Did you know that today is National Vanilla Ice Cream Day? In my opinion, there are only two kinds of Vanilla Ice Cream worth eating – Vanilla Bean and French Vanilla. I remember as a kid we took turns cranking ice cream. If you didn’t crank, you didn’t get a scoop.
I suppose, since it’s Vanilla Ice Cream Day, that it should be all about the ice cream. But you know me, thinking outside the box. These days the only time we have ice cream as a dessert is after a spicy meal. Don’t get me wrong, we’ll enjoy a cone or a scoop just because it’s summertime. As for serving ice cream at the end of a meal, it’s usually because we had something spicy for the main course. Let’s face it, you go out for Mexican and end the meal with Fried Ice Cream, right? I know we do – it’s one order with three spoons.
That’s when I realized if I’m going to share a delicious “cheat” for French Vanilla Ice Cream, I really needed to share a sizzling reason to crave something cool and creamy. And boy, do I have a reason. These Marinated Jalapeno Steaks are like dining at your favorite Mexican Restaurant without ever leaving your house. I don’t mean your favorite taco stand, but a real Mexican Cantina with grilled steaks and seafood dishes that rock. Serve these steaks with spicy rice, some refried beans, warm tortillas and a few margarita – wow! Beyond good.
Marinated Jalapeno Steak
4 Jalapeno Peppers
1 Fresno Pepper
5 Garlic Cloves
1-1/2 teaspoons Coarse Ground Black Pepper
1 tablespoon Kosher Salt
1/4 cup Lime Juice
1 tablespoon Dried Mexican Oregano
1-1/2 lb Sirloin Steak
Stem peppers, roughly chop and set aside. Peel garlic, roughly chop and set aside.
Combine jalapenos, garlic, pepper, salt, lime juice and oregano in a blender. Blend until smooth.
Lay steaks on plastic wrap. Pour half of the jalapeno paste over the steaks and rub into the meat. Turn steaks over and rub with remaining mixture. Wrap tightly in the plastic wrap; refrigerate for 8 to 10 hours. Remove from refrigerator, unwrap and let steaks rest on the counter for 30 minutes.
Heat a gas grill for high heat, and lightly oil the grill grate. Grill steaks 4 minutes per side, or to desired pinkness. Garnish with sliced jalapenos if desired.
And now for the reason for the day – Vanilla Ice Cream. Good French Vanilla Ice Cream requires a good custard base. That means cooking a custard, letting it cool overnight and then making the creamy, deliciously rich ice cream. Or you could cheat. What is custard but a pudding? And what can you get in a box but instant pudding – with no cooking required. No cooking means no overnight cool down. And that means you get your ice cream when you want it – now!
No-Cook French Vanilla Ice Cream
1 cup Milk
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Half-and-Half
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 (3.4oz.) box of instant French Vanilla Pudding Mix
2 cups Heavy Cream
Chill ice cream cylinder and paddle according to manufacturer instructions.
In a medium-sized bowl mix the milk and sugar together. Once the sugar is completely dissolved, stir in the half and half and dry pudding mix. Whisk the mixture until the pudding has dissolved and no lumps remain.
Stir in the vanilla extract and heavy cream. Pour the pudding-cream mixture into the ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Transfer ice cream to a freezer-safe container. Serve immediately for soft-serve or place in the freezer overnight for firm ice cream.