I like a lazy Sunday… Especially if the weekend was a busy one (which it most certainly was). We had a different house guest every night so when Sunday came around all I wanted to do was sit. But then once I sat, I felt guilty for doing nothing but sitting, so I went for a run and came home and started on our Sunday Night Meal. I made the ice cream first so it could be churning while we went out to rent our Sunday Night Movie (Crazy Heart for us, Max & Ruby for the little guy). I’ve made a dozen different kinds of ice creams, in fact there are 3 different varieties in my freezer as I speak, but I’ve never made Strawberry Ice Cream. But my husband’s parents brought with them a gallon bucket of fresh strawberries they bought on a South Carolina road side stand and I’ve had a pint of heavy cream in the fridge that I needed to use up so it was a no-brainer. Once we came back from getting our movies we ran inside like little children to see if the ice cream was ready and spoiled our dinner with spoons straight from the churner. (Soft-serve ice cream is the best, isn’t it?) It was the most delicious Strawberry Ice Cream any of us had ever eaten and we almost didn’t make it to the dinner part of our Sunday. But once it was resting in the freezer I started on dinner, which also ended up being really good. I put a little Italian twist on the Sunday Classic, Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes. The meatloaf was light and colorful and the gnocchi were pillows of heaven. So I thought I’d share…
*Chicken Florentine Meatloaf
-1 lb lean ground chicken
-1 box spinach
-3 cloves garlic, finely minced or grated
-zest of one lemon
-freshly grated nutmeg
-a good squirt of Dijon mustard
-2 handfuls of plain, dried breadcrumbs
-1 cup ricotta cheese
-a handful of grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl with your hands (pour a little olive oil on your palms so the mixture doesn’t stick) and mold into a loaf shape on a greased, foil-lined pan. Thinly slice 1-2 vine ripe tomatoes and layer them on top of the meatloaf, overlapping them a bit. Sprinkle tomatoes liberally with salt and sugar and drizzle with olive oil. Bake at 350* for about an hour.
Boil 1 package of gnocchi in heavily salted water until they just start to float to the top. Meanwhile, in a medium pan melt 1 TB of butter with about 1/3 cup of chicken stock, 1/4 cup sour cream, the juice of half a lemon, a squirt of Dijon mustard, and a little salt and sugar. Whisk together to combine and bring to a simmer. Toss the drained gnocchi in the sauce and bring back up to a bubble until the mixture thickens and the sauce coats the back of a spatula. Garnish with fresh parsley.
*The Best Strawberry Ice Cream in The Entire Universe and World or
*Abbey’s Strawberry Ice Cream
In a medium saucepan heat 3 cups of heavy cream, half & half or a combination of either and whole milk with 3/4 cup of sugar and a good pinch of salt. Bring to an almost simmer. Bloom 1 package of plain gelatin with some cold water and stir that into the milk mixture off the heat. Add a splash of vanilla extract and transfer to a glass bowl. Chill for at least an hour. Hull and dice 1 pint of summer strawberries and toss with 1/4 cup of sugar, the zest and juice of half a lemon, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of ground allspice in a large bowl. Chill. If you’re using an old electric ice cream machine, freeze the metal container while everything else is chilling. When the milk mixture is cold, churn according to your machine’s directions.