“Like magic, she felt him getting nearer, felt it like a pull in the pit of her stomach. It felt like hunger but deeper, heavier. Like the best kind of expectation. Ice cream expectation. Chocolate expectation.”
-Sarah Addison Allen
I’m turning 23 this week. With every year that I grow older I feel some sort of obligation to do something more responsible with my life: start a retirement fund, begin volunteering, become more financially savvy, or maybe finally kickoff some healthier eating habits.
That last option admittedly seems so deceptively easy in the grand scheme of things - I mean most sane people, when they wake up for instance, will gravitate towards their cupboard for a bowl of oatmeal, or if they’re feeling ambitious slap half of an avocado on a toasted piece of sourdough rubbed with a clove of garlic. Breakfast is supposed to be the opportunity to start off the day in the most wholesome fashion, with all manner of lean proteins, vegetables, and energizing food that won’t weigh you down or send you crashing into a mid afternoon nap, an occurrence all too familiar in my daily routine.
Now obviously, I’ve never been sane in that regard - despite wanting to aspire to be the guy who has an egg white omelette five days of week, there’s only one problem: I wake up hangry. And if you’ve ever dealt with a hangry person, you know that any form of rationality is swiftly flushed down the toilet during your morning piss. So more often than not, in the mornings when I lack both the patience to begin cracking and separating eggs into a bowl and the tolerance to peel and chop an onion, I instead rummage through the fridge to play the game “What leftovers can I eat for breakfast?
There are those rare days when I open it and see that there’s no more leftover shredded beef or fried rice to pick at, and despite the fact that when I then go to the freezer and see a 5 pound bag of frozen berries staring longingly at me, waiting to be made into a kale smoothie, I drop what I’m doing because “Oh my god”, I still have some leftover ice cream. Or a half eaten bag of oreos in the pantry, in which you dump the leftover crumbs into the remnants of that batch of green tea ice cream from last week, and realize that you’ve stumbled onto what could possibly be the one of the world’s best ice cream flavors.
You might be viewing me with a sense of morbidity right now, which I don’t blame you at all for, but these sort of leftover breakfasts have not only become my go to standbys in the morning, but also my source of cooking inspiration. Green tea and oreo ice cream has become sort of a small epiphany, something to be added into the annals of ice cream antiquity as the standby fourth flavor alongside the archetypes vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate.
So that last line item, developing healthy eating habits, may just have to wait until I’m 24
Matcha & Oreo Ice Cream
MAKES 1 QUART
formed from David Lebovitz vanilla ice cream
*note: I’m as tired of the whole “Let’s sprinkle sea salt on anything sweet and call ourselves innovative!” trend as you are, but I find it particularly crucial here. Not just to balance the sugar, but also because those crunchy flakes of salt help counter the numbing effect very cold foods have on your tastebuds.
3 cups of half and half
5 Egg Yolks
2 teaspoons of matcha powder
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of vanilla
1.5 cups of crushed oreos (18 oreos- yes I counted)
Heat the half and half in a sauce pan over medium heat until scalding.
Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks, matcha, sugar, and salt until they form a thick, pale ribbon. Temper the mixture by pouring half of the hot half and half into the eggs, whisking constantly until the eggs warm up, and then pouring the eggs back into the sauce pan.
Continue stirring until it’s thick enough to coat the back of the spoon (Usually this happens at around 175 degrees for the anal retentive folks around here). Stir in the vanilla and pour the custard through a fine mesh strainer. Chill for at least 4 hours.
Churn the ice cream according to your manufacturer’s directions. Before you take it out of the ice cream maker, pour in the crushed oreos and allow them to disperse. Transfer to a container and freeze until solid. Serve with a sprinkle of sea salt.