Hye Thyme Cafe: January 2012

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)


Monday, January 30, 2012

Broccoli Slaw



This is my last post to go along with the Root Beer Pulled Pork and Refrigerator Pickles I made the other night. I'm very picky when it comes to Cole Slaw, but I used to love a version that one of my cousins would make now and again. It was just a cabbage slaw mix with some sort of poppy seed dressing. It has been so long now, I can't remember the dressing. I'm thinking it was a vidalia onion poppy seed dressing. I would recognize the bottle if I saw it, but of course it has been so long now, they have probably changed their packaging.

I decided to make something along those lines as a side dish, but I didn't want to buy a whole cabbage with no other use in mind for the rest of it. I checked the bagged slaw mix, but it all looked pretty sad, so I grabbed a bag of broccoli slaw instead and doctored that up.  


INGREDIENTS :
1 bag broccoli slaw
2 carrots, shredded or matchstick cut
1 Granny Smith apple, matchstick cut
1/3 c dried cranberries

DRESSING :
6 oz container of plain Greek yogurt (I used Chobani)
1 T mayonnaise   (*See note below)
1/2 t celery seed
pinch each of salt, pepper, and Cajun seasoning
2 t cider vinegar

The slaw mix came with some shredded carrots, but not that much, so I wanted to pump up the volume on that count. As for the mayo, I had wanted to use yogurt for a healthier version, but decided to add the mayo to give it more richness and to cut the tartness of the yogurt. I didn't want it to be obvious that it was yogurt.

Toss together the slaw ingredients, then whisk or process your dressing ingredients, pour over the slaw and toss to combine. Chill until ready to serve.


*NOTE:  We dunked some extra carrot sticks into the dressing to taste test it and really liked the way it turned out, but when we went to eat the slaw with dinner, we realized when everything was combined, it was a little on the tart side, and the dressing didn't quite stretch far enough. I thought it would be plenty based on the Amaretto Grapes I made last week with 6 oz of yogurt. Soooo, the next day, we added a squirt of Agave Nectar for the sweet and a blob more mayo for better coverage. That did the trick!  

 



























Sunday, January 29, 2012

Refrigerator Pickles


I was making a Root Beer Pulled Pork the other night and decided I wanted to make some pickles to go along with it. I had never made pickles before, unless you count the Armenian pickled veggies I made once (Tourshi - kinda like Giardinera). These turned out delicious, with just the right crunch to them. On the pickle scale, I would say they're cousin to the Bread & Butter Pickle, with a touch of heat.


INGREDIENTS :
6-7 small pickling cucumbers
3-4 cloves garlic
1 fresh jalapeno pepper
3-4 shallots
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c white vinegar
1/2 c rice vinegar
1/2 t celery seed
1 t dill weed
1/8 t salt


Slice the cucumbers into thick rings, and the shallots into thin rings, then toss them in a jar or bowl with 2 cloves of garlic and set aside.

Split the jalapeno in half and ponder your crew's tolerance for heat. I pulled out the center strip, but left some of the pith and seeds. If you are sensitive to heat, you will want to remove all of the pith and seeds. Put the jalapeno in a small pan along with the remaining garlic (I split them in half) and the rest of your ingredients.

Bring the whole thing up to a boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer for about 5" before turning off the heat.

Here's your next decision ... how soft or crisp do you like your pickles? I like mine more on the crisp side, so I let the vinegar mixture cool for a while. I wanted it to be warm enough for the flavors to infuse, but not so hot that it cooked my cukes.

After it had cooled for a little while, I tossed one of the jalapeno halves and poured the rest of the pot over the cucumbers. When the jar was cool to the touch, I refrigerated it. That's it!

I had little plastic cups like you get at restaurants with some side items, so I filled a little cup with pickles to go on each person's plate. These were a huge hit, and I was immediately asked for the recipe, so that's always a good sign.  ;)



 












Friday, January 27, 2012

Amaretto Grapes



We're not typically a family of dessert eaters; those are usually served up when company is joining us, on holidays, sometimes when restaurant dining, but not generally in the course of normal events. Dinner went together so quickly/easily the other night that I felt like I had forgotten to do something, so while that was in the oven, I decided to use the time to throw this light dessert together. This was inspired by a recipe I saw a few years ago that had something to do with grapes and amaretti cookies. You can't get much simpler than this, and it was very refreshing, with just enough sweet to satisfy everyone.


