grouper cheeks

i’ve been out of the kitchen most of the last two weeks.  i have a wonderful mother who has taken over the cooking from omar and me during her visit.

then last night omar and i went on a date and it rekindled my interest in my new kitchen – weirdo color scheme and all.

miami has a summer restaurant promotion, miami spice, where you can go to swanky restaurants for a reasonable price. friends raved about michy’s so off we went.  the chef is even one of the chefs featured in the previously mentioned my last supper:  50 great chefs and their final meals.  between the two of us there was pork belly, ham/manchego croquetas, prime rib, grouper cheeks (yes, grouper cheeks), red velvet cupcake, and chocolate panna cotta.  seriously, this was good.  as in amazing good.

but i’m going to brag a bit on myself here and say that a friend who went to michy’s the night before had the panna cotta and then told her husband, “kate’s is better.”  amen.  the chocolate did make it a bit rich.  

so tonight in (a belated) celebration of my dad’s 60th birthday, i whipped up a batch of basil panna cotta.  it looks kind of humble and boring.  but it is not.  and it’s easy.  you can’t beat that.  so happy birthday to my dad, who just awhile ago said he could just drink the cream mixture out of the saucepan and be happy. see, it’s that good.

basil panna cotta – adapted from farmhouse panna cotta the splendid table’s how to eat supper

2 TBS cold water
1.5 tsp unflavored gelatin
3 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup sugar, or to taste 
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 TBS packet basil leaves 
1 cup sour cream (do not use low fat)

1. combine cream through basil leaves and warm over medium-high heat until almost boiling.  remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 15 to 20 minutes. 

2. put the cold water in a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over it and let stand for 5 minutes.  remove the basil leaves.  stir the gelatin mixture into the cream.  

3. put the sour cream in a medium bowl, whisk in the cream until smooth.  create an ice bath with a large bowl filled with ice.  set the bowl of cream over the ice bath and whisk continuously until the cream reaches between 60 and 70 degrees.

4. pour the cream into 8 2/3 cup ramekins.  cover with plastic wrap and chill for 4 to 72 hours.  serve in the ramekins.


2 thoughts on “grouper cheeks

  1. I will vouch for this. Our dinner last night was wonderful – every last bite. And Kate’s adaptation of panna cotta is great. I am looking forward to dessert tonight!

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