because I always spot a new recipe that immediately has me reaching for the baking sheet. I do a little tweaking to make them gluten-free if needed and all is right in the world. I’ve made these classics from Sarah, walnut studded beauties from Joy, a honey laden version, and chewy, brown butter ones (already gf) from Alanna.

Best Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies | heartbeet kitchenI’ve learned that most regular cookie recipes can be a decent gluten-free success if you substitute a good gluten-free flour blend for the all-purpose flour by weight, NOT the cup measurement. But, if you want amazing gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, a little more attention to detail with process & ingredients is needed.

And I stand firmly behind putting a little more effort into it.

Think gloriously crisp & buttery edges, slightly sunken and chewy middles, and the perfect ratio of chocolate to batter. It makes me want to shriek every time I take my first bite, still warm and a little underbaked.

Best Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies | heartbeet kitchenAlthough this might be a little lengthy, I wanted to share with you the extra details I’ve learned over the course of gluten-free cookie baking. I want to set you up for success! So let’s get started.

Measuring:
The way to make sure a recipe turns out the same every single time, no matter if you’re baking gluten-free or not is to measure by weight. Since we all scoop, spoon, pack and pour differently, my 1 cup flour may be 120 grams and yours 145. With the science that happens when you cook, that can make a big difference. Invest in an affordable digital scale, it’s well worth it.

Gluten-Free Flour:
Cup4Cup Flour has proven time and time again to me that it is the best gluten-free flour blend on the market. There really isn’t anything that compares. It has no grittiness, a soft crumb, stability and consistency. It does contain cornstarch, xanthum gum and milk powder which some people can’t tolerate . In that case, I highly recommend the allergen friendly Bubble Girl Bakes Gluten-Free Flour. I’ve used it in this recipe and adjusted for the binding power of the other ingredients by adding 3 tablespoons of sweet rice flour and chilling the dough for an hour instead of 30 minutes. You’ll get great results, just a thinner, flatter cookie.

Temperature of Ingredients:
It’s important to bring your cold ingredients to room temperature before starting the cookie making process – the butter, egg and your gluten-free flour (which should always be stored in the refrigerator to keep it from going rancid). Why? Because at room temperature the eggs and butter form an emulsion that traps air. During baking, the air expands, producing light, airy, evenly baked treats.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chunk Cookies | heartbeet kitchenThe Chocolate:
Always chunks over chocolate chips. (I know the title says chips, but that’s just because that’s what most people call them.) Not the chunks that come pre-cut in a bag, but the type you chop up yourself using the best quality chocolate bars your sweet tooth can afford. Not only will the chunks distribute more evenly throughout the cookie, but the shards from chopping will disperse throughout the batter. And one more vote for chunks – chocolate chips hold their shape due to less cocoa butter, while the latter melt into gooey chocolate decadence.

Nuts or no Nuts?
I battled with this one a lot. I love chocolate and nuts together. I like the texture they bring to cookies and their toasted flavor. But I decided that chocolate chunks deserved to shine alone in this cookie. Plus, I wouldn’t have any noses turn up when I had to tell the people who hate nuts in brownies that these cookies contained them too. Instead I got the best of both worlds by using this toasty, pure walnut extract that my friend Vangie of Meso Nutso makes. She does it all herself and the quality & care is evident. She uses triple distilled vodka,  local Oregon walnuts and bourbon to make this particular extract. I know beautiful is not the right descriptor to describe aroma, but it’s true in this case. 

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Meso Nutso Walnut ExtractChilling Time:
I tested this recipe with several different chilling times, from none at all to 2 days. The winner? 30 minutes. With no chill time they spread too thin and don’t get that nice rippled effect. Bake them straight from the refrigerator after a night of resting and they don’t spread enough. Result: mini hockey pucks. Both still tasted great, but not quite the texture I desired.

Okay…… I think you’re ready. You’ve got all the details for gluten-free chocolate chip cookie success. Ones that you’ll eat too many of the first time you make them and ones that nobody will know they’ve got the “gf” word attached to them. Now all you need is a sweet tooth like mine and glass of milk for dunkin’. Go forth and bake!