INGREDIENTS :
2 T cream cheese, softened
6 oz container Greek yogurt (I used Chobani)
+/- 1/2 c almond slices


I went with the yogurt to keep this dessert on the healthy side. Because I knew adding the Amaretto would thin the yogurt, I decided to mix in the cream cheese for stability and to cut the tartness. If you want to use Greek yogurt but can't find it where you are, just strain your "regular" yogurt through a cheesecloth, paper towel, or coffee filter to remove some of the liquid. If you don't want to do that, you could always just add more cream cheese.

The almonds were for texture and visual appeal. To toast them, simply toss them in a dry nonstick pan and set them over medium heat, stirring frequently (to prevent burning) until golden. Pour them out of the hot pan so the residual heat doesn't scorch them before you're ready for them.

Stir together the yogurt, cream cheese, and amaretto until smooth, then stir in a large bunch of grapes and about half of your almonds, crushing them in your hand as you sprinkle them in. Allow to chill while you have dinner.

To serve, scoop into bowls and top with the remaining crushed almonds.




Thursday, January 26, 2012

Strawberry-Mozzarella Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Dressing


I made a Chicken Tetrazzini for dinner the other night, and because it's a casserole, there wasn't really a need for a veg or starch side, but I did want something, so I opted for a salad. I recently noticed a forgotten bottle of Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar hanging out in the back of the pantry, so I decided to put that to use.



INGREDIENTS :
1/3 c Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar
1/3 c Olive Oil
2 t honey
Greens (I used a head of Green Leaf Lettuce)
Strawberries
Mozzarella
Fresh Basil
Sliced Almonds


For the dressing, whisk together the oil, vinegar, and honey.  You can add a pinch of salt and pepper if you like, but I just kept it simple, wanting the strawberry vinegar to be the "star" of the show.



Slice the berries, toss them in the dressing and set aside for a while to macerate. You want that nice fresh juice to seep out and incorporate into the dressing.




 
In the meantime, toss some almond slices into a dry pan over medium heat and let them get lightly toasted. Be sure to keep moving them around so they don't burn, and as soon as they're a color you like, dump them out into something else so the residual heat from the pan doesn't burn them.



Cut the mozzarella into bite-sized pieces, and bunch up some of the basil leaves and chiffonade them into ribbons.

I used a slotted spoon to scoop the berries out of the dressing and toss them with the lettuce, just letting the dressing that clung to the berries dress the salad. Then I tossed in the mozzarella and some of the almonds and used the rest of the almonds and the basil to crown each plate, serving the reserved dressing on the side.














Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Chicken Tetrazzini "ish"

 

I was reading a magazine a few months back, and a Turkey Tetrazzini caught my eye. I looked it up online, but it was in one of those magazines that don't post their recipes, so I was bummed since it was a random outdated magazine that I was reading out somewhere. I didn't have access to it to write the recipe down at that point. I have been thinking about it off and on, so I decided to try my own version, but with chicken.

I have never actually had a Tetrazzini before, so I turned to the Internet for info, starting with Wikipedia.  

That is exactly what I found when looking at various recipes ... there is no universal standard. The only things that seemed to be universal were the use of some form of milk or cream, a cheese, pasta, and a protein. After that, they all vary. Sooooo, whether you want to call this a Chicken Tetrazzini or just a Chicken/Pasta Casserole, here's my version ...




INGREDIENTS :
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2-3 celery stalks
2-3 carrot sticks
1/2 lg onion, cut into chunks
1-2 cloves garlic, split open
32 oz chicken broth
1 t Better than Bouillon stock base
2 t rubbed sage
Salt and Pepper

8-10 oz gemelli (pasta twists)
1/2 bunch asparagus, cut into 1" pieces

4 T butter
1/2 lg onion, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/3 c flour
2 t Better than Bouillon stock base
1/3 c cooking Sherry or white wine
2 c broth (from the poached chicken)
1 c cream
2 t rubbed sage (I'll increase next time)
1/2 c toasted almond slices
1/3 c grated Parmesan

1/3 c grated Parmesan
1/3 c Panko break crumbs
1/3 c sliced almonds
1 T butter



Start by poaching your chicken, so it's nice and juicy and tender. I looked in the veggie drawer and found some sad carrots in there, so I used the carrots, a few stalks of celery (with the leaves), half of a large onion, and two cloves of garlic (split in half), for seasoning. Toss the veggies in your pan, add the chicken, broth, sage, a pinch of salt and pepper, and the Better than Bouillon. I love that stuff! It adds richness to the broth without being overly salty like the cubes can be; and you have more control over how much you want to use. You might have to swish everything around some to get the chicken down into the broth.

