Monthly Archives: June 2012

Fig Ice Cream with Lemon Kisses


By Chef Lippe

TGIF and boy is it hot here in DC! So I am making one of my childhood favorites…yes fig ice cream.  This recipe will make 3 quarts so enjoy.


4 one pound cans figs, drained

2 cups milk

1/8 teaspoon salt

6 egg yolks (save extra egg whites for lemon meringue kisses)

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 egg whites

2 cups heavy cream


Place the figs in a deep bowl and with a large spoon, mash them to a somewhat coarse puree. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set to the side.

In a heavy 3 quart pan, warm the milk and salt over low heat until bubbles begin to appear around the sides of the pan. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.

With electric beater, beat egg yolks and sugar together for 5 minutes, or until they are they are thick enough to fall from the beater when lifted from the bowl. Pour in the warm milk in a slow, thin stream while beating eggs constantly.

Pour egg and milk mixture back into pan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until custard thickens enough to coat wooden spoon like heavy cream. DO NOT let custard come near a boil or it will curdle; if it gets to hot lift from heat for a few minutes to let it cool.

Pour custard into a bowl and set this bowl into a large pan filled with crushed ice and water. Stir for 4 to 5 minutes until custard cools and is thick.  Stir in vanilla and figs.

In a large bowl, beat egg whites until they are very stiff.

In another bowl beat heavy cream until it too is stiff.

With a rubber spatula fold the two together. Add half to the egg custard mix folding gently until it is well blended. Add the remaining half and mix gently until well blended.

Scoop into a mold or pan and freeze for 1 hour.  Remove and with a fork mix frozen crystals into ice cream and then refreeze. Freeze until it is frim.


While your ice cream is freezing heat oven to 375 degrees.

Beat two remaining egg whites until frothy add ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar, a pinch of salt, ½ cup sugar and ½ teaspoon lemon extract and beat until light and fluffy.

Drop by teaspoon onto parchment paper and place in oven. Turn oven off and leave in oven for 5 hours. DO NOT OPEN DOOR UNTIL TIME IS UP.

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Fantastic fish tacos by Maggie


Fish Tacos


Chipotle Salsa:

2 cups seeded and diced Roma tomatoes

2 tablespoons minced red onion

1 tsp. red wine vinegar

1 canned chipotle pepper,minced

salt, to taste

2 tablespoons cilantro,chopped

Picante Slaw:

2 cups finely shredded cabbage

2 tsp. lime juice

2 tsp. honey

2 tablespoons minced red onion

1 jalapeno, seeded and minced

2 tsp. chopped cilantro

salt, to taste


2 lbs. tilapia

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3 tablespoons lime juice

5 tsp. chili powder

1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1 1/2 tsp ground coriander

1 1/2 tsp minced garlic

salt, to taste

Lime Crema:

1/2 cup Mexican crema or sour cream

zest from one lime

juice from 1 lime

8- 8 inch diameter flour tortillas


Combine all ingredients; toss and set aside.


Combine all ingredients; toss and set aside.


Combine all ingredients; stir to combine and set aside.


On a grill pan…

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Ricotta Cheese Homemade

Ricotta Cheese

By Chef Lippe

You will need the left over whey from your mozzarella (see  Ricotta is so much easier to make it’s hard to mess up. So even if the mozzarella did not come out right this will. With the mozzarella practice makes perfect.

What you will need:

  • Leftover Whey
  • Large bowl
  • Reusable coffee filter or a clean cloth
  • Large strainer
  • Small bowl


Pour the whey into your pot and heat back up to boiling (about 200 degrees). The temperature here is not critical and you don’t even have to do is slow. Just be careful not to let it boil over. IT WILL IF YOU ARE NOT WATCHING AND IT IS A MESS!

You can make your ricotta the same day as the mozzarella or the next it does not make a difference.

Once the whey has come to a boil turn off the heat and let it cool down.  Give it a stir every once in a while.

Strain the whey once it has cooled down to 140 degrees or less.  You can ladle or pour through the coffee filter.  Most of the Ricotta is at the bottom of the pot so pour slowly and do not shake up the pot and you should be able to pour most of the whey through. If your filter gets full just empty into a bowl.

