Posted tagged ‘panna cotta’

Strawberry Panna Cotta

May 26, 2011

I love when the days get longer and the nights are warm enough to go without a sweater.  Those nights haven’t come yet as it was just raining yesterday but June is a few days away so I’m ready.

Summer reminds me of fresh strawberries and tomatoes picked from the garden, barely making it to the sink for a quick rinse before being devoured.  There is nothing like being able to go into your own yard and picking part of your own meal for “free.”  We’ve got quite a set up this year now that we have a yard.  Tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, and almost every herb imaginable have been planted and I hope to see some baby versions of these sprouting soon.  We even have part of a lemon tree since our neighbor’s branches reach over the fence into our yard!

The last time I planted strawberries, ants kept taking bites out of them and it was more pain than it was worth.  I can’t blame them for loving these sweet rubies because strawberries barely last more than a couple of days when they’re in our fridge.  I eat all of them alone because TM doesn’t care for fresh strawberries.  (How in the world I married him, I’m not sure. lol)

When I saw this simple recipe for panna cotta  in the Parade section of the newspaper, I cut it out and saved it in my recipe folder.  I can’t believe it took me almost two years to try it but when my Mom brought me baskets of fresh strawberries, I decided to make a strawberry version of it.

The ramekins I used are larger than the espresso cups the recipe calls for so I got four servings out of it.  TM requested only one fresh strawberry to top his panna cotta because that is all he could appreciate.

Strawberry Panna Cotta (adapted ever so slightly from Parade)

2 Tbsp cold water
1 1/2 tsp unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 containers (6 oz. each) light strawberry yogurt
1 Tbsp honey
fresh strawberries, for serving

1. Pour cold water into a microwave-safe cup and sprinkle with gelatin. Wait 5 minutes; heat it in the microwave for 15 seconds. Gently whisk the cream and gelatin together, then add the yogurt and honey.

2. Divide the mixture among 6 espresso cups or small glasses. Chill for at least 3 hours. Run a knife around the edges of the cups to unmold the panna cottas onto plates.  (I obviously didn’t do this step.  I was trying to avoid extra dishes to wash!)

3. Mix the strawberries with the sugar. Spoon an equal amount beside each panna cotta.  (I also skipped this step.  The strawberries were naturally sweet on their own and didn’t need additional sugar.)  Serve.

I plan on making this again.  And again.  And again.  Until the end of strawberry season.  (That will be a sad day!)

Foodgasm at SolBar

December 8, 2009

To celebrate our two year anniversary, Boyfriend took me to SolBar for dinner.  It is the Solage Hotel restaurant in Calistoga and was recently awarded a Michelin star!  Foodgasm much??  If not, you should go to SolBar and experience it for youself.  The great thing about SolBar is they use the freshest ingredients from the area to make their menu for the day.  The sad thing about that is you can’t expect to always see your favorites on the menu because they might be out of season.

I had such a difficult time deciding what to eat because everything on the menu looked exquisite!  Boyfriend started out with the winter squash velouté.  It had crispy sage leaves and granny smith apples in it.  Although I usually detest cooked fruit, these added a wonderful sweetness to the soup that I couldn’t get enough of. 

I went with the herb roasted chicken soup.  All of the “guts” of the soup were brought out in the bowl and the broth was poured over it at the table.  The vegetables were cooked perfectly.  Not too soft, not too hard.  The chicken must’ve been pan seared before put in the soup because I could taste the specific cooked chicken flavor when I ate it.  And the gnocci.  Oh yes, the handmade gnocci was to die for. 

Besides the chicken soup, I also wanted to try the house-made ricotta agnolotti.   Boyfriend offered to share them with me so we ordered them.  They were baby raviolis with seared wild mushrooms and two year old parmiggiano cheese.  These were absolutely divine!!!  They practically melted in your mouth.  The ONLY regret I have about dinner was not ordering this as my main dish.  It had two prices next to it so it could be ordered as a starter or as a main and Jeff (our server) talked me into getting it as an appetizer and ordering another main on it’s own. 

I had also just pigged out on the warm cornbread muffins they bring out so I should’ve known I would’ve been okay with just these agnolotti.  Those cornbread muffins sent me to heaven for a little bit too!

Boyfriend went with the Bavette steak for his main dish.  It came with potato rösti and cranberry and garlic creamed leeks.  I had a bite of the meat and it was a perfectly cooked medium rare.

I got talked into this beef shortrib dish with polenta and a wine au jus.  The meat was so tender that I could poke at it with my fork and it would fall apart.  The polenta was a nice touch too.  But I was still craving those agnolotti!

Can you believe that after all the food we ate, I still wanted to order dessert?!?!  I was totally and absolutely stuffed but when I saw buttermilk panna cotta on the menu, I knew I wanted to try it.  It had a mango sauce, pomegranate, kiwi and an oatmeal cookie on top.  (Please excuse the poor picture, I forgot to turn on my macro and was in a rush to begin eating and must’ve blurred the photo.)

Everything was executed perfectly and it was a wonderful experience being there!  Jeff gave us perfect wine suggestions to pair with our meals and we went back to our hotel very full and happy that night.

at the Solage Hotel  755 Silverado Trail   Calistoga, CA

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