As for the sage, I was thinking about going with oregano or sweet basil, but I didn't want to end up with chicken pot pie filling. That's also why I chose the asparagus, as opposed to the peas, carrots, etc. in many of the recipes I looked at. Oh, by the way, another common item in Tetrazzini appears to be mushrooms, but I'm not a mushroom kinda gal, so those didn't even make it into the running!

Let that slowly come up to a boil over medium heat, then reduce it to barely a simmer, pop a cover on it and let it cook for 15-20".  Then just turn off the heat and set it aside to finish cooking in the residual heat.












Cook the pasta in boiling water until al dente, salting the water once it comes to a boil. Because the asparagus was so thin, I didn't want to cook it, so when the pasta was done, I threw in the asparagus, then drained them both together so the heat from the pasta would take the bite off the asparagus.


Set that aside for the moment and turn your attention back to the chicken. I like to tear it into bite sized pieces rather than cutting it. It just looks more rustic that way, but whatever works for you. I set the carrots aside for the dog, tossed the rest of the veggies, and strained the broth to use in the sauce.

Gather all of your sauce ingredients together and lightly toast your almonds by heating them in a dry pan over med-low heat. Make sure you keep tossing them around so they don't burn, and as soon as they get some nice color on them, pour them out onto a paper towel or paper plate so they're not sitting in the hot pan.

Saute the onions and peppers in the 4T of butter until the onions are translucent, then whisk in the flour and continue cooking for a minute or so to make a roux. I found it to be too dry, so I added just a splash of the Sherry at this point. Once that has cooked for about a minute and has a nice color on it, add the stock paste and your liquids, and let it come up to a boil.  

I had a small carton of heavy cream in the fridge, so I had intended to use 1/2 c of the heavy cream and a 1/2 c of milk, but I had a premature senior moment and forgot about that, so I ended up using a whole cup of the heavy cream. That worked out fine, but if you're concerned with calories, you'll want to go with something lighter.



Once the sauce comes together and starts to thicken, go ahead and add the sage, and stir in the Parmesan and toasted almonds, followed by the pasta/asparagus mixture and the chicken. 

 

Because I was working with a non-stick oven-proof pan, I will be baking it right in the pan. If you need to transfer it to a casserole dish at this point, just be sure to butter or spray it first, to prevent sticking.

In a small bowl, stir together the additional Parmesan, Panko crumbs, and almond slices. There is no need to toast these almonds since they will toast naturally while baking.  Sprinkle the topping mixture all over the top and dot with butter.



Bake at 350 for about 30" until golden and bubbly.



We all really enjoyed this dish. It's a great winter stick-to-your-ribs kinda meal. The only critique (and we all agreed) was that the flavor profile needs to be bumped up. Not changed, just upped, so I'll be using more sage next time...and maybe more of the asparagus.



Friday, January 20, 2012

Dijon Crusted Roast Beef


I've certainly made a few roasts in my day, but since trying this crusted version, I can't see going back to a non-crusted roast again. Crusting it is like wrapping it in a down jacket in winter, holding in all it's body heat and juicy goodness, keeping it all comfy cozy so it gives back to you in the form of a wonderfully tender and flavorful meal.  



INGREDIENTS :
This was a 6 lb boneless top sirloin roast
2-3 T olive oil
Salt and Pepper
2 c fresh breadcrumbs
1 T jarred minced garlic w/red peppers
   (or 3-4 cloves, minced)
3-4 shallots, minced
1 oz pkg fresh thyme (2-3 T)
2 T fresh rosemary, minced
2 T butter, melted
Grey Poupon Country Dijon Mustard


The first time I made this roast, the only bread I had on hand was some hot dog rolls. That worked out fine - they also make really good garlic bread in a pinch. This time around, I dipped into my bag-o-crumbs from the freezer. I think it's currently a random collection of scraps - country white, pumpernickel, dinner rolls. Whatever you have handy is fine.

