Recipe of the Week: Buttermilk Panna Cotta
Panna cotta is a great make-ahead classic Italian dessert. Usually flavored with vanilla or fruit puree and served with fresh berries. Panna cotta is a quick and easy dessert that is perfect to serve to company at any season. It can be prepared up to three days in advance and kept well covered in the refrigerator. Serves eight. (Chef tip: Easy two steps to work with gelatin: Bloom the gelatin in cold liquid, make sure you stir well with a spoon; once soft add to a hot liquid to dissolve completely. Work quickly because gelatin will set right away.)
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin powder
1 vanilla bean
3 cups heavy cream
1 cup granulated sugar
4 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 lemon, juice and zest
In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin on buttermilk. Stir and set aside for 10 minutes to allow the gelatin to dissolve.
Heat the cream and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Split the vanilla bean and use the tip of a knife to scrape the seeds into the cream.
Off the heat, add the softened gelatin to the hot cream and stir to dissolve. Pour the into eight (6- to 8-ounce) ramekins or custard cups and refrigerate uncovered until completely chill and firm.
Combine the strawberries, lemon juice and sugar. Set aside at room temperature.
To serve, run a small knife around each panna cotta and dip the bottom of each ramekin quickly in a bowl of hot tap water. Invert each ramekin onto a dessert plate and surround the panna cotta with the prepared strawberries. Dust lightly with freshly grated lemon zest and serve.