Midday Fix: Vanilla Bean Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Hibiscus Gelee

Karianne Soulsby, Executive Pastry Chef of The Chicago Firehouse restaurant in the South Loop

The Chicago Firehouse
1401 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60605
312.786.1401
www.ChicagoFirehouse.com

Event:

Sunday, April 21
10 a.m.-6 p.m.
The Chicago Firehouse, located in the South Loop, will hold an all day holiday soirée on Easter Sunday, April 21. An elaborate brunch buffet will be offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., followed by a lavish dinner buffet from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. The menu includes an omelet station, breakfast dishes, salads, pastas, carving station, seafood selections, sides, kid-friendly fare and more. A sweets table will be available all day, featuring miniature assorted pastries and desserts by executive pastry chef Karianne Soulsby.

The Chicago Firehouse's unlimited Easter menu is priced at $59 for adults and $20 for children ages 5-12 (kids 4 and under are free). Reservations may be made by visiting ChicagoFirehouse.com or calling 312.786.1401.

Recipes:

Vanilla Bean Buttermilk Panna Cotta

2 cups             Buttermilk

¾ cup             Sugar

1 ½ cups        Heavy cream

2 tsp.               Vanilla bean paste**

3 sheets          Gelatin sheets (“silver”)

 

  1. Bloom gelatin sheets in large vessel of ice water.  Set aside 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, measure heavy cream + sugar + vanilla bean paste into sauce pot.
  3. Heat until sugar is just dissolved and warm enough to melt bloomed gelatin, whisking occasionally.
  4. While heating cream, measure cold buttermilk in separate container.
  5. Once sugar is dissolved, remove from heat.
  6. Squeeze out excess water from gelatin sheets and add to hot cream.  Whisk to dissolve.
  7. Allow cream mixture to cool a bit to make sure buttermilk does not curdle.
  8. Add buttermilk to heated cream mixture, whisking.
  9. Portion into molds, refrigerate to set.

**Can substitute vanilla bean paste for vanilla extract, to taste.  May also use alcohol as flavoring or extracts.

NOTE: Can be stored in refrigerator and re-heated/re-melted as needed.  Re-heat in non-reactive metal bowl over simmering pot of water.

 

Hibiscus Gelee

2 cups            Water

1 cup  *          Sugar

½ cup**         Dried hibiscus flowers (or 2 sachets Red Zinger herbal tea)

4 sheets          Gelatin sheets (“silver”)

 

  1. Bloom gelatin sheets in large vessel of ice water.  Set aside 10 minutes.
  2. Place water + handful of dried hibiscus (appx. ½ loose cup) or 2 Red Zinger sachets in pot, bring to a boil.
  3. Boil 2 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, allow to steep 5 minutes.
  5. Pass through fine mesh strainer, pressing to get all flavor out of flowers.
  6. Return “tea” to sauce pot, add sugar.
  7. Heat until sugar is just dissolved and warm enough to melt bloomed gelatin, whisking occasionally.
  8. Once sugar is dissolved, remove from heat.
  9. Squeeze out excess water from gelatin sheets and add to hot hibiscus tea.  Whisk to dissolve.
  10. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  11. Float hibiscus gelee atop set and chilled vanilla bean buttermilk panna cotta.
  12. Return to refrigerator.  Allow to set up.
  13. Cover and keep refrigerated until ready to serve
  14. Garnish

* Sugar is “to taste.”

** Measurement of hibiscus is equal to approximately one small handful of dried hibiscus, “to taste.”

NOTES:  Can be stored in refrigerator and re-heated/re-melted as needed.  Re-heat in non-reactive metal bowl over simmering pot of water.

 

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