23 July 2014

New Orleans Chef Recipe: Tasty Fig Gelato

Photo provided by LSU AgCenter -- This LSU Purple fig will be one of many figs offered to taste so you can compare differences between varieties for taste, sweetness, texture and color.
Photo/LSU AgCenter -- This LSU Purple fig 

From Denny:  At the Hotel Monteleone’s Criollo Restaurant in the French Quarter this is a seasonal featured dessert, served with slivered almonds, caramelized sugar and lovingly garnished with summer's fresh blackberries.  Figs are hanging off back yard Louisiana trees this month and people are always looking for new recipes utilizing figs.  The Criollo also serves a killer banana split:  small scoops of Pontchtoula (Louisiana grown) strawberry, stone-ground chocolate and fig gelato snuggled up with long slices of banana in sauce, all served in an almond "boat."

The restaurant was willing to seat a couple of food journalists who wandered in just for dessert - and did so graciously.  The chef was also willing to share his recipe!  So, if you are traveling to New Orleans any time soon and fancy a frozen treat to beat the summer heat, just saunter on in to the Hotel Monteleone!  People with this great an attitude deserve a Denny Lyon Bump!  (Stephen Colbert has nothing on me.)  :)

(FYI - artist and journalist Denny Lyon has no association with Hotel Monteleone, just enjoyed reporting on the local news story featuring them)

If you would like to be a guest at this famous historic hotel, here's the contact information:

Hotel Monteleone, an historic luxury French Quarter hotel
214 Royal Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130-2201
Email questions:  Reservations@hotelmonteleone.com
Phone:  (504) 523-3341 or Toll-Free at (866) 338-4684


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From Louisiana artist Denny Lyon
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Fig Gelato

Serves:  6

From:  Chef Randy Buck, executive chef 
Hotel Monteleone’s Criollo Restaurant
check out this menu
Hotel Monteleone, an historic luxury French Quarter hotel
214 Royal Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130-2201
Email questions:  Reservations@hotelmonteleone.com
Phone:  (504) 523-3341 or Toll-Free at (866) 338-4684

"New Orleans in its soul is a true blending of many cultures. The European influences, namely Spanish, Italian and French, coupled with prominent contributions of Caribbean and African heritage, have produced one of America’s greatest indigenous cuisines, Creole.

'Criollo,' the Spanish word for Creole and the name chosen for the new restaurant, represents the amalgam of cultures reflected in our cooking and the unique tastes that comprise Louisiana cuisine.

Fashioned with Louisiana and the Gulf South region’s abundant bounty of fresh, home grown products from the land and sea, Criollo’s ingredient-driven seasonal menu is designed to offer creative dishes inspired by culinary traditions and an appreciation of today’s contemporary tastes."


Fig Gelato

Serves:  6

From:  Chef Randy Buck, executive chef 


Ingredients:

3 and 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
3 cups whole milk, divided
1 cup cane sugar or granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean, split and scraped
4 brown Turkish figs, pureéd
1 Tablespoon liquid pectin

Directions:

1. In a medium saucepan, combine cream and 2 cups of the milk. Set over medium to medium-low heat and bring to a simmer (about 20 minutes). While cream-milk mixture is heating, put the remaining milk, sugar, cornstarch, salt, vanilla and fig puree into a small to medium mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.

2. Once milk-cream mixture comes to a simmer, add the milk-sugar mixture and stir until fully combined. While still set over medium to medium-low heat, continuously stir until mixture boils and thickens to where it can coat the back of a spoon. (This will take about 20 minutes.) Remove pan from heat, stir in pectin, strain and cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate a minimum of at least 2 hours, or overnight. Whisk mixture together again before pouring into the ice cream maker.

3. Pour the mixture into the mixing bowl of a Cuisinart Ice Cream and Gelato Maker or comparable gelato machine. Let mix until thickened, about 40 minutes. The fig gelato will have a soft, creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer to an airtight plastic container and place in freezer for about 2 hours. Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.


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From Louisiana artist Denny Lyon
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