Down & Dirty
What's a little dirt between friends?
Monday, July 21, 2014
Saturday, July 19, 2014
Sunday, July 13, 2014
elderflower panna cotta
elderflower champagne, but this year I wanted to try something different. A recipe for elderflower panna cotta caught my eye and seemed the perfect, cool, soothing dessert for this hot, muggy time of year.
Unfortunately, the recipe was not good. My first attempt separated and was chalky. Feh.
Fortunately, the internet is a very accomodating place, and I soon realized that the first recipe had not only left out several essential steps, but the proportions of cream and milk weren't to my liking.
Also fortunately, this has been a banner year for elderflowers, so picking a whole bunch more wasn't too difficult.
Elderflower Panna Cotta
2 cups elderflowers, removed from the stems (mostly)
2.5 cups heavy cream
1.5 cups whole milk
1 Tbs. unflavored gelatin powder
5 Tbs. sugar
2 Tbs. water
Stir together the elderflowers and cream, then refrigerate and let steep for 3-5 days. (Yes. You have to plan ahead.)
When steepage is complete and you're actually ready to begin cooking, sprinkle the gelatin on top of the water to let it bloom. It will be ready by the time you need it. Strain the cream, pressing the flowers to get out as much liquid as possible.
Combine the strained cream, milk, and sugar in a saucepan and bring it just to a simmer, then remove from the heat. Whisk in the bloomed gelatin until completely dissolved, and rub a little of the liquid between your fingers to make sure it's silky, not grainy.
Place the saucepan in an ice bath (shallow pot or pan with a combo of ice cubes and water) and whisk until the liquid is lukewarm (essential step!).
Pour the liquid into mini-canning jars or ramekins and refrigerate until jiggly (4 hours or overnight). I used 4 oz. canning jars because I have a ton, they're cute, and I appreciate that each can be covered individually without using that infernal plastic wrap.
I'm sorry I forgot to take a photo of the final product. Perhaps that was because they disappeared so fast.
Thursday, July 3, 2014
pickle # 3
along with pickled milkweed florets
and pickled field garlic,
for the next foraged mixology adventure. Each pickle gets a different brine because each plant deserves a pickling liquid that highlights its unique deliciousness. I use my mental palate to imagine what the final pickle will taste like. (The mental palate is sort of like the mind's eye...but for your taste buds.) For the daylily buds I combined
1 cup white wine vinegar
2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 Tbs. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. dried, wild ginger stolons (Asarum canadense)
1/2 tsp. spice bush berries (Lindera benzoin)
1/2 tsp. dried pequin chiles
1 large Pennsylvania bay leaf (Myrica pennsylvanica)