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Savory Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Vinaigrette and Muscadine Reduction Recipe
Savory Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Vinaigrette and Muscadine Reduction
John Fleer, Rhubarb, North Carolina, USA
John Fleer, Rhubarb, North Carolina, USA
Flavors of the USA
Total time: 1hr to 2hr
Preparation time: 1 hour
Refrigeration time: Overnight
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: Average
Chef's Note
The panna cotta is best if made a day ahead so that it has time to set.
- 1 3/4 sheets of gelatin, softened in water
- 180 ml (3/4 cup) half-and-half cream
- Freshly ground black pepper (sift to remove any large pieces)
- Salt
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 2 tsp. chopped chives
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) Buttermilk
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) crème fraîche
- 1 bunch of Asparagus
Muscadine Vinaigrette
- 500 ml (2 cups) muscadine wine (Muscat)
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 125 ml (1/2 cup) grapeseed oil
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) hazelnut oil
Muscadine reduction
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 375 ml (1 1/2 cups) muscadine wine, reduced by half
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp. truffle oil
- 1 3/4 sheets gelatin, softened in water
Asparagus juice
- 125 ml (1/2 cup) muscadine wine, reduced by half
- 1 gelatin sheet, softened in water
- 250 ml (1 cup) asparagus juice (liquefy and strain the stems)
- 1 slice of country ham
- A few sorrel leaves
  1. Bring the cream to a simmer with the sugar, salt and pepper.
  2. Remove from the heat and whisk in the softened gelatin and crème fraîche. Whisk until the gelatin is melted.
  3. Whisk in the buttermilk and chives. Taste for seasoning.
  4. Fill molds. Refrigerate overnight.
  5. Cut the tips (top 3") off the asparagus, blanch and quarter. Juice the woody bottoms and reserve the juice. Peel and blanch the middle sections and slice paper thin.

To make the muscadine vinaigrette

  1. Reduce wine to 165 ml (2/3 cup) and allow the reduction to cool.
  2. Stir in the mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Whisk in oils and check the seasoning.

To make the muscadine reduction

  1. Combine all the ingredients for the reduction.
  2. Pour 60 ml (1/4 cup) over the sliced middle sections of asparagus.
  3. Layer on top of the set panna cottas, creating a single layer of asparagus so the panna cotta will sit flat when unmolded on a plate.

To make the asparagus juice

  1. Add the 60 ml (1/4 cup) reduced muscadine to 1 sheet of softened gelatin.
  2. Stir into the asparagus juice. Keep cold so that color stays green.


  1. Unmold the panna cottas, upside down, in the center of salad plates. Use a torch to lightly heat the molds so that the panna cotta comes out smoothly.
  2. Place 3 spears of chive on top of each panna cotta.
  3. Dress 60 ml (1/4 cup) asparagus tips and julienned country ham with muscadine vinaigrette.
  4. Lay the asparagus tips and julienned country ham in a circle around the panna cotta.
  5. Sprinkle some sorrel, cut into chiffonade (thin strips), around the perimeter.
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