Wickwood's Kitchen ...
THE BEST VERY BERRY SHORTCAKE
Our secret for the most luscious shortcake is to
puree some of the berries – spark it with lemon and orange juice and
let the berries and puree marry at room temperature. Then, when
we're ready for dessert, the biscuits
must be piping hot, the berries warm and juicy and the cream icy
cool! It’s perfection! This serves 4 or more
depending on how hungry!
2 quarts ripe strawberries, cleaned and cut into bite sized pieces (approx. 6 cups cut berries).
2 oranges, juice only
2 lemons, juice only
4 - 6 tablespoons sugar, depending on the sweetness of berries.
2 pints blueberries
2 pints raspberries
1 pint blackberries
Softly Whipped Cream:
2 pints heavy whipping
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 - 3 tablespoons sugar
1 cup sour cream
2 1/3 cups "Bisquick,
1/2 cup milk
6 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1. Several hours prior to
serving, trim and cut strawberries and place in a bowl.
2. Remove 2 cups of strawberries and one pint of raspberries and
place in blender. Add (hand squeezed) juices of lemons, orange and 4
tablespoons of sugar, taste for sweetness.
3. Pour puree over cut strawberries-add blueberries and taste for
sweetness. Set aside at room temperature.
4. In a medium mixing bowl (with or without beater) whip the cream
until it has soft peaks. Add the vanilla, and sugar to taste. Whip
just one minute more. Fold in the sour cream, cover and chill until
ready to serve.
5. 20 minutes prior to serving, preheat oven to 425°. Ready ungreased baking sheet. Add raspberries and blueberries to berry
6. Place all biscuit ingredients (in order) into a medium mixing
bowl and stir until just combined. Do not over mix.
7. Drop 4 large or 8 smaller biscuits into even amounts onto baking
sheet. Bake 11-15 minutes (depending on size) on middle rack in
oven. Golden brown is desired doneness.
8. When biscuits are done, immediately place 1-2 biscuits, as
desired in a shallow bowl or on a plate. Ladle berries and juice
over hot biscuits.
9. Top with a generous dolling of Softly Whipped Cream.
• Note: I don’t wash berries as they absorb so much water. But
clearly, look for any leaves, mold or dirt.
2 pie crusts (We use Wick’s)
1 beaten whole egg with 1 tablespoon water
3 cups trimmed asparagus cut in ¼” pieces
1½ cups Gruyere
1 cup Parmesan
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1½ cups heavy cream
1½ cups 2% milk
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Keeping crust in refrigerator to keep chilled - take one crust at
a time, and carefully place in 11” diameter by x 2” deep pie plate. Press pie shell onto bottom and
irregularly up sides of dish over top edge of dish - to make a
“rustic” looking edge. If necessary, use small amount of water to
help "mend" pie crust into seamless crust
3. Beat egg and water very well with fork - use pastry brush to
brush crust with egg wash - sides and bottom. Poke crust 10 times.
Bake 15-20 minutes until lightly browned.
4. Place eggs, salt, pepper, cream, and milk into large mixing bowl
and beat lightly until well combined.
5. Spread 3 cups of asparagus over torta crust. Sprinkle Gruyere and
Parmesan over asparagus .
6. Pour the egg mixture over the torta - place in oven. Bake 55
minutes - allow 8-10 minutes setting time before cutting.
• Note: You can cover crust edges lightly w/foil if browning too
ROASTED SPRING ASPARAGUS
Once we discovered this method of cooking asparagus - we make them
at our house about twice a week. We actually prefer them roasted a
bit longer, until slightly browned and crispy. Your choice.
1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Spread asparagus, tips facing same direction in one layer on a baking sheet
3. Lightly drizzle with extra virgin olive oil in a zigzag pattern. Sprinkle generously with cracked black pepper, and lightly with sea salt.
4. Bake 15 - 30 (usually 20) minutes depending on the thickness of the asparagus and desired crispiness. Serve immediately.
Variations to the basic recipe:
• Add thinly sliced lemons and oregano.
• Sprinkle orange zest and 1 tablespoon juice.
• Lightly sprinkle pimenton (smoked Spanish paprika); garlic powder
or sherry vinegar.
• During the last 5 minutes of roasting generously place shards of
Parmegiano Reggiano down the center of the asparagus. Before
serving, drizzle lightly aged balsamico. Yum.
Style is knowing who you are, what you want to
and not giving a damn."
NATURAL SPARKLE PLENTY
Lemons (and limes) just naturally accent true flavor. They help by
awakening your taste buds so everything just tastes more delicious.
Lemon trees first came from China or India and have been prized for
thousands of years. Tree ripened lemons are very sweet with little
acidity. Most lemons used for cooking are picked under ripe. The
best known variety are the Eureka (available year-round) and the
smooth surfaced Lisbon. Lemons should be slightly soft and will tend
to be juicier if squeezed at room temperature.
The very popular Meyer lemons is a hybrid of a regular lemon and a
mandarin orange - its complex flavor hints of lime, lemons and
mandarin - and it is generally less acidic -therefore sweeter. They are
making their way into winter markets but backyard trees are
Snow’s Citrus ~ (916) 663-1884
Melissa's ~ (800) 588-0151
Arkin's ~ (760) 728-1610
Meyer lemon juice concentrate:
Perfect Puree of Napa on Amazon.com
SNAPPY LEMON MOUSSE WITH RASPBERRIES
In the early days of the Silver Palate - we served the press three
fruit mousses for breakfast at designer Oleg Cassini’s townhouse. It
was resplendent with two full coats of armor standing at attention
in the living room! Today, thirty years later, mousse at breakfast,
lunch or dinner is still swell with me!
5 large eggs
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
12 ounces gingersnap cookies (the popular boxed brand is fine)
2 pints of fresh raspberries
To make the mousse:
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, and
lemon juice until blended. In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan, cook
the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly with a flat
heat-resistant or wooden spatula until thick, about 8 minutes.
2. Place plastic wrap directly
on the surface and refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour.
3. In a medium bowl, whip the cream to soft peaks. Fold in the cold
lemon mousse. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.
4. To assemble the dessert, select a large, wide bowl (preferably
glass) with a 4 - 5 quart capacity. Arrange one-third of the
gingersnaps to cover the bottom of the bowl, overlapping if
necessary, then one-third of the pudding. Repeat the layering twice
or more. Garnish the top layer with raspberries. Cover tightly with
plastic wrap and allow to chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours - or
up to 8 hours, but no longer before serving.
“POLKDOT PIG” BURGERS
It’s the best burger we’ve had of late, great meat topped with a
cheese such as Gorgonzola mixed with a
smidgen of butter. Find the best butcher possible - you get what you
pay for. We prefer using ground sirloin meat, which is 20%
fat-ground chuck is more fatty (between 20% and 25% fat), while
ground round can be too lean (between 10% and 15% fat). Serves 4
2 pounds lean ground beef; preferably ground sirloin
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup (8 ounces) Gorgonzola or blue cheese
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons olive oil
1. In large bowl, combine the meat, salt, and pepper. Form into four
evenly shaped patties, handling as little as possible.
2. Put the cheese in a bowl and blend in butter thoroughly with a
fork until creamy. Set aside.
3. Heat the oil in a skillet or sauté pan over medium-high. Sauté
the burgers for 4 minutes per side for medium rare. During the final
minute of cooking, top each with equal amounts of Gorgonzola
mixture - cover until melted. Remove from heat and rush to a warmed plate with or
without bun. Move quickly, burgers will keep cooking.