It’s St. Patrick’s Day. There’s no corned beef or Colcannon potato on my menu mind. I feel like a cultural cuisine rebel today. I’m leaving for Italy TWO DAYS. While I never need to ready my stomach to eat Italian, I’m in the mood to try some new things. (I should really have begun fasting 3 weeks ago to prepare for the amount of food I will be ingesting.) I saw the word “sformato” and it intrigued me. Googling it resulted in a lots of images. It looks like a soufflé. I’ve not mastered soufflés –more often than not I’m not very gentle with the oven door. What is a sformato? I found a few definitions; I’ve narrowed it down to three:
- italianculinaryfoundation.com: Savory mold bound with eggs and baked in a double boiler. It may contain vegetables, meat or fish.
- artofcookery.com: A kind of savoury pudding, not unlike the filling used in a quiche.
- foodnetwork.com: A molded dish, sweet or savory.
Foodnetwork’s definition won hands down. Love multipurpose recipes. But now I’m torn between making my first sformato. Should it be savory or sweet? Simple, silly: I’ll make sformati; one of each.
I searched for inspiration. The possibilities are endless. I decided on broccoli for my savory and chocolate for the sweet. I don’t have sformato molds or a ring pan. I’ve got lots of ramekins and mini-bundt cake pans. I’m sure they’ll work. And by using my mini-ramekins, will they be sforma”tini”?
While both were baking, I continued reading up on sformato and found a recipe in The New York Times from Adam Weisell, the former executive chef of Aurora in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (my hometown). He quotes his cauliflower sformato as being “It is to cauliflower and cheese what a beignet is to an ordinary doughnut.” I like beignets so much more than doughnuts. I’ll try his recipe and report.
I’ve added my definition:
- Laptop2tabletop.com: A great way to hide vegetables. A delicious way to eat chocolate. Win-win.
The broccoli and the chocolate were both incedibly smooth. The broccoli slips down your throat too fast, barely grazing your taste buds. Use the luge brakes. Enjoy the taste. The second tasting I placed a broccoli sformato on top of beet mousse. We ate the chocolate with a spoon. It is similar to a lava cake. Use good quality chocolate and you will not be denied. I hid one of the chocolate sformatini; I knew the family would devour these quickly. They did not disappoint.