Monday, May 17, 2010

Strawberry Semifreddo

We didn't stop with the lamb. Seasonal and local strawberries were used to make an oustanding dessert. Strawberry semifreddo with almond crunch topping, strawberries (again) salsa and chocolate sauce. A semifreddo is a great way to make a sort of easy ice cream. We used a Swiss meringue instead of an Italian one. Which means you don't have to monitor the temperature of the sugar. Time consuming and messy.... We did make a custard with the yolks and stirred in the crushed strawberries to cool it off. The Swiss meringue was folded into the strawberries and then frozen. It took a poll to decide whether we'd put the almond crunch on top or below the semifreddo. But after freezing the semifreddo in a bottomless spring form pan we decided to put the crunch on top. I thought it would be more elegant and look less like a tart and make for a more unusual looking dessert. Chopping up more of those strawberries and tossing them with a chiffonade of mint and triple sec made for an excellent "salsa". The chocolate sauce was easy. Melt chopped chocolate, butter and corn syrup for a shiny chocolaty masterpiece.

Lamb for Spring

An excellent time was had by all. A Spring-themed cooking class with lamb artichokes and cauliflower. Our couple hadn't even eaten artichokes before (can you imagine what they were missing out on) much less prepare them. But that's what we did. A simple rack of lamb was enhanced by a garlic rub with Dijon mustard and fresh rosemary. Medium size artichokes were trimmed to within an inch of their lives. The only way the French will eat them. And then braised in olive oil, salt and pepper. My three favorite ingredients by the way. A strip of Meyer lemon was thrown in just because there are so many of them on the trees right now. A super savory side dish of Cauliflower Bread Pudding was added as a great lagniappe. Who could ask for anything more. The pan from the lamb was deglazed, of course, with white wine and a teaspoon of grainy mustard was added. Voila.... pan sauce! Another great French inspired meal you can make everyday or save for a special occasion and look fabulous.