Ray gardner, sr




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Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream - ☺♥



This is a very rich and delicious ice cream. My recipe is based on looking at various Internet recipes and then deciding what combination of ingredients and procedures would work best. The bottom line? This recipe is perfect. Make this ice cream and you will be highly pleased. The mint flavor in the ice cream is evident but not overwhelmingly strong.

The key to making great mint chocolate chip ice cream is to start with a really good recipe for vanilla ice cream and then simply add pure peppermint extract and, get this, Andes® Creme De Menthe Baking Chips. The idea is that the chocolate in those baking chips is perfect for this specific ice cream, and the mint filling adds even more to the experience.

Ingredients: (makes about 1½ quarts of ice cream)

2 jumbo eggs or three large eggs

2 cups of heavy cream

¾ cup of granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups of milk (regular, Lactaid® or Simply Smart®)

1 tbsp. of McCormick® pure vanilla extract

1 tsp. of McCormick® culinary pure peppermint extract

5 ounces of Andes® Creme De Menthe baking chips

4 to 5 drops of green food coloring

Directions:

Use your electric mixer to beat the eggs on medium low to medium speed, then pause to add the sugar, the vanilla extract, the peppermint extract and the green food coloring and resume mixing. Mix thoroughly. Slowly add the cream and the milk while continuing to mix.

Transfer the mixture to a gelato maker and turn it on. After about 25 minutes check the ice cream to see if it is fairly stiff. If necessary continue to run the gelato maker for an additional ten minutes.

Add the Andes® Creme De Menthe baking chips to the ice cream a little at a time and continue running the gelato maker for two to three minutes to allow time for the chips to mix properly with the ice cream.

Transfer the ice cream from the gelato maker into a good quality 1½ quart plastic or other food storage container that has a tight fitting lid. Put the lid on the ice cream and put the container into a deep freeze for four to six hours.

The ice cream is then ready to serve. It is delicious! You may want to serve it with a few small lemon sugar cookies on the side and a nice hot cup of freshly made coffee.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Fudge Swirl Ice Cream - ☺♥


Wow! Now we are talking about some seriously good ice cream! This recipe is a composite of different recipes and it came out just fine.
Ingredients:
Ice Cream:

  • 3 cups of heavy cream

  • 1 cup of half and half

  • 3/4 cup of sugar

  • 3 extra large eggs

  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla


Peanut Butter Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup of peanut butter

  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream

  • 2 tablespoons of light corn syrup

  • 1/4 cup of light brown sugar, packed


Chocolate Fudge Sauce:

  • 3 ounces of high quality dark chocolate (like Scharfenberger’s® 82% cacao)

  • ¼ cup of heavy cream

  • 3 tablespoons of sugar


Directions:
Make the ice cream:
Mix the eggs until they are fluffy in an electric mixer on medium speed.
Add the sugar and continue mixing until the eggs and sugar are well blended, about two minutes.

Add the heavy cream, the half and half and the vanilla and continue to mix for two minutes.
Put the mixture into a gelato maker and run it for about 25 minutes, until the ice cream is fairly stiff.
While the ice cream is freezing, make the peanut butter sauce:
Combine the peanut butter, heavy cream, corn syrup and brown sugar in a saucepan.
Heat the mixture over low heat, stirring, until it is smooth and the sugar is dissolved.
Transfer the peanut butter sauce to a small bowl and refrigerate it until it is used.
While the ice cream is freezing, make the chocolate fudge sauce:
Break or cut the chocolate into small pieces about 1/2" by 1/2" in size.
Bring the heavy cream and the sugar to a simmer on very low heat in a small saucepan, stirring, until the sugar dissolves.
Add the chocolate pieces, stirring, maintaining very low heat close to a simmer until the sauce is smooth. Do not boil the sauce.
Transfer the fudge sauce to a small bowl and refrigerate it until it is used.
When the ice cream is frozen:
Spread one fourth of the ice cream on the bottom of a chilled 2-quart plastic container and top it with one third of the peanut butter sauce and then one third of the chocolate fudge sauce.
Swirl the sauces and ice cream together briefly with a spatula.
Layer the remaining ice cream and the sauces in the same manner, swirling at each layer briefly with a spatula.
Freeze the completed ice cream, covered tightly, until it is hard.

Serve and enjoy!

