Although Tobey and I enjoy cooking, we REALLY enjoy eating. When we eat a yummy restaurant meal, we sometimes set ourselves up with the challenge of re-creating it at home. We tried this successfully with Bubble Tea (Making Bubble Tea) and this week, we tried it with a favorite meal from Philly’s Capofitto.
We started with the arancini – which required pre-planning, since we had to let the risotto sit overnight (not a sacrifice, since we got to have risotto for dinner the first night and arancini the next day). Easy ingredients – just rice, chicken broth, onions and Parmesan cheese).
The following day, we shaped the balls, rolled them in breadcrumbs (we used panko, but will use a finer crumb next time) and deep fried them for 2 minutes (thanks to our friend, Bill, for his loan of the deep fryer). Not as dense or crispy as the original, but not bad for our first attempt (our first attempt at deep frying also!).
We knew the pizza wouldn’t be as good as the Capofitto original (since we cheated with a premade crust), but the homemade tomato sauce, CSA arugula and grocery store prosciutto and Parmesan worked together to make a very tasty pizza. Easy enough that we have re-created it several times since.
On a trip to Chinatown, we scoured the markets for bobas (tapioca pearls) to make our own bubble tea. Most shops didn’t carry them but we managed to find a package of white tapioca pearls (bubble tea shops usually use the brown) – only a $1.24 investment.
After reading and watching several tutorials, we made our first batch (boil 25 minutes, soak in sugar water 25 minutes). Edible, but just barely – too tough in the center. So, we broke down and ordered the brown boba from Amazon (Bolle brand). This time… success! Our own version with mango/peach tea, milk, and mango juice:
13 year old girls like to drink a lot of (sweetened) coffee. Not me, but love coffee ice cream, so today we tried a new-to-us dessert – affogato – from our favorite ice cream store Capogiro (the best ice cream in the WORLD according to National Geographic). A shot of espresso poured over a scoop of gelato. Any flavor: Mexican coffee, dulce de leche, cinnamon, vanilla….
BEST DESSERT EVER!
After this discovery, we headed to the farmer’s market at Jefferson Hospital for picnic supplies. In addition to a quart of strawberries for lunch, we took a chance on a new-to-us fruit – sour cherries.
What to do with sour cherries? Using our (very) limited baking skills, Tobey and I made our first sour cherry pie:
Sour Cherry Pie (modified from Epicurious.com)
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
5 cups pitted sour cherries (about 2 pounds un-pitted)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 pie crusts (home-made or store-bought)
Vanilla ice cream
Preheat oven to 425 F. Whisk sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in cherries, lemon juice, and vanilla. Transfer filling to the pie crust. Slice second crust into strips. Weave over top the filling into a lattice pattern. Place on baking sheet (important – it will overflow!) and bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 F and bake until filling is bubbling and crust is golden brown, about 50 minutes. Cover crust edges with foil if browning too quickly. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Serve with ice cream!