By: Alison Silveira
I attended a festive holiday dinner prepared by Top Chef Canada winner, Carl Heinrich and his staff at his ever popular restaurant, Richmond Station. Having previously dined at Richmond Station to sample the famed stn. burger, I knew that whatever was on chef Heinrich's menu, I was sure to enjoy. Six sumptuous courses featured the delicious taste of Almond Breeze, the refreshing non-dairy beverage. I enjoy cooking with coconut milk and dairy products, but it never struck me to use Almond Breeze as a substitute for milk in my culinary endeavours.
Chef Heinrich showed me just how versatile Almond Breeze can be, as he incorporated it in every one of his delicious courses and spoke about each individual dish. Innovative and unique, chef Heinrich's delicate Peking duck crepes featured spiced almonds and flavourful kimchi.
The smoked trout amandine salad was a crowd pleaser, with its tartness of lemon marmalade complemented perfectly with whipped almond puree. Cordial servers presented beautifully plated dish after dish with excellent wine pairings.
An ambitious undertaking, the duo of Ontario pork featured Almond Breeze glazed porchetta and almond crusted rack accompanied with root vegetables.
For the grand finale, I feasted on almond praline panna cotta with apple sorbet and whipped amaretto, which was artfully plated and absolutely divine. I was truly inspired by chef Heinrich's Almond Breeze themed dinner and his many creative liberties in using the product.
I learned that there is so much more to Almond Breeze than just pouring it over your daily cereal or oatmeal. Healthy and nutritious, the nutty flavoured Almond Breeze beverage is a source of calcium, has no saturated fat, and is cholesterol and gluten free.
Chef Heinrich shares his fantastic panna cotta recipe to inspire you to use Almond Breeze in a novel and creative way. Give it a go!
Carl Heinrich's Almond Breeze Panna Cotta
3 Gelatin sheets
1 cup Almond Breeze Vanilla
1 cup 35% cream
½ cup sugar
¼ tsp agar-agar
Bloom the gelatin sheets in a cup of cold water and set aside.
Whisk together the Almond Breeze, cream, sugar and agar-agar
in a sauce pot and bring to a boil while whisking rapidly over high heat.
Squeeze out any extra water from the bloomed gelatin sheets.
Remove sauce pot from the heat and stir in the gelatin.
Portion the mixture into bowls or tea cups and let them set uncovered in
the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours.
Once set, remove from fridge and garnish as desired.
Serve and enjoy.