Just some recipes I’ve been promising…


Ciao!  I’m working on adding recipes to a separate page, but I’ve been promising I’d get these to you this weekend, and I don’t feel like messing with the page thing all afternoon, when you could be spending your Sunday making Tiramisu.  So here is the Tiramisu (yea, I’m capitalizing it) recipe and the curry recipe for now.  I have much more to post about my trip to Alessandria and the soup I made last night, but that will come later.

So Elsa made this about two hours before we ate it, but she said that it normally sits for several hours.  That way all of the ladyfingers soften in the espresso, and everything mellows together to create a not-so-mellow deliciousness.  I will say that I had it for breakfast the next morning, and it was like a completely different level of tiramisu.  And the first was amazing, so take that as you will.  She also made it look very simple.  She didn’t add any alcohol of any sort because it ‘ruins the taste, all you can taste is the booze!’  I had to agree that it was more delicious without, but I’ll tell you where to add it if you can’t imagine tiramisu without booze.

Elsa’s Tiramisu:

Ingredients:

-6 eggs, separated into two bowls* (We used unpasteurized eggs, which were whipped into submission SO MUCH easier than pasteurized.  But if I were in America I would NOT use unpasteurized eggs. Either way you’re going to be eating raw eggs, but I do not want to be responsible for your salmonella poisoning.)

-1 c. (8 oz.) espresso*

-16 oz. mascarpone* (you can find this in the special cheeses section in your grocery store)

-Cocoa powder

-5 ‘tiny spoons’ sugar (which I think came out to be two to three tablespoons)

-Two packages of Italian ladyfingers.  You can find the same ones we used at World Market, but I can’t think of their name.

You’ll also need a 9×13 glass dish, or something similar.  Clear glass dishes are so pretty because you can see the layers, but if it tastes good and you’re not concerned with pretty like I am, use an opaque dish.  By all means, don’t go out and BUY a glass dish.  Because that would just be silly.  Right?  Right?  Although, you could borrow one from a friend, or in my case, Mom.  Just make sure to return it, otherwise, they’ll be writing their names all over their things when they lend them to you ;).  Enough about the dish, eh?

*IMPORTANT:  All of the normally cool or warm ingredients should be at room temperature.  Cold eggs mixed with mascarpone and then touching something warm would make it gross and melty.  And hot espresso would break apart the lady fingers too quickly.  I figured I’d explain this one, because in the past I’ve been known to ignore these types of suggestions with other recipes (I was an amateur at that point haha), and ended up being unhappy with the results.  You’ve been warned :-o.

Make your espresso.  It’s important that it is real espresso; I made a ‘tiramisu’ cake for Michael’s birthday and just used the French press coffee we have every morning, because who wants to buy an espresso maker for just one cake!  It was not even close to the taste this mixture had, and ultimately, it’s what tiramisu is all about.  You can always buy some cups of espresso from your local coffee shop.  Just ask that it be an Italian brand.  Even Starbucks has Italian espresso so NO EXCUSES!!!!  Pour it into a flat-bottom bowl (because you’ll be dipping the lady fingers in it!!) and add a little bit of cocoa.  (HERE is where you can add your booze, brandy, and it will be 2 oz. or 2 shots.)  Let the mixture cool.

Add the sugar to the egg yolks and whip them with a mixer or by hand if you are so inclined (this seems impossible to me, but it’s been done) until it’s a white, smooth mixture.   Mix in the mascarpone until blended.  (I think you can add more booze here, if you want.  See other recipes for more information.)

Beat the egg whites until they’ve become fluffy.  Gently fold/mix the egg whites into the mascarpone.  You don’t want to take all of the fluffiness out of the egg whites, which will happen if you do this too vigorously.

