THE STORY. Can you cook a gourmet dinner and enjoy the party, too? Three top chefs use their classic culinary skills to lead us through a successful dinner, start to finish. Because, once you solve the mystery of how to throw a great dinner party—the who, where and with what delicious dishes—everyone wins.
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Photos by Robbyn Peck
BLACK SESAME Panna Cotta
ACTIVE TIME: 15 MIN, START TO FINISH: 4 HRS, 15 MIN
In Italian, this delicate dish translates into "cooked cream." Here, the creamy classic gets a twist with the addition of ground black sesame seeds. As a bonus, the panna cotta can set overnight in the fridge-just pull out and serve at party time.
17 ounces heavy cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 gelatin sheets, soaked and drained (or 11/2 teaspoons powdered gelatin)
1 ounce black sesame seeds, toasted and ground
Add ground sesame seeds and milk to a saucepan and heat over medium-high to just under a boil. Whisk in sugar until dissolved and then stir gelatin into milk until completely dissolved. Cook for another minute, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and pour into molds. Let cool uncovered at room temperature and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least four hours, or overnight, to set.
Remove panna cotta from ramekins and garnish with fresh fruit.
Hint: Toast black sesame seeds on the stovetop in a small saucepan. To grind, you can use a mortar and pestle, food processor or coffee grinder.
FOOD FOR FOOD Does your backyard abound with citrus trees? Or maybe avocado or mango? Huli Sue's happily takes homegrown fresh produce off your hands in exchange for Huli Dollars. For each pound you sell, you get one dollar to spend at the restaurant.
And, Lastly: Chef Mark Vann's Wok Caramelized Pineapple with ice cream