Rocky Road Ice Cream - ☺♥


(Makes about one and one half quarts) (Ray, Sr.’s own recipe!)
This recipe may appear to be complicated but it is not. It is definitely worth the time spent in producing a top quality home made ice cream. Do understand that if you are serious about making excellent ice cream you will buy a gelato maker with a built-in freezer unit. The old-fashioned rock salt and ice bucket types just don’t cut it in making the more demanding varieties of ice cream. They do not provide a uniform degree of freezing from the center of the stirrer out to the can, i.e., the ice cream freezes to the limit of reasonable stiffness on the outside while still too soft in the center. A uniform density/freezing level is essential to making this ice cream so that the additions at the end don’t sink to the bottom of the plastic container before the ice cream is frozen sufficiently everywhere to keep that from happening.
You can use an old-fashioned rock salt and ice bucket type of ice cream maker by making an allowance for its limitations. Freeze the ice cream in the deep freeze without the additions at the end but only until it is fairly stiff but still workable. Then the additions can be folded in and the final ice cream hard frozen for four or more hours.
Ingredients:
2½ cups of heavy cream

Half and half (up to one cup or more as needed)

½ cup of sugar

2 tsp. of vanilla

¼ tsp. of salt

1 jumbo egg or two large eggs

½ cup of blanched, chopped, roasted almonds (or more to suit your preference)

1 cup or more of marshmallow crème (Use Ray’s marshmallow crème recipe)

8, ¾”x1½”x ½” blocks of Scharfenberger’s® 82% cacao dark chocolate, the type used in candy making. You might substitute using baking chocolate but a top quality dark candy making chocolate is best. You might also use premium dark chocolate high cacao (85%) bars found in the candy section of better supermarkets (Lindt®). In any event the weight of the Scharfenberger’s® chocolate I use is 2 ounces total, so an equivalent weight from a high cacao Lindt® bar should work just fine.

¼ cup of Hershey’s® chocolate syrup (contains corn syrup)

1/3 cup of Ghirardelli® cocoa mix (contains sugar, so don’t substitute with an equivalent amount of Hershey’s® dry cocoa). If you have to substitute, use a combination of 1/8th cup Hershey’s® dry cocoa and ¼ cup sugar.

6, bite size pieces of Milky Way® candy or one standard size bar

Directions:
Blanch the almonds by simmering them in barely boiling water for one minute and then rinse in them in cold water, then remove the skins by pinching the skin from the nutmeat. Discard the skins. Dry the blanched almonds with a paper towel and chop them each into two to four pieces. Place almond pieces on a cookie tray and lightly roast them in a 350º F oven for about 10 minutes, stirring pieces around every three minutes to assure even roasting. They will be light tan in color when done. Cool the almond pieces and place them in a freezer on a saucer.
Cut the Milky Way® candy pieces into four pieces each or cut the bar into 24 pieces and freeze them on a saucer with all pieces separated from each other.
Cut the dark chocolate blocks into small pieces. Melt the chocolate pieces, chocolate syrup and cocoa mix in a small saucepan. Mix and melt, then slowly add one cup of the heavy cream, ¼ tsp. salt and 2 tsp. of vanilla while continuing to mix. When thoroughly blended, chill the mixture in the freezer, in the pan, for about 20 minutes.
Whisk the egg(s) until fluffy in an electric mixer bowl. Gradually add the ½ cup of sugar while mixing and continue to mix until well mixed. Add 1 ½ cups heavy cream and mix well. Chill the mixture in a refrigerator for 15 minutes.
Pour the egg, sugar and cream base into a one quart measuring cup. Add the chilled chocolate and cream mixture stirring gently to mix well. Adjust the volume to one quart using Half and Half. Note: I use some of the half and half to get all the chocolate mix out of the saucepan. Transfer the entire contents into the gelato maker and process to make the ice cream.
When the ice cream is fairly stiff add the almond pieces and continue mixing for two minutes. Stop mixing, remove the ice cream into a 2 quart plastic container and put it into ice cubes in a larger bowl (or better yet, put the ice cream into a deep freeze for one hour as that will ensure ingredients added later will not go to the bottom of the container). Add the frozen Milky Way® pieces and fold them into the ice cream with a wooden spoon. This typically means mix gently for about 30 seconds.
Add the marshmallow crème in units of one rounded tsp., four teaspoons per addition, onto the top of the ice cream and then fold them into the ice cream keeping them separated from each other until covered with ice cream. Hint: I use two teaspoons with each other to make the marshmallow crème additions easy. I use one of the teaspoons to get the marshmallow crème from the jar and the other to help remove the marshmallow crème from the first spoon, causing the marshmallow crème to drop onto the surface of the ice cream. Mix the marshmallow crème into the ice cream gently after each addition of four spoons of marshmallow crème. Repeat that process until the marshmallow crème is consumed.
Freeze the finished ice cream for three or more hours in a 0º F deep freeze until it is solid. It is then ready to serve at your leisure.
Sherbet Recipes - ?

