It’s the day after Memorial Day! (WHAT) Which means, of course, that it is now summertime. Wasn’t I just toasting to the New Year like, yesterday? Holy quick-flying year. Slow down, 2013! We’re just getting to the good stuff.
This past month has been a little insane for the Big Man and I. So many projects in the pipeline! It’s been a struggle to maintain any sort of routine. I can’t wait to fill you in on all the changes we’ve been cooking up, and I’m looking forward to the next few weeks mellowing out a little bit. The weather is changing and I hate missing out. I like a little (um, a lot of) busyness but there’s got to be a break sometime, you know?
In the meantime, now that lazier days are officially upon us, its time for another 5 Great Recipes Roundup. Buckle up, nerds- and start stuffing your fat little faces.
I lived in Little Italy more or less the entire time I lived in Baltimore. That place is a fat kid’s dream. The streets smell like garlic and a love of pasta is in the air. Our first We Live Together apartment was directly across from Little Italy’s most famous bakery, Vaccaros, which did less for my waistline than anything I could have baked. The lines out the door on a Saturday evening were insane- but worth it for the gelato. We would spy on the line from our living room and as soon as it would shorten, we’d dash downstairs and get big fat scoops. Back at home, with the windows open and Gary Thorn announcing the Orioles in the background, it was the perfect complement to a hot and sticky summer night.
My favorite summer treat at Vaccaros, though, was their lemon gelato and ice tea. One scoop of puckery-sweet lemon gelato dropped into cold iced tea is the absolute perfect companion for running errands.
See below for the lemon sorbet recipe, which is close to recreating that same deliciousness.
Panna Cotta and Arnold Palmer Chillers Recipe
Lemon Sorbet Ingredients
- 4 lemons
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 cup tap water
Panna Cotta Ingredients
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 ¼ teaspoon powdered gelatin
Blueberry Compote Ingredients
- 1 cup whole blueberries
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon rum or brandy (optional)
Panna Cotta Instruction
- Whisk together the milk, heavy cream and sugar over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Sprinkle the top of the cream with the gelatin, making sure it is distributed evenly. Allow the gelatin to “bloom” for a minute or two, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
- Pour the panna cotta into desired serving containers, and press plastic wrap down on top to ward off any skin forming. Chill the panna cotta for at least 2 hours, until it is set but still jiggly. Serve chilled, preferably with blueberry compote on top.
Blueberry Compote Instruction
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the blueberries, sugar and liquor. Stir occasionally and cook until the blueberries have popped open and broken down significantly, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Compote will keep for about one month, chilled and tightly covered.
Lemon Sorbet Instructions
- Scrub the lemons well, then zest and juice each one. You should have about 3 tablespoons of zest and 1 cup of fresh lemon juice.Combine the zest and juice with the sugar and ½ cup of tap water. Heat gently over medium heat, stirring well so the sugar dissolves. Allow to simmer for about 15 minutes or until the liquid has reduced slightly.
- Remove from heat and add the other ½ cup of water. Allow to cool, about 10 minutes.Strain well, reserving the liquid and discarding the solids. Pour the liquid into a freezer-safe container and freeze until solid, about 2 hours.Will keep in the freezer for about one month.
- I cold brew my iced tea, which is to say I unceremoniously dump four or five breakfast tea bags into a pitcher of cold water and let it brew in the fridge till it’s strong enough for my taste, then I remove the tea bags. I get very technical with it, obvs.
- Panna cotta has got to be the simplest chilled dessert ever. Especially when it comes to impressing people. Oh you fancy, huh? Fancy with that smarty pants panna cotta?
- Actually, nobody has to know that panna cotta is basically four ingredients heated on the stove, then chilled in the fridge. And you’re done. Swirl in a little compote or leave it plain; a glass full of chilled panna cotta at the end of a hot summer day is pure heaven.