June 28, 2011

A Salute to the Red, Lemon, and Blue

When I saw the frozen lemon souffle recipe in the June issue of Everyday Food, I immediately tore out the pages and pinned them on my cork board.  This was definitely a must-try.  And I am so glad I did.  The tartness of the lemons combined with the sweetness of the whipped cream is incredibly refreshing, and the dessert overall is a terrific way to end a meal.  It's not too heavy and the flavors help clean the palate after a hearty meal.

The magazine garnished their souffle with raspberries, but I knew I wanted to go with a red and blue theme for the upcoming 4th of July holiday.  Blueberries complemented the lemon perfectly.

The dessert did take some time to prepare.  The instructions in the magazine called for wrapping parchment paper around the ramekin so you can pour the mixture above the rim.  This is purely for aesthetics and not necessary.  But presentation is always a plus so if you're willing to go the extra step, it doesn't hurt.

I expected the finished product to be creamy and silky, but it was just a tad icy and didn't scoop very smoothly.  Nevertheless, it was delicious and definitely worth the effort.  And it's perfect for Independence Day.

Frozen Lemon Souffle with Fresh Berries
Source:  Everyday Food, June 2011 issue

1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest plus 3/4 cup lemon juice (from 3-4 lemons)
8 large eggs, white and yolks separated
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold heavy cream
1 1/2 cups raspberries (6 ounces)
1/2 cup blueberries
Confectioners' sugar for dusting

1.  Wrap outside of a 3 1/2-cup souffle mold or four 6-ounce ramekins with parchment, extending 2 to 3 inches above rim (it should fit snugly).  Secure with tape; set aside.

2.  In a medium saucepan, whisk together granulated sugar, lemon zest and juice, egg yolks, and salt over medium-high.  Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and small bubbles form around of pan, about 5 minutes (do not boil).  Immediately remove from heat while continuing to whisk.  Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a heatproof bowl, pressing on lemon curd with a rubber spatula.

3.  Place plastic wrap directly against surface of curd and refrigerate until cool, about 30 minutes (or up to overnight).

4.  In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat egg whites on high until stiff peaks form, 2 minutes.  Gently fold egg whites into cooled lemon curd.  In the same large bowl, beat cream on high until stiff peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes.  Gently fold whipped cream into lemon curd mixture.  Pour into mold and freeze until firm, 6 hours (or up to overnight).  To serve, remove parchment, top with raspberries and blueberries.  Dust with confectioners' sugar.


June 16, 2011

A Big Bash for the Birthday Boys

Over Memorial Day weekend, we celebrated my son's 3rd birthday along with my brother's big 3-0 down in good ol' Virginia.  They share the same birth date of June 10.  It's kind of sweet.

All of us had different assignments in preparing for the party.  The guys ran errands.  Sis-in-law was in charge of bringing my brother over to my sister's house and keeping it a surprise.  Sis and I were in charge of the menu and drinks.  Mom assisted us with preparing some Korean side dishes and the traditional birthday seaweed soup. 

Dad had the hardest job of all - he was in charge of keeping the kids preoccupied.  He's looking pretty good with the feminine baby carrier, isn't he?

Once the older birthday boy showed up, we sat down to feast (except DC who was so excited, he dug in standing up).

We gorged ourselves on steamed blue crabs seasoned with Old Bay . . .

Shrimp seasoned with cajun spices, lemon, garlic, and butter . . .

A side of steamed squid (my brother's favorite) and sweet potato fries . . .

Sweet corn on the cob . . .

And for good measure, we rounded it out with Bon Chon chicken (the best Korean fried chicken there is) and some strawberry spinach salad with toasted almonds . . .

And a fabulous fruit tart from Wegman's to complete the show.

We had a wonderful time, but the best for the little birthday boy was opening up presents.

Our absolute favorite gift was this little guy:

Though the festivities and the food were fabulous, the thing that marks the occasion are the people.  And there's nothing like being with family.

Happiest birthday wishes and love to my darling son and my dear brother!

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