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Advanced Raw Cuisine: Day 9

raw vegan portobello picatta

Advanced Raw Cuisine, Day 9, at Matthew Kenney Culinary is completed!

We got to play with the sous vide machine again today. This thing is so much fun! It makes the texture soft and amazing, just like a cooked food, and all of the moisture is retained, unlike heating in a dehydrator. With precise temperature control, we can keep everything within the range that retains all of the vitamins and minerals, and is therefore still considered “raw”. 

For today’s big project, we put some portobello mushrooms in the sous vide and made a portobello picatta! The dish was served alongside a jicama and cashew mash, topped with a breadcrumb mix of walnut toast, almonds, and fresh herbs, and accented with some smoked herbed olive oil butter and a few leaves of watercress. 

If you’d like to make the components of this dish, the “mashed potatoes” are on page 100 of Everyday Raw, and the “portobello steaks” are on page 102. If you have access to a sous vide, simply prepare the portobellos in a sous vide rather than in the dehydrator, as the book instructs. 

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 This was a beautiful and earthy dish. I really enjoyed plating it and seeing all of the elements and textures came together. It has the appearance of “comfort food”, but is elegant at the same time. There is a lot of complexity in the flavor too. The jicama is subtly sweet from the cashew, the mushrooms are savory, the lemon butter is tangy and smoky, and the greens add just a bit of bitterness. 

After enjoying this meal, we prepared some cheese crisps that will be used tomorrow, and then it was time to plate the panna cotta! I chose to pair it with a raspberry sauce, some orange supreme slices, and a cacao cookie crumble which was a variation of the crumble made for the apple/pear sous vide dessert on day 7.

If you’d like to make the panna cotta at home, you can find the recipe on page 73 of Everyday Raw Desserts. To convert it to a white chocolate panna cotta as I did, you can replace the coconut oil with raw cacao butter. 

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While eating the panna cotta, it was time to review the material for the mid-term quiz on day 10. Big day tomorrow!

Advanced Raw Cuisine: Day 8

raw vegan vietnamese pho

Day 8 of Advanced Raw Cuisine at Matthew Kenney Culinary is completed! 

The day started by soaking some chondrus crispus, commonly known as the seaweed, Irish moss. This is a seaweed that is a natural source of carrageenan – about 55% by weight. It is also a rich source of minerals. We use it in raw cuisine because of its gelling abilities. It is also about 10% protein! To use it, we soak it in water for 3-4 hours and then blend it with some water to make a gel that can be added to our recipes. 

irish moss soaking

 As this is the week we learned about advanced equipment, today we were introduced to the smoking gun. This is a really neat gadget that allows you to “cold smoke” food and beverages. There is a chamber where you put a small amount of a combustible, usually wood chips, and then you light them until they smolder. The fan in the gun blows the smoke that is produced through the tube and by inserting it into a sealed container, the smoke becomes infused into the foods that are in that container.

For this project, we smoked the raw coconut and cashew tofu that was made yesterday. The smoked was produced so fast that I didn’t have a chance to snap a photo of it in action, but you can see it hovering above the tofu cubes The sealed container is left alone until it’s not longer cloudy from the smoke, and then you know it’s been absorbed. It adds such a rich dimension of flavor to recipes, and it’s fun to play with!

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After smoking the tofu, it was time to assemble the pho dish. We made an intricate broth, with 16 different ingredients, but it was well worth it. It had a very complex and delicious flavor, and it went down so easy. It was both light in texture and very flavorful. We added squash and coconut noodles, some scallions, red pepper, cilantro, the smoked tofu, and a few curried cashews. The whole thing was topped off with some black sesame seeds. 

If you’d like to make this recipe at home, it is on page 92 of Matthew Kenney’s book, Everyday Raw Express: Recipes in 30 Minutes or Less.

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After eating this amazing dish, we reviewed and started a panna cotta recipe. There were a few different flavor options available, and I chose the one that used raw cacao butter so that I would have white chocolate panna cotta! Here they are hanging out in a couple different mold shapes about to go into the freezer so I can eat them tomorrow. 🙂

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That concludes day 8! Looking forward to day 9!