Sometimes we need something cold but lighter than ice cream. I remember restaurants serving a small paper cup of sherbet as an appetizer, free, to kick off a meal when I was a child … as appetite stimulators. It was a great idea. I wonder why we don’t see that practice now?


Orange Sherbet (makes 1 ¾ quarts)

1 1/2 tbsp. of grated orange rind (zest)


1 1/2 Cups of sugar
1/4 Cup of fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 ½ Cups of fresh-squeezed orange juice
1 tsp. of vanilla
2 Cups of very cold milk

2 Cups of heavy cream

Orange food coloring

Stir together the grated orange rind and sugar. Stir in the lemon juice, orange juice and vanilla and continue stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Add the milk and the cream and about one tsp. orange food coloring.

Put the mixture in an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Lemon Cream Sherbet

1/8 tsp. of salt


1 ½ Cups of milk
1/2 Cup of cream
2 tsp. of gelatin
1/4 Cup of cold water
1 Cup of sugar
1/3 Cup of light corn syrup
1/3 Cup of lemon juice
1 tsp. of grated lemon rind (zest)

Soak the gelatin in the cold water and dissolve over hot water. Mix together the remaining ingredients and add them gradually to the gelatin mixture. Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker.

Makes 1 quart.

Pineapple Sherbet

3/4 Cup of sugar


1 ½ Cups of water
1/4 Cup of cold water
juice of ½ orange
2 egg whites
juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp. of unflavored gelatin
1/2 Cup of pineapple juice
1/8 tsp. of salt
1/2 Cup of whipping cream
1 Cup of crushed pineapple, drained

Bring the sugar and the 1½ cups of water to a boil. Add the gelatin, which has been soaked in the ¼ cup of cold water for 5 minutes, and mix until the gelatin is dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool. When cool add the fruit juice and pineapple. Partially freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker.


Add the salt to the egg whites and beat until stiff using an electric mixer. Set the mixture aside.

Whip the cream until thick but not stiff and combine it with the partially-frozen fruit mixture and then fold in the egg whites. Continue freezing the completed mixture in an ice cream maker.



Makes 2 quarts.

Raspberry Sherbet
½ Cup of water

¾ Cup of sugar

½ Cup of whipping cream

1 egg white

2 Tbsp. of lemon juice

1 pint of red raspberries


Put the fresh berries in a saucepan with the water and sugar and cook for 5 minutes. Press through a sieve to remove the seeds and then add the lemon juice.


If you use canned berries, omit the water. Simply heat them in their own juice and press through a sieve.
Cool the mixture.

Beat the berry mixture until it is light. Beat the egg white until it is stiff. Fold in the beaten egg white and beat the mixture again. Whip the cream until it is thick and then fold it into the other mixture and stir well. Freeze in an ice cream maker.
Makes 1½ quarts.
Strawberry Marshmallow Ice Cream - ☺♥
This recipe was born of the simple idea that these two food items could go well together. We’ve had Chocolate Marshmallow ice cream around for sixty years. Why not Strawberry Marshmallow?
I succeeded far beyond my expectations as measured by the response of friends and loved ones. But before we get to the actual recipe I want to digress into the world of ice cream and why you should make it at home or buy it at locations of small producers and refuse to patronize your supermarket’s ice cream section.
My experiments in making various ice creams improved markedly when Marie bought a gelato maker with it’s own freezing unit and also Ben and Jerry’s® “Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book©.” These two things spelled the difference between making okay homemade ice cream and excellent ice cream. Even better, Ben and Jerry explained in detail the world of ice cream and how it is made commercially. All I can say is that after great success I scoff at the low quality ripoff price ice creams in our supermarkets. They are expensive garbage, or, if high quality, then they are absurdly expensive.
Most of the supermarket ice creams are 50% air. A well made ice cream should never be more than 20% to 25% air. Some air content is necessary, however, else the ice cream would be a hard frozen block of liquid.
Those of us fortunate enough to discover small businesses that make their own ice cream very well certainly recognize the huge quality difference. The price is typically high for single servings and there is not the convenience of having the ice cream at home without a special trip to buy hand packed and expensive high quality ice cream. But the small, high quality commercial producers sometimes have excellent bulk ice cream at great prices.
Hayward’s® in Milford NH makes excellent ice cream. It is expensive by the cone or in a sundae, or by the quart, but if you buy the three gallon bulk container it only costs $17. Think about that for a minute. That is less than $6 per gallon, less than $1.50 per quart, for excellent ice cream. Compare those prices to what you find in your supermarket today that is half air. Yes, you should be livid.
So who needs three gallons of one kind of ice cream? Do you have any friends or family nearby? Do you want to be very popular? Be generous, or at least share the product and the cost so people you care about can win too.
Ben and Jerry provide three recipes for a Sweet Cream Base for all the different ice creams. I use a variation of their recipes by using a combination of ingredients from their first two recipes. My chosen combination is shown below. In general, the higher the heavy cream content the richer the ice cream, but the shorter the shelf life. If you make this ice cream you sure won’t have to worry about shelf life!
Ingredients: (makes a generous 1½ quarts of ice cream)
Sweet Cream Base:
2 Extra large or Jumbo eggs

