December 30, 2010

For Your Consideration: My Panna Cotta; Your Holiday Spirit

by Shirl

Ah… the phrase “For Your Consideration”! This time of year, you see them popping up everywhere as the awards season is well on its way. That got me to thinking about the movies I’ve enjoyed this year. I haven’t watched that many really but I do like to see any that is food-related. This year there was Fatih Akin’s Soul Kitchen. If you love soul music, you would especially enjoy it. I also watched the beautifully shot Io Sono L’Amore, in which almost every scene, food or otherwise, was framed like an exquisite still life. Now would they be on my favorite films of all time? Perhaps not quite; I certainly have a list of food-themed movies that I love. 

Definitely impressive and memorable were the cooking scenes of Eat Drink Man Woman and The Fish Fall in Love. And who would forget the adorable Remi and the snooty Anton Ego in Ratatouille? Somehow, (please don't ask me why) also comes to mind is Delicatessen, but does it count as food-themed??? Big Night, Dinner Rush and Bella Martha, all of which took place around bustling restaurant scenes, were very entertaining as well. But can I say I love the Le Diner de Cons the most? The dialogue! It was hilariously funny. (So you say I cheated. Yes, guilty as charged. There was not even one food scene in the entire film.)

Favorite movies aside, for now I'd like to return to the topic of the day.

For your consideration, I will offer you my favorite panna cotta recipe, and in return I ask that you demonstrate your generous holiday spirit by taking a moment to hear what FINCA does and consider helping their cause.

FINCA’s mission is to help those living in poor communities in developing nations to form their own village banking services, through which they may achieve their goal of becoming self-sufficient and self-employed. Having access to micro-loans means these low-income entrepreneurs will have the capital they need to build and expand their businesses. In turn, the communities are able to raise their family incomes and standard of living, and, ultimately, improve their lives.

Please visit www.finca.org and see how you may help. 

Without further ado, for your consideration and for a good cause, here is my very sweet recipe of panna cotta to enliven our holiday spirit of giving. May your next 365 days be even sweeter!




Panna Cotta

To make panna cotta it could not be easier. Just make sure you don’t let the panna boil. For a little tang, I like to add Greek Yogurt. Berries are often an ideal accompaniment for panna cotta, but it’s even better when it’s adorned with a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar. You can make this dessert a day or two in advance, which would be perfect for entertaining.

INGREDIENTS
Serves 4

1/2 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
1 Cup Low Fat Greek Style Yogurt
4 Tablespoons Sugar
½ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Teaspoon Gelatin Powder
Optional:
Aged Balsamic Vinegar (preferably aceto balsamico tradizioinale)
Berries such as Raspberries or Strawberries

Equipment: 2 small 8oz (250ml) ramekins

1. Sprinkle gelatin powder into 2 tablespoons of water. Stir well. (If the gelatin dries out before you get to add it to the cream mixture, rehydrate it with a little water and mix again just before use.

2. In a heavy bottom saucepan, add milk, cream, yogurt and sugar. Simmer on low heat. Stir and mix well until very warm but not bubbling or boiling. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla extract, then gelatin until it has completely dissolved into the mixture.

3. Ladle mixture into ramekins and let cool to room temperature. Lay plastic wrap on the surface of the mixture; cover tightly and refrigerate overnight to allow the panna cotta to set completely.

4. You can serve the panna cotta in the ramekin. If you decide to unmold, allow the ramekin to sit in a shallow depth of warm water for a minute or so. Then slowly run a knife around the edges of the panna cotta. Place a serving plate over the ramekin and flip over. If necessary, shake the ramekin ever so gently to help release the panna cotta. When you hear a thump, you got it. Garnish with berries or drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Serve immediately.

3 comments:

  1. Great article, Shirl!
    Thanks for sharing your favorite food-related movies and this panna cotta recipe. I LOVE panna cotta and will soon try this recipe. Great picture, too!

    And yes, FINCA is a great organization and deserves our support!

    ReplyDelete
  2. thanks shirl for introducing many things i didn't know about.
    happy new year!

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  3. Dessert recipe first at the beginning of the year will definitely make year 2011 much better and sweeter. There's nothing wrong to start the meal with dessert. Yummy.

    As I recalled, the first 15 min scene from "Eat Drink Man and Woman" was so amazing and awesome that made the movie great.

    Last but not the least, supporting others is always a great resolution for the year. Go FINCA.

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