Mango Medley!

Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Mango [05.15.2011]

Out for a snack with BFF Annie of ...Olive Juice..., she suggested that I try Mango Medley. It's a sort of hip Asian cafe with quite the extensive menu as well as a large dessert section.  We had a mushroom soup and both opted for the Mango Bliss - choice of base (buttermilk panna cotta, grass jelly, almond jelly or tofu-fa), mango ice cream, fresh mango and mango puree.  Yes, we both got the panna cotta base...

Although the dessert was amazing, we weren't sure if it made up for the 1 hour wait for our food.  So, I had an assignment.  My variation is a buttermilk panna cotta base with mango sorbet, fresh mango and passion fruit syrup. I used the buttermilk panna cotta recipe below and made my own sorbet from fresh mango.  The mangoes were so sweet and ripe, I only added a bit of water, lime juice and salt to fresh mango puree for my sorbet base.  After dicing the fresh mango, I assembled the dessert and drizzled it with passion fruit syrup for a sweet and sour kick.

When time allows, I would definitely return to Mango Medley.  However, my homemade version will work for now.

Buttermilk Panna Cotta
1c                Milk
3/4c             Cream
1/2c             Sugar
Zest of 1/2   Lemon
2 1/2 sheets Gelatin
1 1/4c          Buttermilk

Scald first 4 ingredients, steep 15 minutes
Bloom gelatin
Bring mixture back to temperature and add gelatin, dissolve
Cool over ice bath
When no longer hot, whisk in cold buttermilk
Portion, refrigerate until set (approx. 6 hours)



Furikake Chex Mix [04.08.2011]

I'm sure everyone has had Chex mix before whether store bought or homemade and for some it is even a holiday tradition.  Personally, I never had any strong like or dislike of it.  But thanks to BFF from ...Olive Juice..., I was introduced to this "Asian-inspired" version.  She only mentioned it to me in passing and barely described it to me, but was shocked when I had never had it.  At that point, it already sounded enticing and reminded me of the islands.  Eventually I took to the web and adapted the following recipe (click the following link for the original version):

Steve's Often Copied, Never Duplicated, Furikake Chex Mix

6 c           Crispix Cereal
3 c           Cheddar Goldfish
2 c           Pretzel Sticks
2 c           Cracker Covered Peanuts
1 c           Butter
3/4 c        Light Corn Syrup
2 1/2 T    Soy Sauce
3/4 c        Oil
2 T          Worcestershire Sauce
10 Drops Tobasco
2              2 oz Jars of Nori Komi Furikake, Mishima Brand

Mix together first 4 ingredients on a sheet pan 
In a pot, melt butter 
Add sugar to butter, dissolve 
Add corn syrup, soy sauce, oil, worcestershire sauce and tobasco to butter mixture, stir together 
Drizzle onto dry mix and toss together until well coated 
Dry out mix in a 250° oven for 10 minutes 
Toss in furikake until evenly distributed
Continue drying out the mixture for 1-2 hrs, tossing every 10-15 minutes, until dry and crunchy

***To test doneness, remove a few pieces from oven and allow to cool down to check for a crunch
***Store in air-tight containers

While I was making the Furikake Chex Mix, the anticipation grew and I became more and more excited to dig in as the 10 minute intervals passed.  I kept sneaking little bites here and there.  When all was done, I was convinced that this was a highly addictive substance - luckily I made a double batch.  Between my family and co-workers, the Furikake Chex Mix did not last long.  Although most ate it up, some wanted a bit of heat - some wasabi peas perhaps or more tobasco sauce next time?  Maybe just more batches...I liked it just the way it was.  The best parts were the pieces on the edge of the pan that I neglected to flip - they stuck together and started to caramelize.

Make a batch - you won't regret it, but your hips might.