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Valentine's Day: A Gastronomic Interpretation of Love

by Eliza Perez on

Last month, as people were returning to San Antonio after winter vacation, I went to the event Domesticity: A Gastronomic Evening of Love with Bob Shacochis at the Pearl Stable, where Shacochis and his wife—better known as Miss F to readers of Shacochis’s book, Domesticity—discussed their whirlwind romance and food.

Shacochis and Miss F were lively, their conversation full of tongue-in-cheek banter moderated by Texas Monthly’s food critic, Patricia Sharpe. They reflected on their marriage and the connection between heart and stomach as students from the Culinary Institute of America San Antonio provided tastings of the recipes from Shacochis’s book.

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, readers can enjoy their own gastronomic interpretation of love with delicious recipes from Domesticity, such as the recipe below for a raspberry charlotte with berry purée.

Nothing says love like a homemade dessert. The challenge this Saturday, dear reader, is “to seduce your eater,” as Shacochis says.

 

RASPBERRY CHARLOTTE

Makes 6 to 8 servings

 

1 cup milk

3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

3 egg yolks, beaten smooth

1 envelope unflavored gelatin

1/3 cup water

Butter

15 ladyfingers

1 cup whipping cream

1 pint raspberries

 

In a medium-size saucepan, heat milk, sugar, vanilla, and salt to boiling point. Remove from burner and beat in egg yolks. Return to heat and stir constantly, until mixture starts to thicken; don’t allow to boil. Remove from heat. Thoroughly dissolve gelatin in water, then stir into hot milk-egg mixture. Cool until mixture begins to thicken (refrigerate if necessary). Lightly butter sides (but not bottom) of a 12-inch charlotte or soufflé mold. Arrange ladyfingers vertically along sides of mold, pressing gently to make them stay. Sprinkle sugar in bottom of mold to make unmolding easier. Beat cream in an ice-cold bowl until stiff peaks form. Beat milk-egg mixture vigorously if it has gelled. Carefully fold whipped cream into milk-egg mixture with a rubber spatula until well blended. Pour a third of mixture into mold, add a layer of raspberries (reserve a dozen or so berries for garnish); layer another third of mixture, then raspberries and, finally, mixture to fill. Cover and refrigerate overnight. To serve, dip bottom of mold in warm water for a couple of seconds, then invert over a serving plate. Garnish with reserved berries. Serve with berry purée (recipe follows).

 

BERRY PURÉE

2 pints raspberries

1/2 cup sugar

Juice of 1 lemon

 

Puree berries in a food processor with sugar and lemon juice. Serve with charlotte.

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