Hello, Happy February. Join us for In My Kitchen hosted by Fig Jam and Lime Cordial
There is always no end of interesting stuff on the go in my kitchen, sometimes so much that I just don’t have enough time to use it all. This month I’ve sent a few ingredients out to other bloggers, and I am looking forward to seeing what they are going to do. Lorraine, Anna, Rebecca and Celia I’m excited about March.
So first thing I’ve been playing with in my kitchen this month is this Saba… do you know what it is? If you said ” Vincotto” you would be correct. Saba, ( Vincotto, Mosta cotto) or ” cooked young grape juice ” the result of pressing late picked grapes, leaves & stalks to produce a liquid that is full of sugar. It’s cooked down and reduced to a thick sweet sticky syrup. ( this is the traditional base for Balsamic produced in Italy).
This Saba also has Qunice added to the reduction. Can you imagine the taste?. It’s sweet with the taste of raisin and of plum and quince. Some producers use raspberry or lemon, or other fruits they may have to hand, but plain Saba is just as intriguing. It isn’t vinegar don’t be confused, because you can find Saba Vinegar. this is when a bit of vinegar has been added before bottling, this is a different product and used specifically as a vinegar. Saba itself can be added it to vinaigrette for depth and sweetness or to tomato sauce, reductions and meat sauces, eaten with cheeses such as soft Goat or Gorgonzola added to grilled fruits like figs or apples or pears, Duck, Venison, Lamb or Quail are more than happy to be paired with it . I use it to add to the pan at the end tossing to add a sweet delicious gloss. Or as I have above just by itself with a vanilla panacotta. I love this.
Nut flour ? I also have these, made from de-fatted ( oil removed) nuts and then ground to a flour. They are expensive because they are organic and made from rare and heirloom nuts. I’ve used Almond, Walnut and Hazelnut, beautiful tasty and gluten free. Look for recipes using these coming up on blogs around town!
I will have driven some of you mad with my relentless mention of the Vitamix I had on loan for January. They are very expensive and , before I used it I would have scoffed and said I have a food processor and a stick blender BUT, I am a convert and may have to start saving in earnest to buy one at around $995.00. I have made an endless amount of things, I think you get your monies worth. Tah tah, dear Vitamix and thanks for visiting my house ………….I love you x.
The last thing I am going to give you a peek at is my recipe wall. When I am cooking and writing recipes I have a whiteboard pen and I jot down the ingredients as I add and subtract them on my wall… Don’t judge now, OK?
And now this recipe for Pannacotta with Saba. Gelatine leaves can be found at cooking stores such as Chefs Warehouse or Essential Ingredient or even Simon Johnson stores in Australia. If you dont have saba , use strawberries tossed in a good balsamic with brown sugar. mascerate for 10 minutes then serve with your Pannacotta
- 1½ cup of full cream milk
- 1½ cups of thickened cream ( whipping- 34% butterfat )
- 2 Tablespoons caster sugar
- 1 vanilla bean split
- 2 leaves of gelatine ( Titanium strength) available at cooking stores such as Essential Ingredient)
- Moulds ( approx 150ml) x 8
- 60gm Egg white (2)
- 60gm icing sugar (pure-sifted)( 2.12oz)
- 70gm flour (2.5oz)
- 60gm melted butter(2012oz)
- Put the cream, milk,sugar and vanilla into a small pot and heat long enough to melt the sugar. No boiling , no high heat. Just gentle. remove from the heat
- Use a measuring jug filled with cold water, and soak the gelatine leaves till just soft. Drain and gently squeeze out excess water. Add the gelatine to the pot and stir till dissolved. There should be enough heat leaf in the milk to melt the gelatine.
- Strain and pour into moulds. This will set in around 4 hours in a cold fridge. I like quite loose pannacotta. If you felt unsure add another ½ a leaf of gelatine
- Mix the egg, sugar, and flour in a mixer and gradually add the melted butter. There needs to be no lumps.. put into the fridge to firm up.
- Spread squares or circles onto baking paper. (Using a mould cut from a plastic lid works well here, for uniform circles). Try to make sure they are all the same thickness by using a small pallet knife.
- Bake at 180 deg c for around 12 minutes or until evenly light brown. These can be curled straight from the oven by using a rolling pin . As soon as you take them from the oven, pick them up and curl over a rolling pin till cool. This will not work if they are not hot enough.
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