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Here's the scoop

Updated: Aug 18, 2011 04:26 PM EDT
© Todd Coleman / Bonnier © Todd Coleman / Bonnier
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  • Tomato Basil Pasta, 9/1/14

    Tomato Basil Pasta, 9/1/14

    Monday, September 1 2014 12:26 PM EDT2014-09-01 16:26:50 GMT
    Serge KrikorianDinner's Ready2 Servings2 Tbls. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided5 Tbls. Unsalted Butter, divided (NOT margarine)1 tsp. Minced Garlic1 Shallot, minced1 Pt. Grape or Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise8-10 Leaves Fresh Basil, cut into ribbonsSalt Ground Black Pepper, to tasteGrated Parmigiano reggiano cheese, for garnish4 oz. Penne Pasta (or pasta of your choice), cooked according to package directionsOption Add-Ins: Diced Grilled Chicken, Sauteed Shrimp, sauteed sliced fresh...More >>
    Serge KrikorianDinner's Ready2 Servings2 Tbls. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided5 Tbls. Unsalted Butter, divided (NOT margarine)1 tsp. Minced Garlic1 Shallot, minced1 Pt. Grape or Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise8-10 Leaves Fresh Basil, cut into ribbonsSalt Ground Black Pepper, to tasteGrated Parmigiano reggiano cheese, for garnish4 oz. Penne Pasta (or pasta of your choice), cooked according to package directionsOption Add-Ins: Diced Grilled Chicken, Sauteed Shrimp, sauteed sliced fresh...More >>
  • Spicy Poached Eggs in Tomato Sauce, 8/27/14

    Spicy Poached Eggs in Tomato Sauce, 8/27/14

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 11:49 AM EDT2014-08-27 15:49:39 GMT
    Gary DukeAlley Oops4 tomatoes, chopped2 tablespoon olive oil1/2 onion, sliced thinlysalt, black pepper, crushed red pepper and garlic to taste4 eggsfresh mozzarella cheese, cubedparmesan cheesefresh basilbread slices1. In a sauce pan, cook the onions in the olive oil for a few minutes, add the tomatoes and seasoning to mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover, simmer for an additional 15 or 20 minutes.2. Uncover sauce and gentle crack the eggs evenly around your tomato sauce. Place ...More >>
    Gary DukeAlley Oops4 tomatoes, chopped2 tablespoon olive oil1/2 onion, sliced thinlysalt, black pepper, crushed red pepper and garlic to taste4 eggsfresh mozzarella cheese, cubedparmesan cheesefresh basilbread slices1. In a sauce pan, cook the onions in the olive oil for a few minutes, add the tomatoes and seasoning to mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover, simmer for an additional 15 or 20 minutes.2. Uncover sauce and gentle crack the eggs evenly around your tomato sauce. Place ...More >>
  • Summer Shrimp Salad, 8/25/14

    Summer Shrimp Salad, 8/25/14

    Monday, August 25 2014 8:49 AM EDT2014-08-25 12:49:13 GMT
    Capi PeckTrio'sServes 41 1/4 lbs. large Gulf shrimp in the shell2 ears corn on the cobs, steamed, grilled or roasted/ kernels removedFor the dressing:2 cloves garlic, smashed1 1/2 t. cumin1 t. paprika1/2 t. cayenne pepper1/2 c. lime juice1c. olive oil1/2 c. cilantro leavessalt to tasteCombine all dressing ingredients in bowl or jar. Whisk or shake well to combine. Set aside.2 Haas avocados, sliced1/2 c. cilantro leaves8 cups arugula or other greens of your choice?1 half Vidalia or sweet onion...More >>
    Capi PeckTrio'sServes 41 1/4 lbs. large Gulf shrimp in the shell2 ears corn on the cobs, steamed, grilled or roasted/ kernels removedFor the dressing:2 cloves garlic, smashed1 1/2 t. cumin1 t. paprika1/2 t. cayenne pepper1/2 c. lime juice1c. olive oil1/2 c. cilantro leavessalt to tasteCombine all dressing ingredients in bowl or jar. Whisk or shake well to combine. Set aside.2 Haas avocados, sliced1/2 c. cilantro leaves8 cups arugula or other greens of your choice?1 half Vidalia or sweet onion...More >>


By Molly O'Neill


Ice cream was the salvation of swampy summer nights when I was growing up in Columbus, Ohio. The promise of cool cones was reason enough to pile into the station wagon, roll down the windows, and outrun the heat lightning and mosquitoes.

In the late 1960s, there were still a dozen or so family-run ice cream stands around town that made homemade ice cream with milk and cream from local dairies. By the time I'd graduated from college they were all gone.  

Then along came Jeni Britton Bauer. Raised in Peoria, Illinois, an Ohioan by choice, she opened her first ice cream counter in 1996 at Columbus's old North Market. A former art student, Bauer had pink hair and lots of foodie, cow-to-cone ideas. But her insanely imaginative small-batch ice cream was so pure, so rich, and so deeply flavored that Central Ohioans forgot to be alarmed by her eccentricities.

They also forgot that they are the original vanilla cone crowd and began lining up for scoops of chile dark chocolate and salty caramel ice cream.

What's revolutionary about Bauer's ice cream has a lot to do with her creative flavors, but even more to do with her innovative techniques: "You have to see ice cream as chemistry, a delicate dance between proteins, sugars, butterfat, air, and a few other equally unsexy components," she says. "Once you understand the role that each plays, you have complete freedom with ingredients. I really geeked out on it all."

Now Bauer, whose hair has long since been restored to its natural dark blonde, owns nine Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams stores in Ohio and one in Tennessee. And her new book, Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home (Artisan, $23.95), walks readers through her technique, which she adapted for the home cook. It's a novel approach which achieves some of the creamiest, most saturated-in-flavor ice cream that I've ever tasted.

The problem with homemade ice cream is that it's often too soft or too dense, lacking a luscious mouth-feel. Bauer's technique addresses, and solves, some of the common problems head-on.

Ice cream is basically a frozen emulsion, in which components that do not naturally meld—fat, water, and air—are encouraged to marry by adding such things as heat, proteins, sugars, and starches. The stronger the marriage, the more supple the ice cream will be. If water is not bound well with the other ingredients, it becomes nasty little ice shards that disrupt the smooth sensation on the tongue.

Rather than using the traditional egg yolk to bind water and fat in the frozen emulsion, Bauer relies on the proteins in milk—casein and whey. She boils the liquid to reduce its water content, concentrating and denaturing the proteins, rendering them more likely to bind the water and fat.

Bauer's other tricks include adding cream cheese, which is high in casein proteins, and using thickeners, such as cornstarch, which absorb water and prevent crystallization, for added insurance. Her use of natural corn syrup in addition to granulated sugar is also key: Its glucose is not as sweet in flavor as sugar's sucrose, and it binds with water, which helps prevent icing, too.

Her basic formula is foolproof, and applies to all flavors, from nutty praline to good old-fashioned chocolate. No matter what kind of ice cream maker you use (see Ice Cream Unplugged), it turns out smooth, rich results. "That's the sexy part," says Bauer. "But you can't have that sizzle without mastering the unsexy stuff."


Learn Jeni's technique for making rich and creamy ice cream by following the step-by-step instructions in Ice Cream 101 »

See the recipe for Jeni's Ice Cream Base »


Molly O'Neill is the author of One Big Table: A Portrait of American Cooking (Simon & Schuster, 2010).

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