My Best Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

adapted from all recipes linked to in 2nd paragragh
makes 16-18 cookies

215 grams Cup4Cup gluten-free flour blend
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
100 grams (1/2 cup) lightly packed dark brown sugar
67 grams (1/3 cup) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
140 grams unsalted butter, softened (1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons)
1 large egg, room temperature (mine always weighs as close to 60 grams as possible)
1 teaspoon Meso Nutso pure walnut extract (vanilla is lovely too)
80 grams of 85% cacao chocolate, chopped into chunks
80 grams of 65% cacao chocolate, chopped into chunks

In a bowl, stir together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In another bowl, stir together sugars and maple syrup so that no lumps remain. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat butter on medium speed until mayonnaise consistency, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add sugar mixture and beat for 1 1/2 minutes on medium speed, scrape down sides, then beat for another 1 1/2 minutes so the mixture is light and fluffy. Add egg and walnut extract, incorporate on low speed for 20 seconds.

Then incorporate flour mixture in  3 additions, until batter just comes together and no flour streaks are present. Stir in chocolate with spoon. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. After batter has chilled, make cookie dough balls that are a scant 2 tablespoons of batter. Bake 8 cookies per sheet for about 12 minutes. They should look a little underbaked in the middle, starting to brown on the outside.

crisp edges + chewy on the inside | gluten-free chocolate chip cookies

20 comments   • • •   as featured in:   Fall, Recipe Box, Spring, Summer, Sweets, Winter



Baked Stuffed Apples with Butternut Squash & Gingersnap Crumble {gluten-free}I’m so happy to be partnering with Annie’s Homegrown as a #teamannies member, sharing this special post with you today!

The way I see it, fall should really be called baking season. There’s no other time of the year that compares in terms of all the delicious, in-season eats that can be turned into comforting desserts. Warm apple crisp, creamy pumpkin pie, spice cookies ….. it’s hard to choose which to make first.

I said yes to all of them this year by making these caramelized baked apples, stuffed with silky, spiced butternut squash. To give them the crunch and spice that fall sweets deserve, Annie’s Gluten-Free Gingersnap Cookies were the perfect finishing touch. And could their bunny be any cuter?

Baked Apples Stuffed with Spiced Butternut Squash & Gingersnap CrumbleMost years, the apple tree in the backyard of my childhood house would be so full that we couldn’t even give them all away. Besides her famous apple pie, my mom would often bake them, stuffed with brown sugar and oats. I liked this treat, but like any child, I would have always voted for the more decadent pie. Now that I’m older, I appreciate these “mature” desserts much more. It satisfies a weeknight craving for something warm and sweet, and makes a very special breakfast too.

You’ll want to start with crisp apples like ones that you would use for pie or a cobbler. I used Sweet Sixteen’s, but Haroldson or Honeycrisp would be great too. Some recipes keep the apple whole and dig out the center core for your filling, but cutting them in half (with some of the inner apple removed) and adding them to a cast iron skillet is the secret to caramelized, cinnamon infused edges.

how to make stuffed apples

For the filling, I couldn’t turn my back on squash and for good reason. Not that you couldn’t make pumpkin work, but squash has less water content and therefore makes a stiffer puree, holding its shape perfectly when you pipe it into the apples. Plus the roasted squash (which you can do at the same time the apples are baking) has a sweeter, nuttier flavor that pumpkin from a can doesn’t have. If you were to use pumpkin, you would need to add a thickener like full fat greek  yogurt or cream cheese to ensure it doesn’t collapse.

Baked Apples Stuffed with Spiced Butternut Squash | heartbeet kitchenI love using Annie’s products beyond just snacking because they’re such an easy way to adapt recipes that may traditionally have gluten. The gluten-free gingersnaps are perfect for things like this crumble or what I often use in recipes to replace graham cracker crumbs. Most importantly I can feel good about eating their snacks because Annie’s is dedicated to using real ingredients. And that bunny? Their founder made him the official “rabbit of approval,” representing the simplicity, care, and goodness of the products. Love it.

Baked Apples with Spiced Butternut Squash FillingSo let’s celebrate fall and real food together! Annie’s is graciously giving away an awesome gift basket to one of you, just tell me “How do you incorporate Annie’s Homegrown ingredients into your meals or snacks?”  This giveaway is open to all US residents and will end on October 8, 2014 at 11:59 pm CST. Good luck and thanks for stopping by!
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Baked Apples Stuffed with Spiced Butternut Squash & a Gingersnap Crumble

serves 6

for squash:
3 1/2 cups cubed butternut squash (a medium sized squash)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 to 3 tablespoons water

for apples:
3 large apples, cut in half
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 whole cinnamon sticks
1 cup Annie’s gluten-free Gingersnap Bunny Cookies, crushed

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss squash with olive oil, nutmeg and salt. Spread onto a large baking sheet. Roast for 25-30 minutes, stirring squash until it can be easily pierced with a fork and is soft.

