Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Best Of Summer. Sweet Corn and Chipotle Chili Ice Cream with Walnut Chili Brittle. Thanks OXO!

    For the last several months I haven't been doing a whole lot of cooking. I've been operating out of a  borrowed kitchen while our new house is being remodeled. I've been cooking out of the boxes I've carried from our old house to our temporary rental and as a result of my careful planning, I can't find most of the stuff I brought with me. That's even if I did bring it with me because I realize some stuff may be in storage. My answer to cooking out of my many mystery boxes has led me to only make the simplest dishes. So, when an opportunity came along to try out some ice cream tools from OXO of course I said yes!  What's simpler than ice cream? Not much it turns out, provided one can find their ice cream machine. That was a little trickier in my case.
   After a rummage through a nest of boxes, in the temporary garage, I located the machine, but my metal ice cream storage containers were nowhere to be found. No problem as it turned out, since OXO sent along a terrific container that worked beautifully and took up very little space in the freezer. After that, my only challenge was to come up with a flavor of ice cream that made the best of a Sonoma summer.
   I wandered through the Farmers Market but nothing particularly caught my eye until I saw the Sweet Summer Corn. Having raised parrots, I was familiar with the charms of sweet corn and of Alex the Genius parrots' love for it.

   Sweet corn, soft corn, ice cream. It seemed like a natural connection. Yeah, right. In LA I remember the elotes vendors who'd push their carts around the neighborhood and would be parked outside of the school yards every afternoon, mobbed by kids enjoying the sweet corn on a stick loaded with contijo cheese, mayo and spices. Then there were the Tamal Dulce with sugar and raisins at Tamales Lilianas in East LA. This place is so good they have two locations!

Anyway, before I make myself any hungrier fantasizing about tamales that are 500+ miles away from me.... the logic went like this, if I can eat sweet corn tamales, why not sweet corn ice cream?

Sweet Corn and Chipotle Chili Ice Cream With Walnut Chipotle Brittle


Here's What You Need:
2 ears of sweet white corn
2 cups of cream
2 cups of milk
3/4 cup of sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/8 to 1/4 tsp of ground chipotle chili
2 cups walnut halves
1/4 cup of sugar
3 Tbs unsalted butter
chipotle chili to taste
a pinch of Kosher salt

Here's What To Do:
Shuck, wash and remove the kernels from two ears of corn.

Set them aside.
Pour 2 cups of cream into a large pot.

Add in 2 tsp of good quality vanilla. I use Gaya Mexican Vanilla but any good brand will do.

Add in 3/4 cup of sugar.

Bring the cream, sugar, and vanilla to a low simmer.
When the mixture starts to simmer, add in the kernels of corn.
Let the corn simmer for about 3 or 4 minutes until it's slightly tender.
Take the mixture off the fire and add in 2 cups of milk.

Add in the ground chipotle chili.

About The Chili:
Add it slowly and in small amounts. Let it sit for a bit to let the heat develop before you add more as you want to get the heat to a desirable level.This is a total matter of taste. 

Before putting the mixture into your ice cream machine let it chill in the fridge for several hours or even overnight as I did so the flavors can mellow. Before you put the ice cream in the machine check the flavor again for heat. If it's okay with your taste buds, you're good to go.

Pour the ice cream into your machine.

 When it's churned and read scoop it out...

...and into a freezer-safe container.

Since I usually use metal containers I was a bit suspicious as to whether or not the OXO freezer box would deliver a tight enough seal. I should have known better....

OXO, great as usual. Also, it fit perfectly into the freezer of the fridge I'm using.

Once the ice cream goes into the fridge to set up for a bit, make the Walnut Chipotle Brittle.
Patsy was an eager audience.

Add 3 Tbs of butter to a skillet.
As it melts add in add 1/4 cup of sugar.

Stir it all together.

Let it all melt together.
When the caramel has thickened add the nuts to the mixture...

...and 1/4 tsp of Kashmiri chili.

Stir it all together. If it starts to thicken up too much just put it back on the heat to soften it.
Pour it onto a heatproof plate or silicone mat,  (which is what I would have used had I been able to find mine. I substituted a paper plate.)

Sprinkle the whole with a bit of sea salt and  your are done. Let it harden a cool for a bit.
When you are ready to serve it up, chop your nut brittle.

I used the nifty chopper I got from OXO.

One little push, and bingo. It's done.

Scoop the Sweet Corn Ice Cream into a bowl and scatter some of the chopped Walnut Brittle on top.

   There it is, the best of summer's corn in a dessert bowl. Sweet Corn Ice Cream. Was it good? The cream was suffused with the taste of the corn, the crunch of the nut brittle in the mix was perfect and at the end there was a nice heat to the whole thing. It was like eating cracker jack ice cream. Enough said. Definitely a keeper.

   Thanks to OXO for giving me such perfect tools to work with. I always love their stuff and buy it for my kitchen, but right here, right now, working out of temporary quarters, I couldn't have done this without them. Plus, I always love anyone who gives me an excuse to make ice cream.
 Coming up next, a Summer drink with Indian  flavors. Follow along on Twitter @kathygori


  1. Brillliant idea! I would never have thought of it in a million years but you're right, sweet corn ice cream makes perfect sense.

  2. Awesome. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe.

  3. I've had sweet corn ice cream in Singapore, Malaysia & Thailand. Mind you they don't put chili or walnuts in their sweet corn ice cream but they do put coconut & sometimes a little pandan. The Thai, Malay & Singapuddlers also consider tepid canned creamed corn to be a lovely topping for ice cream sundaes & some sort of slimy cold noodle concoction (YUK!)
    When I first moved to Nepal I brought some seeds for American sweet corn to try to grow in my Nepali garden. The corn normally grown here in Nepal is of a hard, starchy flavorless type like you'd feed to chickens. Khashi, my Nepali gardener had his doubts about madame's 'chinni' corn. ('Chinni' in Nepali means sugar or is slang for a Chinese person so I don't think Khashi knew what to expect.) Well we actually got the 'chinni corn' to ripen & Khashi was delighted with the sweet flavor, but he did correct my Nepali by telling me, 'Madame this is Amreekan corn not chinni corn.' So there you go!



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