Now it’s time to build your tiramisu!  Dip your ladyfingers into the cooled espresso mixture.  The best way to do this is to lay a ladyfinger down in the espresso mixture and then place it in the bottom of your dish with the espresso side facing up.  ONLY DIP ONE SIDE IN THE ESPRESSO.  Do not soak your ladyfingers, they will get yucky and soggy and break apart.  You want them to be firm as you’re building.  Continue this until you’ve layered the entire bottom of your dish.  Spoon half of your mascarpone mixture across this layer, and using a sifter, sift some cocoa on top of the mascarpone layer.  (This is Elsa’s secret.  Apparently you normally only put a cocoa layer on the very top, but, hey, you’re your own boss.  Do what you want.  I just know I liked this just as it was :)).  Repeat this to build your top layer.  Dust more cocoa powder on top and put in fridge.

Refrigerate for 4 hours.  Eat.  NO NOT OUT OF THE DISH.  ON A PLATE!!!!

I might have made this sound more complicated than it is, but is really really simple to make.  The only true length of time involved is the refrigeration time.  If you make it on a weekend morning, you can have tiramisu for dessert that evening or even for lunch!

But seriously.  I think the most difficult part is not eating it before the 4 hours are up.  Or separating the egg yolks and whites into different bowls.

Mari & Crystal’s Trini Curry:

We had two different curries made in the same process.  One used only pumpkin.  The other used eggplant and potatoes.  This was eaten with chicken cooked with curry powder and garlic, and rice.  But if I were to make this just for myself, you can bet I’d only make the pumpkin curry.  Who needs rice or anything else with pumpkin dishes!  Not this girl!

Ingredients:

-Three cups of diced pumpkin

-4 potatoes diced, or one potato (if they’re small, half if they’re big) for each person you are feeding

-2-3 medium sized eggplants, diced (depending how much you like eggplant!)

-1 medium to large yellow onion, diced

-1 sweet red pepper, diced

-2-3 cloves garlic, minced

-1/2 tsp. coriander seeds

-1 can coconut milk

-2 tbsp. curry powder

-2 tsp. geera, or cumin

Cut up the pumpkin, potatoes and eggplant separately (amount depends on size of vegetable and number of people you’re cooking for).  Mix 1 tablespoon of curry in a cup of water. Add cumin.  Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pot.  Add curry powder (or yellow paste if possible!) to the oil and heat until oil turns yellowish.  Add onions, red pepper, coriander, garlci and fry for a few minutes.  Add potatoes and cook for 10-15 minutes and stir frequently.  You can add some water (10-16 oz) or water mixed with a few tbsp. of coconut milk as the potatoes cook.  Add the eggplant and cook for another 10-15 minutes, still stirring frequently, until broth is thickened and veggies are soft.  Add salt and black pepper to taste.

For the pumpkin, substitute the pumpkin for the potatoes and cook for 20 minutes. You may want to add a teaspoon to tablespoon of butter for taste. You don’t need to add the curry unless you want to.  Pumpkin is so tasty on its own J.

If you haven’t cooked curries before, they are REALLY flexible things to make.  You can add and subtract where you prefer.  You should, however, always keep track of your water (or coconut milk/yogurt/etc) to veggie ratio, and your servings to spice ratio.  You want to make sure your curry isn’t watery/liquid-y.  If you think it might be towards the end of cooking it, remove the veggies or meat and cook down the broth a bit so it thickens.  The spice thing is all about preference.  Some people really do not like cumin/coriander/curry powder/garam masala, etc.  And you don’t want to overpower your food with any of it.  Remember, you can always add more spice, but it’s really difficult to remove, or diffuse spice.  I taste my curries like thirty different times throughout cooking them to make sure it tastes the way I want it to.  Unless there’s raw meat involved.

OK!  That’s it for right now.  Please let me know if it seems like I left something out/you don’t understand something/have questions.  I typed this all up from some scrambled notes in my notebook, and I tried to be really careful about it all, but you never know!  Also, if you make any of these things, I’d LOVE to know how they turned out.  Leave a comment, send me an email, send me a picture – just tell me something about it!  Thanks :).

JT

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