Chocolate Sorbet

Chocolate Sorbet

Chocolate Sorbet

Chocolate Sorbet

 

If there was ever a recipe to sum up a great discovery in the 1980’s, chocolate sorbet was it. Adored for its smooth texture and thin-like silhouette, it was often the choice for restaurant menus with the greats of Le Cirque, or Lutece. Remember those days?

Who did I turn to? Pastry chef Johnny Iuzzini has a great recipe; Revealing in the light taste of summer, this sorbet is very smooth and not too sweet. Keep some in the freezer for a quick chocolate fix.

 

Chocolate Sorbet

Adapted from Johnny Iuzinni’s cookbook Dessert Fourplay.

Makes 1 quart

 

3 cups less 2 tablespoons(690g) water

¼ cup (20g) nonfat milk powder

1 ½ (45g) invert sugar (or corn syrup)

¾ cup (150g) sugar

¼ cup (25g) unsweetened cocoa powder

3 ¼ oz (110g) unsweetened chocolate

  • Set up an ice bath in a large bowl.
  • Whisk the water and powder milk together in a sauce pan. Cook over medium heat until it starts to boil. Whisk in the corn syrup and sugar and continue cooking until it’s all dissolved, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the cocoa powder and chocolate and cook, whisking until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Mix well with an immersion blender. Pour into a bowl and set over the prepared ice bath. Chill completely stirring often
  • Freeze in an ice cream maker. This can take a long time in a home-style ice cream maker. Pack into a plastic container and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.

 

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Leticia

 

 

 

Meyer Lemon Caipirinha

Meyer Lemon Caipirinha Drink

Of all things Brazilian, you’ve probably heard of Caipirinha, our heraldic emblem and one of Brazil’s greatest contributions to the food and wine world.

Essentially, caipirinha is a simple cocktail based on a mixture of mashed lime with sugar, ice, and cachaça. As elementary as it is, there are a few variables that could make all the difference in your drink. The lime should be cut into medium-sized chunks. It is then mashed with sugar by a wooden muddler until the lime releases its oils. Transfer this mixture to a shaker, add some ice, cachaca, shake it, and pour. Done!

It was OMG at first sight when I saw some Meyer Lemons at the farmers market and used it as an inspiration for this gleaming new recipe. It subtly glimmers for an occasion that blends easy Connecticut elegance with a casual, Latin spirit.

 

Meyer Lemon Caipirinha

 Makes 1 caipirinha

 

2 Meyer Lemons

1 tablespoon organic cane sugar

2 to 3 tablespoons cachaça (adjust amount to taste)

Ice cubes

 In a grinder, mash lemon and sugar together.

Transfer to a drink shaker. Add Cachaca, and ice; shake well and pour into a cup.

Cheers!

 

 

 

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Leticia

 

Kale Chips

Kale Chips

Because the human brain is a hungry beast!

Crispy Kale Chips

Serves 4 people

 

1 bunch curly Kale (about 1 ½ pounds), well washed and well dried

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350˚F.
  • Remove the stems from the kale and cut the leaves into large chunks. Place them in a bowl, drizzle olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss well.
  • Spread the kale on a baking sheet (or more than one baking sheet; if you put too much kale, it will steam rather than crisp, so it’s very important to spread the leaves well on the baking sheet) and bake in the oven until crisp, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let them cool at room temperature and serve.

 

Thanks for reading and browsing my site!

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Leticia

 

 

French Cheese Puffs

French Cheese Puffs

I’ve been making French Cheese Puffs, aka GOUGERES for years, and there is always a conflict in me because this is a delicious French version of cheese bread. As a Brazilian, how can I possibly opt for the French Cheese Puffs when my country is the king of cheese bread? So I went to therapy, debated my food conflicts, and decided that I love both, and will bake both. Just not at the same time. There is time for Brazilian cheese bread, and there is time for French Cheese Bread! Viva!

