Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Cool Balanced Diet is A Mousse in Each Hand

     So I am not sure about the rest of the world?, but it is freaking HOT. I am in no way a Southerner, so when it is going to be hot, it is more than my Yankee blood can handle. Friday, my car thermometer registered 110 degrees, and I went no where.

    When it is that hot, all reasoning or ability to not get aggravated, goes right out the window. Friday, I seriously felt, I might need anger management. My good friend Alexis Bennison coined a phrase, that I find myself quoting more than, "Work Smart, Not Hard", it is as follows; "There is Nothing Common about Common Sense". Now, I will let that marinate with you awhile.

     So as you sat, and thought about that little nugget of wisdom, was your first thought, Oh yes, I have been there a time or two. Remember not every brain is wired the same. It was like that all day, only add; grumpy, sweaty, impatient customers, who could care less about how uncomfortable you are, humidity, heat, 6 burner stove, one conventional oven, one convectional oven, a breaker that keeps tripping, 6 aggravated people AND stick all of that in a closet, and see if you might need anger management at the end of 9 hours.

     Another little secret about me, I have OCD, for those that do not know what that means, It is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. When tasks do not get done in the fashion that I would do them, I tend to get antsy, and unable to focus on what I am doing. What a double edge sword! I am my own worst enemy.

     So old news, it is freaking hot. Next week will be the same yada, yada. What can I say? I signed up for food service, and I am quite sure the blood is not dry yet, on the contract. However Saturday I did get the privilege of getting reamed by a woman, one that I never laid eyes on, and two never once talked to, about something that I had no idea about. First, Really Obnoxious Lady, slow your speech down, so I can understand you. Second, let me get a word and lastly, shut the hell up, so I can help you, so you can be happy, and I never have to speak to you again.

     The solution was, having one of my employees drive her precious small tray of bars, all the way to Swanzey, New Hampshire, just about 30 minutes away. Which by the way, was FREE, because you were SO RUDE. All in the hopes, that this woman does not spread her vile tongue all over the area. Hope your bridezilla shower was enjoyable. Don't worry about me, there is Neosporin for my wounds. Can't wait to actually meet you.

     During heat waves, or a heat dome,as my son Casey described it. The last thing that I would like to do is cook. Well if we were going, to be truthful here, that is pretty much every night. Oh come on, there are not those of you that say perhaps, work as plumbers, and your faucets don't leak? If I could get away with take-out every night, and I am being honest, I would definitely try. But enough with the fairy-tales, and on to a cool refreshing dessert.

Lime Coconut Mousse

1 quart heavy whipping cream
6 oz egg yolks
10 oz granulated sugar
1/2 tsp lime extract
2 drops green food coloring
1/2 cup coconut milk 
1/4 cup key lime juice 
1 1/2 tablespoons powdered gelatin
Whipped cream (decoration)
toasted coconut (decoration)

Whip the cream until stiff peaks form, place in a bowl and refrigerate. In a separate metal wide mouthed bowl combine the egg yolks, sugar, lime juice, extract and food coloring, mix and set aside. In another metal wide mouthed bowl combine the coconut milk, lime juice and coconut extract and stir. Sprinkle the gelatin over the surface of the coconut liquid and allow the gelatin to bloom, what this means is as follows, courtesy of What's Cooking America:   As the gelatin absorbs the liquid, each granule becomes enlarged; this is known as "blooming. Blooming gelatin is a step integral to ensuring the smooth texture of a finished product. It involves sprinkling the powdered gelatin into a liquid and letting it sit for 3 to 5 minutes. Then, when the mixture is heated, the gelatin will dissolve evenly.
You can bloom gelatin in just about any liquid. Avoid the fresh juices of tropical fruits such as papaya, kiwi, mango, and pineapple as they contain an enzyme that will eat the gelatin. Pasteurizing kills the enzymes in these fruits, so canned or frozen juices are fine. So now we understand the blooming process, and that will not frighten you from making a really nice mousse, lets move on. Get a sturdy heavy bottomed saucepan, equipped to handle our wide mouthed bowls, and fill 1/3 of the way with water. Place on the stove and bring the water to a boil. Meanwhile, get your standing mixer, or if you have a hand-held get a big bowl ready for that.(using a hand-held can be done, it just might be messy and aggravating, kinda life a 100 degree day). When the water is boiling, you are going to place the bowl with the yolks securely over the water, and using a potholder to grab the bowl, whip using a wire whisk until it is light colored and frothy. It is important at this stage to keep the mixture moving, because we don't want scrambled lime-flavored eggs. When the temperature achieves 120 degrees transfer to your mixer, and mix on high speed, we are achieving the light texture that mousse so often has. Now take your coconut milk mixture and place over the boiling water and melt the gelatin. This might have to helped along with a stir, because coconut milk is very dense. Once melted, add to the whipping egg yolk mixture until well combined. Remove your whipped cream from the cooler. Fold the egg yolk mixture into the whipped cream, don't panic it, it will be loose. Refrigerate until the mousse has set. Garnish with fresh whipped cream and toasted coconut.

Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.  ~Russel Baker




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