¾ cup of sugar

2 cups of heavy cream

½ cup of half and half

½ cup of whole milk
Other ingredients:
1½ cups of fresh very ripe strawberries

1/3 cup of Hersheys® Strawberry syrup (used to make strawberry flavored milk)

1½ cups of Marshmallow Crème (see Ray’s recipe in this book)

1/4 cup of sugar


Directions:
You should use a gelato maker to get the best results from this recipe. If you use the old rock salt and ice type of ice cream machine be certain the ice cream is very stiff before the last step of adding the marshmallow crème.
Make the sweet cream base first using your electric mixer. Mix the eggs well and then add the sugar and mix well. Then add the milk and half and half and heavy cream slowly while mixing thoroughly. Cover the mixing bowl and put it into the refrigerator to chill.
Clean and hull the strawberries and cut them into fourths, or more pieces if they are very large strawberries. Mix the sugar with them, cover them with plastic wrap and leave them rest for about one hour in your refrigerator.
Remove half of the strawberry pieces to a bowl and crush them thoroughly with a fork. Partially crush the other strawberries in the original bowl. Recombine all the strawberry sugar mixture and add the Hershey’s® strawberry syrup and mix well with a spoon.
Put all the strawberry mixture into the sweet cream base bowl and mix well by hand. Then put all of that mixture into the gelato maker and turn it on.
A typical gelato maker is advertised as a unit that makes only one quart of ice cream at a time. In reality the available volume of the freezing unit is one and one half quarts. This allows for the expansion of the ice cream as it freezes and takes on air.
Since our goal is to limit the air percentage of the ice cream to about 20 percent, the extra volume we added with the strawberry mixture will be accommodated by the gelato maker.
After about 25 minutes the gelato maker will have soft frozen the strawberry ice cream, almost sufficient to proceed to the next step. Let the gelato maker run for an additional five to ten minutes. Once it is completely filled you may as well use the contents as there is no volume available to introduce more air. You simply wanted to give the fairly large volume of ice cream a chance to become relatively stiff.
Have a two quart good quality freezer container that has a tight fitting lid sitting in ice cubes in a four quart bowl. Scoop the contents from the gelato maker into the freezer container.
Using two teaspoons to aid you in handling the marshmallow crème, dispense the marshmallow crème in rounded teaspoon quantities, four at a time into the ice cream but not touching each other. Gently fold the clumps of marshmallow crème into the ice cream with a wooden spoon until they are covered with ice cream. Repeat this process until the entire one and one half cups of marshmallow crème have been incorporated into the strawberry ice cream evenly.
Cover the freezer container with a tight fitting lid and put it into a deep freeze for four or more hours to complete the freezing process. The ice cream is then ready to serve.
Expect applause. You will get it.
 You can always put the ice cream into the deep freeze for an hour or so before adding the marshmallow crème as that will guarantee that the folded in marshmallow crème will not sink to the bottom of the ice cream container. It all depends on how firmly the ice cream is frozen by the gelato maker.
PASTAS / OTHER ETHNIC FOODS:
Chiles Rellenos - ?

