Summertime YUM!

This week I’m taking a break from the serious stuff to post some pictures of our “kitchen creations” so far this summer: homemade ice cream (the shortcut!), beans with broccoli leaves (yes, broccoli leaves!), and grilled veal chops with garlic-lemon rub (thank you ICE cooking class!!).

Homemade Ice Cream (the shortcut!!)

Recently N has been attempting to make her own ice cream. Her most creative effort: adding orange juice to the leftover milk from her cereal bowl, trying for something like orange sorbet. “Mom, let’s put it in the freezer, and by the time we get home from school it will be ice cream!” N said excitedly. I had to be Scrooge and tell her that it probably wouldn’t work that way.

I figured that we’d have to buy an ice cream churn to make homemade ice cream, but that just sounded like a whole lot of old-fashioned work, akin to scrubbing our laundry on washboards. Then, browsing through the aisles at Walgreens, I saw the “Ice Cream Magic Personal Ice Cream Maker (As Seen on TV!).” With this nifty gadget, you “shake it to make it!” For $9.99, I thought we’d give it a try.

The directions were easy to follow: fill the bottom part of the ice cream maker (designed in a cute cone shape) with crushed ice, water and salt. In the top part, you put your ingredients: for vanilla we used heavy cream, vanilla extract and sugar. Shake it for 3 minutes (or a little more) — and voila! You have…runny ice cream. It tasted good, but it looked more like melted ice cream than fresh-churned scoops.

But it was easily fixed: we stuck it in the freezer for an hour, and voila! You have real ice cream!


It was very tasty and just the right consistency. It only produced one scoop (hence the “personal ice cream maker”), but that was okay with us. I liked it because N got to see the actual ingredients and method for making real ice cream. So maybe she won’t be mixing her orange juice and milk after breakfast anymore!

Beans with Broccoli Leaves

When our Italian neighbor saw us growing broccoli in our backyard, she exclaimed, “Oh! Give me the broccoli leaves, I make you something good.” I was confused — didn’t she want the actual broccoli? No, she assured us, the leaves were delicious. I had never heard of cooking broccoli leaves, but “Jojo” (as our kids call her) has never led us astray where food is concerned, so we gave her the leaves and waited to see what would happen.

The next day she brought me a warm dish of red beans with the broccoli leaves, chopped and wilted into the sauce. She explained, in her incomparable Sicilian way, that first you cook the red beans; next you saute chopped onions; add crushed tomatoes; simmer for a while, then add the chopped broccoli leaves. I tried her dish, and it was divine!


Now she’s going to teach me how to “peel” the broccoli leaves (not sure what that means-?). When I make it, I may mix in some chopped kielbasa, which I think would be an excellent addition.

Grilled Veal Chops with Lemon Garlic Rub

I don’t have much experience with veal, but I’m always up for trying something new. So I was glad to see veal chops on the menu at the cooking class I took a few weeks ago at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE).

After observing in class, I decided to make the veal chops at home for Memorial Day. I bought 6 chops from our local butcher, nice and thick. (The chops, not the butcher.)

Here’s the rub:

4 large garlic cloves, finely minced into a paste (I used my mortar & pestle to mash it up; the chef recommended adding a pinch of salt to bring out the “essential oils” in the garlic.)

4 1/2 Tbsp. lemon zest

3 Tbsp. paprika

1 1/2 tsp. dried tarragon (glad I finally got to use that spice in my cabinet!!)

1 1/2 tsp. black pepper

Combine ingredients in a medium bowl. Rub mixture on both sides of veal chops; cover and refrigerate overnight. (I didn’t do mine overnight — I prepared my chops in the morning and stuck them in the fridge all day. They were still great!)

Prepare grill (medium-high heat). Season veal with salt and drizzle olive oil over. Grill to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. (We left ours on the grill a few minutes longer — we’re medium-well people.)


I took this picture of the veal chops we made in the ICE class. The chops were grilled a bit, then rotated and grilled some more on the same side — which gave it the nice criss-cross grill look that you get in restaurants.

The veal meat was very tasty. It was light in color, similar to pork chops.

The rub itself was easy — and delicious.

So there you go, the first installment of Summertime YUM, Brooklyn edition. Next on the menu: raspberry mojitos, cucumbers marinated in vinegar and sugar, blackberry dumplings and fried squash. I’m getting hungry just thinking about this summer!!


About A Mom In Brooklyn

A mom in Brooklyn
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