You always want to start by letting your meat sit out for a while to come to room temp. If you start off with it cold, it will seize up and NOT be happy! This makes for a tough roast ... or steak ... or chicken, etc. Kinda like if you were to jump into freezing cold water or stick your hand over an open flame; you'll flinch in either case and immediately constrict.

I didn't use a rack. You can if you want, but I usually don't bother. Sometimes I'll set a roast on top of carrots and celery stalks.  

Pat the roast dry with paper towels, then generously rub it all over with salt (I use coarse kosher) and pepper. Over med-high heat, sear the roast on all sides (3-4" on each side and the ends), then transfer it to your roasting pan (unless you're already searing it in an oven-proof pan). If you're transferring it to a different pan, make sure any drippings go with it.

I didn't use the rack or carrots/celery, but I did quarter a few onions to roast along with it. I like roasted onions, and they add to the flavoring if you plan to use the drippings for gravy.




Preheat the oven to 425.  

Mix together your bread crumbs, garlic, and herbs, then toss with the melted butter.

When the roast is cool enough for you to touch, slather the top and sides with the Dijon, then pat the crumb mixture onto the mustard.











Oops, I apparently forgot to take a "before" shot with it wearing it's down jacket, but you get the picture (no pun intended).

Cook the roast for 15-20" at 425, until the crust gets some nice color on it, then tent it loosely with foil so you don't end up with burnt toast, lower the temp to 325, and continue to desired doneness; for us, that about about an hour and a half. We've got a few well-done folks in the family. That works out fine with steaks because we can always leave theirs in longer, but it's harder to please everyone with a roast. That's another reason I love this recipe. Even with it cooked longer, it's still juicy and tender enough for those of us who prefer our steaks more on the pink side.

Be sure to let the roast rest for about 20" before carving, to hold in all those juices. While you're waiting, you can move it onto a serving platter, then use all the drippings in the pan to create a nice gravy.

Don't worry about some of the crust falling off as you slice - just make sure everyone gets some.  




Friday, January 13, 2012

Progresso - Souper You Contest


Are you a fan of Progresso Soups?  Maybe you're looking to shed a few pounds after indulging over the holidays?  How does getting a makeover and shopping spree on your way to the finale of The Biggest Loser in Los Angeles sound?  Check out what Progresso is up to for your chance to win ...

(With 40 soups to choose from ... and a coupon link below ... even if you don't win the trip, that's still a win in my book.  I never noticed their Reduced Sodium Tomato Parmesan before.  I'll have to keep an eye out for that one.)


 
Are you ready for a new look this New Year? Progresso® is excited to announce the return of their Souper You® Contest giving you the chance to win an incredible makeover! By telling Progresso why you deserve a makeover and what you love about their soup, you could have the chance to win an ultimate makeover experience in Hollywood this Spring!

Now that the ball has dropped and the confetti has settled, it´s time to consider how you will stick to your resolution for the New Year and maintain your weight management plan, without sacrificing on variety or the taste of foods you love. Thanks to Progresso®, you can have your soup and eat it too!

With 40 delicious soups with 100 calories or less per serving, Progresso Soup has a variety of offerings that help you beat diet boredom and satisfy your taste cravings, while helping you stick to your weight management calorie goals. Progresso soups are packed with hearty ingredients like pasta, beans, rice, meat and vegetables that suit your taste buds and make you feel good about including it in your meal choices.

o This year, the Souper You® Contest will provide three lucky winners with an ultimate makeover experience in Hollywood; this includes a trip for 2 to Los Angeles, California where the winner will receive a head-to-toe makeover including hair and makeup, guided shopping spree with a $1,000 fashion retailer gift card, $1,000 spending money and 2 tickets to this season´s live finale of NBC´s The Biggest Loser

o Progresso is asking fans to visit www.SouperYou.com and submit their photo with a brief essay about why they love Progresso soups and why they deserve a makeover, by no later than February 22nd

o Fans can check back on March 12th for the announcement of the top ten finalists, and to vote for their favorite finalist until March 25th

o In addition, visit http://bit.ly/ProgressoCoup to download a printable coupon for $1.25 off the purchase of four (4) cans of Progresso Soup today

o Also, tune into The Biggest Loser on NBC Tuesdays at 8/7c

Click here to watch this amazing video of the 2011 winner experience.

www.SouperYou.com Also, find Progresso on: Facebook



©2012 Reveille, LLC and NBC Studios, LLC. The Biggest Loser is a registered trademark of Reveille, LLC and NBC Studios, LLC and used under license. All rights reserved. Progresso® is a sponsor of The Biggest Loser.

