I LOVE strawberry season. I frequent Krupps Farm for the greatest berries in the world. Michigan Strawberries! The sweetness, the juice, the natural candy is my most sought after ingredient from the whole summer. My kids love it when I make strawberry ice cream, they love it on cereal and yogurt or just plain eating them out of a bowl. Mario Batali even talks about flying back to Michigan just for our strawberries. That is pure love for what our state does so well.
I have been waiting for the season to start so I could try a dessert that was percolating in my mind. Today, I had the opportunity to work on this great dessert. Strawberries Jubilee. Who doesn't love a warm fruit dessert over ice cream? Ok...a few of you. I can accept that. The taste testers are still licking the bowl. Main comment: "The flavors....they are so complex. I love it!" I promised not to take a picture and ruin their self respect. I did take the time to write out this simple dessert that only uses a few ingredients. So, Enjoy what our state has and love each growing moment of our beautiful summer season. If you wish to watch this be made, catch me on WOOD TV's eightWest on Friday, June 26 at 11am. I will be demonstrating this tasty dessert.
Ingredients 1/3 cup brown sugar 3 TB maple butter 2 cups Strawberries but in half 1 tsp vanilla 1/2 cup brandy 1/2 cup whipped cream Vanilla Ice Cream
Directions Heat pan on medium high heat. Add butter and melt. Add Brown Sugar and let it dissolve. Add strawberries and cook for 5 to 6 minutes to release the juice and soften the berries. Remove from heat and add brandy. CAUTION: This might start on fire. Simmer for 2 minutes, pour over ice cream AND ENJOY!
Add bourbon. Take a swig and go use the kids swing
I received a phone call a few weeks back from a potential client needing my services. This client had recently been diagnosed with a histamine allergy. They had NO idea what to eat. Basically, this person was allergic to almost everything! There are many food allergens I am aware of. This was a new one. I requested some info on the issue so I could see what I could do. This person needed help and just didn't know what to do.
I opened the email which, honestly, threw me for a loop. The list of banned foods would make anyone want to throw in the towel. Here is a snippet of banned items:
No Lemons or limes
No Eggs, cheese, sour cream, yogurt
No bleached flour
No Chili powder or anything with the word spices in it
No processed meats...like sausage
Meats, if not immediately consumed, must be frozen
I let this rest overnight. I needed to re approach this. Give it time to mull in my head then read it all again. My 2nd reading, the light bulb went off. This can work! I would miss acidic foods, but using natural flavors from fresh herbs and the use of proper seasoning, food would taste good.
My, now new, customer would be pleased. She gave me a list of foods she liked. My job was to recreate them without using the banned foods. What you see to the left is one such creation, a beef and bean burrito.
The first obstacle was realizing all flour tortillas use bleached flour. I would have to make this from scratch. Upon reading what would work...lard (approved) should have worked....but alas, all versions had citric acid. Unfettered....butter became the "fat" of choice. I will toot my horn and say they tasted great! Next I had to figure out a way to make a great sauce. Tomatoes were out. Beef stock though, if organic and without the word "spices" would be perfect. With that block in place, the rest fell into place. Some basic veggies, dried ancho chili, and some caramelized onions simmered with fresh herbs would season this perfectly. After and hour of simmering, the contents were pureed...creating a beautiful texture and flavor.
I added some of the liquid to the ground beef and black beans when it was almost finished cooking. The finally product tastes amazing. This challenge is one I welcome and will continue to take head on. It only makes me a stronger chef!