Savory Mushroom and Cheese Panna Cotta with Apple Salad
At Verdé restaurant in Stratton, Vermont, Chef Thaddeus Buck serves Raclette-Style Savory Panna Cotta with Cèpes, Caramelized Onions, and Pickled Honeycrisp Apples—the genesis of this variation. These bite-size custards pack a punch of flavor, especially garnished by a light apple salad that cuts through the creaminess of the cheese and cream. Serve on a water cracker for easy snacking.
- For the Panna Cotta
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup milk (low fat or whole)
- 1/2 cup dried mushrooms, preferably porcini
- 1 teaspoon gelatin
- 2 tablespoons cool water
- 4 ounces sharp cheddar, grated or finely diced
- Salt, to taste
- Black pepper, to taste
- For the Apple Salad
- 1 medium apple, preferably a crisp variety, such as Honeycrisp
- Splash of apple cider vinegar
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 1 teaspoon chopped chives
- The Panna Cotta: Spray two mini-muffin pans with cooking spray or rub with oil. Set aside. Gently heat the cream and milk with the mushrooms in a small saucepan. When small bubbles form around the edge, turn off the heat and cover the pan. Let steep for 15 minutes.
- In the meantime, bloom the gelatin by combining with the water in a small bowl; mix, and set aside.
- Strain the mushrooms from the cream mixture, pressing on them to extract flavor. Save the hydrated mushrooms for use in another dish. Pour the cream mixture back into the pan; heat until bubbling, then add the cheese and turn off the heat. Stir until the cheese is melted. Add the salt and pepper, then the bloomed gelatin, and stir again. Fill mini-muffin cups about three-quarters full. Press plastic wrap on top, and chill for at least 2 hours.
- To remove, run a butter knife around the inside edge of each cup and either pop out with the edge of the knife or invert the pan on a plate.
- The Apple Salad: Make the salad right before serving. Cut around the core of the apple to create four chunky quarters. Julienne the apple into thin strips. In a small bowl toss the apple with the remaining ingredients. Use it to garnish the panna cottas.
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