This recipe is yet another that I think will be an excellent addition to Food Nirvana. I found it online, and the ultimate source was a restaurant named El Cholo's. Of course, I now have to make the dish and report the results back to you.
These chiles rellenos, from one of Los Angeles' most venerable Mexican restaurants, have an avid following all their own. The trick with that extra-fluffy coating lies in El Cholo's method: A little of the whipped egg batter is fried on its own until set, then a stuffed chile is gently laid over; more batter is spooned over the chile, then it is flipped and fried to golden perfection. Drizzle a spoonful of the rich and slightly tangy relleno sauce over the top to complete this signature dish.
This recipe makes six servings. Have fun!
Relleno sauce
Ingredients:
1 tablespoon oil

3 garlic cloves, diced

1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano

1/2 onion, chopped

2 teaspoons vinegar

1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes

2 whole canned green chiles, diced

1/2 cup chicken broth

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 bay leaves

Salt
Directions:
In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil. Stir in the garlic, oregano, onion, vinegar, bell pepper, tomatoes (and their juice), chiles and broth. Increase the heat and bring to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes, then stir in the black pepper, bay leaves and salt to taste.
Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables have softened and the tomatoes start to break apart, about 25 minutes.
Remove from heat,discard the bay leaves, and mash the tomatoes with a potato masher or whisk until you have a coarse sauce. Season again to taste. Set aside in a warm place.
Chiles rellenos
Ingredients:
3/4 pound grated cheddar cheese

6 whole canned green chiles

6 eggs, separated

Vegetable oil

Relleno sauce
Directions:
Divide the cheese into 6 mounds and roll each mound into a football-shaped ball with your hands. Slit each chile lengthwise halfway and gently stuff a ball of cheese into each. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, 4 to 6 minutes. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks until frothy. Gently fold the yolks into the whites to complete your egg batter.
In a large skillet or frying pan, add enough oil to come up the sides by one-half inch. Heat the oil until a thermometer inserted reads 350 degrees F.
Gently spoon a little egg batter into the pan, spreading it so it is roughly the dimensions of one side of a stuffed chile. As soon as the batter begins to set, 1 to 2 minutes, lay a chile over the top, then spread an equivalent amount of batter over the chile.
Turn over the chile relleno and fry an additional 1 to 2 minutes until golden on all sides. Remove the chile relleno with a slotted spatula or spoon, and place on a warm plate. Repeat until you have 6 chiles rellenos.
Spoon one-half cup sauce over each chile relleno and serve immediately.

Eggplant Parmesan - ☺♥


I have a very pleasant memory of eating this dish for lunch at Leoune’s Town Talk® restaurant in Wilmington DE back in February 17, 1978. I had just asked Marie to have lunch with me the day before and this was our very first time together as just the two of us. The rest, as they say, was history as we married later that year.
The eggplant parmesan served at Leoune’s Town Talk® restaurant was excellent. It was inevitable that Marie and I would make it at home as we both loved it. So we did and the recipe below is guaranteed to please as it was our own and I perfected it. Enjoy!
This recipe varies considerably from ones I’ve seen in cook books as the writers seem to be hung up on drying the eggplant with water extraction via salt before sautéing. It is all bullshit, unless you are preparing fried eggplant. Do it my way and the total preparation time is about 15 minutes.
Ingredients:
1 eggplant, 3” in diameter and about 8” long

1 cup of fine breadcrumbs

Pam® (as needed)

Olive oil to lightly coat a 9”x13”x2” glass baking dish

4 to 6 oz. of whole milk Mozzarela cheese

1, 32 oz. jar of Classico® Marinara sauce

1 to 2 tbsp. of dried basil

½ cup of Parmesan cheese

6, 5” diameter slices of soft Provolone cheese
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350º F.
Cut the eggplant into ½” thick slices. The eggplant should be about 3+ inches in diameter at the thickest point and about 8+ inches long. We typically grew our own in CA and the plants were robust and productive. One eggplant of the recommended size should be just right to cover the bottom of the glass baking dish.
Dust the eggplant slices in fine breadcrumbs. Lightly sauté them on medium heat in a skillet sprayed lightly with Pam®. Also, remember to spray the surfaces of the eggplant slices with Pam® before sautéing. The eggplant does not have to cook through, for it will later be baked. Anyway, turn once so both sides are lightly browned.
Coat a 9”x13”x2” glass baking dish lightly with olive oil and place the sautéed eggplant slices into it one layer deep. Cut a chunk of Mozzarela cheese about 1”x2”x2” into pieces about 1”x1”x1/4”, and place the pieces vertically between and around the eggplant slices. Use more Mozzarela if you like a lot of cheese.
Open the bottle of Marinara sauce and pour in enough to cover the eggplant.

