Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Praline Ricotta Crostata

This is how you impress dinner quests:

1. Greet them at the door wearing an apron and high heels. (Pants, skirt, shirt, etc. are optional.)
This says you're ready for a classy evening but you totally mean business in the kitchen. "Kiss the Cook" aprons are totally acceptable.

2. Offer libations pretty much immediately.
The more happy your guests are, the more likely they are to swoon over the food.

3. Serve carbs.
Carbs are like candy for the savoury world. Everyone loves them. I bet this Creamy Baked Penne with Butternut Squash would be a winner.

4. Keep glasses topped up with a full-bodied red vino during dinner.
Portuguese wines are totally underrated, inexpensive and so outstanding. Try Tinta d'Anfora or GrĂ£o Vasco. I have a long history with these wines. I've studied them for my Masters thesis in Portugal and then served them at my wedding. I also have a couple bottles of each stashed in my cantina. L-O-V-E.

5. Serve this Praline Ricotta Crostata for dessert. Holy cannoli! It's in the bag.

Toasting the almonds for the praline brings out an almost savoury component to them.

This is due to reactions between proteins and sugars called Maillard browning. The new substances formed during this process have rich, roasted flavours that totally change the chemistry of this tart. It's unexpected and truly unbelievable.

Serve it with a cappuccino to end your night on a high note and leave your guests feeling absolutely spoiled.

You might also leave them feeling absolutely uncomfortable if you really thought wearing pants and a shirt was optional. Hmmm.....

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