Monday, June 27, 2011

AEB @ CBC, Summer Strawberries Edition

quebec strawberries fig. a: Quebec strawberries

Michelle was back on the CBC with Jeanette Kelly again today, this time on Homerun, and this time the topic was strawberries. She had all kinds of things in mind to talk about (like where to go strawberry picking, helpful hints for preparing your strawberries simply, strawberry socials, strawberry gazpacho, and strawberry smackdowns), but these radio interviews go rather quickly sometimes, so, really, mostly what she talked about was pairing strawberries with herbs (plus a really sweet childhood memory of strawberry picking with her Mom and her sister).

Michelle & Jeanette fig. b: Michelle @ CBC

That was because she'd shown up with a sour cream panna cotta that she'd topped with strawberries and a herb granité, and Jeanette and the rest of the Homerun crew were understandably transfixed. It's a pretty delicious combo, and it's pretty too. But, best of all, it's pretty easy--especially the strawberries and the herb & lime granité.

Want to try it for yourself? Here's Michelle's recipe:

Sour Cream Panna Cotta with Strawberries and a Herb and Lime Granité

For the sour cream panna cotta:

150 ml cream
40 g sugar (2 ½ Tbsp)
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and added to sugar
1 1/2 sheets gelatin, soaked in cold water
250 g sour cream

Heat cream, sugar, and vanilla in a small saucepan. Turn off heat, wring out extra water from gelatin and add it to the cream. Stir to dissolve and pour over the sour cream. Whisk together to combine. Pour into glasses or small bowl and place in fridge to set at least 3 hours.

For the herb and lime granité:

2 sprigs basil
1 sprig mint
1 sprig lemon balm
1 sprig parsley
lime juice to taste
light simple syrup (one part sugar, two parts water) to taste

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until quite green. Adjust sweetness by adding more syrup or water. Add more lime juice if needed. Strain into a container and freeze until hard. Scrape with a fork until fluffy and soft.

For the vinaigrette:

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp lime juice
black pepper

Mix all ingredients together.

To serve:

1 pint strawberries, hulled and quartered

Toss strawberries in the vinaigrette and divide between the panna cottas, arranging the berries on top. Add granité and serve immediately.

The resultant panna cotta has a pleasant tang and a silky texture; the herb and lime granité brings out all the depth and natural sweetness of your farm-fresh strawberries; and the vinaigrette makes the whole ensemble sing.

Want to see a "Hallway Interview" with Michelle on the topic of strawberries? Check out Homerun's post on Michelle's visit here.

Want to see photo documentation of Michelle's visit? Check out Homerun's Facebook page here.

Want to make the most of Quebec strawberry season? Head on down to your nearest outdoor market, or, better yet, pick a nice day after we've had 2-3 straight days of sun, and make your way to a local u-pick.

Never had the pleasure of attending a strawberry social? Most of the Quebec strawberry socials have already passed, but you can catch a combination strawberry social/horse & buggy parade (!) in Vankleek Hill, ON, this Sunday, July 3, beginning at 1 p.m. You can find more information here.



The Other Michelle said...

Strawberries are in the air (metaphorically, hopefully!). Last night, I made my first strawberry kuchen here in Berlin after buying a half a kilo from a streetside strawberry hut. Will definitely try Michelle's panna cotta once I figure out what the German words are for "gelatin sheets."

aj kinik said...

"streetside strawberry hut"? love the sound of that!

don't be afraid to make the strawberries/granité/vinaigrette combo without the panna cotta--you won't be disappointed--but, yes, you should definitely try to get your hands on some "gelatin sheets" but be careful where you ask for those

kelli ann & lorie said...

Love the hallway interview! We were in the city last week and yes, the entire Jean-Talon market smelled of strawberry ambrosia.