Tag Archives: Ricotta

Not Your Spring Spiral

Not Your Spring Spiral

This article originally appeared in the April 2014 issue of The Journal of the Delaware State Bar Association, a publication of the Delaware State Bar Association.  Copyright © Delaware State Bar Association 2014.  All rights reserved.  Reprinted with permission.

Valentine’s Day Sweets

Valentine's Day Sweets

This article originally appeared in the February 2014 issue of The Journal of the Delaware State Bar Association, a publication of the Delaware State Bar Association.  Copyright © Delaware State Bar Association 2014.  All rights reserved.  Reprinted with permission.

Happy Place – Italian Pastry

Enjoying my favorite Italian pastry – sfogliatelle – along with some chocolate for dipping is a most happy place.

Sfogliatelle

In response to Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Happy Place

Concord Grape and Ricotta Pie

Everyone remembers enjoying Concord grape juice and peanut butter and Concord grape jelly sandwiches as a child.  Although these are two of the most comforting ways to appreciate the sweet yet tart grape now available in farmers’ markets, there are so many other preparations – chutneys, jams, pies…

I detected the unmistakable fragrance of Concord grapes at a farm stand this weekend and could not resist buying a bunch.  As I still had some ricotta in the refrigerator from recent ravioli making, I decided on a Concord grape and ricotta pie.

Ingredients:

3 eggs

1 pound ricotta

1/4 cup sugar

Pinch salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup Concord grapes, halved and seeded

Zest of one lemon

Ricotta Pie Batter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and grease a 9 inch tart pan or pie dish.  Whisk the eggs in a large mixing bowl, and then mix in the ricotta, sugar, salt and vanilla.  Fold in the grapes and lemon zest.  Pour and smooth the batter into the tart pan, and bake for about 40 minutes until the top is golden brown.  Garnish each slice with additional grape halves and lemon zest.

Concord Grape Pie

Drop a few grapes into a glass of Prosecco to celebrate autumn with this Concord grape dessert.

Some End of Summer R & R – Raspberries and Ricotta

I have been back in the classroom for two weeks, yet I am trying to soak up every last bit of summer, including summer berries.  This easy dessert incorporates raspberries, my favorite berry, and ricotta, one of my preferred cheeses.

Simply scoop some ricotta into each dessert bowl and gently blend in a small quantity of honey.  I used honey infused with lemon from a local farmers’ market.  I also drizzled a bit of chocolate infused olive oil on top of the ricotta, but you could substitute with some chocolate shavings.  Top with a few raspberries and garnish with a fresh sprig of mint.

On a recent trip to San Francisco, I purchased some delicious pâtes de fruits (fruit jellies) in Tout Sweet Pâtisserie.  The Negroni flavor is most interesting with its ingredients of blood orange, grapefruit and Campari.  So, for a little bitter to balance the sweet, I placed a few of these tasty jellies on the side.

Cheers!

Ricotta and Raspberries 1

Grilled Eggplant and Ricotta Makes for a Simple Summer Appetizer

I recently wrote about a very simple way to prepare eggplant in my post, “Fresh from the Farm Stand”.  Most frequently during the summer, I grill eggplant as a side dish after marinating it in extra virgin olive oil and sea salt.  (The small round Sicilian eggplants are my favorite!)

The steps are simple…First, slice the eggplant into rounds of about 1/6 to 1/4 inch thick.  Then, place a layer of slices in a large baking dish and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and a healthy sprinkle of sea salt.  Repeat with additional layers until all slices are topped with both oil and salt.  The purpose of the salt it to extract the liquid that causes the eggplant’s bitterness.  Let the slices marinate for about one hour prior to grilling.  Grill the eggplant on medium-low heat, turning the slices with tongues so that they soften and brown.