Let Ricotta drain for a while then transfer to a clean cloth, gather up the corners and squeeze out as much whey as you can.  Pour back into strainer and let drain some more if needed.  You should be able to get about 6 ounces.

The left over whey that you drained from the ricotta can be used to feed plants, your cats and dogs will love it or you can just throw it out.  Bet you did not know you could get so much from a gallon of milk!

I served my freshly made ricotta on slices of French baguette, lightly toasted, topped with sun dried tomatoes and a little fresh basil finely chopped.

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Homemade Mozzarella

Homemade Mozzarella

by Chef Lippe

It’s summer time and the kids are home from school and this is a great project that you can make in the kitchen with their help.  If at all possible a nice ride into the countryside, where you visit a local dairy farm and they get to see how cows are milked makes a great start to this adventure.

To make fresh mozzarella you can use either raw milk if available or store bought milk and a few hours.  I have also made this same recipe with goats milk and 2% milk. Raw milk is my favorite.


  • 8 quart pan stainless steel (do not use cast iron, or aluminum)
  • Candy thermometer
  • 2 measuring cups or glass bowls to dissolve the citric acid and rennet in.
  • Large and small strainer
  • Long knife
  • Slotted spoon
  • Large glass bowl
  • Small glass bowl
  • Microwave
  • Nylon netting (optional)
  • Plain white cloth if you want to make Ricotta Cheese with the Whey that is left.


1 gallon of milk (only restriction is do not use ultra-homogenized milk)

1 Rennet tablet (found at Trader Joe’s)

2 teaspoons Citric Acid divided. (1 teaspoon is dissolved in water and the other sprinkled directly into the milk)

½ cup water (bottled is best) Do not use chlorinated water.

1 – 2 teaspoons salt.


Pour 1 teaspoon Citric Acid into ¼ cup bottled water and stir.  Crush the rennet tablet and pour into another ¼ cup of bottled water.

Pour milk into your pot.  Milk should be at least 50 degrees when you pour in the Citric Acid.

Pour in Citric Acid and stir for a minute.

Sprinkle the other teaspoon Citric Acid in the mild and stir for another minute. You should see milk start to curdle.

Heat milk to 88-90 degrees stirring occasionally. Use low heat to heat slowly.   DO NOT go past 90 degrees.  (This step should take 10 to 15 minutes)

TEMPATURE IS IMPORTANT!  If you get the milk to hot or too cold, the Rennet will not make curds.

At 88 degrees turn off the heat and stir in the Rennet solution for 15-20 seconds

This is not an error. You are not trying to pasteurize the milk. If you get it too hot or too cold, the Rennet will not make curds. Use a low heat so it doesn’t go past the 88-90 degrees. It should take about 10-15 minutes.

Cover the pot and LEAVE IT UNDISTURBED FOR AT LEAST 20 MINUTES (I do mine 30 minutes and most instructions say 15-20 minutes) Time is not critical here as long as when you get a clean break.

Wait for a clean break. This is when you poke your finger into it and move it for an inch or so and lift it out, the curd and whey should separate and not stick to your finger.  If the line you make with your finger does not hold its shape for few seconds or it looks to runny let it sit for a few more minutes.

Cut the curd into ½ inch cubes and then cut the cubes into 45 degree triangles.

Let the curds set undisturbed for another 5 to 10 minutes.

Apply low heat and gently stir the curds occasionally to keep them separated until they reach 108 degrees. This will take about 15 minutes. The curds will shrink and start to sink as the whey is expelled from them.

Turn off the heat and continue to stir every few minutes for an additional 20 minutes, while the curds keep shrinking.

Drain the curds into a strainer or colander and let set for about 15 minutes. If you put the strainer over a bigger bowl and save the whey you can make Ricotta cheese with it.  Let the strainer sit in a dry pan until no more whey comes out of them.

Pour the curd into a smaller bow and break them up with your hand (should look like cottage cheese).

