Tag Archives: Scarpetta

Malt Ball Gelato

Malt Ball Gelato

Gelato. I think we’d all agree, it’s just plain some of the best stuff on planet earth. I discovered it about twelve years ago; I was in grad school and I did a study abroad for six weeks one summer in Austria. And though you might think of gelato being associated with Italy – its birthplace – don’t forget that all of Europe has embraced this creamy sweetness, and gelaterias exist all over.

malt balls

We had one by the little apartment building we were staying in, and I won’t say every day, but on most afternoons I would stop by and get a little cup of something (usually chocolate). This was still in my picky eating days, yet I adored this gelato stuff I’d just discovered. I found I sorely missed it once I returned home to the States, and it was a good month before I ate any American ice cream.

malt balls for gelato

So what made me adore gelato so much? How is it so different from our American ice cream? For starters, there’s less fat in gelato. Instead of an equal ratio of milk to cream, or even using more cream than milk, gelato uses more milk than cream. The other key difference is that gelato has less air incorporated into it during the churning process. In Europe they have specific gelato makers, which differ from ice cream makers in that they turn the custard slower, and they have devices that move the gelato in an up-and-down motion as well as it spinning around. It also churns for less time overall. And lastly, it is served at a warmer temperature than ice cream.

Malt Ball Gelato

The result is that gelato is denser and has a creamier mouthfeel. It just tastes more luxurious, more decadent, even though it’s actually lower calorie than ice cream. And at least to this American, it feels slightly exotic. International. So let’s Americanize it, shall we? Let’s class this gelato thing down! We’re putting malt balls in there – the quintessential movie theater treat for children. While we may outgrow the childhood movies, no adult truly loses their taste for the malt balls, I’m convinced.

Malt Ball Gelato

Which is probably why a bunch of otherwise mature and functional adults all loved this gelato! It’s the perfect gelato texture, but with that nostalgic flavor and crunch woven in. I loved it, and I feel quite certain you will too. Enjoy!

{One Year Ago: Homemade Cajun Seasoning}

Source: lightly adapted from The Scarpetta Cookbook by Scott Conant

3 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
¾ cup plus 1 tbs granulated sugar
1 cup malted milk powder
1 tsp ground mace (sub in ground nutmeg if you can’t find mace)
6 large egg yolks
8 oz. chocolate covered malt candy (malt balls), cut in half and/or quartered

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk, cream, and ½ cup of the sugar. Cook, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved, about a minute or 2, then add the malted milk powder and mace. Whisk to combine. Let the mixture continue to heat up until you see bubbles forming at the edges of the pot. Shut off the heat.
Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining sugar. Slowly pour about ½ cup of the milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking all the while. This will temper the eggs so they do not scramble on you. Now pour the egg mixture, slowly, into the saucepan, whisking continuously. Cook over medium-low heat until the mixture has thickened somewhat and can coat the back of a spoon. This takes around 7-10 minutes.
Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean mixing bowl. Place this mixing bowl into an ice bath and let it come up to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Refrigerate the custard until very cold.
Turn on your ice cream maker and pour the custard in. Churn the gelato about 5 minutes less than your ice cream maker instructs for ice cream. In the last few minutes it’s churning, add the reserved chopped malt balls to incorporate. Transfer the gelato to a freezer-safe container and store in the freezer for up to 2 hours to firm up somewhat before serving.

Pancetta Wrapped Pork Tenderloin over Apple-Turnip Hash

Pancetta Wrapped Pork Tenderloin over Apple-Turnip Hash

Is it shameful to admit that part of why I love fall so much is because it’s a time of year when tons of new cookbooks hit the bookstore shelves? Ah, well, so be it. This year is no exception, and I’ve already begun my shopping. I snapped up the much anticipated Scarpetta Cookbook by Chef Scott Conant.

pancetta wrapped pork tenderloin

His restaurant Scarpetta is on my bucket list; I haven’t gotten myself there yet, but in the meantime I have this beautiful book of their recipes. This pork dish is my inaugural use of the book, and all I can say is WOW! If this recipe is an indicator of what the rest of the book is like, flavor-wise, then I have hit a jackpot. Because, my friends, it was so delicious.

Pancetta Wrapped Pork Tenderloin over Apple Turnip Hash

The flavors were so clean and vibrant. The mild, lean pork tenderloin benefitted from the crispy, saltiness of the pancetta; and the sweetness of the apple balanced so well with the bitterness of the turnip. The earthy pop of rosemary took the whole thing over the top. So far, yeah, I’m loving this book.

I will heartily recommend it to any foodie out there, but I should warn you, it’s a restaurant cookbook. And restaurants have resources and budgets that home cooks can’t really even fathom. So I did adapt this recipe a bit, since I’m home cooking, and I’m sure I’ll be adapting many of the recipes from this book. But I think the spirit and core essence of the dish was wholly captured, and it turned out to be a very easy, quick, yet total knockout, weeknight meal.

pancetta wrapped pork tenderloin over apple turnip hash

Only one recipe note: this recipe requires tying the tenderloin up with kitchen string. Of course you want to make certain you have cut all the string off before serving. But you should also make very certain you throw all the strings in the garbage. While humans do not want to eat pork-sopped kitchen string, it’s possible that you have a cat who would love such a thing. Unfortunately, kitties cannot property digest kitchen string. Don’t ask me how I know this. So just make sure you have thrown it out before sitting down to dinner. 🙂 Enjoy!

Pancetta wrapped pork tenderloin over apple-turnip hash

{One year ago: Banana Bread}

Source: adapted from The Scarpetta Cookbook by Scott Conant

3-4 oz. deli-sliced pancetta
1 pork tenderloin, about 1 ½ lbs.
Fresh cracked black pepper
Olive oil
2 sprigs fresh thyme
3 sprigs fresh rosemary, 2 left whole and 1 minced, divided
3 garlic cloves, 2 smashed and peeled, 1 minced
1 small-to-medium turnip, peeled and diced
1 apple, peeled, cored, and diced
Kosher salt

Preheat your oven to 275 F. On a clean work surface, unroll the slices of pancetta. Sprinkle the black pepper all over the pork tenderloin. Starting at one end, wrap the pancetta around the pork. Tie with kitchen string at about 4-5 intervals along the tenderloin to secure it. If at either end you have any portion of naked pork tenderloin, lightly salt just that part that isn’t encased in pancetta.
Add 1 tbs olive oil to a cast-iron or other oven-safe skillet. Heat over medium-high and add the tenderloin. Brown well on all sides. Remove from the heat and pour the fat out of the skillet. Add the smashed garlic, the thyme, and 2 sprigs of rosemary to the skillet on one side. Place the browned tenderloin on the other side and slide it into the oven. Roast until the internal temperature reads 135 F on a meat thermometer, anywhere from 12 to 20 minutes depending on your oven and thickness of your pork.
While the pork is roasting, heat another drizzle of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the turnips and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and about halfway cooked, 5-6 minutes. Add the apple, the minced garlic and minced rosemary, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until the turnip is cooked completely, another 5 minutes or so.
Remove the tenderloin from the oven and let rest on a cutting board for 5-7 minutes. Cut the string off and using a sharp knife, slice the pork tenderloin into rounds. To serve, divide the hash among to dinner plates. Lay half the pork tenderloin slices neatly across the hash. Serve immediately.