There are a ton of cooking shows on television today. Some I love, some are just “ehh”, and some are just garbage. The shows I don’t like are the ones that make professional kitchens and chefs look ridiculous. Many of my friends and family ask me after seeing Hell’s Kitchen, “Is that what you do?”…So I’d like to say to everyone, while there are times when chef is screaming in our kitchen, there is no Gordon Ramsey running around yelling at seemingly inexperienced “chefs” that don’t know how to saute a piece of fish. It just isn’t reality….
I am a Top Chef fan, I think Bravo does a great job, capturing the energy and vibe of a kitchen. When my friends and family chat me up about cooking, our conversations often lead to Top Chef. I love the creativity of the chefs, the familiar competition amongst them and the accurate portrayal of the stress all kitchens have. The producers really capture it well, so I love for friends outside of food and beverage world to watch, so they can understand the day to day life in a kitchen.
We have a lot of kitchen “toys” at work, some of which are used by the chefs on Top Chef. The one fault I see in the show, is that the contestants use new, cutting edge cooking techniques, equipment, presentations and ideas, but don’t give a clear explanation for the viewers. (Perhaps they need a 2 hour time slot). We recently had a “teach and learn” at work using liquid nitrogen to make ice cream, a method I have seen on Top Chef fairly often. So I thought I would share the process, while you might not have a liquid nitrogen tank at home, you can at least know what the heck Richard Blais is doing!
The Tank! Saftey first!
Transferring the Liquid Nitrogen
We used Paula Deen’s recipe for Key Lime Pie filling, which is delicious! Of course we used liquid nitrogen, but if you can make it at home in your ice cream maker too!
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 (12-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 3/4 cups key lime juice
- 1 tablespoon key lime zest
- 1 pint half-and-half
Some of the Mise en Place for the Key Lime Pie Ice Cream
In a large bowl, with an electric mixer at medium speed, beat cream until slightly thickened. Gradually add the sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Add condensed milk and beat until stiff peaks form. Beat in lime juice, lime zest, and half-and-half. Now you are ready for the ice cream maker, they all have slightly different directions, follow the method of the maker you have at home. OR…go get yourself a liquid nitrogen tank, and do not forget the saftey mask and gloves!
Pour the liquid nitrogen into a manageable pitcher.
The Key Lime Pie filling is freezing in the mixer!
It's so cool to have the "smoke" blowing all over the place. They should do this in high school science classes!
I am refilling the pitcher, it takes a little more than I thought.
A little more and it should be nicely frozen. It took just minutes!
Voila, Key Lime Pie Ice Cream. Now I need a Graham Cracker Cone!
Now you are ready for the next Top Chef Auditions 🙂