10.15.10 Cool Hand Cuke
Did I mention I'm in a diet? Sigh. I'm eating a lot of vegetables, and for dinner I'm having a small portion of whatever. If it's pasta, I just have the sauce. Lots of salad. One cocktail a week and no cheese to speak of. Waah! Actually I'm not that miserable. Worse was when I saw a video of myself shot from behind. Emphasis on behind. It rocked my world. I have been in denial because most days I just pull on a pair of sweatpants, that's all the fashion required upstate. I'll let you know how it goes. If I manage to lose 20 pounds by the time we go to Mexico for New Year's, it will be a freaking miracle. 10 pounds even will be a heroic feat. There's pumpkin custard to make, and thousands of caramels to wrap before that day comes. But I have a will of steel when I want to and, trust me, I want to. Still, total deprivation is a recipe for disaster (hello, late-night quesadilla binges), so it's good to have the right kind of treat now and then. This cooling cucumber sorbet, spicy with ginger and lightly sweetened with honey or agave, satisfies every craving and does not feel like diet food, even though it's virtually calorie-free.
I created this recipe because, even as recently as last week, G was hauling in ginormous cucumbers from our declining vegetable garden. You can use any cucumbers for this, but be sure to remove the skins which can impart a bitterness. Even though this is where a lot of the nutrition lies, the cucumber flesh still contains a fair amount of vitamin C. I use my trusty juicer, but I imagine you might be able to use your blender, then pass the juice through a fine sieve (or not). I also use my juicer for the ginger, skin and all. Alternatively, you can grate fresh ginger and add that, though it will change the smooth texture a bit. You can also find ginger juice bottled, but that's a little bit lazy. (Ego te absolvo.) This sorbet is especially nice after a meal with Asian or Mexican flavors, but it's really an all-purpose dessert that goes down like a charm.
CUCUMBER-GINGER SORBETserves 63 cups cucumber juice, from peeled cucumbers3 tablespoons fresh lime juice3 tablespoons ginger juice6 tablespoons agave nectar or mild honeygenerous pinch sea saltStir everything together until the sweetener is fully dissolved. Chill until very cold. (At least 3 hours.) Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. Process in your ice cream maker. If you still don't have one, you could also place this in a shallow glass or metal dish in your freezer and rake it every 30 minutes or so, as for a granità.