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Tuesdays With Dorie: Sweet Ricotta Pie and Limoncello Cupcakes April 14, 2015

Slacker here.

Well not completely because as usual I did the recipes on time but I just “forget” to post.

Last weeks Tuesdays With Dorie recipe was for Sweet Ricotta Pie, which is located on page 376 in Baking With Julia. The traditional flavor with this pie was suppose to be anise, which I love but I was on the fence if anyone else would be helping me eat the pie.  I ended up swaping out the anise for vanilla extract and freshly grated orange zest. To bring out the flavor of the orange zest (1Tbsp) I combined it with the sugar and rubbed them together until the sugar was moist and fragrant.  The pie actually turned out great, but the lattice was a pain in the butt. The pie was not too sweet and I happened to also eat it for breakfast, opps.

 

This Tuesday recipe is for the Limoncello Cupcakes located on page 194 in Baking Chez Moi. Since I was happily reminded about this recipe when I opened my email this morning and saw the post for Leave Your Link (LYL). I incidently didn’t have some of the ingredients on had, most notibly Limoncello and Greek Yogurt.  I didn’t have time to drag two kids to the liquor store, so I opted to use Cointreau in its place along with orange zest. 

There seems to be an orange theme.  I did have lemons, but oh well.  My orange zest was in the freezer because I have taken to zesting any citrus that I am going to peel or juice and store it in the freezer. So, I actually didn’t have any oranges which we will get to juice for the frosting in a bit. For the Greek Yogurt, I subtituted sour cream and it worked fine. When I got to the icing I noticed that Dorie previously stated that the recipe makes a bit for each cupcake. I like a bit more than just a dollop, so I made 1.5 recipes with some modifications. Just realized that I might have been a bit butter happy because I used a bit more than I was suppose to: 1 stick plus 3 Tbsp butter, 3 cups confectioner’s sugar, 2 Tbsp Cointreau, 2 tsp vanilla extract, 1 Tbsp water or milk, 4 drops orange oil.

I guess part of me was trying to double it and the other part didn’t want to waste the sugar 🙂 

I did use the sugar syrup and just substituted Cointreau for the Limoncello, but I did not put the filling of orange or lemon marmalade.  Which, I kind of wish I would have because the cupcakes were a bit dry.  Nothing that drinking tea wouldn’t fix or milk in my husband’s case. Everyone loved the cupcakes. All day I was asked when they could have them.  Emma ate the icing off hers and the Maureen ate the cake.

  

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Tuesdays With Dorie: Pizza Rustica April 9, 2012

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As I sit here, writing this entry, relaxing to the quite sounds of a sleeping house, I sip my coffee….

YES, I am drinking coffee at 11:00 pm. The caffeine really does not have any effect on my sleeping habits. I could drink a pot and still roll over and pass out. I have that much talent 🙂

Last weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was hosted by Emily of Capital Region Dining and Raelynn of The Place They Call Home. They had the honor of rocking out with Pizza Rustica, which is located on pages 430-431 in Baking With Julia. I actually made this recipe on time and we ate it for dinner last Monday. I just had a bout of procrastination and now one week later, BOOM, here it is.

This recipe was actually EXTREMELY easy to put together and have for dinner the same night. It came out absolutely perfect. The flavor of the pizza was perfectly balanced. The saltiness of the prosciutto and the Pecorino Romano cheese was the perfect balance to the slightly sweet crust. I served it with a small salad and it was a nice dinner. Mike actually really liked the “quiche,” as he likes to call it. He actually polished it off in less than two days. The pizza was good slightly warm, cold, and at room temperature. The day after we ate it, I cut a slice and walked around the house eating it for breakfast :). It is perfect for any meal.

For Easter I did a catch up Tuesdays With Dorie recipes of Dorie’s Florida Pie (cross between a key lime pie and coconut pie with a meringue on top) and Dorie’s French Pear Tart. I have made the Pear Tart before which is fantastic, but it was my first time to make the Florida Pie. The Florida Pie came together pretty quick and it was fantastic and my father-in-law loved it. Sorry no pictures of the pies.

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The Daring Cooks Challenge: Zuni Ricotta Gnocchi May 16, 2009

Filed under: Main Courses,The Daring Cooks' — pastrybrush @ 12:08 am
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100_2133This months FIRST EVER Daring Cooks Challenge is brought to you by Lis and Ivonne!  They chose Zuni Ricotta Gnocchi fromThe Zuni Café Cookbook by Judy Rodgers.  When I saw this challenge I was very happy because I have made Gnocchi before; however, I have never made Ricotta Gnocchi.  It was actually pretty straight forward and easy to make.

I did have some problems: 1) I kept putting off making it so, 2) I am late 😦 , and 3) I experienced the dreaded busting of the gnocchi.  Which is a ritual all cooks like to preform to put them in an extra bad mood :/  So yeah, it happened.  Which really means too much moisture in the little guys.  When I finally got my little guys not to explode for joy, I made a lime cream sauce to go with them.

LIME!!! you ask.  Yeah, I ran out of lemons :/ So lime cream sauce it was and it actually turned out pretty good.  I garnished the gnocchi with chopped parsley.  The whole entire time I was tasting the gnocchi, I kept thinking CHEESE!!  They were yummy, but I couldn’t eat too many because the sauce made it a little rich.  So all in all, it wasn’t a complete disaster for the first ever Daring Cooks Challenge.

