After reading Francis’s article on mangoes, I’ll admit I didn’t really understand his stint as a fruit purist. I can understand and sympathize with making so much of something that you never want to see it again, but I don’t think I could ever go as far as to become a fruit purist. That mango black bean salsa must have been traumatizing. I do however, wholeheartedly agree that mangoes are one of the tastiest fruits.
I do understand not liking orange and chocolate together. I don’t like that, but that’s where any effort to separate fruit from everything else ends.
I have difficulty finding something fruit doesn’t go with. I can’t really think of anything, except the orange and chocolate thing. Grapes go with cheese; fruit salsas or sauces go with meat, shrimp, tacos, etc; Chutney, again with some sharp cheese – YUM; Raspberry sauce and mild cheese – again YUM; Fruity Salad dressing; Fruity sauces over chocolate cake, cheese cake, pie, ice cream – DOUBLE YUM!
I notice cheese comes up often on this short list, but I think I’ve covered the rest of the food groups: meat, fish, vegetables, and dessert.
I don’t have a great story about making fruit sauces, salsas, etc. My mother-in-law makes amazing fruit salad, and her brother–in-law always grumbles about there being too much fruit salad. I’ve never understood the grumbling either. So, that’s it. That’s all I’ve got in the way of fruit commentary this week. Not much storytelling because nothing has ever gone wrong, or been adverted, or truly disliked in the way of fruit. I’ve always just eaten it and loved it.
Of course summer is always better for fruit. Winter sucks that way. Ah ha, there’s my one complaint about fruit. I can’t get fresh fruit year ‘round, and the berry season is too short (just like this week’s commentary.)
That’s how I’ll wrap this up. Short commentary in protest of a short berry season.
Here’s how we celebrated fruit sauces this week:
Grilled New York Striploin with blueberry sauce, spinach salad with raspberry vinigrette, and a strawberry crepes drizzled with strawberry sauce.
Steak and Blueberry sauce:
Steak: Salt and pepper sides and grill until desired doneness.
1 cup red wine
½ cup blueberries
½ clove of garlic minced
1 shallot minced
1 tbsp cocoa powder
salt and pepper
2 tbsp butter
In a medium fry pan cook garlic and shallots until soft. Add red wine, blueberries, and cocoa powder. Simmer on low for 15 minutes. After simmer take off heat and press the blueberries. Strain sauce and pressed berries. Place back on heat and add butter and salt and pepper to taste.
Throw in another handful of blueberries if desired. Stir until butter is melted. Then pour or drizzle over steak.
Spinach salad with raspberry vinaigrette:
1 bunch baby spinach
¼ crumbled feta cheese
¼ pine nuts
2 tbsp of Olive oil
2 tsbsp raspberry wine vinegar
½ garlic minced
½ shallot minced
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 leaf of fresh oregano roughly chopped
1tsp maple syrup
¼ - ½ fresh raspberries
salt and pepper to taste
In a bowl mix together olive oil, raspberry vinegar, Dijon mustard and syrup. Mix in garlic and shallots. Mash up raspberries and add to dressings along with oregano, salt and pepper
Strawberry Crepe with strawberry sauce:
The crepe recipe I use is from Jay Weinstein’s The Ethical Gourmet cookbook. I know recipes are easy to come by, but I’ve had some pretty disastrous crepe making experiences, and The Ethical Gourmet recipe works for me.
The real key is to have a super hot pan. We use a cast iron skillet that we’ve seasoned with oil so that its non-stick.
1/3 cup of quartered strawberries sprinkled with sugar.
2 tbsp butter
¼ maple syrup
Melt butter in a pot. Add strawberries and cook until soft. Do not stop stirring while strawberries are softening or butter will burn (I’ve done that). Once strawberries are soft you can mash up remaining berries. Add maple syrup and pour or drizzle over crepe.