Tiramisu di Piatto

Tiramisu translates simply as "pick me up." Moraima Ortiz's version will never let you down:


6 eggs, at room temperature, separated

½ cup sugar

½ tablespoon vanilla extract

1½ cups all-purpose flour

• Mix the yolks with 2/3 of the sugar with a whisk or kitchen aid to the ribbon stage. Add vanilla and set aside. Beat the whites with remaining sugar, adding gradually, to form stiff peaks. Alternately fold the whites, flour and yolk mixture, just until incorporated. Fill a pastry bag and pipe 1½ x 3 inch fingers onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F until edges turn dark golden brown. Cool completely.

Mascarpone Mixture:

4 eggs and 2 yolks

1 cup sugar

2½ pounds mascarpone cheese (softened)

1 cup whipped cream (stiff peaks)

• Mix the ladyfingers into a bowl of espresso laced with your choice of liquor (Moraima likes Marsala wine). Line the bottom of a 9 x 13 x 2 inch casserole pan with 1/3 of the cheese mix. Layer ladyfingers on top of this. Repeat and end with a smooth layer of the cheese. Sprinkle with Dutch cocoa powder or chocolate curls and chill until service.

Mango Chutney

(Recommended with Grilled Ahi Tuna)

3 cups mango

2 tablespoons ginger

¼ onion, chopped

4 serrano chiles

6 lime leaves

1 stalk lemongrass

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup vinegar

½ bunch cilantro

1 tablespoon curry powder

• Combine all ingredients. Add a drop of water. Cook in a pot over medium heat for approximately 1/2 hour until thickened.

Cranberry Ladus

(Cranberry Balls)

2 cups dried cranberries

1 cup pine nuts

1 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup coconut

2 tablespoons maple syrup

• Place fruit and nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground. Add maple syrup and pulse further until syrup is mixed in well. Roll the nut and fruit mixture into balls and then roll in coconut. Store in refrigerator.

Maria's Special Margarita

Makes 1 margarita.

1 lemon or lime wedge

saucer of kosher salt (about ¼ inch deep)

2 ounces Jose Cuervo Especial Gold Tequila

1½ ounces Bols Triple Sec

1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice


• Run the lemon or lime wedge around the rim of a hurricane-style margarita glass. Dip the rim of the glass into the saucer of salt, rotating the rim in the salt until the desired amount has collected on the glass.

• Measure the tequila, triple sec and lemon juice into a 16-ounce cocktail shaker glass full of ice. Place a stainless steel cocktail shaker over the glass, tapping the top to create a seal. Shake vigorously for about 5 seconds and pour entire contents (including the ice) into the salt-rimmed glass.


Substitute same amount of any other tequila for the Cuervo Gold, or use Cointreau or Grand Marnier in place of the Bols Triple Sec to create any other great margarita. Tweak the ingredients to your taste.

The Three Amigos Martini

1 ounce Milagro Silver Tequila

1 ounce reposado tequila

1 ounce single-barrel anejo tequila

¾ ounce Grand Marnier

¾ ounce Cointreau

and squeezed-to-order lime juice