Tag Archives: spicy

Crazy chocolate ice cream


The first time I had a Mexican mocha was in college.  It was at a little coffee shop called Tony’s, next to the Harris Street Cafe in Fairhaven, Bellingham. I loved the spicy flavors mingling with the chocolate. It gave you an extra kick with your morning joe.

This ice cream is like a frozen Mexican mocha. Rich, almost like chocolate pudding, and spiced with cinnamon and just a hint of cayenne pepper.

Thank goodness I followed the directions (a random site I found online) to not overdo the cayenne. When you make the custard, it won’t taste that spicy. But something happens when you freeze it – now the spice hits you at the back of the tongue and continues down the throat. It’s an odd sensation – creamy, cold cream with that peppery kick. Unlike any other.

I recommend this recipe for anyone with a weakness for chocolate and a desire to be brave in the kitchen. As with all ice creams, making it takes a lot of steps, which can seem like a pain in the ass. But much of the work happens in the fridge or freezer, so it’s not like you are glued to your stove.


1 c. heavy cream

1 c. whole milk

1 c. skim milk

2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder

1 vanilla bean, split with the seeds scraped out and set aside

2 eggs

1 c. sugar

1/8 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

Heat milks in a saucepan over medium heat and whisk in chocolate until melted. Slowly whisk in cocoa powder until combined. Add vanilla bean and seeds, bring to a simmer, remove from heat, cover and let sit for 30 minutes.

Remove the vanilla bean and reheat over medium-low. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, sugar and salt. Temper the egg mixture with a cup of the hot chocolate, then whisk all the egg mixture into the saucepan.

Cook the entire mixture over mexium low, stirring constantly, around 10 min. It will look thick and shiny. It is done when it coats the back of a spoon in a thick sheath, or gets to 170 degrees.

In a large bowl that you can fit in your fridge, combine the cinnamon and cayenne. Resist the urge to add more cayenne! Strain the chocolate mixture into the large bowl and whisk to get rid of any clumps. Place a piece of plastic wrap against the top of the liqiud to avoid a skin forming and chill it in your fridge for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

Once chilled, pour the custard into your prepared ice cream maker and freeze per the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and let the ice cream finish firming up.


This would be delicious with some whipped cream, or along with some vanilla ice cream for a contrast. Enjoy, friends, if you dare!


Spicy grilled chicken with stone fruit and balsamic glaze

Grilled nectarines and barbecue chicken!

Grilled nectarines and barbecue chicken!

He didn’t believe me. He had his doubts. I was defrosting some chicken thighs that have been in the freezer for a year. I said I also wanted to grill stone fruit. But not peaches. My boyfriend was dubious. Later, he would be pleasantly full.

But I knew this R-Ray dish would be insanely good because I’ve made it twice before and always to great effect. The chicken (thighs or breast) is marinated in Dijon mustard, paprika, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, olive oil and garlic. Then it is infused with the smoky heat from our charcoal grill. Then, a drizzle of rosemary-balsamic syrup….it’s yummy. I served it with some parsley-parmesan couscous, another invention made to use up our cupboard items.

This meal is perfect for celebrating a beautiful summer day, such as the one we had for the Deschutes Dash!

In a large bowl, combine:

1/4 c. EVOO

4 cloves garlic, pushed through a press

2 T Worcestershire sauce

2 T Dijon mustard

1 T paprika

1 T Frank’s Red Hot Sauce

Toss 2 pounds of chicken with the marinade and let chill for at least 15 minutes. Then grill them about 5 minutes per side, or until just done.


When you turn the chicken the first time, add the nectarines to the grill (4 nectarines, halved and pitted, drizzled with EVOO). Grill the fruit until dark grill marks appear, about 6 min.


Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring 1/2 c. balsamic vinegar, 2 T brown sugar and 2 T chopped fresh rosemary to a boil. Lower heat and reduce, about 7 min., until syrupy.

To serve, I spooned cooked couscous mixed with chopped parsley and grated Parmesan on a plate. Then, add chicken and fruit, then drizzle with the balsamic glaze.

This dish is smoky like barbecue, but with an added extra bite and sweetness from the fruit and glaze. Everyone for whom I have made this has loved it. You must try. Enjoy, friends!