Friday, May 28, 2010

Redeamed By Cream

Fridays are my days to accomplish things. Tasks around the house, deep cleaning rooms that need it, putting on fresh bedding.... the little things that will allow you to actually enjoy being home as a family on the weekend. Today was fraught with such tasks, so much so that instead of sitting down for Isabella's school lessons I had her verbally spelling and doing math problems in different rooms of the house as I was working, poor thing. Amid the frantic Friday clean up I realized I had forgotten to make the croquette dough for our lunch, which, since it requires a four hour rest, I knew wasn't going to be. I instead whipped up some nachos that could pass for last minute lunch stand in and was secretly greatful for it, as it afforded me that much more time to conquer laundry mountain before Wes came home from work.
For those who haven't noticed the pattern, Friday evening's dinner is the one I attempt to elevate ever so slightly among the rest, spending a bit more time and/or money to give the week that elegant endpoint, which is why I am particularly dismayed when they fall flat. I typically do not buy seafood often, because when I do, it comes with it's wild caught, never frozen, sustainable price tag, and tonight's dinner was no exception. I spent $18.00 a pound for crustaceans that ended up tasting like feet (I choose to believe this is purely the shrimps fault and in no way a reflection of my cooking ability). I know it is always best to cook seafood the day of purchase, however I figured there couldn't be too much harm in letting them chill out in the fridge for a night, especially since I had them put on ice. Their fishy fragrance hit me however when I began my 30 minutes of tedious and much loathed deveining (I don't care what anyone says, there is no 'quick and easy' way to peel and devein a pound and a half of shrimp). I went ahead and sauteed them up in olive oil and garlic, adding lemon juice, parsley, and red pepper flakes and served them with couscous and a tomato/vegetable broth I pureed. Ironicllay the girls loved it. Me however, not so much. Not at all actually, which is rare. I was so thankful for the great redeemer of the night - the fancy fruit salad (fruit salad is the typical berry and/or banana medley, however once you add kiwi into the mix it is officially 'fancy' in my book) that was topped with the most etherial combination of whipped cream, ricotta, sugar and cinnamon. It must be said that after I took the photo of the dish I heaped on another 1/2 a cup! And so, dear reader, I bid you adieu with the culinary highlight of my day, while I attempt to rid my kitchen of the smell of scampi gone bad.

Cannoli Cream

1/3 cup whole milk ricotta cheese (Polly-O is a good brand)
3 TBS cream
1/3 cup cream
3 TBS powdered sugar
dash of cinnamon

in a medium bowl, mix together the ricotta and 3 TBS of cream
in the bowl of an electric mixer whip the 1/3 cup cream, sugar, and cinnamon until medium to stiff peaks form
fold the whipped cream into the ricotta mixture and use immediately or store covered in the fridge up to a day in advance
serve atop fruit salad (add a few TBS of sugar and a squirt of lemon fresh lemon and let sit for 15 minutes or so to really get the juices flowing)

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