Results tagged “vanilla”

Vanilla panna cotta

italy
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This recipe is based on one by David Tanis, one of the very talented chefs at Chez Panisse in California, where I worked for a while in 2007.  Panna cotta is really easy - you just need to remember to make it in advance so it has time to set in the fridge.  You could use any combination of milk and cream, even yoghurt.

pannacotta.JPG

To Romania in a spoon

greece, romania, turkey
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Smspoonberries0001.jpgWhile staying in the Carpathians with our friends Anca and Eduard, we had a lot of conversations about jam.  I don't possibly have space here to tell you about everything we learnt (although I'm sure Anna will try soon) - but here's two things.  First, Romanians have a lot of words for jam.  Second, two of them, dulceață and șerbet, are things we don't really have in the UK, involving interesting ingredients like green walnut and aubergine, and mysterious old social rituals involving teaspoons and glasses of water.

It's often tempting to try to make what you see fit with what you already know.  So, given what we already knew about Ottoman influence on Eastern European cuisine, we quickly jumped to the conclusion that this must be a Turkish phenomenon - șerbet is a Turkish word, after all.  And when we reached Turkey, we did indeed find delicious walnut and aubergine jams.

But something didn't quite fit.  Why use a Latin word - dulceață - for something Turkish?  And although we saw plenty of şerbet in Turkey, we never got offered it in spoons or water.  Well, now that we've arrived in Greece, we've realised it's much more complicated than we thought ...

Rhubarb and custard

france, uk
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No, not the scrawled 1970s cartoon or the tooth-wrenching sweet of my childhood, or even the early '90s hardcore rave anthem of my (very brief) clubbing days, but instead some delicious vanilla petits pots de crème (very French) with some bright pink rhubarb scented with orange zest (very English). 

Smrhubarbcustard0013.JPGI was inspired to make this by a vanilla panna cotta with rhubarb which I enjoyed at Cotto, by far the best restaurant in Cambridge at the moment.  Rhubarb has just hit Cambridge market, so I wasn't surprised to find it on the menu at Cotto, which makes a point of using local, organic and seasonal produce.  Not wanting to get involved with gelatin this particular afternoon, I changed it to pots de crème.  They were easy, beautiful and delicious.

Citrus and vanilla infused bourbon

california
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Despite the two week interval I'm afraid I'm still stuck on a hard liquor theme.  So this week, a delicious bourbon whiskey infusion, plus a cocktail to use it in.  (Actually, the 1794 is usually made with rye whiskey, but not in this household as we don't have any.)

Smcitrusvanillabourbon0008.JPG This ‘recipe’ comes from Scott Beattie, the talented barman at the Cyrus restaurant bar in Healdsburg, California, who is reputed to be the best ‘mixologist’ in America.  After we’d worked our way through most of his cocktail menu, he happily divulged his bourbon-infusing secrets…
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