 

Mango Lassi Panna Cotta

mango lassi panna cotta with cherry pepper sauce

This mango lassi panna cotta recipe was the second that I executed for my final project. I labeled it as a “frozen mango malai” when I turned it in to be consistent with my Indian inspired theme, and not mix Indian and Italian phrases together, but it really does have the flavor of a mango lassi and the texture of a panna cotta. 😉

The panna cotta uses a bit of cardamom, the sauce has a bit of black pepper, and the whole thing is dusted with a bit of cinnamon to form a somewhat deconstructed chai spice blend. Overall, I was really pleased with the way this came out. 

mango lassi panna cotta with cherry pepper saucemango lassi panna cotta with cherry pepper sauce mango lassi panna cotta with cherry pepper sauce

Mango Lassi Panna Cotta
Serves 3
Mango Lassi Panna Cotta: Cashew Milk, Cardamom, Black Cherry, Pecan
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
4 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
4 hr
Panna Cotta Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup chopped mango
  2. 1/4 cup cashew milk
  3. 2 TB cup soaked cashews
  4. 2 TB cup raw honey
  5. 1 TB Irish moss paste
  6. 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  7. pinch of cardamom
  8. pinch of salt
Cherry Sauce Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup black cherries, pitted and cut in half (10-11 cherries)
  2. 2 TB lemon juice
  3. 2 TB agave
  4. pinch of salt
  5. 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
Panna Cotta Instructions
  1. Blend in a high speed blender until completely smooth and integrated. Set up in the freezer for 4-6 hours until firm enough to remove from the mold cleanly. If freezing longer than this, then remove from the mold first and allow to sit on a plate for 30-60 minutes until it softens to the correct texture again.
Sauce Instructions
  1. Blend thoroughly and strain through fine mesh sieve.
Notes
  1. The panna cotta recipe makes appx. 3 of them, depending on the size of the mold that you are using. If you double the recipe, you can safely get 5 from it.
  2. I recommend dusting the plate with a little cinnamon and some crushed pecans.
A Taste of Two Plates http://tasteoftwoplates.com/

Fundamentals of Raw Cuisine: Days 19-20

root vegetable salad with tzatziki cucumber rolls

GRADUATION!!! I finished Fundamentals of Raw Cuisine! My last two days were spent working out the final details of my recipes and practicing my plating. Please enjoy the recipes

fundamentals of raw cuisine completion certificate

For our final, we were to design a 3-course meal and then implement 2 of those courses with complete recipes and plating. It was a wonderful experience and I loved the process of working out prototypes and receiving feedback from the instructors. I chose to execute my starter and my dessert.

Here is the menu that I created for my final project. It was based on my favorite cuisine, which is Indian food. 🙂

First: Cucumber Raita Rolls
Coconut Yogurt, Sweet Pepper Relish, Root Vegetable Salad, Cashew, Mint

Second: Mutter Masala Dosa
Curried Vegetables, Turmeric Mashed Jicama, Walnut

Third: Mango Malai
Cashew Milk, Cardamom, Black Cherry, Pecan

Cucumber Raita Rolls (click for link to recipe)

root vegetable salad with tzatziki cucumber rolls root vegetable salad with tzatziki cucumber rollsroot vegetable salad with tzatziki cucumber rollsroot vegetable salad with tzatziki cucumber rolls root vegetable salad with tzatziki cucumber rolls root vegetable salad with tzatziki cucumber rolls root vegetable salad with tzatziki cucumber rolls root vegetable salad with tzatziki cucumber rolls root vegetable salad with tzatziki cucumber rolls root vegetable salad with tzatziki cucumber rolls

Mango Malai (click for link to recipe)

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On our last day, we made a wonderful cleansing and refreshing “apple aide” drink with a bit of cayenne pepper. Cheers!

apple aid

Raw Food Level 1: Day 17-18

raw vegan mango lassi panna cotta with black cherry sauce

Raw Food Level 1 is almost complete! Just 2 more days of class to go! Over the course of days 17-18, I worked on a lemon tart as part of the process for learning how to use Irish moss. Irish moss is a seaweed that can be used to thicken puddings, tart fillings, etc. 