In honor of Bastille day, shall we bake some Gougeres? Feel free to bake these wonders any other time of the year—they are evergreen.

Most recipes for cheese puffs call for milk instead of water. Some call for a mixture of milk and water. Over the years, I realized that milk actually makes the cheese puffs less crunchy on the outside; so I’m leaving milk out of the recipe, and the recipe is still so moist inside. Take a bite of this open cheese puff through the screen! Hope you’ll bring it to life in your own kitchen!

French Cheese Puffs

 

French Cheese Puffs (Gougeres)

Makes 40 Gougeres

 

1 cup (235ml) water

1 stick + 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (125g)

1 teaspoon (5g) Kosher salt

1 teaspoon (5g) sugar

Freshly ground pepper

Freshly ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon paprika

1 cup + 1 tablespoon (175g) all-purpose flour

3 to 4 eggs

2 cups (250g) finely grated Gruyere cheese

  • Center a rack in the middle of the oven and pre-heat the oven to 375˚F.
  • In a medium saucepan, pour the water, butter, salt and sugar and bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Add the flour in one stroke, and cook with a wooden spoon, now over low heat, until it all comes together as a ball.
  • Add the fresh pepper, nutmeg and paprika and continue mixing, until the dough leaves a light crust on the bottom of the pan, about 5 minutes. You are looking for a smooth dough, nice and tender.
  • Transfer the dough to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and turn the mixer on low speed. Beat slowly for a minute to let the steam out. By the way, you CAN do this part manually, using a bowl and a wooden spoon, but the machine makes it easier and faster.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time. Now, here is the tricky part: depending on the humidity and temperature, you might need only 3 ½ eggs, or 4, or 4 ½ eggs. Be sure to add one egg at a time and beat well after each egg. How do you know if the dough needs another egg? You need at least 3 eggs (still adding one at a time). If you run your finger through the center of the dough, the dough should close slowly.If it doesn’t, then add another ½ egg (beat an egg with a fork in a small bowl), beat the dough, and check with your finger again.
  • Add the grated cheese and continue to beat slowly until it’s well mixed.
  • Prepare a sheet pan lined with silpat.
  • Using a small ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, form little balls of the dough, spacing them about an inch apart.
  • Bake in the oven until it’s firm, puffed and gorgeously golden, about 18 minutes, rotating once between baking time.
  • Serve warm or transfer the pan to cool. If you want to prepare them ahead of time, they re-heat very well; let them cool completely, place them in a zip lock bag and keep them in the fridge. Reheat in the oven for 5 minute, and serve.

 

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Leticia

 

 

 

Ricotta Dumplings

Chef Ignacio Matto’s Ricotta Dumplings

The Uruguayan Chef Ignacio Mattos of the restaurant Estela in New York City, transforms the humble ricotta cheese into some of the most exciting foods being cooked today. This recipe for Ricotta Dumpling, stimulates all five senses. Six, if you include your sense of accomplishment.

Here is the recipe, adapted from his cookbook, Estela.

Ignacio Matto’s Ricotta Dumplings

Serves 6

For the Dumplings:

1 ½ cups (350g) packed fresh ricotta

¾ cup (75g) freshly grated Parmesan cheese

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 large egg

 

Scant 1 cup (230ml) mushroom stock

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 button mushrooms, chopped

½ cup (50g) finely grated Parmesan cheese

 

Drain the Ricotta: Drain the ricotta to make sure it’s firm and not too wet. Line a strainer with cheesecloth and set it over a bowl. Put the ricotta in the strainer, wrap it in the cheesecloth, and weight it down with a few cans or something else that’s heavy enough to put pressure on it. Cover and refrigerate for 1 day. The result should be dense, and a soft clump of ricotta should stick to your finger when you try to take a swipe.

