Saturday, June 11, 2011

Carmela Soprano's Panna Cotta with Raspberry Sauce and Blueberries

Wasn't Ma's Prinjolata easy to make?
It uses ingredients you can keep in the pantry.
It can be prepared in advance.

And it's easy on the budget.
Yah, Ma!!

Okay... now we'll have a recipe from Carmela.

Check out the Dinner for Twelve chapter of Carmela's Entertaining with the Sopranos.  There's a recipe for Panna Cotta with Raspberry Sauce and Blueberries.

Carmela has a different approach to entertaining.
Well, not everything from Carm is as sensible as last week's Eggplant Fritters.

This is a bit of a hassle.
To be honest, I think she has someone else whip this up.
Oh, well, Panna Cotta is pretty.
And seasonal, what with the fresh berries.

I used vanilla extract when I made this recipe.
If you have vanilla beans, this recipe uses one.
Carmela simmered a bean with the heavy cream, then removed it, slit it with a small sharp knife, and scraped the seeds out.
She then stirred the seeds into the cream mixture.
Yeah, sure.
Oh, and she used 6-ounce ramekins.

Now you know.

Like I said, I think she had someone else whip this up.
And it wasn't Meadow. 

                              Panna Cotta with Raspberry Sauce and Blueberries 

Panna Cotta
Into a small bowl, pour
1/2 Cup cold water
Three   1/4-ounce envelopes unflavored gelatine
Set aside to soften the gelatine.

Combine in a medium saucepan
1 quart half-and-half
2 Cups heavy cream
one 3-inch strip of lemon zest
1/3 Cup sugar
Bring to a simmer over medium high heat.
Remove from heat.

Discard the lemon zest and add 
the softened gelatin
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Stir until gelatin is completely dissolved.

Divide the cream mixture among 12 custard cups.
Cover and refrigerate overnight.
(You want it firm to hold its shape.)

Raspberry Sauce
Mix together
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 Tablespoons water

Puree in a blender
Two  10-ounce packages frozen rasperries with syrup, thawed
2 Tablespoons sugar (more or less - remember the syrup is sweet)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Strain the mixture into a medium saucepan.

Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
Add cornstarch mixture to the simmering rasperries.
Cook, stirring regularly, until slightly thickened.
Remove from heat and let cool.
Pour into a sealable container and refrigerate.
It can be stored up to 3 days, after that it separates and ain't pretty.

To Serve
Dip the bottom of a custard cup into a bowl of hot water for 10 seconds.
Run a knife around the edge of the cream.
Invert onto an individual dessert plate.
Repeat with the other 11 custard cups.
Spoon some of the sauce around the cream.
A dot on top is nice, too.

Garnish each serving with some of 
1 Cup blueberries 

Not my idea of fun when I have guests whooping it up in the living room.
Like I said, I think she has someone else whip this up.
While she's chatting with Janice.

Would I make Panna Cotta with Raspberry Sauce and Blueberries again?
Hell, no.

The raspberry sauce, maybe.
But I wouldn't bother straining it.
It's raspberries.
Folks know it comes with seeds.

And I'd spoon it over vanilla ice cream.
And top with any berries on hand.
Like fresh raspberries or strawberries.  
Or sliced peaches.
Unless I was dishing this up for the Fourth of July.
You know... red, white and blue.  

This recipe reminded me of the scene in the movie Bridget Jones's Diary.
The one where she killed herself cooking for her birthday party.
And ended up with blue soup and marmalade.

Well, live and learn.

Another recipe down.  Seventeen more to go. 

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