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    Entries in berries (16)

    Friday
    Jun292012

    Berry Patriotic

    Since the 4th of July is next week, I decided to be a good little patriotic American and make red, white, and blue food, and chant 'USA' a few times.  In reality it would probably be much more American if it was loaded with high fructose corn syrup and artificial dyes, but believe it or not, they’re not necessary.  This little tasty bite is colorful, delicious, and actually quite healthy.  It’s the perfect little nibble to add to your barbeque menu. 

    Here’s what you need:

    • Large strawberries
    • Blueberries
    • 1 15oz. container of full fat ricotta
    • ½ cup powdered sugar
    • 1 orange

    Dump the ricotta into a mixing bowl.  I know, it looks like a big pile of paste, which you haven’t been interested in eating since you were 5.  It gets better, though.  I promise. 

    Add about a teaspoon of orange zest. 

    Squeeze in about a Tablespoon of the juice from the orange.  (no I didn’t measure these things, but you can if you want to go to the effort)

    Whip that together for a good minute or two.  The ricotta should become nice and fluffy. 

    Sift the powdered sugar over the top and mix until it’s completely incorporated.  Make sure you scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl at some point. 

    Now, put that into the fridge to chill while you prep your strawberries.  After you’ve washed them, run a knife around the top to remove the hull, leaving an empty cavity. 

    Then turn the strawberry over and slice off the tip. 

    You want to remove enough that it has a nice flat base to stand on. 

    There should be enough filling for around 30 strawberries or so, depending on their size.  When I’m in need of large ones, I can usually count on Costco to have some in stock.  Go ahead and prep as many strawberries as you want and line them up on a sheet pan.  (Feel free to line it with parchment.)

    Scoop the ricotta mixture into a pastry bag with a medium star tip.  You can just use a plastic bag with the corner cut off if you don’t have a pastry bag.  It just won’t be star shaped.  You could probably even just use a spoon and dollop it if you want.  Otherwise, pipe the mixture into the cavity of the strawberry, filling it, and making a spiral on top. 

    Then place a blueberry on top of that.  Isn’t that cute? 

    Repeat with the rest of your strawberries, filling, and blueberries.

    These really are the perfect little patriotic snack.  They’d make a fabulous snack or dessert for any summer evening, though.  Juicy strawberries, filled with lightly sweet, orange, ricotta cream, and topped with a fresh blueberry.  Seriously divine, and best of all, no oven required so you can keep your house cool. 

    What are your plans for the 4th of July?

     

    Friday
    May252012

    Waffling About Strawberries

    While walking through Costco the other day, I was suddenly engulfed by the aroma of ripe strawberries.  I probably looked a bit like a scent hound hunting them down by smell, but they were like 20 feet away.  When strawberries, or fruits of almost any kind, are that fragrant, you simply have to buy them.  I did mention I was in Costco, right?  Assuming you’ve been in a warehouse store like that, you’ll know that they don’t sell anything in normal quantities.  Well, strawberries are no exception. But like I said, I had to buy them… even if Otto and I are the only ones who will eat them.  The problem is, even a strawberry nut like me can only eat so many fresh strawberries.  So what’s a girl to do with 4 pounds of strawberries?  I went with a childhood favorite.  Strawberry waffles!  In my house, that wasn’t waffles with strawberries in them, but waffles with strawberries on them, along with whipped cream of course. 

    Ordinarily, there’d be an ingredients picture here, but the strawberries have to get started the night before because they have to be macerated.  No, I said macerated.  Fine, chuckle all you want.  It really isn’t as dirty as it sounds, though.  Just slice about a pound of strawberries, and sprinkle them with 1 Tablespoon of sugar.  Then stir so they’re evenly coated, cover them, and pop them into the fridge overnight. 

    In the morning, here’s what you’ll need:

    2 eggs
    1 1/2 cups buttermilk
    3 tablespoons oil
    1 cup flour
    1 tablespoon semolina or fine cornmeal
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    ½ teaspoon salt
    1 Tablespoon sugar
    Macerated strawberries
    Whipped cream

    The first thing you need to do is separate your eggs.  Go ahead and drop the yolks into the buttermilk.

    Next, whip the egg whites until you get stiff peaks. 

    Put all your dry ingredients into a mixing bowl.  Obviously they can’t be used like this, so whisk them together and set them aside. 

    Add the vanilla and oil to the buttermilk and whisk thoroughly. 

    Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir just until combined. 

    Now back to the egg whites.  Add half of them to the batter and fold them in. 

    Then add the other half.

    Now, at this point, I have to be a bit vague.  Basically you just have to cook the waffles however it works for your particular waffle iron.  If you’re making waffles for a group, you can place them between towels in a 200° oven so everyone can eat at the same time.  If you have leftover batter, you can make extra waffles and freeze them.  Then just reheat them in the toaster or oven, or even pop them back into a hot waffle iron.  Anyway, so you have your waffle.  Look at the poor naked thing. 

    Well, we can fix that.  First, butter it liberally.  Butter is a requirement for waffles, regardless of what else might be going on top.  Then, remember those strawberries you put in the fridge?  Look how juicy they’ve become. 

    Drizzle some of that juice on the waffle, then top with strawberries and a dollop of whipped cream.  I’ll be honest, after I snapped this picture, I added even more strawberries and whipped cream because, well… in this case, more is better. 

    So, what’s your favorite thing to do with strawberries?

     

     

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