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Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Les Perez touchdown in London

Some dear friends of ours are visiting from Australia and last night I cooked dinner for about eight of us. Congregating around a big table with old friends with plenty of food and booze is most definitely one of the nicer things in life - my kitchen is too small for me to go all Babette's Feast, so dinner had to be a very simple affair.

With my ice cream maker in storage somewhere in Cricklewood, this summer I've been getting into cheats homemade ice cream. My mum used to make this in the late 80s by mixing some cointreau and a smashed up Flake with shop bought vanilla ice cream.
I made two types using some of the alcohol collecting dust at the back of our liquor shelf - the more we drink now, the less Jasmine T will have to hand when she starts mixing up her own cocktails. I have some Frangelico which I'm going to mix with chopped hazelnuts and Drambuie which I'm going to soak some raisins in before adding to the ice cream.

Cheats ice cream

What you need
2 large flat plastic containers
2L shop vanilla ice-cream (best you can afford)
couple handfuls chopped roasted hazelnuts
couple handfuls of raisins
3 tablespoons Drambuie
3 tablespoons Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur)
ice cream cones (less washing up)

The do
Place raisins in a bowl and add the Drambuie, leave to soak for a couple of hours.
Take the ice cream out of the freezer and leave out for around 10 minutes. Transfer the ice cream into the plastic containers add the ingredients and mix in with a rubber spatula. Put the lids on and return to the freezer.
You can do this with anything - fruit, chocolate, nuts. Just bear in mind that adding too much alcohol will prevent your ice cream from freezing.

For dinner (serves 8): boil up two packs of angel hair pasta, then 3 minutes before the pasta is ready, throw in a bag of frozen peas and half a bag of broad beans. In a separate small pan, gently heat a big glug of olive oil with some thinly sliced garlic for a minute or so. When the pasta is done, drain it, add the garlic oil, then toss the whole lot with the juice of a lemon, a handful of chopped mint, a handful of torn basil, two handfuls of parmesan and two packs of crumbled feta cheese. Season with olive oil, salt and pepper and marvel at the quivering mountain of steaming pasta before you.

Alas I cannot swim Laura Marling

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