Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tasty Ways to Deal with Your Disney Withdrawals

It's been two weeks since I returned from my quickie Orlando/Disney adventure, and even though it was unbearably hot down there, and navigating the theme parks was sometimes as much hard work as it was fun, I feel like I just didn't have enough time there. This feeling was exacerbated by the fact that many, many of my friends went down there right after I left (of course!), convening for the Church of the Nazarene's General Assembly, which is being held, even as I type, in Orlando this year. (I attended a Nazarene college and taught at one, too, back in the day.) So I have had to endure Facebook reports and photos and mobile updates for more than a week, as my dear old friends gallavant around my beloved Disney without me! BOO HISS!

One of the things that I always miss the most when I leave the Magic Kingdom--almost as soon as I leave the park--is DOLE WHIP! For the uninitiated, Dole Whip is this wonderful pineapple soft serve dessert that they sell in Adventureland (and also the Polynesian Resort). It comes in several other flavors as well, but the classic variety is pineapple. You can get a cup or a cone for about three bucks (not bad for a Disney snack), or you can go all out and get the Dole Whip float made with pineapple juice and Dole Whip for four bucks. YUM! I like the double pineapple, but I also love the float to be made with orange Dole Whip. Naturally, I have been pining for the stuff since returning home from Florida, and to my amazement, I have learned that you can buy the dry mix to make it at home. There's even a very helpful how-to video online to demonstrate how to prepare it in your ice cream machine. However, it is pretty expensive stuff once you add shipping, and of course, the reports from those who have tried are that it's good, but the texture isn't the same (of course--no one has an industrial soft-serve machine at home!). The texture of Dole Whip is very creamy, despite the fact that's non-dairy. How do they do it? Unfortunately, the real Dole Whip includes all kinds of space-age polymers and food additives and goo that no one really wants to think about! We just want to eat it because it tastes good!

So to console myself during my Disney withdrawals and while so many of my friends are enjoying themselves there without me right now (sniff!), I have made it my project to come up with a Dole Whip clone that could be made at home. I found a couple of recipes that have been widely circulated around the internet to mixed reviews, but the following is my own version. Now I will not say to the Dole Whip purists that this is EXACTLY the same as Dole Whip, because you just can't get the same texture and consistency at home. And of course, my version is not dairy or lactose-free. But I can tell you that it's DELICIOUS and refreshing and my new favorite summertime treat! It can be made with only pineapple juice like the classic Disney experience, or part pineapple and part orange, which I adore. Trust me, Disney and Dole Whip fans, you've got to try this!

Gina's Mock Dole Whip

2 cups Dole pineapple juice*
1 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
pinch salt

Whisk the juice and the sugar until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the cream, vanilla and salt. Unless your juice was cold to begin with, chill the mixture in the fridge for a couple of hours or over an ice bath for 20-30 minutes. Freeze in an ice cream machine, then transfer to a container and let it harden in the freezer for a few hours. Scoop and enjoy!

*You could also swap out some of the pineapple juice with orange juice which is SO good, or I suppose you could just use Dole's pineapple-orange blend. Then, of course, once your mock Dole Whip is frozen solid and scoopable, you can make floats with either pineapple or orange juice. YUM!!

The mock Dole Whip is the best, but if you want the same flavors in a refreshing Orange Julius-type of deal, I have also converted one of my favorite old stand-by recipes to a delicious pineapple version. This is not only a refreshing summer beverage, but it might also stave off the DT's when you're jonesin' for a Dole Whip but live far away from Mickey!

Gina's Pineapple Julius

6 oz. (1/2 can) Dole frozen pineapple juice concentrate
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk (powdered)
1 cup whole milk (2% is fine, too)
6 oz. can Dole pineapple juice (or swap this out for orange juice!)
12 ice cubes (regular-sized ones from a standard tray)

Combine all ingredients in a powerful blender until the ice is completely pulverized and the drink is smooth and frothy/frosty. Pour into two large glasses, add straws, and enjoy!

While I was trolling these internets for Dole Whip clone recipes, I found several websites and discussion boards and blogs devoted entirely to Disney cuisine, and to be sure, I have printed quite a few recipes to try in the very near future. But one of them that I had to make right away was a kebab recipe from Bengal Barbecue at Disneyland (continuing the Adventureland theme). Sadly, I have heard that the sauces have been outsourced now, so what you can buy in Anaheim are no longer the beloved kebabs of my childhood memory. But I found someone online who used to be a cook there and claims to have the original recipes. I can neither confirm or deny that assertion, but I made the chicken kebabs with the Tonkatsu marinade and served them with the Tahitian sauce, and they were FABULOUS! Also, the recipe calls for an interesting technique that I may now use forevermore. Before grilling the skewers, it has you steam them to keep them moist and juicy, then they are finished off on the grill for some color and smoky flavor. What a great idea! How many of us have dried out our chicken kebabs trying to make sure that they were done all the way through? This is foolproof! I used the steamer insert to my pasta pot (I had to snip off the end of each skewer to make them fit), and cooked them in two batches before taking them outside to the grill. Or you could always steam them ahead of time, refrigerate, and then they take just two or three minutes on either side on the grill. Your backyard barbecue guests and/or hungry Disney fans will be fed in no time at all!

Bengal Barbecue Chicken Skewers
(Source: MousePad Bulletin Board at MousePlanet)

Note: I used 3 lbs. of (=8) boneless and skinless chicken breasts which yielded 11 skewers of five pieces of chicken each.

Tonkatsu Marinade
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (I used pomegranate balsamic*)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup dry sherry
1 whole bay leaf
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh ginger root, grated
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
*I also added one cup of pomegranate juice because I still have some in my fridge!

Mix ingredients and marinade chicken pieces overnight in the refrigerator. Soak bamboo skewers for at least 30 minutes before grilling. Skewer the meat and steam for about seven minutes, then grill for about three minutes per side or until evenly browned. Dip in Tahitian Sauce before serving.

Tahitian Sauce*
4 whole cloves (I just used 1/8 teaspoon ground)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (again, I used pomegranate balsamic)
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup crushed pineapple
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce (I would use reduced sodium here, as my sauce turned out very salty)
1/4 cup orange juice concentrate
3 tablespoons water

Simmer cloves in vinegar for 5-10 minutes (I didn't do this-- just used ground cloves and stirred it in with everything else). Strain cloves and add other ingredients. Bring mixture to slow boil over medium heat.

*You don't need ALL of this sauce for 11 chicken skewers, so you can easily halve the recipe. But I figured that it would keep well enough in the fridge, and I could use the homemade BBQ sauce on many other of summer's grilled meats!


Just the Right Size said...

Ah Gina, wish I knew you were coming down, I'm in Orlando!

If you ever come down again for more than a day or so, drop me a line and maybe I can show you some of the local places to go eat & such!

Yes, it's "hot as b@lls" down here now, but this is nothing. Wait till August!

AJ said...

YUM!! Recipes after my own heart... can't wait to try them. Thanks for the link!

Anna said...

Todd will love this! I haven't made a lot of homemade ice cream lately, but I'll have to try this recipe. Sounds good.

Lisa said...

Ahhh..Disney World, the memories! That mock whip looks so delicious!! I wish I could dig into that now!