The Blog of Anna Boiardi

Guacamole – Palmilla Style

This summer I had the great fortune of spending a few days at the Palmilla Resort in Los Cabos Mexico. Besides being beautiful and relaxing the food was incredible. Coming from an Italian family, Mexican food was not something that was served in our house but it’s definitely a cuisine that I have to come to appreciate and enjoy.  I spent some time with Rodrigo Bueno, one of the executive chefs from Palmilla and he shared his recipe and tips for the perfect Guacamole – just in time for Labor Day weekend! INGREDIENTS (serves 10 people) 10 Ripe Avocados 2 Serrano pepers (apporx 2 1/2 ” in length)   -finely chopped 4 Limes - 3 tablespoons cilantro – chopped 6 tablespoons salsa mexicana (recipe to follow) Salt and Pepper to taste DIRECTIONS:   Cut avocados in half and scoop out insides with a spoon. Place avocados in a large bowl.  Squeeze juice of the 4 limes over the avocado and puree with a fork.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix in peppers, , cilantro and salsa mexicana and serve.   SALSA MEXICANA 4 tablesoons diced yellow onion 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro 3 large rip tomatoes diced 4 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil Salt and Pepper to taste Combine all ingredients in a bowl , mix well and serve.   While taking a cooking lesson with Chef Bueno he shared some of the following tips: When working with serrano peppers (or any spicy variety) the heat lives in the seeds and the white veins so remove both if you less spice. When chopping cilantro be sure to include the stems – not just the leaves – as the stems hold a lot of flavor. Be sure to add lime juice to avocados right away – the acid in the juice will inhibit the avocado from browning. Thanks to Chef Rodrigo Bueno for his great tips and delicious food! PS  - For anyone who is interested Palmilla will soon be offering cooking classes at their resort!      

Baked Peaches

BAKED PEACHES WITH AMARETTI AND COCOA Serves 4 This is the best season for peaches so take advantage of this time! My grandmother in Italy used to make this dessert for me in the summer and its still one of my favorites. The amaretti and cocoa filling add just the right touch of extra sweetness and texture so you feel like you are having a real dessert when actually its fairly guilt free. The peaches should be very ripe and juicy. If they’re not so juicy, you may need to chop an extra peach half for the filling, to add a little moisture. Make amaretti crumbs by pulsing the cookies in a food processor, or putting them in a resealable plastic bag, and crushing them with a rolling pin or a meat mallet.   Unsalted butter, for the baking dish 4 ripe peaches, washed and patted dry 5 tablespoons crushed amaretti cookies (about 2 ounces) 1 large egg yolk 1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder 1/4 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio Whipped cream, for serving   1.     Butter a baking dish large enough to hold 8 peach halves in a single layer. 2.     Cut the peaches in half with a small knife and remove the pits. Cut off the peel in strips. Place the peach halves in the baking dish as you finish peeling them. 3.     Use a melon baller to scoop out some of the center pulp from each peach, being careful not to perforate the edges, to make little containers for the filling. Put the peach pulp on a cutting board and finely chop it; transfer it to a small bowl. Add the cookie crumbs, the egg yolk, and the cocoa powder, and stir to combine. 4.     Preheat the oven to 350˚F. 5.     Divide the filling among the peach halves. Pour the wine into the dish around the peaches. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a thin crust forms on the filling. Let cool to room temperature or refrigerate until chilled. Serve with whipped cream, if you like.   SIDEBAR Shopping with Anna To hurry along not-very-ripe peaches, put them in a paper bag, close the top, and let them sit at room temperature until they ripen. I wish I could give you a specific length of time, but you just need to keep checking until they’re ready.  

Olive Oil Cake

I am always looking for a light cake for Summer desserts and this is one of my favorites. Super simple and really delicious alone or to serve with berries and whipped cream. Also because this cake is made with potato starch it is GLUTEN FREE! Ingredients: 2 cups potato starch 1 3/4 tablespoons baking powder 1 1/2 cups sugar 5 large eggs 3/4 cup pure olive oil   1.     Preheat the oven to 350˚F and center a rack in the oven. Butter a 9-inch springform pan. 2.     Sift the potato starch with the baking powder into a bowl or onto a sheet of aluminum foil or parchment paper. [1] 3.     Place the sugar in a medium bowl. Crack in one of the eggs. Starting on low, beat the sugar and egg with an electric mixer until well combined. Then raise the speed to medium and beat until the mixture turns a very pale yellow color, 2 to 3 minutes. 4.     Add the second egg, and beat as before, starting on low speed so as not to get batter all over the kitchen, and then on medium, until the mixture returns to the pale, yellow color. Continue in this way to beat in all the eggs. 5.     With the mixer on medium-low, pour in the oil in a thin, constant stream (it’s easier if you have someone help you to pour). Beat until combined. 6.     Now add in the dry ingredients, in about 5 batches, beating until the batter is completely combined between additions. 7.     Pour the batter into the pan and tap the pan lightly on the counter to reduce air bubbles. Bake the cake until it is puffed and lightly browned all over the top, and a tester inserted into the center comes out dry, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Cool the cake completely, placing the pan on a wire rack for at least 1 hour. It will settle slightly as it cools. Then remove the pan, cut the cake into wedges, and serve as is or with fresh fruit and whipped cream.