Suzi's Blog

Roasted Strawberry and Jalapeno Freezer

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There is that old tale, promoted by real estate agents, that if your house is going to be shown, then you should have chocolate chip cookies in the oven. The aroma will sell your house. Not that pool.

Nonsense. You should have strawberries roasting. It’s far more poetic.

From Cocktails for the Four Seasons, by Jenny Park and Teri Lyn Fisher, here’s a flavor bundle that will surely please you. And perhaps confound you, too. I tasted this and could do nothing but smile.

The idea is this. Roast strawberries to intensify their flavor. Freeze them and put the cold gems in a blender with booze and jalapeno simply syrup. The roasted strawberries have an intensified, dark flavor. They are still quite sweet, though, which provides the contrast for the smoky heat of the jalapeno simple syrup. It’s one of those rare times where you can be confused and pleased all at the same time.

I made this drink my own way, of course. I wanted it very cold so some ice cubes went into the blender. Mango flavored rum replaced the coconut — there are times when I want simple fruit sophistication instead of blunt force coconut power. You have leeway here and can use the rum of you daily preference. It’s much less about the rum. Much more about the jalapeno syrup.

Roasted Strawberry and Jalapeno Freezer

Yield: 4 drinks

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds strawberries, hulled and sliced in half
  • 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 ounces tequila blanco
  • 6 ounces coconut rum
  • 6 ounces jalapeno simple syrup
  • Juice of two limes
  • 4 strawberries hulled [for garnish]
  • 4 candied jalapeno knots [for garnish, see yesterday’s post]

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Spread the strawberries onto a baking sheet and drizzle them with the vinegar and olive oil. Toss them tougher and roast for 30 to 40 minutes.

Allow the strawberries to cool. Pour the berries into a parchment-lined baking dish and place it in the freezer.

Once the strawberries are fully frozen [about 3 hours], place them in a blender with the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into four snifter or hurricane glasses.

Garnish each glass with a candied jalapeno knot and strawberry skewered on a cocktail pick.

Imbibe. Enjoy.

Source: Cocktails for the Four Seasons, by Jenny Park and Teri Lyn Fisher

Photo Information [top]: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/2.8, 1/20th second, ISO-3200

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Apple Fool

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A fool is an English fruit dessert, typically berries in sweet custard [is there any other?]. Levi Roots in his new book Sweets offers a fall fool with a very different aspect. The berries are gone. The apples are in. Along with maple syrup.

Levi lives in Britain and grew up in Jamaica. He’s created an all-American dish. The fool is soft, velvety and surely decadent. It does not photograph well, which is why I’ve shown the starting point above: the apple halves ready to be baked with butter and sugar.

You can, of course, make alterations like mad here. Add spices to the apples [cinnamon, nutmeg, …]. You add more or less booze and switch from rum to brandy or calvados or … You have idea. Now all you need are apples!

Roast Apple, Rum and Maple Fool

Yield: serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¾ pounds cooking apples
  • 2 ounces soft light brown sugar
  • 1 ounce unsalted butter
  • 9 fluid ounces whipping cream
  • 7 ounces custard [crème anglaise]
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup, plus extra for drizzling
  • 2 ½ tablespoons white or dark rum
  • Dried apple slices to serve

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Peel, core and halve the apples, then arrange them in a roasting pan lined with foil. Sprinkle over the sugar and dot with the butter. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the apples are completely soft.

Transfer the apples and any juice they released to a bowl and mash them using a fork.

Whip the cream to soft peaks.

Carefully fold the apple pulp, custard, maple syrup and rum into the whipped cream. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

To serve, spoon the fool into 8 serving bowl or glasses, drizzle with maple syrup and top with dried apple slices.

Source: Sweets by Levi Roots

Photo Information: Canon T2i, 18-55MM Macro Lens, F/2.8, 1/100 second, ISO 640