Osa's blue cheese panna cotta is a real showstopper currently on the menu in San Diego. There's a lot going on, so do yourself a favor and prep it in parts rather than all at once. The panna cotta component needs to chill overnight so prep that first along with the bacon fat shortbread, which will stay for two days.
3 ripe heirloom tomatoes
3-4 c frisee, washed & rough chopped
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lb bacon, cooked crisp, fat reserved/chilled
*bacon fat rosemary shortbread
*blue cheese panna cotta
*for the bacon fat shortbread
3.5 oz rendered bacon fat, room temp
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp rosemary, chopped
1 c all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp black pepper
*for the onion marmalade
3 yellow onions, julienned
1/2 c champagne vinegar
1 c sugar
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs thyme
salt and pepper (to taste)
*for the panna cotta
1.5 c buttermilk
4 oz blue cheese
1 c cream
2-3/4 tsp gelatin
1 clove roasted garlic
salt and pepper (to taste)
1 sprig rosemary
pinch of celery seed
For the Blue Cheese Panna Cotta:
Heat cream, blue cheese, herbs and garlic in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Let cheese melt, then steep.
Bloom the gelatin in 1 tbsp cold water.
Remove herbs, add gelatin and stir to melt gelatin completely.
Add cold buttermilk and mix well. Pour in container suitable for panna cotta and chill overnight.
For the Bacon Fat Shortbread:
Mix bacon fat, sugar, pepper and rosemary with a paddle in a stand mixer on high for approximately two minutes.
Switch speed to low and slowly add flour just until incorporated. Remove dough, wrap in plastic and allow to rest in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes (can be made up to two days ahead of time if needed).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness and cut into similar shaped pieces to ensure even baking. Note: shortbreads will be crumbled to serve.
Bake for approximately 12 minutes, or until the bottom of the cookies start to show a bit of browning. Shortbread will continue to cook on the hot pan once removed from the oven.
For the Onion Marmalade:
Put all ingredients in a heavy bottom pot. Cook on medium/high for a few minutes to bring to a simmer, then reduce to low for approximately one hour until liquid has reduced to nearly dry and sugar has caramelized the onions. Chill before serving.
Slice tomatoes into wedges and arrange 1/2 tomato into a circle on the plate. Be sure to season tomatoes
Toss frisee with extra virgin olive oil and vinegar, season with salt and pepper and arrange in the center of tomatoes on the plate.
Slice panna cotta into six pieces and place between tomatoes and frisee.
Place onion marmalade on the slice of panna cotta.
Sprinkle bacon bits and shortbread over everything, and enjoy!