This is the tricky part because every microwave oven heats a little different depending on size. So it is better to heat less and keep checking. I use a microwave that is 1100 watts and it takes 30-45 seconds. (If you overcook here the curds turn to mush).

To check squeeze the curds with a spoon and pull them to the side of the bowl, pour any whey into your collection of whey.

Repeat heating and squeezing until you can pull curds out in a soft ball form. Microwave for 20 seconds more.

Now for the part the kids can help with!


At this point if it is warm enough it should become pliable and stretchy.  Add salt and herb (optional). Grab 1/3 to ½ and lift. It should stretch with its own weight. If not put back into microwave for a few more seconds. As you work through the stretching process knead it like bread a couple of times.  Keep lifting and stretching and kneading until you get a nice firm thick stretch of cheese that is a soft ball that does not stick to your hands is nice and smooth and shiny.  It’s done!

You should get about 12 ounces of cheese. Wrap in plastic or a zip lock bag and store in your refrigerator. It should keep for about 6 days, mine never lasts this long.

If this is your first time we offer a kit that includes everything you will need to make 4 batches of cheese for $25.00 per kit. All you need is the fresh milk. If you already have the candy thermometer order our refill kit for $14.00. 

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Chocolate Truffle Surprise

Avocado Chocolate Truffle

By Chef Lippe

Super easy truffle that will keep you coming back for more.  This is another one of those recipes that I just don’t say what is in it until after they tell me if they liked it. Even my own Dad who loves avocados turned his nose up to this one based on the name only the first time I offered them to the family.  So the next time I made them, I changed the color sugar coating, and just said they were chocolate truffles. They were a HIT!  So if you are BRAVE enough to try this recipe you will be hooked after the first bite. You can even play a game with them to see if they can guess the secret ingredient.


½ cup butter

1 large very ripe avocado, peeled and pit removed

1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa

3 cup powdered (confectioners) sugar

Sugars for rolling


In a large saucepan over low heat, melt butter, remove from heat and set to the side.

In food processor or blender, puree the avocado until a smooth consistency (add a little of the melted butter if needed to make sure it is a smooth consistency with no chunks)

Add avocado puree, vanilla, powdered sugar into sauce pan with butter. Mix well and then place in refrigerator until it hardens.

Once this mix is firm scoop and roll into balls about ¾ inch in size.  If mixture starts to get too soft to form balls place in freezer for a few minutes.  Place balls on a cookie sheet lined with a piece of paper.  Place balls in refrigerator until firm.

This time roll balls into either powdered sugar or colored sugar to coat outside.  Store in refrigerator until a few minutes before you want to serve.


Filed under Avocados, Chef Lippe, chocolate, Food, Food blog, recipes

Chocolate Truffles

Chocolate Truffles

By Chef Lippe

I keep my chocolate in the refrigerator at this time of year for a nice cold treat when I come in from the garden.  As I grew up this was a favorite treat made by the cooks for the winter holidays.  I always got to help even if it was only licking the bowl when I was very young. So this would be a fun summer time project with the kids.

The word truffle comes from a French fungus.  As strange as that may sound, the word truffle is now very much synonyms for luxury to your taste buds. A chocolate truffle is a ganache covered with tempered chocolate.  A ganache is made of a mixture of cream and melted chocolate, and tempered means that the chocolate has been melted to a specific temperature, cooled to a specific temperature, and then once again melted. The ganache is then dipped into this melted chocolate. This method makes the truffle hard on the outside but soft and creamy on the inside.


10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, (chopped very, very fine)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup liqueur of your choice (I like to use Kahlua, DisAronno, or Amaretto)

Suggested truffle coating Ingredients: 
1/2 cup Dutch-Process Cocoa
Finely chopped nuts
Toasted coconut
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate for dipping (Chocolate candy coating can be used instead).

