Tag Archives: Ice Cream

Sorella So Really Good

I have this weird love hate relationship with the Lower East Side.  I Hate, with a capital H, that I can never get a cab anywhere in the Lower East Side.  Seriously, I think what Paula Cole really meant was “where have all the cabbies gone”?  But I do LOVE the neighborhood, and in particular, the neighborhood gems.  And one such neighborhood gem that I cannot get enough of is Sorella, because Sorella is so really good.

Sorella is a modest Italian restaurant on Allen Street that serves small plates.  This rustic yet chic restaurant is dimly lit for a touch of romance.  It has this homey feeling that makes you feel comfortable right away.   The same can be said of the service.  With a few key recommendations from the waitress, we knew we were awaiting a great meal.

Similar to tapas, small plates are meant to share.  This is my favorite way to eat because you get to try so many things, and so many of Sorella’s things are exceptional.  Don’t get it twisted, Sorella may serve small dishes, but they pack a big punch.

We started with a few meats and cheeses, because the joys of salty meat and creamy cheese are hard to pass up.  The prosciutto was delicate and mild while to soppressata was dense and salty.  Paired with creamy cheeses, honey and hazelnuts, this was the perfect way to start our meal.

I don’t know about you, but I have a very difficult time passing up Brussels sprouts.  Sure, I maybe a parent’s dream come true, but I’m really just a humble vegetable eater.  Can you just picture the devious smile across my face?  Well, you should try cause it’s awesome.  Just like the Shaved Brussels sprout salad I had at Sorella.  This salad was the perfect balance of flavors.  The mild Brussels sprouts were the perfect base for the crunchy croutons, salty capers, spicy red pepper flakes, sweet onions and creamy cheese.  Piled high, this salad was a big mountain of excellence.

After the Brussels Sprout salad, we ordered the Beef Carne Cruda.  But this was not your average Beef Cruda because this beef was imported from the Hearst Ranch in California.  That’s right, Hearst, as in Hearst Corporation.  The Owner and Chef of Sorella, Emma Hearst, imports her beef from her family’s cattle ranch in California.  Seriously cool right?  As if that isn’t cool enough, rumors are floating around about her opening a steakhouse in New York using the beef from her family’s cattle ranch too.  While these are just rumors right now, I’m still crossing my Bite-Sized fingers that this becomes a reality one day soon.  One more thing, Emma Hearst made the list of “30 Under 30” by Zagat, and no one can argue that this 24 year old is seriously deserving of such exciting recognition!

Okay, back to the beef.  The bright red, supple meat is garnished with simple fried onions and accompanied by side salad of shaved celery and radish.  So simple, yet so good.

I had never heard of Pici pasta (pronounced peachy), but after a solid recommendation from the waitress, I knew I wanted to try it.  Plus, how do you really resist a pasta called Pici?  The thick, doughy noodles swim in a bowl of hearty pork ragu, ricotta and pepperoncini.  This is an unusual dish that I would make my usual meal.

Agnolotti are ravioli, and these ravioli were Bite-Sized. No truly, they were tiny, but seriously divine.  The agnolotti were soft and pillowy.  Stuffed with beef short ribs and drizzled with sage butter and parmesan cheese, these baby ravioli were robust bites of comfort.

A side of broccoli was a must, especially after we found out it was fried and covered in a spicy aioli.  Reminiscent of Japanese style broccoli tempera, these bites were unexpected for an Italian restaurant.  It was like a surprise party for my tastebuds.

A trip to Sorella wouldn’t be complete with dessert, because dinner isn’t really done until you have dessert.  But especially because they have a gelateria next door called Stellina.  We ordered 3 scoops of gelato, and each was better than the last.  Seriously, this was THE best gelato I have ever had in the United States.

We also ordered cheesecake.  I know, I was surprised we weren’t too full also.  But, we weren’t so cheesecake we ate.  The light and airy cheesecake was shaped like a pyramid and covered in a delicate layer of smooth chocolate.

If your mouth isn’t watering, I think you might be sick.  So, please make sure to call the doctor.

Sorella
95 Allen Street
New York, NY
212.274.9595

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Feast Week

Today begins Feast Week, like Fleet Week – but think less sailors, more stuffing – face stuffing to be exact.  The eating doesn’t start today, but the preparation sure does.  And since it would be totally selfish to prep my feast and not help you prep yours, I’m going to share my Thanksgiving menu with you.

The Bite-Sized Thanksgiving Menu, which is anything but Bite-Sized includes… in serving order:
Baked Brie
Autumnal  Salad
Turkey Breast
Drunken Cranberry Sauce
Coconut Ginger Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Apple Pie
Brownie S’mores Pie
Vanilla Gelato

I’ll start by sharing my dessert recipes, partly because I have already shared these recipes and partly because pies can be made in advanced…like the day before.  Any earlier and you risk having a stale pie – uncool, totally uncool.

Apple Pie is a classic Thanksgiving dessert, and the classics are classics for a reason.  This is the pie that the phrase easy as pie was born from.

Click here to see the recipe for Easy Apple Pie.

Brownie S’mores Pie is another dessert I’m serving for Thanksgiving this year for a couple reasons.  This pie was a big hit at last year’s Thanksgiving, and it’s a perfect use for marshmallows, since I’m not using them on the sweet potatoes.

Click here to see the recipe for Brownie S’mores Pie.