Meanwhile, prepare apples by removing the seeds and creating a hole about 1 inch deep in the middle of each half with a melon baller. Add butter to a 1o inch cast iron skillet (or heavy baking dish) and place it in the oven for about 1 minute to melt it. Remove and stir in cinnamon, brown sugar and cinnamon sticks. Place apples cut side down in the skillet so they are not touching. Move the squash if not quite cooked through to the bottom rack and put the skillet on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until apples are softened, but not completely mushy. (You want them to still be able to stand up when you flip them over.) Remove apples and squash from the oven when both are done. Using a spatula, flip apples up to stop them from cooking.

Add squash to a food processor or blender with the maple syrup and process until smooth, adding a few tablespoons of water if necessary. Pipe squash into holes of the apple with a decorating gun or just spooning it in. Finish with crushed gingersnap cookies and drizzle some of the juices left in the cast iron skillet over the top. Can be made one day ahead of time (without the crumble added to the top), just reheat it warm oven for 7 minutes, then add topping.

#spon: Thanks to Annie’s for sponsoring this post! I’m required to disclose a relationship between my blog and Annie’s Homegrown. This could include Annie’s providing me w/ content, product, access or other forms of payment.


33 comments   • • •   as featured in:   Breakfast, Fall, Featured Recipes, Seasonal, Sweets, Vegetarian, Winter



Cumin & Coriander Roasted Carrots with Hummus Sauce

by Amanda Paa on September 26, 2014

Cumin & Crushed Coriander Roasted Carrots with Hummus Sauce | heartbeet kitchenTomorrow marks one year that my dad’s fiance left us too soon. While nearly everything in my life is wonderful right now, my heart is heavy with thoughts of remembrance. I wonder why God took her so quickly…… why some of the most giving and kind souls end up fighting the battle against cancer, or any terminal disease.

It’s scary and humbling knowing that each of us are vulnerable and at the mercy of many factors in this big world. Each day is a blessing, and never guaranteed.

Roasted Carrots with Crushed Coriander & Hummus SauceAsk anybody and they’ll immediately mention her contagious smile that beamed from ear to ear, always. She saw the positive light in every soul that she interacted with. She was gracious and humble, someone who gave before she ever thought about receiving.

Julie proved the saying “You can’t change someone” wrong. My dad, whom I love dearly, would admit that he was very judgmental and skeptical of others choices. Julie’s open heart and mind slowly started to influence my dad. I could see it in his kindness, hear it in his voice and feel it in our relationship. He stopped worrying about what everyone else thought about his own actions too. He became more spontaneous and started seeing the glass half full instead of half empty. He was the dad I remembered from when I was younger, caring and gentle with lots of love to give.

Roasted Carrots with Crushed Coriander & Hummus SauceI know Julie is smiling down on us right now, saying “Don’t be sad. I enjoyed every minute of my 50 years and I’m waiting to dance with you when you get you here.” She would want us to be happy and celebratory of her life, not sad.

So tonight I decided to share these carrots with you because they’re full of life, spice and brightness, just like Julie. They’re young and tender at the farmers market right now, so grab a few bunches and shower them with cumin and crushed coriander to contrast their sweetness. I loved the creaminess of the semi-homemade hummus sauce against the crispy, roasted edges of the carrots too. It reminded me of the pomme frites and bearnaise sauce combination, but a little fresher and healthier.

Enjoy this beautiful weekend my friends, and hug those close to you a little tighter, for time together is precious.

Cumin & Crushed Coriander Roasted Carrots with Hummus Sauce

serves 4

1 1/2 pounds carrots, trimmed and lightly peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon curry powder
3/4 teaspoon coriander seeds, lightly crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup hummus (storebought or homemade)
2 tablespoons lime juice
1-2 tablespoons water
fresh cilantro for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut carrots in half horizontally, then each half lengthwise so you have spears. Put carrots in a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil then stir in curry powder, coriander seeds and salt. Make sure all are coated, then spread onto baking sheet. Try to keep them from touching to ensure crispiness.

Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring once. They should have crispy edges and be browned. While they are in the oven, stir together hummus, lime juice and water so that it is the consistency you like. Remove carrots from oven, then drizzle with sauce and serve warm or at room temperature.

5 comments   • • •   as featured in:   Appetizer, Fall, Recipe Box, Seasonal, Spring, Summer, Vegetarian, Winter