Tonight for our last meal of 2011, there will be fresh pasta with lobster tail, garlic, olive oil, a little white wine and fresh parsley. For dessert we'll have a pillowy-light, barely sweet (but intensely creamy) panna cotta with a drizzle of tangy pomegranate molasses.
Sipping a fruity vin santo, cracking nuts, letting a piece of special dark chocolate melt, listening to something a bit swanky in the background. This is how we plan on spending New Year's Eve.
As 2011 comes to a close, we'll toast loved ones, new friends, schemes, hopes and the possibilities that the future holds.
Happy New Year
from my table to yours...see you in 2012
From Olives and Oranges by Sara Jenkins & Mindy Fox
Makes 4 to 6 servings
2 cups cream
1 1/4 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
3 large egg whites
Pomegranate Molasses for drizzling (I found mine at Whole Foods Market.)
Combine 1/4 cup cream with gelatin in a medium bowl and let gelatin soften.
Combine remaining 1 3/4 cups cream, sugar, and vanilla bean in a medium saucepan, bring to a low boil and boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and fish out vanilla bean. Scrape seeds from bean and add to cream; stir to combine. Discard bean.
Add hot cream mixture to gelatin mixture and whisk until gelatin is totally dissolved. Set bowl over an ice bath and stir until cooled to room temperature.
Beat egg whites to stiff peaks. Gently whisk half of whites into cream mixture, then fold in remaining whites. Transfer mixture to individual ramekins or dessert cups. Refrigerate until set, about 3 hours. Top with a drizzle of pomegranate molasses and serve.