BERRY RECIPES: Strawberry Dumplings . . . Sausage with Creamy Polenta and Raspberry Vinegar . . . Raspberry Vinegar
By: Herald Staff and Wire Reports,
3 pounds strawberries
½ cup sugar plus 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 vanilla bean, seeded
4 teaspoons Amaretto
1½ cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
6 tablespoons cold butter, diced into ½-inch pieces
¾ cup cold buttermilk
1/3 cup sliced almonds
Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream
Heat the oven to 425 degrees.
Hull the strawberries. Cut the strawberries, keeping the pieces large (leave the small strawberries whole, halve the mediums and quarter the large). Place the strawberries in a large bowl. Toss with ½ cup sugar, the vanilla seeds and Amaretto, making sure the vanilla and amaretto are evenly distributed.
Pour the strawberry mixture into a 9- by 13-inch baking dish.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, salt and baking powder. Cut in the cold butter using a pastry cutter or fork until the butter is reduced to small, pea-sized pieces. Pour in the buttermilk, and stir until the mixture is combined to form a thick, sticky batter. Gently stir in the almonds to combine.
Scoop the batter into 8 to 10 portions, using a large soup or small serving spoon. Space the dumplings evenly over the strawberries. Place the baking dish in the oven and bake until the dumplings have risen and are golden brown and the strawberries are softened and bubbly, 30 to 40 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the dumplings should come out clean.
Remove and cool slightly on a rack. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.
Yield: Serves 10.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 257 calories, 4 grams protein, 41 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber, 9 grams fat (5 grams saturated), 19 milligrams cholesterol, 22 grams sugar, 236 milligrams sodium.
Sausage with Creamy Polenta and Raspberry Vinegar
1½ cups each: whipping cream, water
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon butter
½ teaspoon salt
6 links prepared fresh sausage, about 4 ounces each
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup raspberry vinegar (recipe follows)
For polenta, heat the cream and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat almost to a boil. Slowly sprinkle in the cornmeal, whisking constantly. Cook, stirring often, until thick and smooth, about 40 minutes. Stir in butter and salt; keep warm.
Meanwhile heat the oven to 500 degrees. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over high heat; add olive oil. Add sausages; cook, turning occasionally, until brown on both sides, about 4 minutes. Transfer skillet to the oven; cook until sausages are done, about 8 minutes.
Return skillet to stovetop over medium heat; pour the raspberry vinegar over the sausages. Turn sausages to coat with the vinegar. Set sausages aside; stir the vinegar and pan juices, scraping any browned bits from bottom of the pan. Spoon the sauce over the sausages. Serve with the polenta on the side.
Yield: Serves 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 388 calories, 68 percent of calories from fat, 29 grams fat (17 grams saturated), 102 milligrams cholesterol, 23 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams protein, 241 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.
1½ cups white vinegar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 cup fresh raspberries
Combine sugar and vinegar in a stainless steel or enameled saucepan. Heat, stirring occasionally, until hot but not quite boiling.
Pour mixture into glass bowl. Stir raspberries into the vinegar. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a cool place 6 to 7 days. Strain through cheesecloth twice. May be stored for several months in the refrigerator in a jar or bottle with tight-fitting lid.
Yield: 1½ to 2 cups.