Saturday, March 10, 2012

Eating out with babies

Dakar has plenty of restaurants - and since most folks here don't eat out until late, going early to accommodate little one's bedtime means we get the place to ourselves.

This is little beach restaurant on the 
west side of the peninsula is one of 
my favorites - setting sun, water, 
good food. Does life get any better? 

 Yes - with our friends Jonathan and Kari. Their little guy is 2 weeks older than ours!
These boys are going to be trouble!

Avocado ice cream

Yes, you heard me right. Avocado ice cream. Home made exotic ice cream flavors are my new hobby, and I'm starting with avocado based combinations. They have such a mild, almost sweet flavor, lovely creaminess, and a high enough fat content to participate well in ice cream. Unfortunately, Ed dislikes avocado, and it takes me a week to finish a batch, so unless I find a kindred spirit who wants to help me eat my experiments, it will take a long time to perfect my recipes. Avocados are in season right now, and they tend to sell the "pour au jourd'hui" (to eat today) or "pour demain" (to eat tomorrow), so if you buy a kilo (2.2 lbs), you'd better want to eat avocado!
I use a stick blender from Cuisinart (on a transformer) to blend the avocado to cream, and then strain it to make sure no fibers get in. 

My first attempt was avocado-coconut lime. 2 avocados, 1/2 can coconut milk, juice of one lime, one can of sweetened condensed milk. Treat the avocados as above, mix together, and freeze! I was quite impressed for a first attempt. The secret to good ice cream, unfortunately, is fat content, and there was enough fat in the coconut milk so that it didn't freeze solid. My only complaint was I felt the coconut and lime flavors were too subtle. Next time - a whole can of coconut milk and 2 limes. 

The picture is my most recent experiment - avocado-grapefruit-lime (only bought one grapefruit, so there was no grapefruit left to put in the picture). Again 2 avocados, juice of one large pink grapefruit, juice of one lime, 1 and 1/2 cups of Splenda (trying to go easy on sugar), and one cup of cream, gently whipped. This froze a little harder (all the grapefruit juice) to something between ice cream and a granita. It does have a lovely light zingy taste, but the aftertaste is a little too heavy on the grapefruit. Fixes I can think of - go back to using sweetened condensed milk instead of cream and Splenda (less diabetic friendly) or using less grapefruit juice. For the consistency, I might add some gelatin to the grapefruit juice (my mom's trick). It will also help when our ice cream maker gets here!

Any other brilliant avocado combinations?