Here is a photo of the seaweed soaking in preparation to use it.

irish moss soaking

There were some other essential skills that we learned here too. We made tart crusts that firmed up in the refrigerator, a frozen meringue formed into a quenelle, and some dehydrated citrus slices. It was fun learning how to make the quenelle, a classic French technique. I’ve always wanted to learn how to do that. All my frozen treats will be fancier from now on. I also didn’t know that you could dehydrate and eat citrus slices. I always found the peels to be bitter when blended or juiced, but after painting on a little agave and dehydrating, they are a delicious tart treat!

I shared this tart with my husband and visiting relatives, and they all gave it a big thumbs up.

raw vegan lemon meringue tart raw vegan lemon meringue tart raw vegan lemon meringue tart raw vegan lemon meringue tart raw vegan lemon meringue tart raw vegan lemon meringue tart

Both of the dishes that I’m working on for my final project are of my own creation. We were tasked to come up with a three course menu, and then to execute two of the dishes. I chose the starter and the dessert. 

My starter is a cucumber tzatziki roll. The herbs are on the inside and the cucumber is on the outside! It is topped with a sweet pepper relish and paired with a root vegetable with a cumin vinaigrette. Which of my practice plating arrangements do you like best? 

raw vegan cucumber tzatziki rolls with root vegetable salad raw vegan cucumber tzatziki rolls with root vegetable salad raw vegan cucumber tzatziki rolls with root vegetable saladraw vegan cucumber tzatziki rolls with root vegetable salad

 My dessert is a mango lassi panna cotta infused with with cardamom and dusted with cinnamon. It is paired with a peppery black cherry sauce to create a spice blend reminiscent of chai. The panna cotta is topped off with a pecan tuile. Below are the photos of my practice plating before my big final presentation on day 19!

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Fundamentals of Raw Food: Day 16

raw vegan chia pudding

Week 4 of Fundamentals of Raw Food has officially started!!! Only 4 more days left and then I’m done with the course. I can hardly believe how far I’ve come and how much I’ve learned. I’m really excited about the final project that I’m working on too!

The first thing we did was to create more nut milk for some additional recipes that we will be completing as part of the curriculum. I also created a cashew milk for the first time, as it is a component of the dessert recipe I am working on for my final project. 

The first project of the day was to create some tart crusts! These are so cute, aren’t they? They will eventually be filled with a lemon and chamomile tart filling. I can’t wait to taste it!

raw vegan tart crust raw vegan tart crust

After making the tart crusts, we made another breakfast (or anytime snack for that matter) dish. This is a banana chia pudding topped with a chai cream and some seasonal fresh fruit. The chai cream was amazing. It tasted just like a chai latte, and it gave me a great excuse to finally purchase some cardamom!

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We had another lesson in artfully plating and properly dressing salads today as well. If you toss the leaves in the bowl with the dressing and then arrange them on the plate, you get just the right amount in every bite. We have previously practiced with kale and a green of our choice in artfully plating salads. Today, we were given butter lettuce to practice with. It’s so light and fluffy. It almost looks like a flower when you make a little tower from it. Then, it’s easy to tuck little bits of vegetables into the folds. I feel like Christmas has come early with all the red and green bits tucked into my butter lettuce tree. =D

butter lettuce salad with honey mustard dressing butter lettuce salad with honey mustard dressing butter lettuce salad with honey mustard dressing

The class assignments are a bit lighter this week to allow us time for testing our final project recipes. We had to submit our first process/testing photos, so I can give you a little sneak peak of what I am working on. I started the prep work for my appetizer and my dessert. The appetizer will contain a yogurt cream sauce inside of a cucumber roll and my dessert is going to be a mash up of a mango lassi and a panna cotta. The photos below are my yogurt before starting incubation, a honey pecan wafer, and my panna cotta experiment in the molds, getting ready to go into the fridge to set up overnight.

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