Make the Dumplings: When you’re ready to make the dumplings, combine the Parmesan, flour, and salt in a small bowl and whisk together with a fork; set aside. Measure out 1 cup densely packed ricotta and put it in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat the ricotta on medium-low speed for 2 minutes, or until thick and creamy, almost like the consistency of peanut butter. Add the egg and beat until it’s fully incorporated; scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the dry ingredients and mix well for about 5 minutes. The batter will be thick and smooth.

To Form the Dumplings: Sift a generous amount of flour over a baking sheet. Find a large spoon and set out a small bowl of water. Scoop up a spoonful of batter, level it off against the edge of the batter bowl and then use the edge of a wet finger to slide it onto the baking sheet. The resulting dumpling should be somewhere between a blob and a half moon, with a little seam from where your finger was. This will be your test dumpling. Bring a small saucepan of unsalted water to a boil. Dust the test dumpling with a little more flour, drop it into the boiling water and cook for 3 minutes. Scoop it out and cut into it, to make sure that it holds together, and it’s cooked through. If it’s not quite cooked, increase the timing to 3 ½ minutes when you cook all the dumplings. If they threaten to fall apart, add a little more flour to the batter (no more than 1 teaspoon) and shape and cook another test dumpling.

Continue forming the dumplings with the remaining batter, leaving space between the dumplings. You should have about 20 dumplings. Sift a bit more flour over the dumplings and freeze them on the baking sheet for at least 4 hours, until frozen solid. You can make these up to 3 weeks ahead of time. transfer them to a freezer bag once they’re frozen solid and return them to freezer.

To cook the dumpling, bring a medium pot of unsalted water to a boil. Drop in the dumplings, bring the water back to a boil and cook the dumplings for 3 ½ minutes or until cooked through.

Assemble: As the dumplings cook, heat the mushroom stock and butter in a pan, whisking to combine. Add the chopped mushrooms and simmer until just tender. When the dumplings are ready, drain them. Add them to the mushroom sauce and gently simmer everything for 30 seconds. Divide the dumplings and sauce between wide bowls, top with the Parmesan cheese and the sliced mushrooms and serve immediately. Enjoy!

 

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Leticia

Ferris Acres Creamery

Best Ice Cream in CT

Best Ice Cream in CT

Okay, I admit it. I’m always looking for new food trends. Novelty. Never seen. Launching. Debuting. But here is a little secret: sometimes, on a weekend following a long week of crunching work, all I want is to enjoy a good scoop of ice cream, one with the taste of old-world.

If you share that feeling and would like to know about some of the best ice cream in the northeast, I have a great recommendation!

Bring a smile, and even a magazine, because the lines are huge at Ferris Acres Creamery. Maple Walnut, Just Bananas, Elvis Dream, or Stony Path? Not sure what’s in each flavor, but I guarantee, one is more delicious than the other.

This old school ice cream parlor attracts families from all over the tri-state. High school kids work part time scooping ice cream with a big smile and a big cone in hands.

Ferris Creamary

Story goes that in 1864 this piece of land was bought by William David Baldwin Ferris and transformed into a dairy farm operation in the middle of the century. To help the farm turn a profit, they started selling ice cream in 2004.

Ferris Creamery

My son Thomas has been going there for years and would always tell me about the uniqueness of this ice cream. It doesn’t take much to make us happy. Cheers to the simple things in life.

Ferris Acres Creamery

Ferris Acres Creamery is located at

144 Sugar Street

Newtown, CT

 

 

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Leticia

 

Happy Mother's Day Article

Happy Mother’s Day Article!

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother’s Day! Here is an article I wrote to honor all mothers of this world, inspired my my own amazing mom.

 

My mom was a great mother when I was a child. She is even better now that I am adult. When I was a teenager, I thought that I could live without her. Big mistake. I guess we all go through a phase growing up, when we think we’re simply invincible.

Having a mother is great at any stage of life. Without her, we are orphans from everything, since this world is not very maternal at all.

