September 9, 2010

The Strawberries Were Calling Me!

After getting off the train and starting to walk home, I passed by the same little grocer I do almost everyday. An array of fruits and veggies were outside as they are every day, but yesterday the strawberries were calling my name. They were past their prime - a little bruised, a little sorry looking. That last pint of strawberries of the season were begging to be be taken home. Of course, a bruised slightly wrinkly strawberry is hardly appetizing. It was almost seven and I didn't feel like a whole production, so I ran into the store, bought the strawberries, some heavy cream, and crescent roll dough. It was a success I'm happy to say, as was the rest of our very simple end of summer meal.

Polenta with Mushrooms
1 cup fine yellow corn meal
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
2 1/2 cups broth & 1/4 cup broth
2 pints mushrooms (I used baby bella/crimini)
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbs butter (or the fake stuff like Smart Balance)
1 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
Olive oil
Salt & pepper
Juice of half a lemon

-Wet a pyrex dish or other large flat dish, with water, do not dry. This will prevent the Polenta from sticking to the dish. Boil 2 1/2 cups of broth. Slowly add the corn meal and Parmesan and mix/whisk until well combined. Transfer Polenta to watered dish and spread evenly. Let cool on a cooling rack until room temperature, then stick in the fridge or freezer until chilled.
-Meanwhile, saute garlic in butter for a few minutes on high. Add 1/4 cup broth, lemon juice, then mushrooms. Coat the mushrooms well in the butter and broth then let cook away until the mushrooms release their liquid. Keep sauteing until mixture is completely dry and the mushroom are golden. If you want the mushrooms more golden and seared, add a little more broth and cook until dry again. Add salt & pepper to taste, then turn off heat, mix in the chopped parsley, set aside.
-When Polenta is chilled, cut into strips. Heat olive oil in pan, and sear the polenta on two sides until crispy. Serve with mushrooms.


Salad was simple, but the ingredients were so pretty I had to share. Chicken with celery salt, dry dill, pepper, and lemon juice, sauteed in some olive oil. Roma tomatoes and really perfectly ripe avocado. I tossed it with some olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper.

Strawberry Poofs
1 pound strawberries, past their prime preferably, diced
2 heaping tbs sugar (superfine if you have it)
2 tbs brandy
1 tsp vanilla
1 package of crescent roll dough (you could also use croissant dough or even puff pastry if you have it)

-Preheat oven to package temperature (my package said 375).
-Combine strawberries with sugar, brandy, and vanilla - set aside. The longer this sits, the yummier it gets!
-Spoon a single lager of strawberries into a mini-muffin tin.
-Separate crescent rolls, roll them up, and cut them in half. Flatten the dough until you get a round coin that fits perfectly in the mini muffin tray (if you're using a regular sized muffin tin, I would say use the whole crescent roll).
-Cook for 10-15 minutes until the crescent rolls have puffed up and browned. Serve with fresh whipped cream flavored with a little vanilla and cardamom or cinnamon.

(Just to give you an idea of scale, this is all sitting in a 3" round creme brulee dish)


  1. I'm so glad you rescued those sad little strawberries, Duchess. :-) Such a beautiful thing to do.

  2. I want to try the salad. It's simple, but sounds delicious!