…as Lemongrass Panna Cotta on a Blood Orange Meringue Disk with Banana Fritters and Blood Orange Mousse…and no where to go…
It was really bad not having a voice. Never take anything for granted, never…So, big deal you might say, 'at least you were not coughing, you didn’t have a fever,…you were fine otherwise'. Yes! And that was the problem. I tried to go shopping and had to write everything down in my little blue notebook for the deli guy. At the cash register I pointed at my throat and mouthed a "hello, how are you?" just to hear the girl say "excuse me, what did you say? what is wrong with your voice?"…..ahhhh pleeeaaase!! Having to stare at the caller i.d while fighting the urge to pick up when friends would call. Relying on text messaging and emails (I type faster than I can text. message so I had to drop the former) to communicate with the world. It was all a little too uncomfortable…even if I tend to be the quiet one.
The connection with this dessert?
Since I had to be on complete voice rest for 3 days, I figured the easiest way to do this was to stay put, away from talking temptations. I spent more time at home enjoying the pier, walking the dog on the beach, baking and doing some craft projects.
I found myself being inspired by this book and got started on simple Panna Cottas and this is where the rest took place: I am not trying to get all fancy on you but I had time on my hands to bake and guild the lillies and so I did more than just Panna Cottas and I still have 4 of them in the fridge and still no where special to go.
Lemongrass Panna Cottas, inspired by Richard Leach:
Serves 4-6 depending on your mold size
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
3 stalks lemongrass, chopped
zest of 1 lemon
3 tsp. powdered gelatin
Soften the gelatin, by sprinkling it over 1/3 cup water. In a heavy saucepan, heat the cream and milk with the lsugar and lemongrass until almost to boiling point. Remove from heat, let cool 2-3 minutes. Add the gelatin and stir until dissolved. Add the lemon zest. Pour the cream into ramequins, molds or glasses and refrigerate until set (4-6 hours)
Blood Orange Meringue Disks (adapted over time from amny different recipes)
Makes about 30
3 egg whites
200 gr. powdered sugar
125 gr. ground almonds
30 gr. granulated sugar
zest of 3 blood oranges
red food coloring
Mix the powdered sugar, ground almonds and orange zest together. Set aside. Whip the whites to a light foam, incorporate the granulated sugar one TB. at a time until you get stiff, glossy egg whites (not dry)
With a spatula, incorporate the almond/sugar with the egg whites, taking care not to break and deflate the whites too much. Add a few drop of red coloring to intensify the color.
Banana Fritters, adapted from Richard Leach:
1/2 cup + 2 Tb flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup cold water
2 bananas, peeled and cut into 1-inch lengths
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
vegetable oil for frying
Heat oil to 350.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder ad water in a bowl until smooth. Dip bananas in fritter batter. Roll in breadcrumbs. Deep fry until golden brown.
Blood Orange Mousse, adapted from different recipes
Prepare a blood orange curd:
grated zest of one blood orange
1/2 cup strained blood orange juice
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tb. powdered sugar
Combine zest, juice and sugar in a small saucepan on the stove and bring to a simmer. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg until light. Beat some of the hot blood orange mixture into the egg. Scrape the egg mixture back into the saucepan. Cook, stirrring constantly and reaching all over the bottom and sides of the saucepan. Continue to cook and stir for 15 seconds. Pour through a strainer set over a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to prevent forming a skin, allow to cool before use.
Whip the heavy cream to stiff peak with the powdered sugar. Gently fold the cream into the blood orange curd with a spatula.
Unmold a panna cotta, set it on a meringue disk, position 3 banana fritters on the side and pipe the blood orange mousse in the middle of the fritters. Decorate with sugar decorations if desired (see here)
The weather has been so nice and warm (upper 70s) that this was a great dessert to share with a loved one. The flavors really went well together and the fritters are so light, makes you want to go for seconds…or thirds!