|Red Wine Poached Pears with Ricotta and Balsamic Glaze for a Libational #SundaySupper|
A couple of weeks ago on Thanksgiving I spent the majority of the day watching football however I could not help but think of the things that made me thankful in 2014. One item that is high on my list from a food standpoint is the #SundaySupper Movement. It has provided me with several memorable experiences, most all of them positive. This tradition continued with a new experience this week when I volunteered to co-host with Alice of A Mama, Baby & Shar-pei in the Kitchen. I was delighted to meet her in person a couple of months ago when she was in town for IFBC, but the only picture I have from that meeting is one where she is holding the camera and wasn't in the picture. I have hosted events in the past by myself so it was nice to divide the hosting duties, but beyond that it was a pleasure to work with her.
Speaking of hosting duties, I published my preview for this week's event with the intention of preparing a lemoncello tiramisù. It utilized a sabayon in what I thought was a creative way. Then I went looking for a small container of lemoncello and couldn't find one in time to prepare this dish. This issue was further complicated when I had to do a mad scramble to think of a replacement dish because the temperature gauge on my oven broke off this past week which eliminated any possibility of baking. To keep with the theme of Libational Recipes, I didn't want to prepare a savory dish with a wine sauce because I still wanted to challenge myself with a dessert. Then I remember a picture from Fabio Viviani's first cookbook that I thought looked elegant. It also provided an opportunity to update the process of making ricotta cheese from scratch.
This could almost be categorized in my Presenting: series because the challenge is to replicate the photo in Fabio's book.
Adapted from pages 24, 220 and 268 of Fabio's Italian Kitchen by Fabio Viviani with Melanie Rehak.
1/2 gallon whole milk
1/6 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 pinch kosher salt
2 cups balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup molasses
3 cups red wine
1/2 cup honey
2 cinnamon sticks
4 pears, peeled
1. Prepare the ricotta. Bring the milk to a boil in a large saucepan. Once the milk reaches a temperature of 181° Fahrenheit, immediately remove the pan from heat and add the vinegar, lemon and salt. Stir as the milk curdles to fully incorporate the salt and lemon. Cover and let it cool for approximately 2 hours. Once cool, strain the mixture through a cheesecloth-lined strainer, pressing lightly on the curds to ensure the whey is completely drained.
2. While waiting for the ricotta to cool, prepare the balsamic. Combine the balsamic vinegar and the molasses in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the mixture to the consistency of a syrup. Set aside to cool.
3. Poach the pears. In a large pot, combine the wine, honey and cinnamon and bring to a boil. Add the pears and simmer them in the wine for about 15 minutes. Remove the pears and set aside to allow them to cool, then raise the poaching fluid heat to high. Reduce the fluid to the consistency of a syrup. To plate, place one pair off to one side on top of the reduced poaching fluid with a dollop of ricotta and drizzled with balsamic.
In my rush to complete the dish the evening I prepared it, I neglected to notice one word in the ingredient list: peeled. It would have changed the composition of the dish. Unfortunately, the pears did not soften sufficiently. Despite my troubles with it, the flavors of the dish complemented each other well.
Other Libational Recipes this week:
- Big Easy Milk Punch by The Weekend Gourmet
- Blue Sparkling Star Cocktail by Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks
- Boozy Iced Spanish Coffee by Nosh My Way
- Campari Mint Spritzer by eating in instead
- Cranberry Moscow Mule by Ruffles & Truffles
- Creamy, Loaded Eggnog by La Bella Vita Cucina
- Malibu Breeze by Peanut Butter and Peppers
- Merry Berry Spritz by Amee's Savory Dish
- Minty Lime Rum by A Mama, Baby & Shar-pei in the Kitchen
- Pomegranate Panache by Jane's Adventures in Dinner
- Rhubarb Fool Cocktail by Food Lust People Love
- Southern Pomegranate Sparkler by Noshing With The Nolands
- Sparkling Pomegranate Berry Punch by Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch
- Vanilla Bailey's With A Twist by Momma's Meals
- Apple Bourbon Pulled Pork Sliders by Curious Cuisiniere
- Beerberry Pancakes by Brunch with Joy
- Beet Relish by What Smells So Good?
- Belgian Beef Stew with Belgian Ale by Cooking On The Ranch
- Brandied Triple Cheese Ball by Magnolia Days
- Champagne Chicken by Cindy's Recipes and Writings
- Cornish Game Hens with Sausage Red Wine Sauce over Polenta by The Texan New Yorker
- Craft Beer Jelly by Nik Snacks
- Eggnog Dutch Baby Pancakes with Cranberries by The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Hot Buttered Rum Balls by Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen
- Lentil Soup with Wine Braised Shallots by Pancake Warriors
- Red Wine Braised Short Ribs by Cooking Chat
- Amaretto Coconut Biscotti with Amaretto Salted Caramel Drizzle by Kudos Kitchen by Renee
- Amaretto Cranberry Swirled Cheesecake by The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch
- Baked Pears with a Warm Tequila-Citrus Espuma by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Bourbon Cranberry Compote by Pies and Plots
- Caramelized Banana Upside-Down Rum Cake by Wallflour Girl
- Chocolate Stout Beer Brownies by The Perfect Brownie
- Dumante Frozen Espresso Creams by Seduction in the Kitchen
- Honey Chamomile Hot Toddy Tea Cake by The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
- Kahlua Bundt Cake by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Red Wine Poached Pears with Ricotta and Balsamic Glaze by Crazy Foodie Stunts
- Rum Glazed Cookie Cream Buns by NinjaBaker
- Tiramisu Biscotti by The Redhead Baker