Sprinkle the top with the basil. Use more or less basil to suit your taste.
Put six slices of provolone cheese (5” diameter sandwich type sold in bulk packs at Costco®) on top of the marinara sauce and sprinkle the top of the provolone cheese with about ½ cup of Parmesan cheese.
Bake in the 350º F oven for 45 minutes. Serve and go wild with delight! I had the pleasure of watching a certain significant other wolf down about ½ of the dish in one sitting the first time I made it.
You can vary the preparation by making two layers of eggplant, cheeses and marinara sauce if you have a family to feed. If you do, increase the baking time to one hour, but keep an eye on the top layer of cheeses so that they brown lightly but don’t burn. The Parmesan cheese should turn lightly tan but not brown. You can control that by putting the Parmesan cheese in prior to the slices of provolone. I actually prefer to use separate baking dishes so that the dish is only one layer deep in eggplant as that method yields the best appearance, texture and taste.
Fettuccine Carbonara -
Pasta provides the home chef great versatility as it goes well in red sauces, oil, butter or cream sauces. Fettuccine Carbonara is a superb way to serve pasta in a cream sauce, along with Proscuitto ham and vegetables. Some recipes call for using regular ham, cubed, but I much prefer the Proscuitto ham for a more intense taste. No recipes I have ever seen use sun dried tomatoes … but the flavor they add is really great, for it remains in the tomato pieces and does not flavor the sauce. There was a restaurant in Wilmington DE named the Town House® that used sun dried tomatoes in one pasta dish that had a cream sauce. That dish was delicious, thus this recipe developed with that addition in mind. It was/is a good decision.
Marie used to make this dish and she got rave reviews from the family. The recipe I provide here is my best guess as to how she made it (I helped at times) with a few of my changes and when I find her exact recipe I will make any necessary changes to this one as appropriate. Do note that I already know this is a fine recipe, so worry not … enjoy it.
Ingredients: (Serves four)
1 lb. of uncooked Fettuccine

1 pint of heavy cream

3 cups of milk (Start with 2 cups and add the third if needed for sauce consistency)

1 lb. of Proscuitto ham thinly sliced and chopped

1 cup of frozen or fresh peas (never, ever use canned peas!)

1 small sweet onion, chopped fine

3 large cloves of garlic, minced

1/3 cup of sun dried tomatoes, drained, wiped to eliminate the oil and chopped

2 tbsp. of butter

1 tbsp. of cornstarch

1 tsp. of white pepper

Sea salt (Use only if wanted after the completed dish is served to each guest)

Parmesan or Locatel cheese, freshly grated
Directions:
Pre-heat the oven to 200º F. Put a large pasta serving platter and four wide shallow individual serving bowls into the oven.
Put 4 quarts of water and ½ tsp. salt into a six quart pot. Cover the pot with a lid and heat the water on high heat until it is boiling. Turn off the heat and keep the pot covered. This will facilitate later cooking of the pasta when the Carbonara sauce is done, as the water in the pot will still be hot and easy to bring back to a boil.
Melt the butter in a large (3 or 4 quart) skillet with high sides. Sauté the chopped onion on low heat until it is translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for one more minute.
Add the peas and the chopped sun dried tomatoes and mix well on low heat. Add the chopped ham and the white pepper and mix briefly.
Add two cups of the milk to the skillet slowly while stirring and heat on low heat to a scalding temperature (around 180º F) until it is lightly steaming but not boiling.
Mix the cornstarch completely with the cream and then add it slowly to the skillet while stirring to create a uniform mixture. Bring the skillet contents to a simmer on low heat while stirring until the cornstarch thickens the sauce. Do not boil. If the sauce is too thick add the other cup of milk and mix well. Cover the skillet with a lid and turn off the heat.
Reheat the water in the pot to boiling on high heat and add the Fettuccine. Mix well after one minute to assure the pieces of Fettuccine do not stick together. Boil per the directions on the package.
When the Fettuccine is finished cooking pour the pot contents into a colander to drain the Fettuccine. Then put the Fettuccine into the skillet with the Carbonara sauce and mix gently until all pieces are well coated.
Pour the skillet contents into the pre-heated large pasta serving platter. Serve the Fettuccine Carbonara using the pre-heated individual serving bowls along with a dish of freshly grated Parmesan or Locatel cheese on the side for table use.
Let each guest individually add salt if they want to adjust the seasoning.
Enjoy! This is a fine tasting and very filling dish.
Serve it with a light white wine like a Pinot Grigio or a French White Burgundy.
A side salad with Italian dressing provides a fine taste contrast to the creamy Fettuccine Carbonara to make each bite provide maximum enjoyment.


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