General Mills Sales is the sole sponsor of the Progresso® Souper You® Contest. NBCUniversal Media, LLC is not a sponsor of the Contest and is not associated with the administration of the Contest in any way.

 
[The above info was provided to me by Progresso through MyBlogSpark.] 



Monday, January 9, 2012

Bite-Sized Kale-Artichoke Stuffed Vol au Vent

Bite-Sized Kale-Artichoke Stuff Vol au Vent : Hye Thyme Cafe


As tasty as these little bites were, I have to confess that I probably won't make them again ... at least not this small. For the amount of time it took me to cut out all of the rounds, chill the dough, bake them, make the filling, stuff them, etc., I could have made three other things instead. I've used puff pastry in larger shapes for things like Asparagus Shortcakes, Strawberry Shortcakes, and Chicken Pot Pie, but never this small. For future bites, I'll stick to baking them into small shells. I had wanted to try something new to go along with our Christmas Eve appetizer tradition. My intention was to make my own puff pastry, but with everything else going on, I took the shortcut and bought the dough.

Vol-au-vents are layers of puff pastry stacked and baked together to form a sort of tube. You can also press puff pastry into little tartlet shells, but those are more shallow, so it really depends on what you plan to fill them with. I did two layers so they would be just a bite, but you could stack another layer to make them even deeper.

INGREDIENTS :
2 sheets puff pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 oz diced pancetta
1 T white wine vinegar

3 shallots, diced

4c torn kale
1 can artichoke quarters, diced
1/4 c ricotta cheese
1 T cream cheese

I think the biggest problem leading to my frustration was really that I need a set of Linzer cookie cutters. To cut the rounds, I used a small fluted biscuit cutter for the outer ring and a random kitchen tool cover to cut the inner rounds. I tried the bottom of a piping tip, but that was too small.

Let your dough thaw per the package instructions, then roll out on a lightly floured work surface to seal the seams.

You will be cutting the dough by creating three different shapes - the bottom layer, the rounds that will rise to form the sides, and the center pieces that can be stacked together and re-rolled, or baked along with the others and used as tops or as a garnish for another item. The ones I made with the piping tip ended up serving as croutons to accompany a Mushroom Stew that night.

Most instructions will tell you to cut out a bunch of the large circles, then go back and cut the centers out of half of those to create the sides and tops, but I had a problem with that. Maybe we were cooking/baking so much at the time it was just too hot in the kitchen, but when I made my first pass of cuts and went back to separate them and move them onto the tray, I found that many had managed to seal back together already. That was what I found so frustrating - having to go back and re-cut, which can affect your rise. You really need a clean cut. Unlike with some dough where you might wiggle the cutter around to loosen it, doing that with puff pastry will seal the layers together and prevent a nice rise.

For me, it worked best to cut a few of the base circles and remove them to the tray before continuing with their counterparts. You could also just remove the scraps from between them as you go along.

Regardless of how you manage to get the shapes onto the tray, you will want to prick the dough with the tines of a fork to "dock" it. This allows more of the moisture to escape, leaving you with nice a crisp bite.

Beat the egg in a small cup or bowl, and lightly brush just the tops of your shapes, then gently press the "empty" rings over the base pieces, lightly pressing to adhere.

Bite-Sized Kale-Artichoke Stuff Vol au Vent : Hye Thyme Cafe

Bite-Sized Kale-Artichoke Stuff Vol au Vent : Hye Thyme Cafe
Refrigerate the tray to give the dough a chance to firm up again while you preheat the oven to 400. Luckily for me, it was very cold outside that day, so I was able to set the tray out on the back deck without having to sacrifice fridge space.


 

OK, here's a confession that makes me laugh now but played a part in my frustration at the time. Almost every recipe I looked at for working with puff pastry said to bake it with a sheet of parchment or a silpat over the top so that they rise evenly. I was thinking who the heck cares if they're the same height?!? And how are they supposed to rise with something as heavy as a silpat over them?!?! I expressed that out loud and was met with agreement. It wasn't until I baked my first tray - without any kind of cover - that I realized what was meant by that instruction and we had a good chuckle. In the event you interpreted that the same way we did, it really meant the cover will help each puff rise straight, rather than crooked like mine. You will see that some of mine are tilted. I still can't imagine using a silpat, but I might use parchment next time.

