21 Jan 2008

Lemon Grass and Panna cotta

Lemon Grass

Lemon grass is not a common used in cook, but the fresh flavor inspired me to use in some recipes.

It is a perennial, aromatic, tall grass. It is native to Asia and it is also cultivated in the USA, Africa and Australia. It grows gardens all over India. However in India, its use in cookery is limited and it flavors only drinks and soups. Lemon grass is used most commonly in Thai cooking to flavor curries and vegetables

It has a citrus flavor and can be dried and powdered, or used fresh. The stalk itself is too hard to be eaten except for the soft inner part. However, it can be finely sliced and added to recipes. It may also be bruised and added whole as this releases the aromatic oils from the juice sacs in the stalk. The main constituent of lemongrass oil is citral, which makes up around 80% of the total.

The Lemon grass is a good cleanser that helps to detoxify the liver, pancreas, kidney, bladder and the digestive tract. It cuts down uric acid, cholesterol, excess fats and other toxins in the body while stimulating digestion, blood circulation, and lactation; it also alleviates indigestion and gastroenteritis. It is said that lemongrass also helps improve the skin by reducing acne and pimples and acts as a muscle and tissue toner. Also, it can reduce blood pressure. So girls, just make a concoction by boiling some lemon grass leaves, let it cool for a while and drink the liquid.

My suggestion for lemon grass is this delicious panna cotta. A classical Italian dessert that means cooked cream

Lemon Grass Panacotta, caramel and orange sauce


2 tablespoons water 1 1/4 teaspoons unflavored gelatin 2 cups whipping cream 1 1/4 cups whole-milk

1 tablespoon chopped lemon grass

1 cup brown sugar

Pour 2 tablespoons water into small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over water. Let stand until softened, about 15 minutes. Whisk 1 cup cream, milk and chopped lemon grass

in large bowl to blend. Heat remaining 1 cup cream and 1/2 cup sugar in small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves and cream comes to simmer.

Remove from heat. Add gelatin mixture, stirring to dissolve gelatin. and add the other mixture and strain Divide mixture among six 3/4-cup ramekins, using about 1/2 cup for each. Refrigerate desserts uncovered until cold, then cover and refrigerate overnight.

Orange sauce

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • Orange zest

2 tablespoons grand Marnier (optional)

Combine sugar, corn syrup and orange juice in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes more

Decorate with caramel


Peter M said...

Sylvia, I'm starting to see lemongrass in regular markets. We're all becoming more international in our tastes.

Your panna cotta is divine, as always.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

This looks great Sylvia. I have never cooked with it myself. It always looked too intimidating. Although I really enjoy its flavor!

Sylvia said...

Yes ,thats right Peter. I saw here in regular markets too, and in a lot of new recipes

Jenn, you must try, the flavour is fresh and combine with many ingredients

Anonymous said...

I stopped reading when I saw your photos. They are so beautiful, Sylvia!

Kevin said...

I just discovered lemon grass a few months ago. The lemon grass panacotta sounds good!

Oh for the love of food! said...

Hello Beautiful Sylvia! This is such a wonderful and informative post- I love lemongrass and use it quite a fair bit in my cooking but did not know all the wonders of this plant until now, so thank you!
Your panna cotta looks gorgeous ! I really love how you style and photograph your food. You are such a cool lady!

Sylvia said...

Thank you Maruann

Kevin , yes the combination with the orange too, results in a very fresh flavor

Carol, you are so sweet :).Me neither know about this properties of the lemon grass

Lori Lynn said...

Hi Sylvia - that sounds delicious. I love panna cotta but never thought of lemongrass as a flavoring, what a great twist.

Your photos are terrific, too. I especially like the photomontage.

Dhanggit said...

wow!! i dont know how you did but the last photo was really amazing!! i like this idea of yours lemon grass and panna cotta, sounds really fresh..i often use lemon grass for salty dishes i should try this recipe :-)

April said...

I have never tried lemongrass in flavoring. I think that you have just inspired me to do so!

Susan said...

Wow! What a great flavor combination.

Sylvia, your new template looks wonderful.

Terry B said...

Wow, Sylvia! We use lemongrass a lot when we cook Asian cuisine--Vietnamese [especially], Chinese, Japanese... But using it for something sweet sounds fresh and wonderful! Beautiful photos too. You're right, the tough parts aren't edible. But if you're cooking something for a long time in liquid--braising a pot roast, for instance--you can use the tough stalks to flavor it, then discard them, just like a bay leaf. For faster cooking methods, finely chopping the tender inner parts as you did is perfect.

Sylvia said...

Lori Lynn. Tanks a lot.
I never try before, but I thought that was a nice and fresh combination for something sweet

Dhanngit You right , but in sweet is terrific too

April, you must try

Thanks Susan

Thanks for the tip Terry I must try in future recipes.

Kate / Kajal said...

This panna cotta looks really amazing. Love the selection of flavors and I’m with you on something crunchy with a smooth n silky textured panna cotta. Gr8 minds think alike :P