I had a lunch meeting today at Paul’s Pizza & Steak House, one of the last true old-school restaurants with VLTs in the corner and a plastic-covered menu featuring Beef Dip, a Western (sandwich), Hamburger Deluxe, and the like. The pizza was quite fantastic, actually, one of the best I’ve had, and I was impressed to see that they have a Valta bison burger on the menu for $8.95.
I still wasn’t feeling great though. I won the leftovers and brought them home for M and W, who were at the zoo. They got home at 4, scarfed down their cold pizza, and fell asleep.
So we kind of slid past dinnertime. But with the sun out I wanted to go sit outside before the rain started up again, and was craving some ice cream. I don’t buy ice cream, because I eat ice cream. It speaks to me wherever I am in the house until I have to finish it off just to shut it up. But I did discover this almost fat-free chocolate sorbet a few years ago, and it’s just the thing for my chocolate and ice cream cravings. I’m not a kitchen gadget kind of person, but I highly recommend an ice cream machine. If you think $40-$90 is too much to pay for one, take a look at ice cream prices these days: $7 for a pint of Häagen-Dazs? Don’t get me wrong, I adore the stuff, and I suppose it’s worth it. (If you want to save some money, ice cream machines are usually on sale during the off season – last year at Williams-Sonoma the Krups ice cream machine was only $42. As if people don’t eat ice cream in the winter?)
Making your own is fun and saves not only money, but fat and calories: all you need for this sorbet is some sugar, cocoa and a small handful of chocolate, which will give it a creamier mouthfeel; more than a pint will probably run you about 50 cents. You could make it with milk, which would make it creamier, but then technically not a sorbet. Soon I’ll let you know how to make fro-yo that might change your mind about ever eating ice cream again.
(Low fat, but you’ll never know it) Chocolate Sorbet
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
2-4 oz. chopped dark or semi-sweet chocolate, or chocolate chips
Combine the sugar and cocoa in a medium saucepan. (I always mix cocoa with the sugar in a recipe to get rid of all the lumps.) Put it over med-high heat and stir in 2 cups water. (Make some of that water coffee if you want, or stir in a teaspoon of instant coffee or espresso – it will intensify the chocolate flavor without adding fat.) Bring to a simmer and cook for about 2 minutes. Take it off the heat and stir in the chocolate. Stir until it melts, or better yet, until it kinda melts but leaves some chunks.
Let the mixture cool, then refrigerate until it’s cold. Pour into the ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions. If you want to firm it up, put it in the freezer for a few hours.