Bake them at 400 for about 15" or so until they rise and start to lightly brown. Then you can remove the cover if you're using one, poke down any centers that may have risen too high (I used the handle of a wooden spoon so I wouldn't burn myself), then put them back in at 350 until nicely browned - another 15-20".

Bite-Sized Kale-Artichoke Stuff Vol au Vent : Hye Thyme Cafe
See?  Crooked.  Oops!


For the filling, cook the pancetta until crispy, then remove it from the pan and set aside. There shouldn't be a whole lot, but pour off or soak up with a paper towel most of the grease, and add the white wine vinegar to deglaze any crispy bits from the bottom of the pan.




Saute the shallots until they start to soften, then add in the kale and really stir it around to coat with the wine and pancetta flavor.

When the kale starts to wilt down a little, add in the diced artichokes and season with salt and pepper. Lower the heat and cover the pan to give the kale a chance to really wilt down, stirring occasionally.

When the kale is tender, stir in the ricotta and cream cheese, then remove from the heat.



When your puffs come out of the oven, fill them with the artichoke mixture and sprinkle the pancetta on top. As I mentioned recently when making Garlic and Herb Stuffed Peppadews, I like to use iced tea spoons for this sort of thing. They are small enough to fit into tight spaces and shallow enough for me to get in there to push the filling off.  


Bite-Sized Kale-Artichoke Stuff Vol au Vent : Hye Thyme Cafe

Bite-Sized Kale-Artichoke Stuff Vol au Vent : Hye Thyme Cafe

In the past, when I have used puff pastry, I just cut out whatever shape I wanted, baked a single layer, then carved out the top when it finished baking. Doing this gave me the confidence to make FULL-SIZED vol-au-vents in the future for my asparagus shortcakes and other fillings. Even if I get the right cutters, I don't think I'll be making the minis again. They're cute, and tasty, but (for me at least) not worth the time spent.


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Cocoa Panna Cotta

Cocoa Panna Cotta : Hye Thyme Cafe

I'm a sucker for cute, so when I saw the mini marshmallows at the local Amish market, I couldn't resist. When I say mini, I don't mean like you get in the bags at the grocery store. I mean mini like you would get in a packet of hot chocolate, only not dehydrated. I already had those on hand, so when I went to Boston to visit a friend a while back and came across a great deal on the mini dessert glasses at Ocean State Job Lot, I couldn't pass them up. I thought the two would work perfectly together to come up with this Cocoa Panna Cotta. 

I actually served these as a dessert on Christmas Eve this year. I thought that I had already posted them, but I must just be remembering the pics I uploaded to Facebook of what we ate. The candy canes may be dated at this point, but it's definitely still cocoa weather ~ although of course, these won't warm you up on a cold night.

INGREDIENTS :
1 packet unflavored gelatin
3 T cold water
1 pint heavy cream
1/3 c sugar
3 T Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa
1/4 c milk
1 t vanilla
mini marshmallows for garnish
mini candy canes for garnish






Stir the gelatin into the cold water and set aside to bloom.  






Over medium-high heat, whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, and cream. Let that come to a boil, then simmer until slightly thickened. I was surprised by how long it took the cocoa to combine into the cream. If you have any little lumps that don't want to cooperate, you can press them against the side of the pot with the back of a spoon so that they break up and spread into the liquid.


 









Remove from heat and whisk in the gelatin, then add the additional milk and vanilla.   

If you are going to be serving it in a container, there is no need for it, but if you will be inverting the panna cotta out of some sort of mold(s), you will want to lightly mist the mold(s) with cooking spray first.

I found a Tupperware container in the cabinet that was the perfect size to hold all eight of my little glasses, so I tucked them into that to make it easier to transfer into the fridge. To avoid any splashing, I decided to pour the mixture into a little funnel over each cup.

Refrigerate until set, then garnish as desired. I had a package of candy canes that I hadn't done anything with yet, so I decided to include those as well.


I wanted to keep it plain so I would have a true sense of how it worked out with the cocoa, but now that I've used it, I'll feel free to play next time and replace the milk component with some Kahlua or maybe White Chocolate Godiva Liqueur.  Mmmmmmm!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...