Vietnamese food is a relatively new experience for me. In all of my past towns of residence, Vietnamese food was not easy to find so I usually didn't take the time to find it. I didn't know what Pho was or how to pronounce it. There was a Vietnamese stand at the local fresh market in Columbus, but it intimated me - people slurping from their large bowls of broth - what was that?
When I moved to New Orleans, I discovered a rather large Vietnamese population living on the West Bank of the city and several Vietnamese restaurants to try. However in the past three years I never ventured into one of the restaurants. It was only when Vietnamese restaurants started popping up right outside my front door that I decided to give a try. *Slap to the forehead * Why did I shy away from this food before? I love the bold flavors of other Asian cuisine so what made me think that I wouldn't like Vietnamese food?!
Needless to say I am now a regular at a Vietnamese restaurant a few blocks from my home - Lilly's. The owner is so sweet and so proud of her food, I love giving her business. My favorite dish is the Garlic Tofu Noodles. *Sigh* I also love to order a cold glass of Thai Tea or Vietnamese Coffee, depending on my mood. So I made a scoop inspired by my recent foray into Vietnamese cuisine. Made with strong coffee and sweetened condensed milk, this scoop is the perfect ending to a hearty Vietnamese noodle meal. Enjoy!
Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream
Slightly adapted from recipe in The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
Makes 1 quart
I made my version with strongly brewed coffee instead of espresso. After I combined the ingredients, I felt the ice cream base needed a stronger coffee flavor so I added about 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso, hence the last ingredient. The addition of instant espresso depends on your tastes and how strong you brew your coffee/espresso.
1 1/2 cups (600 g) sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) strongly brewed coffee or brewed espresso
1/2 cup (125 ml) half and half
Big pinch finely ground dark roast coffee
Instant espresso to taste
Combine sweetened condensed milk, coffee, half and half, and ground coffee in a medium bowl and whisk until combined. Add instant espresso, if needed, and stir. Chill mixture in the refrigerator until completely cool, about 2 hours. Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.