As an alternative to a side dish, incorporate this eggplant preparation into an appetizer course.  Arrange several slices on a small plate alongside a dollop of ricotta cheese.  Drizzle the ricotta with extra virgin olive oil and top with fresh ground pepper and finishing salt.  Fresh herbs, such as basil, make for a colorful addition to this tasty starter.

Eggplant and Ricotta

Not Your Spring Spiral

Please enjoy my April edition of The Judicial Palate!

Not Your Spring Spiral

This article originally appeared in the April 2014 issue of The Journal of the Delaware State Bar Association, a publication of the Delaware State Bar Association. Copyright © Delaware State Bar Association 2014.  All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.

 

Valentine’s Day Sweets

Most people associate a gift of chocolate with Valentine’s Day.  While a box of chocolates is the traditional sweet, whether it’s dark chocolate bark or chocolate truffles, I intend to make my Valentine a special dessert following a homemade meal.  Below are three of my favorite desserts that are rich and comforting yet relatively simple to make.

Chocolate Ricotta Cheese Cake

 Ingredients:

½ cup of sugar

3 eggs

¼ pound of semi-sweet chocolate cut into small pieces

½ teaspoon of cinnamon

½ teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Small splash of orange flavored liqueur such as Triple Sec

1½ pounds of ricotta

You can prepare this recipe in a pie dish or you can use ramekins for individual servings.  I prefer the latter for ease of serving and a more interesting presentation.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Beat the sugar and eggs together, then add the chocolate and other ingredients.  Put the ricotta in last and mix thoroughly.  Butter the ramekins and fill them with the mixture so it reaches about ¾ up the sides of the ramekins.  Place the ramekins in a baking dish and add enough hot water to the dish to come about ½ the way up the sides of the ramekins.  Cover the entire dish with aluminum foil and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until it looks like the mixture is cooked through.  Remove the foil and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes.

Test doneness by putting a toothpick in the center and making sure that the center is no longer liquid.  Remove the dish from the oven and carefully remove the ramekins from the water bath.  Chill the ramekins before serving and top with fresh berries.

Flan with Fresh Fruit

 Ingredients:

5 eggs

14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk

1 cup of whole milk

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

½ cup of sugar

2 tablespoons of water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Beat the eggs.  Mix the eggs, condensed milk, whole milk and vanilla (this is the flan mixture).

Heat a saucepan over medium-low heat and add the sugar and water.  Using a wooden spoon, stir the sugar and water mixture until the sugar melts and turns a light brown color (this is the caramel).  You may need to add more water to achieve a caramel consistency.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and pour the caramel into a buttered 9 inch round pie dish.  Then pour the flan mixture into the mold and cover tightly with aluminum foil.  Place the mold into about 1½ inches of hot water in a larger pan.  Bake for about 1 hour.  To test, insert the tip of a knife in the flan.  If the knife comes out clean, then the flan is finished.  Chill the flan before serving.  To serve, place fresh berries on the side of the flan.

Coconut Rice Pudding

Ingredients:

½ cup of short grain pudding rice

3 tablespoons of superfine sugar

½ teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 ¼ cups of whole milk

1 2/3 cups of coconut milk

7 tablespoons of light cream

2 tablespoons of shredded coconut

Soak an unglazed clay pot, such as a Römertopf, in cold water for 15 minutes and then drain the pot.  Add the rice, sugar, vanilla, milk, coconut milk and cream.  Cover the clay pot and place it in a cold oven.  Set the oven to 350 degrees and cook for 1 hour.  Remove the lid, stir the pudding, then replace the cover and cook for 30 to 45 minutes until the rice is tender.  Remove the lid and stir the pudding.  Sprinkle the pudding with the shredded coconut and bake uncovered for 15 minutes.  Serve at room temperature.

Happy Valentine’s Day, and save some room for dessert!

This article originally appeared in the February 2014 issue of The Journal of the Delaware State Bar Association, a publication of the Delaware State Bar Association. Copyright © Delaware State Bar Association 2014.  All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.

Flan Photo