Monday, December 26, 2011

Holy Christmas and Holy Cannoli!

Christmas came and went as I spent the day with the people who are near and dear to me.  This was the "first" year that I had Christmas  Day dinner at my home, so I had to do it up good!  Unfortunately, (or maybe not) I had a few recipes I wanted to experiment with.  I know it's not the time to have a "science project" in the kitchen, but who better to practice on, but family.  They are the most forgiving!

So as the "chaos" began in the kitchen, many family members (my elves) stepped in to help with the finishing touches.  We had the "cannoli man"  dipping cannolis in chocolate and crushed pistachios,  my son, so expertly mashing the potatoes, and my mother did dishes as we went.  She said she loved to do them because it sooths her tired hands.  Okay, I won't argue with that.  Thanks to everyone we pulled it off.  The menu consisted of roasted prime rib (my first, although very easy), garlic green beans with bread crumb topping, slow roasted red onions basted with a honey butter balsamic glaze, cheesy mashed potatoes and sauteed mushrooms.  Whew!  For dessert we had grandma's fudge, homemade tiramisu (in a future post) and cannolis.  Hope you enjoyed your Christmas, as we did! 

The "Cannoli Man" putting the finishing touches on!
 For the cannolis I bought the shells from a local Italian restaurant.  Much easier that way.  One of these days I'll make the shells...I have the forms, already.  The filling was adapted from Emeril Lagasse, but a few changes were made...MUST experiment, you know!


1/2 cup heavy cream

1 pound of ricotta cheese

1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 tsp of Amaretto or any favorite liqueur

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, for filling

1/4 tsp orange zest or a dash of orange flavoring (optional, but recommended)

1/2 cup more for melting

1/4 cup chopped pistachios

In a medium or large mixing bowl, whip the heavy cream.  Gently fold in the ricotta with a spatula.  Fold in the sugar, liqueur, chocolate chips and orange zest.  Mix well.  I made the filling the day before so the flavors would intensify.  Stuff the cannolis using a pastry bag, if possible.  Dip the ends in melted chocolate and then crushed pistachios and serve. 

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