Thursday, February 13, 2014

Blood Orange Panna Cotta

Blood Orange Panna Cotta

It's Valentine's Day eve. Maybe you're procrastinator and had grand ideas about a romantic dinner for your sweetie but never actually got around to planning it. I'm sure you're in good company. 

I'm a procrastinator too. Normally around this time of year I like to make all sorts of dumb little Valentine's Day baked goods and crafts. I don't know why. I'm not crazy for the manufactured love of V-day. Maybe it takes me back to my childhood where all the little twits in my class had to pretend to be nice to me for one day and give me a card.. suckers.

This year however, I did nothing. I kept putting it all off, and with snowstorm after snowstorm, mid-February sort of just snuck up on me. C'est la vie. I did make these panna cotta though, and the good news is you too can STILL make these for tomorrow! Hell, you can put it off for another 12 or 16 hours if you want and still have them ready for V-day evening. Hooray for procrastination! 

Blood Orange Panna Cotta

Blood Orange Panna Cotta
(makes 12-14  4oz mason jars, or about 6 cups)

For the Panna Cotta:
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
seeds of 1 vanilla bean, pod reserved
1 1/2 tsp fresh ground cardamom
2 tsp blood orange zest
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups Greek yogurt
3/4 cup blood orange juice (about 3-4 oranges)
4 tsp unflavored gelatin

For the Blood Orange Syrup:
3/4 cup blood orange juice (about 3-4 oranges)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp pink peppercorns
3 cardamom pods, crushed
2 blood oranges, supremed
chopped pistachios, for serving

1. To prepare the panna cotta: In a small bowl add the 3/4 cup blood orange juice and sprinkle the gelatin on top to let it bloom. Set aside.

2. In a small saucepan set over medium low heat, combine the sugar, milk, heavy cream, vanilla seeds and pot, cardamom, zest and salt. Stir just until the sugar is fully dissolved, taking care not to heat the milk too much. Remove from the heat and stir in the yogurt. Remove the vanilla pod, squeezing out any vanilla goodness inside and discard. Stir in the bloomed gelatin mixture, stirring until dissolved and no lumps remain. Pour the panna cotta mixture into individual mason jars or greased molds (if planning to unmold) and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until set.

3. To prepare the syrup: In a small saucepan combine the juice, water, honey, peppercorn and cardamom pods. Bring to a simmer and reduce by half. Allow it to cool to room temperature then use fine sieve to strain out the peppercorns and cardamom pots, reserving the syrup in a small bowl. Add the blood orange supremes to the syrup and refrigerate until needed.  

4. To serve: If unmolding, gently use a thin knife around the edges of your mold to loosen the panna cotta and unmold on your serving dish (otherwise serve directly from your jars.) Pour a few spoonfuls of syrup on top along with a couple orange supremes and garnish with chopped pistachios.

(inspired by and adapted from Yes, More Please!)