This is Us!

We are here to bring you our life through food. Especially Italian food. You can learn more about us here.


Entries in semifreddo (2)


Semifreddo Snapshot

As many of you know, I (Elana) have been practicing my food photography. Learning a new skill takes time. Time and desserts. Case in point: this Brandy and Mascarpone Semifreddo from Food and Wine Magazine which Marmo and I made for Christmas dessert.

Semifreddo is Italian for "half cold." It's essentially an icecream without all the churning business. Like a half-assed ice cream, in terms of preparation, but whole-assed in terms of flavor.

How's that for a description? Anyway, even though we made this for Christmas dinner, semifreddo is something you can make all year long. This specific version called for fruits steeped in wine, which gave it a wintery flair. But you could use strawberries in June, or peaches and nectarines in August.

A semifreddo is ALL about adaptation. It is also all about sticking to whatever container you freeze it in. That's why, while I will give you the link to the original recipe, I have the following notes to make:

1. Line the container you plan on freezing this half-assed dessert in with plastic wrap. Unless you plan on scooping it out like whole-assed ice cream.

2. Make sure you let the egg mixture cool completely. Don't skimp on this part.

3. If you chill the bowl in which you are whipping your cream, it will whip up more quickly.

4. The picture from Food and Wine looks so amazing, but I have no idea how they got it to maintain the mold shape so perfectly. We had to make our twice. The first time we froze it into a giant mold sans plastic wrap. It is now permanently stuck in there.

5. Use small forms for individual servings. It's a lot easier. 


Spanning the City for Frozen Desserts – Semifreddo from Salumeria Rosi

All this week, we've been talking about cream. Frozen cream, that is, in various forms. Gelato, ice cream and now semifreddo.

"Semifreddo" literally means "half cold" in Italian. It has a much softer texture than ice cream or gelato, perhaps because it is mixed with equal parts whipped cream. So it's lighter and fluffier. Like an ice cream mousse (sans antlers).

The above pictured semifreddo is of particular note. All you downtowners now have a reason to go to the Upper West Side: Salumeria Rosi. Go for brunch, stay for the semifreddo, and don't forget to buy some lardo before departing.

This semifreddo was a Parmigiano Reggiano Parfait, garnished with prosciutto brittle (yeah, you heard me right: prosciutto. brittle.) and tiny chunks of melon. The tangy frozen cream was offset by crispy, salty chunks of cured meat and an ever-so-slight-sweetness from the melon. Truly different. And categorically and undeniably outstanding.

If the above isn't convincing enough to have you cruising around the UWS looking for half cold desserts, consider the following:

Equal halves sunny and shady outdoor seating!

The Porchetta Calabrese sandwich! With provolone piccante, pickles and and Calabrese pepper sauce, I really shouldn't need to beg you to order this "sangwich" but I'm going to. PLEASE DO IT....

And finally, what other chef/owner has this certification? Posted in the bathroom, no less:

I was convinced. By the semifreddo, by the porchetta, a few "Tuscan Marys," and this official restroom certification. You will be too.

Overall Dining Experience: The Shawshank Redemption (The Happy Ending)

Salumeria Rosi
283 Amsterdam Ave
(212) 877-4800