I carry no phone
An aspiring Luddite
In a wired world.
Jeff Berry is an early adopter of the Internet and the Web, a late adopter of Twitter, and declines to adopt Facebook. With the death of Google+, he's experimenting with federated platforms. He admins a medievalist Mastodon instance, and can found on the PlusPora diaspora pod. He hates cell-phones.
A doppio this week - two short recipes, both Italianate, but otherwise unrelated.
The first is my take on tiramisu, made for dessert after a dinner out with friends. I'd made chocolate chip cookies (with a hint of chile) the last couple of times and wanted to do something different. It had been a while since I'd made tiramisu, and we were going out to a local Italian place, so it seemed a propos. (Or however you say 'a propos' in Italian.)
I've made bresaola before a few times, always using a fairly straight-forward dry method. A casual reference to a slightly wetter method using red wine piqued my curiosity and so I thought I'd give that a try. I mean, wine, salt and meat - all good things, right?
First, make your custard base. Put the egg yolks and the sugar into the top half of a double boiler. (If you don't have one, you can dummy it up with a small pot in a larger one or something like that. I just stick a metal mixing bowl in a pot of hot water and call it done.) Before you put it on the heat, beat it pretty well with a whisk until it's combined and, ideally, a little fluffy. Put it on the heat and whisky gently and constantly until it starts to thicken, then add your milk. Whisk that in thoroughly, add the amaretto and Kahlua and whisk again. Whisk more or less steadily until the custard has thickened up a bit. I'm old-fashioned and use the back-of-the-spoon test - which is to say, when I stir it with a spoon and take it out, the mix should cling to the back of the spoon. Don't let it overcook and curdle! Remove from the heat and let cool.
Make your espresso and mix it with the other 1/4 cup of Kahlua.
When the custard is mostly cool, mix it with your cheese and beat it a bit until it's smooth and delicious. Taste it at this point and see if it needs more sugar. Hopefully it doesn't, because at this point it would be hard to keep it from getting grainy if you just add more sugar. If you need to sweeten it I'd go with powdered sugar or simple syrup. (Or more sweet booze.)
Assemble the product! Dip ladyfingers in the coffee/Kahlua for just a few seconds and arrange on the bottom of your dish. Then add a layer of cheesy custard. More ladyfingers. More custard. I usually just do two layers of each, but if you've got a narrower and taller dish, more would be fine. Pop in the fridge and chill.
Shortly before serving, put a little cocoa powder in a sieve and dust the top of your tiramisu. Then grate some dark chocolate on top of that.
My homemade cheese is always a bit tart these days, I've been using whey from the previous batch for quite a while now, and the culture is pretty tangy. What that means is that the tiramisu had what tasted like citrus notes from the slightly acid cheese. It worked well against the richness of the rest of the ingredients.
We'd gone out for dinner at a local Italian place earlier, and the owner had pretended to be offended that we were going elsewhere for dessert. So after we had ours, we took him some. That'll teach him ...
Mix all the spices with the salt and red wine. Put some in a non-reactive container, put the meat on top, and rub the rest of the stuff all over it. Let it sit for three days, flipping it and rubbing the mix in every day. (Or twice each day, if you're feeling energetic.)
At the end of the curing period, remove the meat, wipe it clean, tie it up and hang it in the traditional cool place for at least three weeks. Slice thinly and serve.
I'd expect a piece of meat this size to be ready more quickly than this, but the wet cure, unsurprisingly, leaves it wetter, so it takes longer. When I've dry-cured the bresaola, even with a piece twice the thickness, it's ready in the same time.
This version is darker than the dry-cured one, which has a rich pink color, while this has a more "cooked" look. The spices permeated this one more fully, however, so the pure beef taste is a little less up-front. Both are good, to be sure, just different.