Brad and I love entertaining. Being able to welcome friends, old and new, into our home so we can feed them and get lost in conversation is what makes our hearts full. We did a lot of that this past weekend and I'm still riding the wave of complete exhaustion and total elation. We don't entertain as often as we used to, probably because of the whole having-young-kids thing. That tends to suck all of our energy for entertaining and then we forget about what we love about it and why it's worth the time and effort. Fortunately, this weekend got us out of our little rut and back into the swing of things. We were slightly rusty. We didn't always feel like we were on the same page with the timing of the food on the grill or clean up afterwards. But we found our somewhat shaky footing and dove in with all we had to give. And it was soul satisfying.
We entertained two nights in a row. The first night, we celebrated Children's Day (also known as Boy's Day) which is a Japanese holiday where parents celebrate their happy, healthy children. How perfect is that? Nearly all of our friends have young children and in the midst of it all it seemed appropriate to take a moment and appreciate the gifts they are in our lives. It was also an excellent excuse to make yakitori and give grilled octopus a try! Night number two was spent with new friends. We grilled skirt steak and piled it onto a giant salad of spring greens, hearts of palm, grilled cherry tomatoes, avocado, marinated onions, and a chimichurri style dressing. Grilling season, FTW! We ended the evening with this Brown Sugar Miso Ice Cream. H-E-A-V-E-N.
This ice cream may sound scary to some of you. And that's OK. But don't let that feeling deter you from giving this salty-sweet dessert a try! It's the perfect way to expand your use of that miso in the back of your refrigerator and will no doubt become a favorite for your friends and family. I've been making this ice cream for years. I think it was about 7 years when I made it the first time and posted it on Tokyo Terrace (long story- Tokyo Terrace has been hijacked and I haven't had success getting it back and I'm sick about it). Since the recipe is no longer accessible on my first food blog, I decided it needed to make an appearance here.
I hope you'll try this and let me know what you think! It's lovely topped with shaved dark chocolate, black sesame seeds, or a drizzle of hot fudge. Oh, and crushed graham crackers WITH hot fudge = OUT OF THIS WORLD.
Now that you're convinced to give it a go, here is the recipe! (seriously though- try it, photograph it, and tag me on Instagram so I can see!)
Brown Sugar Miso Ice Cream
Makes 1 quart
1 cup whole milk
1 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons white miso paste
5 egg yolks
2 cups heavy cream
black sesame seeds or shaved chocolate for garnish
1. Combine the milk brown sugar in a saucepan (off the heat for now) and whisk to combine. Put the miso in a small glass bowl and set aside.
2. Pour the cream into a large mixing bowl and place in the refrigerator.
3. Separate the egg yolks and put them in a medium bowl. Set aside.
4. Place the saucepan with the milk and sugar over medium low heat and stir constantly. You don’t want to heat the mixture too quickly, so this step may take a few minutes. The milk mixture should not come to a simmer, but you may see 2 or three bubbles come to the surface, which is fine. The sign that it is done heating is that the sugar is completely dissolved and steam is steadily rising from the top. Reduce the heat to low and ladle about 1/4 cup of the warm milk mixture into the bowl with the miso paste. Whisk it together well until the miso is smooth, then pour into the saucepan and combine well.
5. Remove the milk mixture from the heat. Gradually pour the hot liquid over the egg yolks, whisking constantly to avoid the eggs scrambling. Return the liquid and egg mixture to the saucepan and place over low heat. Use a spatula to stir the liquid constantly until it begins to thicken and coat the spatula. This can take about 10 minutes. Again, don’t heat it too fast or it will curdle at the bottom of the saucepan.
6. Now, remove the pan from the heat and take the cream out of the refrigerator. Pour the hot liquid into the cream, stirring constantly until the mixture has cooled down. Cover with plastic wrap and return to the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
7. Take your ice cream base and put it in an ice cream maker. Follow manufacturer’s instructions.
8. When the ice cream has reached a soft-serve type of thickness, transfer it to a separate container and freeze for about 1-2 hours before serving. When ready to eat, garnish with black sesame seeds or chocolate shavings.