JUNE 13, 2010 11:01PM

Berry sauces and a dressing for the other food groups

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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.

Blueberry sauce:

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:

Spinach salad

1 bunch baby spinach

¼ crumbled feta cheese

¼ pine nuts

fresh raspberries

Raspberry Vinaigrette

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.

Crepe filling:

1/3 cup of quartered strawberries sprinkled with sugar.

Strawberry sauce:

2 tbsp butter

½ strawberries

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.

 

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Comments

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Yum, Jenna! Steak with blueberry sauce? I never would have thought of it, but wow, it sounds good! I love spinach salads with berries and nuts, too, and the crepes look delicious. I want this meal right now. :)
I love your commentary as much as your recipes, Jenna. Yes, the strawberry season was too short, I didn't even notice it. Maybe there'll be a second coming of it, do you think? ~R~
Delish, Jenna, especially the crepes.
What does the cocoa powder do in the bluberry sauce? Sounds interesting. Crepes are a keeper.
like Lisa steak & blueberry sauce never occurred to me. but should have. thanks.
Agreed about chocolate & orange, also chocolate & raspberry not always a good combo. Your crepes with strawberry sound delish. I make a similar raspberry salad - you can't go wrong with nuts, greens, cheese & vinaigrette. I'll give yours a try!
Lisa - Thanks. The blueberry sauce was my husbands idea. I wouldn't have thought of it either. He had it at a restaurant once and was trying to replicate. Its not exactly what he had, but it works, its easy and was pretty quick to make.

Fusun - Thank you! We just went picking yesterday! They won't last long. I think we got there just in time. Fingers crossed there's a 2nd coming!!

Linda - Thanks! crepes were good, but then again butter makes everything good :)

Anotherlife - My husband made the blueberry sauce. I think he was going for a little bitter sweetness by adding the cocoa.

Brian - The sauce was easy. Much faster to prepare than I expected. Thanks.

Lucy - I know - what's with the orange and chocolate? :) I would also agree with raspberries, although I don't mind them if they're whole and on the side. How do make your vinaigrette?
A confession: I completely blanked on my fruit story this week. I do have a fruit story that should have accompanied this article. I volunteer for a residential fruit picking project. I cannot believe that escaped my brain. I will post an amendment or entirely different post in honour on a worthy urban agriculture project that should have been discussed in this post!
wow - how did that happen......a golden opportunity....ah well.