Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dave's Strawberry Shortcake

As Dave says, it's hard to think of strawberry shortcake without thinking of Daddy. (LFL Sr.) Dave has perfected his shortcake recipe and here it is! He said it is the best he's had in his life and he thought that even Daddy would have trouble coming up with anything negative to say about it. What better compliment is that?


1 1/2 cups cake flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup sugar

1/2 8 oz. package cream cheese, room temperature

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 cup whole milk

2 large eggs

1/4 teaspoon vanilla


2 lbs. strawberries, stemmed and divided

1/4 cup water

5 to 6 tablespoons sugar ( really to taste )

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 cups chilled whipping cream

1 1/2 tablespoons powdered sugar plus additional for sprinkling

3/4 teaspoon vanilla

Cake/ Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease one 8 or 9 inch cake pan with margarine. Sprinkle bottom and sides of pan with sugar; tap out any excess sugar. Whisk flour and baking powder in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat 1 cup sugar, cream cheese, and butter in another bowl till smooth. Beat milk, eggs and vanilla in another bowl to blend. Beat milk mixture into cream cheese mixture. Add dry ingredients; beat until smooth. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Evenly sprinke one tablespoon of sugar over the top of the batter. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, usually right at around 40 minutes in my oven. Cool in pan. Cover and let stand at room temperature ....... you can make your cake way in advance if you want or the other way around it doesn't really matter, Sue. I always like to have my strawberry mixture sit overnight.

Sauce/ Place half of the strawberries in processor. Using on/off turns, process until coarsley chopped. Transfer to medium saucepan; add 1/4 cup water, 3 tablespoons sugar and lemon juice to chopped berries. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until strawberries are very tender, about 4 minutes. Return strawberry mixture to processor and puree until smooth. Strain sauce through a fine mesh strainer into medium bowl. Cover and chill until cold (at least 2 hours)

Quarter or slice remaining strawberries and toss with another 3 to 4 tablespoons sugar. Let stand at room temperature until sugar dissolves and juices form stirring occasionally ( around 30 minutes to an hour ) Add strawberry sauce to the berries, cover and chill overnight.

Whip chilled whipping cream, 1 1/2 tablespoons powdered sugar, and vanilla in bowl until peaks form.

Cut cake into wedges. Split each wedge horizontally in half. Place bottom of each wedge on plate. Spoon strawberry mixture over, top with whipped cream. Place top of cake over cream. Sprinke with powdered sugar and serve. I sometimes put extra strawberry mixture and whipped cream on top too, for me and the kids but it looks real pretty and professional for company if you serve it like I described.

Bon Appetit !!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

spinach frittata

I made this tonight with things leftover in the fridge, based loosely on guidelines in Marcella Hazan's "Essentials of classic Italian Cooking."

-Caramelize half a large red onion.  (Thinly slice it, put in a skillet over very low heat with a tablespoon of olive oil, covered, until well wilted, like 30 minutes, then turn up the heat and stir until it gets browned)
-Fry two strips of bacon
-Grate 1/2c parmiggiano reggiano
-Blanch 10oz. fresh spinach in salted water.
-Mix all of this together with three eggs 1/4t of salt and 1/2t black pepper.

Now you melt 1T butter in a non-stick skillet over low heat.  Turn on your broiler.  Pour in the mixture and smooth it out.  Leave it alone and let it cook about 8 minutes, until it is starting to get set and the sides will lift away from the pan.  Take the skillet and put it under the broiler for about 45seconds so that the top can get finished.

That is all.  This has much more spinach than you think is correct, but it is healthier like this, not so heavy in the gut, and you will see that it holds together just fine.  You can replace parmesan cheese with gruyère, comté, or "swiss."  My sources tell me that all of these pair well with spinach. 

Serve with champagne, beer or coffee, depending on the occasion and your likes.