If you still need a dessert for Christmas dinner, one that is luxurious – yet comforting – Panna Cotta is worthy of your attention. Despite its richness, Panna Cotta, Italian for “cooked cream,” is a silky-smooth, remarkably light indulgence that is particularly suited for enjoyment after a substantial meal.
The Panna Cotta recipes here rely on gelatin for thickening and stabilization. But, keep in mind that gelatin needs special handling in order to do its work, so follow directions carefully. To ensure success, gelatin must first be hydrated (softened), then completely dissolved in the cooking liquid.
Once you have mastered the nuances of working with gelatin, not only will you want to make Panna Cotta, and its many variations often, but so will you be ready to take on the creation of other dishes made with gelatin – from molded salads, mousses and terrines, to candies, pies and puddings – and so much more.
Christmas is here and right behind it, the beginning of a new year. If cooking with gelatin is new to you, and you’d like see more recipes using this amazing food, please let me know, as your feedback is what drives the food page. Next week, look for a few “best of 2015” recipes, the recipes that have generated the greatest number of favorable reader reviews from the past year.
In the meantime, may you share in the joys of Christmas with family, friends that feel like family and a meal that tastes of home.
Sue Ade is a syndicated food writer with broad experience and interest in the culinary arts. She has worked and resided in the Lowcountry of South Carolina since 1985 and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.