This world doesn’t care if it’s cold outside and I am not wearing the proper jacket. It doesn’t care if I spend the night out, or if I’m in bad company.

This world wants me to get married, have children, buy a house, and keep paying the mortgage for the next 20 years. This world wants me to be fashionable, to own a car, and to buy things on a credit card.

Mother also wants me to look fashionable, but she is more worried about my health, my teeth, my ears, my well–being ; she doesn’t want me to use drugs, drink, or smoke.

This world looks at me only superficially; it can’t see through my skin; it doesn’t detect sadness or loneliness. This world wants me to be beautiful and successful so that it can benefit from my existence, as if we were mere objects of decoration on the planet. This world doesn’t take my temperature, it doesn’t comb my hair, or offer me a piece of home-made cake.

This world wants my vote, but it doesn’t listen to my needs. When this world disagrees with me, it stamps me, it burns me, it excludes me. This world doesn’t have patience, and it doesn’t listen to what I have to say.

This world wants to see the size of my house and my resume; it asks me how many children I have and what’s my education. But it doesn’t know about my fears, my grades in high school, or how hard it is to find a job. In this world, you snooze you loose. This world doesn’t care for individuals, but only for people in general, which represents statistics, dogmas, and slogans.

My mother doesn’t belong in this world. She is from another planet. She can be emotionally challenging; she is laud, nosy, bossy, stubborn, dramatic, and opinionated. She suffers for me, with me; she cares about the details and knows my likings, while this world demands maximum efficiency from me all the time. This world selects the most likely to succeed, the smartest, and the strongest—and it charges very very much for that.

My mother? She is mine, for free.

If you feel blessed to love your mom, share this Happy Mother’s Day Article with her and with this world! Because this world is what we make of it!

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

Happy Mother's Day

 

Help me give a shout out to Babi Wrobel  for these wonderful illustrations!

I’m so happy that you visited today! Thanks for reading and browsing my site!

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Happy Mother’s Day!

Leticia

Red Pepper Paste

Red Pepper Paste: My Secret Ingredient

Red Pepper Paste

I’m all fired up in the kitchen today! Got my #RedPepperPaste, got my energy, and I’m ready to work! It’s one my of secret ingredients in the kitchen. Something that I always have handy.

In Portuguese, it’s called Massa de Pimentão and there are many versions; some prepare with red bell peppers, some prepare with roasted bell peppers, but I love this version David Leite developed using two kids of paprika at his cookbook The New Portuguese Table. Throw at many recipes, use it as a condiment, a seasoning, and your cooking will improve a million points!

David Leite also wrote a beautiful memoir called Notes On a Banana, a candid, courageous and funny story about family, food, mental illness and sexual identity. I read it in about a week! Highly recommend!

 

Red Pepper Paste

Recipe adapted from The New Portuguese Table, from my dear friend and author David Leite.

Makes about 1 cup

 

2 tablespoons sweet paprika

2 tablespoons sweet smoked paprika

¼ cup dry red wine

8 to 10 garlic cloves

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoons tomato paste

1 ½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice

7 sprigs fresh cilantro

5 sprigs fresh parsley

1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup olive oil

 

  • Dump both types of paprika, the wine, garlic, bay leaves, tomato paste, lemon juice, cilantro, parsley, salt and pepper, into a food processor or mini chop and pulse until the garlic and herbs are minced Scrape down any chunky bits from the sides of the bowl.
  • While the motor is running, pour in the olive oil and continue whirring until the paste is slick and homogeneous, 1 to 2 minutes. Use the mixture immediately, or spoon into a small glass jar with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate. The paste will keep for up to a month in the refrigerator.

 

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See you next time!