Below is the original recipe for this months challenge.  For the gnocchi flavorings, I actually used sage.  Enjoy 🙂

Zuni Ricotta Gnocchi

Source: From The Zuni Café Cookbook.

Yield: Makes 40 to 48 gnocchi (serves 4 to 6)

Prep time: Step 1 will take 24 hours. Steps 2 through 4 will take approximately 1 hour.

For the gnocchi:

1 pound (454 grams/16 ounces) fresh ricotta (2 cups)
2 large cold eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon (1 ounce) unsalted butter
2 or 3 fresh sage leaves, or a few pinches of freshly grated nutmeg, or a few pinches of chopped lemon zest (all optional)
½ ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated (about ¼ cup very lightly packed)
about ¼ teaspoon salt (a little more if using kosher salt)
all-purpose flour for forming the gnocchi

For the gnocchi sauce:

8 tablespoons (227 grams/1/4 pound/8 ounces) butter, sliced
2 teaspoons water

Step 1 (the day before you make the gnocchi): Preparing the ricotta.

If the ricotta is too wet, your gnocchi will not form properly. In her cookbook, Judy Rodgers recommends checking the ricotta’s wetness. To test the ricotta, take a teaspoon or so and place it on a paper towel. If you notice a very large ring of dampness forming around the ricotta after a minute or so, then the ricotta is too wet. To remove some of the moisture, line a sieve with cheesecloth or paper towels and place the ricotta in the sieve. Cover it and let it drain for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours in the refrigerator. Alternatively, you can wrap the ricotta carefully in cheesecloth (2 layers) and suspend it in your refrigerator for 8 to 24 hours with a bowl underneath to catch the water that’s released. Either way, it’s recommended that you do this step the day before you plan on making the gnocchi.

Step 2 (the day you plan on eating the gnocchi): Making the gnocchi dough.

To make great gnocchi, the ricotta has to be fairly smooth. Place the drained ricotta in a large bowl and mash it as best as you can with a rubber spatula or a large spoon (it’s best to use a utensil with some flexibility here). As you mash the ricotta, if you noticed that you can still see curds, then press the ricotta through a strainer to smooth it out as much as possible.

Add the lightly beaten eggs to the mashed ricotta.

Melt the tablespoon of butter. As it melts, add in the sage if you’re using it. If not, just melt the butter and add it to the ricotta mixture.

Add in any flavoring that you’re using (i.e., nutmeg, lemon zest, etc.). If you’re not using any particular flavoring, that’s fine.

Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano and the salt.

Beat all the ingredients together very well. You should end up with a soft and fluffy batter with no streaks (everything should be mixed in very well).

Step 3: Forming the gnocchi.

Fill a small pot with water and bring to a boil. When it boils, salt the water generously and keep it at a simmer. You will use this water to test the first gnocchi that you make to ensure that it holds together and that your gnocchi batter isn’t too damp.

In a large, shallow baking dish or on a sheet pan, make a bed of all-purpose flour that’s ½ an inch deep.

With a spatula, scrape the ricotta mixture away from the sides of the bowl and form a large mass in the center of your bowl.

Using a tablespoon, scoop up about 2 to 3 teaspoons of batter and then holding the spoon at an angle, use your finger tip to gently push the ball of dough from the spoon into the bed of flour.

At this point you can either shake the dish or pan gently to ensure that the flour covers the gnocchi or use your fingers to very gently dust the gnocchi with flour. Gently pick up the gnocchi and cradle it in your hand rolling it to form it in an oval as best as you can, at no point should you squeeze it. What you’re looking for is an oval lump of sorts that’s dusted in flour and plump.

Gently place your gnocchi in the simmering water. It will sink and then bob to the top. From the time that it bobs to the surface, you want to cook the gnocchi until it’s just firm. This could take 3 to 5 minutes.

If your gnocchi begins to fall apart, this means that the ricotta cheese was probably still too wet. You can remedy this by beating a teaspoon of egg white into your gnocchi batter. If your gnocchi batter was fluffy but the sample comes out heavy, add a teaspoon of beaten egg to the batter and beat that in. Test a second gnocchi to ensure success.

Form the rest of your gnocchi. You can put 4 to 6 gnocchi in the bed of flour at a time. But don’t overcrowd your bed of flour or you may damage your gnocchi as you coat them.

Have a sheet pan ready to rest the formed gnocchi on. Line the sheet pan with wax or parchment paper and dust it with flour.

You can cook the gnocchi right away, however, Judy Rodgers recommends storing them in the refrigerator for an hour prior to cooking to allow them to firm up.

Step 4: Cooking the gnocchi.

Have a large skillet ready to go. Place the butter and water for the sauce in the skillet and set aside.

In the largest pan or pot that you have (make sure it’s wide), bring at least 2 quarts of water to a boil (you can use as much as 3 quarts of water if your pot permits). You need a wide pot or pan so that your gnocchi won’t bump into each other and damage each other.

Once the water is boiling, salt it generously.

Drop the gnocchi into the water one by one. Once they float to the top, cook them for 3 to 5 minutes (as in the case with the test gnocchi).

When the gnocchi float to the top, you can start your sauce while you wait for them to finish cooking.

Place the skillet over medium heat and melt the butter. Swirl it gently a few times as it melts. As soon as it melts and is incorporated with the water, turn off the heat. Your gnocchi should be cooked by now.

With a slotted spoon, remove the gnocchi from the boiling water and gently drop into the butter sauce. Carefully roll in the sauce until coated. Serve immediately.