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Saltimbocca for Leap Day

As a way of getting through the winter months, I've been taking just about any excuse to add some festivity or levity to the season. Fortunately, there's a lot of ethnic holidays that involve food around this time (Asian New Year's celebrations, I'm looking at you), and this past year involved "Mulligan New Year" (a do-over on Feb 1st, which conveniently took advantage of post-holiday champagne sales!).

So for Leap Day, I'm trying to think of something that could become a food related tradition. There's not much that I can find about official Leap Day recognition, other than it being "St. Oswald's Day" (is he only 1/4 of a saint?). However, Catholics, especially Italians, can start an international food-based religious holiday at the drop of a Virgin-shaped gravy stained napkin, and I think a Mediterranean turn might be just the thing after a Far East culinary focus.

Fortunately, Italy seems to have created something particularly suited to the occasion -- saltimbocca, which literally means "leaps into the mouth". Frankly, other than hoppin' John, I can't think of any other food with the words "jump" or "leap" in it, and how can you go wrong in the winter months with all that delicious pork (and Marsala, for my taste)? I think I'll call it "Dia de saltimbocca".

So anyway, that's my seed crystal of an idea for a new food tradition on Leap Day. Et tu? I suppose there's always some Scandanavian holiday that shares its name with an IKEA end table that finds "Sven" eating ludafisk and cursing the cold darkness...

Feb 27, 2012
wmqpmw in General Topics

place to buy whip ISI whip cream chargers in Baltimore City

I'm looking for a place that sells whip cream chargers in Baltimore City. I really don't want to have to schlep out to Towson Williams and Sonoma just for that. I'm already spending too much time making this cheesecake...

Anybody privy? Would be a great help!

Innovate with Mango Powder

I've added amchur to mustard (preferably dijon or some other creamy mustard) and used it as a dip for any number of things such as dosa, pakora, and samosa. It's a nice change up from the regular cilantro or tamarind sauces.

Nov 25, 2010
wmqpmw in Features

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

As a biologist, former cheese monger, and frequent maker of of my own paneer, yogurt, etc., I have to say that the criticism of this article for lacking "authenticity" is simply unnecessary. An authentic recipe for ricotta requires the whey left over from cheesemaking. Certainly the article could have started with "using leftover whey from your last batch of cheesemaking...", but this would have only garnered ridicule as well. Furthermore, although I've tried to make ricotta from byproducts of both yogurt and paneer, the fact is that the acids added to or produced by these processes often precipitates all the proteins that would be later used for ricotta (Ricotta is best made from the whey resulting from rennet curd cheese making).

Lastly, both yogurt and paneer are generally made from regular milk. The addition of cream in this case yields a much more luxurious (and tasty) ricotta with a fat content that would be strange in either yogurt or paneer.

And from an industry standpoint, I'm betting that a lot (if not most) of the ricotta you're buying from the grocery store is made with whole milk and perhaps cream and that very little is made according to the strict definition and recipe, although whey disposal is a big issue in the cheese industry (it usually ends up in feed, fertilizer, and supplements).


Nov 23, 2010
wmqpmw in Recipes