Panna From Heaven

The Deli at Little Dom's panna cotta-to-go

When the Deli at Little Dom's opened in Los Feliz earlier this year, locals quickly swooped in for muffaletta sandwiches, salads and mini focaccia (the sweet cherry-rosemary is addictive). But in addition to the expected delicacies, pastry chef Ann Kirk came up with a clever offering that fits the to-go nature of any great deli: puddings in a jar.

The five-ounce Mason jars ($3.75) filled with chocolate budino, rice pudding or panna cotta are as portable as a sandwich–convenient for a picnic or eating at your desk, but pretty enough to serve at a dinner party. The panna cotta is silky smooth, whether it's the rich espresso flavor or traditional vanilla; both are even better when topped with seasonal fruit or with caramel sauce, the way Kirk remembers it from her travels through Italy. The best part–return the jars to the deli and get $1 back. Green and delicious.

Since there's still great citrus at the farmers' markets, Kirk likes to serve the vanilla bean panna cotta topped with poached tangerines–a recipe she kindly shared with us.

Ann Kirk's Tangerine Topping
Enough for six panna cotta jars

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

1 whole vanilla bean

3-4 easy-to-peel tangerines (clementine or satsumas)

1. Combine sugar and water in a pot. Scrape vanilla bean and add contents and pod. Bring to a boil and then remove from heat.

2. Peel tangerines and pull apart segments. Take off any extraneous white parts leaving membrane intact. Place in hot simple syrup until plump, about 20 to 30 seconds.

3. Strain segments and reserve liquid. Chill for 10 minutes and recombine.

4. Top each panna cotta with pieces of fruit and drizzle with syrup.

Deli at Little Dom's, 2128 Hillhurst Ave., Los Feliz; 323-661-0088 or littledoms.com