Thursday, May 31, 2012

Loving U Berry, Berry Much!

Fresh, warmed, streamed over ice cream or beneath a sweet blanket of pastry, who can resist a bowl of plump, ripe berries? Whether they are the main event, complementing a light salad, encased in pastry or the stand-alone perfect finale to a grand meal, you can never ever go wrong by inviting a berry to your lively event.  Dare I say, if the berry could have a zodiac sign it would undoubtedly be Gemini or Virgo…well known for their adaptability, deft communication abilities, fine sense of humour, neat appearance, dread of conflict and …ooops you discovered my sign and I have sadly projected my presence upon a little, defenseless berry!
Nevertheless, invite one of these berry recipes to your next meal and you will not be disappointed. With one of these berry dishes on the menu, I guarantee your next intimate dinner for two or multi-person soiree will be a smash! Let the gala begin…

Gooseberry Sauce for Salmon Fishcakes
The recipe for Salmon fishcakes is below OR you could purchase fishcakes ready-made and top them with this exquisite sauce:
·       225g Gooseberries
·       2 tbsp butter, softened
·       1 to 2 tbsp sugar to taste
·       Pinch ground ginger-purely optional!
Trim berries and put in a pan with a little cold water. Cook over low heat until the fruit is softened like a fine pulp. Remove from heat and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth. Beat in butter and sugar to taste.  Add the ginger and transfer to small serving bowl.
Salmon fishcakes:
·       1 lb salmon fillets, skinned
·       1 lb potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed
·       2 tbsp parsley-chopped
·       Grated of 1 lemon
·       2 tbsp cream
·       1 tbsp flour
·       1 gee, beaten
·       2 cups whole wheat bread crumbs
·       4 tbsp vegetable oil
·       Salt and pepper
Put the fish in a large pan and cover with water-just enough to cover. Bring to a boil over med heat, then reduce and let simmer gently, covered for 5 min or until cooked
Remove from heat using a slotted spoon, life the fish onto a plate. When it has cooed, flake the fish roughly into bite-sized pieces, removing bones as you proceed.
Mix the mashed potatoes with the fish, parsley, lemon rind and cream. Season with salt and pepper. Shape into six round fishcakes.
Put the flour, egg, and breadcrumbs into three separate bowls. Dust the fishcakes with flour, then dip in the beaten egg and coat in breadcrumbs. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, the cover in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for AT LEAST 30 minutes.
Heat the oil in a fry pan over med heat. Pan fry the fishcakes for five minutes on each side (turn them gently with a spatula). Remove from fry pan and allow to drain on paper towels.
Serve fishcakes with Gooseberry sauce!

Chicken with Bramble Sauce
·       4 boneless Chicken Breast
·       4 tbsp white wine, cider or fruit beer
·       2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
·       ¼ tsp nutmeg
·       Pepper
·       Fresh rosemary sprigs to garnish

Bramble Sauce:
·       200g blackberries plus a few extra to dress up the dish!
·       1 tbsp cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
·       2 tbsp red currant jelly
With a sharp knife, cut the chicken into one inch pieces and place in a bowl. Sprinkle the wine and rosemary overtop and season with salt and pepper. Cover and let marinate, refrigerated for a least one hour. Drain the chicken and reserve the marinade.
Thread the chicken pieces onto long metal skewers and cook on the BBQ for 4 minutes on each side until cooked.
To make the sauce:
Place the reserved marinade in a pan with the blackberries and cook over low heat until the fruit is softened. Using the back of a wooden spoon, press the mixture through a strainer into a bowl to form a puree. Return this blackberry puree to the pan, then add the vinegar and red currant jelly and bring to a boil. Boil uncovered until the sauce is reduced by about one-third.
Spoon about one-third of sauce onto each plate and place chicken skewers on top. Sprinkle with nutmeg, then garnish with rosemary springs and blackberries.
Excellent served with a fresh green salad.

Strawberry Soup
·       2 lb or 200g fresh strawberries
·       ¾ cup cranberry juice
·       ¾ cup dry white wine or apple juice
·       ¾ cup sour cream or yogurt
Wash and hull strawberries. Reserve 1 ¾ cups. Put the rest of the berries in a large pan with the cranberry juice and cook over medium heat until the fruit is softened.
Let cool, then transfer to a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Add the wine, process briefly and combine, then pour into a pitcher. Cover with plastic and chill in the refrigerator.
Meanwhile, slice the reserved berries. Pour soup into six bowls and place the sliced berried on top. Top with sour cream or yogurt and mint sprigs and serve immediately.

Assorted Berry Salad with Citrus Dressing:
·       6 cups assorted greens of your choice
·       ½ cup Goat or Feta cheese crumbled
·       ½ cup Pecan or Walnuts
·       1 red pepper, thinly sliced
·       1 cup blueberries or raspberries washed
·       1 cup washed and sliced strawberries
Citrus Vinaigrette
·       1 tsp minced orange zest
·       ¼ cup orange juice
·       2 tbsp white wine vinegar
·       ¼ c light oil
Whirl ingredients together in a small food processor or whisk together with a small whisk.
Wash greens and place in a large bowl. Mix in pepper and berries. Toss with Vinaigrette. Sprinkle cheese and nuts over top.

Raspberries and Cabbage Pork Complement (cooked in the slow cooker):
For a 3 to 6 quart slow cooker:
·       1 large head green or red shredded cabbage, this will yield about 12 cups
·       2 onions thinly sliced
·       ½ cup dried cranberries
·       2 cups fresh raspberries or one 300g frozen-and thawed- berries
·       ¾ cup raspberry vinegar
·       ¼ cup melted butter
·       ½ cup white granulated sugar
·       1 tsp salt
Place cabbage, onions, cranberries and raspberries in the slow cooker pot. In a small bowl, combine vinegar, butter, sugar and salt. Pour over cabbage and toss. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours until cabbage is tender.

Blueberry Pie with Ginger Crust

·       1-1/2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs (in a food processor grind up about 35 cookies or 1/2 a bag of PC English Gingersnaps)
·       2 tbsp granulated sugar
·       1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
·       2-1/2 tbsp cornstarch
·       2 tbsp cold water

·       1/2 cup granulated sugar
·       4 cups (1 L) blueberries
·       1 tbsp lemon juice
Crust: In small bowl, combine cookie crumbs with sugar; stir in butter until moistened. Press evenly onto bottom and sides of 9-inch pie plate. Bake in 375°F (190°C) oven for 8 minutes. Cool on rack
In medium saucepan, mix cornstarch with water. Add sugar and 1-1/2 cups blueberries; bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Boil 1 to 2 minutes, stirring, until very thick and clear. Remove from heat; stir in remaining blueberries and lemon juice. Mix well and pour into pie crust. Refrigerate until set (about 3 hours). Serve with Maple Whipped Cream.

Maple Whipped Cream:
Beat 1/2 cup whipping cream or Cool Whip with 2 tbsp Ontario Maple Syrup until stiff. Store in refrigerator.

Mixed Berry Smoothie
In a blender, blend together
·       2-3 scoops frozen low fat banana-strawberry yogurt
·       ¾ cup mixed frozen berries
·       1 banana and
·       ½ cup milk
Serve in a tall glass or a plastic mug, to go!

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