The only dessert recipe you haven’t seen from the Bite-Sized Blonde yet is Vanilla Gelato.  Sure, you’ve seen Ice Cream recipes, but we all know Ice Cream is not the same as Gelato the same way College Ball is not the same as the NBA.  So, without further ado, I give you…

Vanilla Gelato*
Ingredients
1 ¼ cup of whole milk
1 ¼ cup of heavy cream
6 egg yolks
1 vanilla bean
½ cup sugar

Directions
Whip the heavy cream until it becomes whipped cream.  Then, place in the refrigerator.  Add the milk and vanilla bean to a small sauce pan over medium heat.  Heat the mixture until it starts to bubble along the edges.  Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool down for approximately 10 minutes.  Once cool, remove the vanilla bean.  Cut the bean in half lengthwise and scrap out the black seeds using the back of a knife.  Add the seeds back into the milk mixture and discard the now empty vanilla bean shell.

Bring a pot of water to a boil.  You will be using this to heat the custard mixture you are about to make.  Make sure the water does not come up too high, because it cannot touch the bottom of the bowl.   In a large, heatproof bowl (typically glass), whisk the egg yolks and sugar until creamy.  Once the pot of water is boiling, place the bowl on top of the pot.  Add the now cool milk and vanilla mixture to this bowl and continue to whisk.  Once the mixture is incorporated, stop whisking and begin stirring with a wooden spoon.  Stir this mixture until it becomes a custard – which means that it should be thick enough to coat the back of your spoon.  Be careful with the heat as this custard should not simmer! Once the mixture is thick enough, remove from the heat and let cool.  Once cool, fold in the whipped cream.  Transfer to your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Still craving more dish on Bite-Sized Thanksgiving dishes? Check in each day of Feast Week for more recipes.

*Pictures will be displayed at the end of the week, so stay tuned my Bite-Sized readers…

Recipe by:
Alex Barker, 500 Ice Creams, Sorbets & Gelatos

I Scream, You Scream

Except for the poor bastard who is lactose intolerant, I think everyone can agree that ice cream is one of the most sinfully seductive sweet treats around.  Oh you should know I am one of those poor bastards, but after many years of eating ice cream, I can eat it with no worries! I am not making this up; you can actually reduce lactose intolerant symptoms by eating more dairy.  True story.

Until you have tried homemade ice cream, you haven’t lived.  And this isn’t my new ice cream maker talking, although it might go down in Bite-Sized History as one of the best birthday gifts ever.  This is truth.  Homemade ice cream is so much better than store bought; it’s almost indescribable, almost.  The familiar concept is elevated to new levels of creaminess when you make it at home.   After one bite of this ice cream, the only thing left to do is be at peace with the fact that you are about to lose control.

Marmar knows what I’m talking about.  This child rapper prodigy, who raps about ice cream, is who I’d like to think I would be if I was a 9 year old boy from Compton.   Do yourself a favor, make a nice, cold pint of ice cream and watch this video.  If you do it in reverse, you will be screaming for ice cream.

Cookies and Cream Ice Cream

Ingredients
1 cup of whole milk
1/3 cup of superfine sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 cups crumbled Oreo cookies

Directions
Over low heat, warm the milk, sugar and vanilla together in a saucepan, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.  Let cool, then chill in the refrigerator.  Whip the cream until thick and then whisk in the chilled milk mixture.  Pour into an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s directions.  Fear not, if you don’t have an ice cream maker you can still make yourself a nice pint.*

Freeze until the ice cream is nearly firm, then add the crumbled cookies and stir through gently.  Place the ice cream in the freezer for about an hour before serving.  You can store it in the freezer for up to three months.  But the longer it stays in the freezer, the colder it gets.  Go figure! So make sure to take it out about 15 minutes before serving to soften.

*If do you not have an ice cream maker: make sure your ingredients are well chilled before they’re combined.  The mixture is then poured into a freezer container deep enough to allow space for later mixing.  The container needs to be covered with a sheet of plastic wrap or waxed paper so it can freeze more evenly, and then topped with a well-fitting lid.  Place the container in the coldest part of a really cold freezer.  Leave for about 1 hour; then, using a fork, scrape the frozen ice cream in from the edges, and then whisk to a smooth, even texture.  Cover the container again and return to the freezer for another hour.  Repeat this process one to two more times, until the ice cream is smooth and nearly evenly frozen.  Then cover and freeze until you are ready to serve!

Recipe by:
Alex Barker, 500 Ice Creams, Sorbets & Gelatos

L’Shana Tova

Happy New Year to those who celebrated!  I hope this year is marked by happiness and most importantly, good health.  To ensure a sweet new year, I bet you ate your apples and honey.  I certainly did.   The honey very obviously represents the sweet, but do you know what the apples represent?  Ancient Jews used to think apples had healing properties.  Now, you know where your mom got the saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

We all know it wouldn’t be a Bite-Sized holiday party without a special recipe, and for this special holiday, I put a spin on an old classic.  What do you get when you combine apples, honey, and a Bite-Sized Blonde?  Apple Pie and Honey Ice Cream, that’s what.   What a sweet, sweet way to ring in 5772.

Honey Ice Cream (about 1 quart)

Ingredients
1 1/3 cup of milk
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
¾ cup honey
¼ tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg, separated

Directions
Put milk, cream, and honey into a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until honey dissolves and mixture is hot, about 5 minutes. Add vanilla and then transfer mixture to a large bowl set into another large bowl, filled with ice, and set aside, stirring occasionally, until chilled. Put egg white into a clean medium bowl and whisk until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Whisk egg yolk in a small bowl until pale yellow and thick, about 1 minute. Fold beaten egg white into egg yolk until well mixed, then fold egg mixture into chilled milk–honey mixture.

Process mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. Then, freeze for about 5 hours to the firmest consistency.

http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Honey-Ice-Cream