In a microwave-safe bowl (glass bowl preferred because it retains heat and keeps the chocolate tempered for a longer time), place chocolate in the microwave for thirty seconds at a time on high power until the chocolate is melted. Be very careful not to overheat the chocolate. The chocolate may not look as if it has completely melted, because it retains its shape. The chocolate should be only slightly warmer than your bottom lip. You may still see lumps in it once you’ve stirred it, but don’t worry; the residual heat of the chocolate will melt it.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the butter, corn syrup, and cream until it just begins to simmer; remove from heat.  NOTE: Stir constantly while doing this to avoid scorching the mixture on the bottom of the pan. Pour the cream/corn syrup mixture over the tempered chocolate and let it stand for about 2 minutes.  The heat from the mixture will finish the melting of the chocolate. You now have a chocolate ganache.

Stir the chocolate ganache mixture carefully, but thoroughly until it is smooth and creamy. Stir in the liqueur (of your choice) and make sure it is mixed throughout the chocolate. Spoon the mixture into an 8-inch by 8-inch glass baking dish and cover it with plastic wrap.  Place in the refrigerator to cool until it is firm, approximately 1 to 2 hours.

When the chocolate ganache is cooled and firmed, scoop out small amounts with a spoon or melon baler, and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Return this to the refrigerator to firm up again. You will see just how quickly the ganache begins to melt when it is removed from the refrigerator, especially if you are using your hands to form a more ball like structure with it.

While you are waiting for the ganache to get firm, get your Truffle Coating Ingredients ready:

Place the Dutch cocoa in a small bowl.

Finely chop the nuts in a food processor or similar (toasting the nuts before chopping can give them a deeper flavor).  To toast pecans, almonds, or walnuts, place them in a dry skillet over medium heat and stir constantly to avoid burning until you can smell the aroma of the nut.  Remove from the heat immediately and allow to cool before chopping.

Toast the coconut in a 350 degree F. oven for 10 minutes or until slightly brown.  Remove from oven and allow the coconut to cool; then crush it in a plastic bag so that it is fine.

Chocolate candy coating can be melted in the microwave or on the stove with a double boiler. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for melting.

Finely chop 8 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate and place into a medium-size bowl.  Although this can be done on the stove with a double boiler, the easiest way, and safest way of keeping the chocolate “temper”, is to use a heating source such as a hot plate on low to medium, or even a heating pad under the bowl. Stirring occasionally, heat the chocolate until it reaches 92 degrees F. on your cooking thermometer.

NOTE: Keep it at this temperature to maintain that crisp crunch when it is cooled around the truffle center.  DO NOT heat your chocolate above 94 degrees F, the temperature at which you will lose the temper.

Remove the chocolate ganache from the refrigerator in small batches. Roll it in your palm to form a ball. Immediately place it in the coating of your choice and cover completely. Place the coated ball back on a lined cookie sheet and allow to set up in a cool dry place for at least 1 hour.  To cover the balls with chocolate, use a small slotted spoon or a fork, and allow the chocolate to drip off after you have dipped it, then place on the cookie sheet with the others.

I like to make a variety of truffles, and it is just as easy as changing the coating, or even changing the liqueur you are using.

Here are the ones my kids helped with!


Filed under Chef Lippe, chocolate, Food, Food blog, recipes

Too Hot To Cook?

Too Hot To Cook?

By Chef Lippe

First thing this morning we used one of mozzarella kits to make fresh cheese. We placed one of our Himalayan salt plates in the freezer and then we went out to the garden and picked some nice ripe cherry tomatoes and some strawberries. Now the fun part!

We clean the strawberries and add them to the blender with 1 can of frozen pink lemonade, add 1 cup tequila and ¼ cup triple sec and ice. Blend and pour! See I told you the fun part.


Now we get our fresh tomatoes and freshly made cheese and make lunch.

1 pt. cherry tomatoes, halved
10 to 14 fresh small mozzarella cheese balls, cut into thirds*
32 (4-inch) wooden skewers**
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
6 thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
Kosher salt and pepper to taste


Thread 1 tomato half, 1 piece of cheese, and another tomato half onto each skewer. Place skewers in a shallow serving dish.

Whisk together oil and next 3 ingredients. Drizzle oil mixture over skewers; sprinkle with basil and salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy the heat!

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