Monday, August 30, 2010

Jello Night!

A few weeks ago, my knitting group (which meets at the fantastic Fiber Gallery on Tuesday evenings) had a Jello themed potluck. We were inspired by this sort of vintage recipe: Instead of doing something disturbingly glistening, though, I decided to go in another direction. In the comments for this recipe, someone complained that the panna cotta tasted like "milky jello" and another commenter pointed out that panna cotta is milky jello.

Confident that this met our theme, I played around with several recipes and came up with a Lemon-Lavender Panna Cotta. (I'm on something of a lemon-lavender binge at present.) It would be delicious with blueberry sauce, but I guessed (correctly, as it turned out) that there would be lots of other sweet creations to pair it with. (If you happen to have some, it went pretty well with Blueberry Jello Surprise.)

Lemon-Lavender Panna Cotta

  • 4 C whole milk, divided
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp unflavored gelatin
  • 1 Tbsp dried culinary lavender buds
  • 2 Tbsp grated organic lemon zest
  • 3/4 C sugar
Sprinkle gelatin over 1 C of the milk in a small saucepan. Put the lavender in a cheesecloth pouch or tea ball. Let the milk & gelatin stand for 10 minutes.

Add the lavender and lemon zest and gently heat over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, whisking until gelatin dissolves. Keep stirring and increase heat to medium. Add the sugar and whisk some more, until the sugar dissolves.

Take off the heat and remove the lavender pouch, squeezing a bit to get more liquid out. Add the remaining 3 C milk and give the mixture one last good stir.

For an elegant presentation, pour into 8 6-oz ramekins and allow to chill at least 4 hours. When the mixture is completely set and chilled, invert each panna cotta onto a dessert plate. Pour berry sauce over the panna cotta, if desired. (For a potluck, it's much easier to just pour the hot mixture into a pretty serving bowl and scoop it out of there to serve after chilling.)
serves 6-8

Sunday, August 29, 2010

post-farmers' market dinner

Monday: Salmon Roasted in Butter; Tomato, Basil, and Fresh Mozzarella Salad; Blueberries

Wow, it's been a looooong time since I've posted anything. I guess summer is all about food that's so simple I don't need to write it down? Anyway, I have all kinds of tasty food stuff planned for the week (including some canning), and I have a feeling that our holiday weekend will include some pie-makin'.

We had quite the haul from the farmers' market, including an extra-large salmon fillet. We had planned to have salmon once this week (tomorrow), but had so much fish that we made a simple recipe with it (from Mark Bittman's Fish) in addition to a glorious late-summer tomato salad. We also scored some delicious blueberries from Sidhu Farms (which has consistently had the best blueberries at the market, IMO). The salad feels so simple that it's hardly worth writing down, but here 'tis:

Tomato, Basil, and Fresh Mozzarella Salad

  • 1 large or two small, very ripe tomatoes, sliced into moderately thin wedges
  • 2 oz fresh mozzarella (ours was from Golden Glen), sliced
  • 1 handful fresh basil, chopped or snipped into small pieces
  • glug olive oil
  • generous drizzle balsamic vinegar
  • salt & pepper, to taste
Arrange the first three ingredients however appeals to your sense of food style on a plate. Drizzle with olive oil & balsamic; sprinkle with salt & freshly ground pepper.
serves 2 as a side