If you’re at all into bread (and what sane person isn’t?), chances are you’ve heard of Nancy Silverton. She’s a pioneer when it comes to yeast and flour and has been at the forefront of efforts to revitalize sourdough and artisan breads in the United States.
To celebrate the new Showtime Original Series, The Borgias, she put on a cooking demo at Macy’s Union Square yesterday. Along with a Borgias influenced tablescape, she created some small bites, inspired by one of the show’s characters, Cesare Borgia.
In addition to serving up fresh baked bread rubbed with the freshest garlic, soaking other slices in olive oil (SOAKING, not drizzling), and demonstrating how to get the best julienned onion slices (called “petaling”), she whipped up some homemade ricotta. And served it warm. A.MA.ZING. I don’t know how I will tolerate the store bought kind ever again.
My friend Krysta, from Evil Chef Mom, joined me. She, prior to the demo, was not a big fan of ricotta. She’s a changed woman now.
There’s Krysta…doesn’t she just ooze fun?
Although the use and varieties are vast, Nancy recommended two olive oils: Monini and Capezzana. She also subscribes to the two-fisted way of eating (niiiiice.)
Most importantly, when asked whether she prefers cake or pie, she answered without hesitation…pie. That’s my kind of gal.
What I really need to find out is what super natural products she uses on her hair. Look at us! That’s a whole lot of curly going on.
Thank you to Malika at Be Everywhere Media for inviting me, Macy’s Culinary Council for hosting another fantastic cooking demo, Katie Brucker from La Brea Bakery for setting up my meeting, and thank you Nancy for signing my book and indulging me with an interview. Class act.
Also, thanks Mom, sister Jen, Krysta, and Katie for joining me. Icing on the cake. Or ricotta on the bread…that works, too.
Makes 1 cup
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking/Cooling time: 15 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
• 4 cups whole milk
• 1 cup heavy whipping cream
• 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed, strained lemon juice
• 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Without stirring, pour all of the ingredients in a small heavy-bottom stainless steel saucepan; bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and set the saucepan aside until the mixture cools slightly, 5-10 minutes. (You’ll see the ricotta separating into curds.)
Line a strainer or colander with cheesecloth and place in the sink. Scoop the curds out of the saucepan (don’t pour! which will break up the curds) and into the strainer or colander to drain. Serve warm over bread, with fresh herbs, drizzled with olive oil and enjoy!
Note: If you don’t want to use it warm, you can tie the cheesecloth onto the handle of a long wooden spoon; place the spoon over a bowl or pan so it’s hanging. Then place in the refrigerator to drain until you’re ready to use it, or for up to 2 days.
(compliments of Nancy Silverton)