There they are. Perfect strawberries. That perfection is, unfortunately, short lived. One technique for both preserving flavor and giving you culinary options is to make a puree that can last for up to five days in your refrigerator.
Once you have puree, it can be used in beverages – like a killer strawberry margarita. The puree is a perfect adornment for ice cream or yogurt. Or you can drizzle it over pound cake or angel food cake to get flavor without the calories of whipped cream or frosting. Yes, there’s sugar here so this is not calorie free but this is the better solution. Of course, you can substitute other types of berries here: blackberries or raspberries. The lemon juice is optional and you can go for a spikier flavor by using lime juice instead.
Here’s the technique.
Yield: 2+ cups
- 4 cups of perfectly ripe strawberry halves [that's a four cup measure randomly filled with halves, not packed]
- ¾ cup of granulated sugar
- Juice of one small lemon
Before you halve the berries, wash and dry them. Make sure you snip off the end and any sore spots.
Put the berries in a blender, or, better, a VitaMix. Blend for two minutes until liquefied. Add the sugar and lemon juice. Blend another minute or two. If using a blender, you may want to sieve the liquid. If you are using a Vitamix, the machine is so powerful that sieving is really not necessary.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The puree is best used on Day 1.
Source: Brian O’Rourke
Photo Information: Canon T2i, 30MM, F/4.5 for 1/50 second with ISO 800
Deviled eggs. I was not a fan. Soft boiled? I’m all in. Deviled? Uh, I never found something that made me happy.
And then Kathy Casey wrote D’Lish Deviled Eggs and my life is changed. It turns out, that if the recipe is wonderful, I like deviled eggs. And D’lish Deviled Eggs is filled with just lots of ideas that look beautiful and taste exceptional.
When you eat, your tasting experience with a dish is about the last sensory experience you have. You are very likely to smell it first. Then you see it. You may even hear it crackling in the oven first. And, then, only then, do those molecules finally let you make the ultimate evaluation.
That picture above, for Green Goddess Deviled Eggs, is the one that won me over. I’m a sucker for that phrase: Green Goddess. Because I’m old enough to have grown up when just about every day you were served lettuce drowning in something called Green Goddess dressing — something that deserves a comeback. So, to see that familiar phrase and then this spectacular picture, my memory and my imagination were equally inspired.
Then when I saw that this recipe uses avocado, well, my resistance was completely gone.
Here’s the recipe for Green Goddess Deviled Eggs. Tomorrow, I’ll share much more with you about the delights to be found in D’Lish Deviled Eggs. It’s late spring, and soon you’ll be awash in bridal showers and bachelorette parties. It would not be old-fashioned to served deviled eggs if you employ the clever ideas in this book.
The striking photos in the book, of which this is just one, come from author Kathy Casey Food Studios and Darren Emmens.
Green Goddess Deviled Eggs
Yield: makes 24
- 1 dozen hard-cooked eggs
- ½ ripe avocado
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 24 fresh tarragon leaves
- Freshly cracked black pepper
Halve the egg lengthwise and transfer the yolks to a small bowl. Set the egg while halves on a platter, cover, and refrigerate.
In a mixing bowl, mash the avocado well with a fork, then add the yokes and mash to a smooth consistency. Add the mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic, tarragon, and salt. Mix until smooth. You can also do this step using an electric mixer with a whip attachment. Taste and season accordingly.
Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain or a large star tip, then pip the mixture evenly into the egg white halves. Or, if you are bag-challenged, fill the eggs with a spoon, dividing the filling evenly.
Top each egg half with a tarragon leaf and a grind of freshly cracked black pepper.
To accompany this dish, you have total freedom. You can go with white wine or experiment with a red. That avocado of course begs for a tequila-based cocktail. [And it so happens that this weekend will see one of those posted on this blog!]