Today is Soft Serve Ice Cream Day. Wish I had a recipe for Soft Serve to share, but Soft Serve really isn’t something made at home. True Soft Serve Ice Cream requires a Soft Serve Ice Cream Machine, something most of us don’t keep on our kitchen counters.
Granted, the price for Soft Serve Ice Cream Machines for home cooks has come down to a reasonable price. Cuisinart does offer a 1.5 quart machine for around $100.00, while commercial units start at over a grand. Even so, most of us aren’t willing to give up counter space for a machine that does one thing and one thing only – make ice cream. After all, most fast food joints such as McDonalds offers a soft serve cone. And then there’s the whole Dairy Queen and Foster Freeze chains that revolve around soft ice cream treats.
So while we won’t be sharing a recipe for Soft Serve Ice Cream today, I thought the history of this soft cool treat was worth a share. As the story goes, a Greek-born American businessman and entrepreneur living in the northeastern United States had a bit of bad luck on Memorial Day Weekend in 1934. His name was Tom Carvel (born Athanasios Karvelas). Tom had been selling ice cream out of his truck in 1929 in Hartsdale, New York. On that faithful Memorial Day Weekend, Tom’s truck has a flat tire, so he pulled into a parking lot next to a pottery store. Tom realized that he needed to do something, his ice cream was melting. The owner of the store allowed Tom to use electricity from his store to keep the ice cream soft, not frozen. No matter, Tom began selling the softened ice cream to vacationers who were driving by. Within two days, Tom has sold his entire supply of soft ice cream. He realized two things – first was that ice cream need not be hard to be delicious and that he could increase his profits by working from a fixed location rather than driving a truck. By 1836, Tom has purchased the pottery store, converted it into a roadside ice cream stand, and established Carvel, the first retail soft serve ice cream parlor. His company developed a new refrigeration machine and soft serve ice cream formula.
And there you have it. I don’t know about you, but after dinner I’m thinking we need to take a drive up the road for a nice soft serve cone – yeah, and make mine chocolate dipped.
Speaking of dinner, one of my favorite ways of cooking has to be those one-pot or one-skillet dishes. Most are quick, easy and best of all simple to clean up. While I love to cook, a sink full of dishes isn’t something I look forward to. It’s part of why we clean as we go whenever possible. So a one pot creation is always a treat.
This dish is made even easier with the use of rotisserie chicken. A little shredding, some chopping and there ya go – dinner in a single pot. Enjoy!
One-Pot Lemon Chicken Rigatoni
1 Rotisserie Chicken
2 Garlic Cloves
10 Basil Leaves, garnish
1 large Lemon
4 tablespoons Butter, divided
3-1/2 cups Chicken Stock
3 cups uncooked Rigatoni
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese
Remove skin from rotisserie chicken. Pull meat from the bones. Shred chicken and set aside.
Peel and finely mince garlic, set aside. Stack basil leaves, roll like a cigar, then slice to create thin ribbons of basil. Set aside. Zest lemon, then cut in half and set aside.
In 4- to 5-quart Dutch oven, heat butter over medium heat. Add garlic; cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until garlic is tender.
Add chicken stock, juice from the lemon, rigatoni, salt and pepper. Heat to boiling. Simmer uncovered 14 to 16 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pasta is al dente and most of liquid is absorbed.
Stir in chicken; continue heating 1 to 2 minutes or until heated through. Remove from heat; stir in grated lemon peel, and top with Parmesan cheese. Garnish with fresh basil.