Leticia

 

 

 

Squid Ink Pasta with Shrimp

Squid Ink Pasta with Shrimp

The Taste of Darkness

Why can’t we resist black colored food?  Squid Ink Pasta with Shrimp is such a case. Tinted with the ink of cuttlefish, this dark food became a favorite of my family. it goes really well with shrimp and tomato sauce. You can find the ink available in some Italian, Spanish and Japanese stores. Some fish mongers will also sell it. Or you can buy black pasta just like I did. I found it at Arthur’s Ave in New York, one of my favorite places to shop. There is absolutely nothing different than cooking this pasta from the other regular pasta that you already know.

Squid Ink Pasta

The Shrimp Stock:

In my opinion, it’s easy to discount’s the shrimp stock’s importance in this dish, especially when you have pasta water. But it’s an essential element, and it affects the flavor and texture of this Squid Ink Pasta with Shrimp. Simply cook the shrimp shells in a hot pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil, add cold water and bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer for 20 minutes.

Shrimp Stock

My kids stay with me over the range, half cooking, half talking every time we make this dish. Then we sit and enjoy a delicious dinner. The result is incredible as anything a restaurant can provide. There is that moment of silence when we close our eyes and take the first bite, before the familiar laughter, which is the best part of dinner.

Squid Ink Pasta with Shrimp

Squid Ink Pasta with Shrimp

Serves 4

1 lb black squid ink pasta (spaguitti is my preference but other shape will work)

Kosher Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 lb (454g) raw medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 garlic clove, finely minced

1 large shallot, finely minced (about 4 tablespoons)

¼ cup white wine

1 cup shrimp stock from the shells, or chicken stock, plus more for tossing pasta (optional)

2 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped

2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley

 

  • Fill a pot with 4 quarts of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add a large pinch of salt. Add the pasta and stir. Cook, stirring frequently, until the pasta is 2 minutes away from being al dente according to package instructions. Drain the pasta while saving some of the pasta water, just in case.
  • In a 12-inch skillet warm the olive oil. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and sauté over medium heat until they just start to turn orange, about 1 minute per side. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to a bowl and cover with foil. Using the oil that is left in the pan, add the garlic and cook it just starts to turn golden, about 1 minute. Add the shallots and cook over low heat, scraping the juices from the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the white wine and continue to scrape the pan until every precious bit is released from the pan and flavoring the shallots and garlic. Add the shrimp stock and bring to full boil.
  • Reduce the heat to low, add the pasta and shrimp, tossing vigorously to distribute the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper and finish with tomatoes and parsley. Transfer to warm bowls and serve hot.

 

I’m so happy that you visited today! Thanks for reading and browsing my site!

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Cook at home! Body Up! Health up! Wise up!

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Leticia

 

Cinnamon Hot Chocolate

Cinnamon Hot Chocolate

It’s snowing outside. You’re wearing flannel shirts and velvet blankets. You are cozy in a soft couch and craving for the memories of your childhood hot chocolate. I got you! This Hot Chocolate with Cinnamon and Cocoa Nibs will satisfy your cravings and make you want to stay under the covers! Enjoy!

Cinnamon Hot Chocolate with Cocoa Nibs

Makes 4 small hot chocolates

Ingredients:

2 cups whole milk

2 tablespoons organic cane sugar

1 cinnamon stick, more sticks to serve as garnish

4 ounces (115g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped

4 teaspoons cocoa nibs for serving

 

1- Bring the milk, sugar, and cinnamon to a boil over medium heat.

2- Add the chocolate, reduce the heat to low, and whisk constantly until it becomes thick and creamy, about 5 minutes. Yes, this is the secret to a good hot chocolate, you have to whisk non-stop until all of the water in the milk has evaporated and it becomes creamy.

3- Let it cool for 5 minutes.

4- Strain through a fine sieve and serve in small cups.

5- Garnish with cocoa nibs and a cinnamon stick.

 

I’m so happy that you visited today! Thanks for reading and browsing my site!

If you like what you read, tell your friends about it,

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Contact me!

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Cook at home! Body Up! Health up! Wise up!

See you next time!

Leticia

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