Recipe: Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Apricot Gelée

Panna Cotta, an Italian dessert of silky, sweetened cream set with gelatin, is all at once simple, classic and elegant.  It is, at its best, subtle, not overly sweet, and the perfect way to end a meal on a light and refreshing note.
Panna cotta comes together quickly and can be molded in any type of vessels you choose -- from ramekins to demitasse, martini glasses to mason jars.  I like to compliment my panna cotta with a thin layer of gelée -- a gelatin stabilized glaze made from fresh fruit.  Apricots are in season right now, and are bursting with summer sweetness, so I chose to do an apricot gelée.  You can use my recipe with any type of fruit you'd like.  
Here are some photos of panna cottas I've made in the past with a variety of gelées and vessels:
Vanilla Panna Cotta with a Honey Gelée and Bee Pollen
Lemon Panna Cotta, no gelée
Meyer-Lemon Panna Cotta, Strawberry-Rhubarb Gelee

I like to decorate my desserts with edible flowers, especially in summer and springtime. My theme fo…

Recipe: Pork and Green Chile Street Tacos

This recipe is always a favorite with my culinary students.   It is easy to make and the results are exquisite.  The trio of green chiles strike the perfect balance of bright green pepperiness, smokiness, and mellow heat.  They cook down with onions, garlic and stock into a rich and flavorful sauce.   The tender pieces of pork practically melt in your mouth.  These tacos need no further embellishment -- just load up a warm tortilla and go!

    Pork & Green Chile Street Tacos

    Pork & Green Chile Street Tacos

    Yield: 10-12 tacos
    Prep time: 15 MCook time: 30 MTotal time: 45 M
    A trio of fresh green chiles mingle with tender pieces of pork that practically melt in your mouth. Just load it up on a warm tortilla and go!


    • 1 pound trimmed boneless pork shoulder, cut into bite-sized cubes
    • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
    • 1/2 large onion, thinly sliced
    • 4 ounces Poblano Pepper (2-3 large), seeded and julienne cut
    • 4 ounces Anaheim Pepper (2-3 large), seeded and julienne cut
    • 1 Serrano Pepper (seeded, veined and minced)
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
    • 1 Tablespoon chopped cilantro


    1. Season the pork cubes with salt and pepper. Set aside.
    2. In a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil until just smoking. Add pork. Cook on high heat, stirring only once or twice, until golden brown on all sides (about 5 minutes).
    3. Add the onion, chiles, and garlic. Cover and cook over high heat, stirring once or twice until the vegetables are softened (about 5 minutes).
    4. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cover partially and simmer over medium heat until the pork is tender and the broth is reduced to a thick sauce (about 20 minutes).
    5. Stir in the cilantro and season with salt and black pepper. Serve with lime wedges and corn tortillas.

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