Sunday, July 22, 2007

Strawberries for breakfast

Last weekend I went to the farmer's market with my friend Darlene and picked up a trio of strawberry baskets. I live alone and although I love strawberries, three baskets all to oneself was a bit much. I had originally intended to make a jam recipe that I found on Rice and Noodles but never made it to the store for jars. Fast forward a week later and I still had a basket in the fridge which were probably about 3 days past their prime. They were still edible so I didn't want to toss them but I knew I had to do something before they started to get a little, a-hem!, hairy.

Balsamic vinegar to the rescue!

Now... what to put them on? Hhhhmmm...

Enter. Stage left. Waffles.

I had a friend who used to make me yummy healthy chalk-full-o-nuts (literally!) waffles all the time. In fact, I'd never even tasted waffles before he came into my life. But I rarely think to make them for myself even with a lovely Belgian waffle iron sitting in my cabinet. The last time I took out the waffle iron was during one of my mom's overnight stays late last year. But I was inspired to make waffles again after reading a post yesterday on Ooh, you tasty little things (check out her savory waffle sandwich! It looks right up my alley!).

So while the berries were macerating, I plugged in the waffle iron and made some fresh waffles from scratch. By the time the waffles were all done cooking, the berries were ready. And then... Yum! Breakfast was served.

STRAWBERRIES WITH BALSAMIC VINEGAR

1 basket strawberries, hulled and sliced
2 tbs aged balsamic vinegar
1 tsp fine caster suger

Put the strawberries in a bowl. Drizzle the vinegar over the berries and add the sugar. Toss well. Let macerate in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. The longer, the better. These are great atop freshly baked scones or buttermilk biscuits, waffles or with just a fork right out of the bowl.

BASIC WAFFLES

1 cp milk
3 eggs
1 stick melted butter
2 tbs sugar
2 cps flour
1 tbs baking powder
1 tsp salt

In a bowl or stand mixer (yay! Using my new KitchenAid again! gotta justify the purchase after all...) whisk together the liquid ingredients and the sugar. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt and baking powder. Gradually add to the wet mixture. Serves 4.

YOUR TURN:
What's your favorite way to salvage fruits or veggies that are slightly past their prime?

10 comments:

Darlene said...

Balsamic vinegar works wonders!

To answer your question about salvaging veggies, I usually incorporate them into a stir fry. Fruits, mostly bananas, go into a banana bread recipe.

But if they're turning watery (you know what I mean), I pitch them into the canyon at night so they can decompose naturally!

Patricia Scarpin said...

I have never had strawberries this way, and it looks mouthwatering.

"Old" veggies go in omelets and fruit go in cakes and muffins.

Btw, I would like to send you an email, but I don't have your address... is it too much to ask you to drop me a line at patricia DOT scarpin AT uol.com.br?

Thank you!

KleoPatra said...

Re: waffles - totally love 'em! i have them every weekend now, which is a treat for me since i couldn't have them as a child (and would look on to my sisters' plates with envy!) because i'm allergic to eggs and that's how they were made, everywhere!

But nowadays there are myriad recipes that either have substitutions for or don't need any eggs.

Hmmmmmm... fruits and veggies past their prime in my fridge either end up as compost, mixed with my dog's food (she's mostly vegetarian) or sneaked (snuck?) into some sort of batter for muffins (i.e. soft zucchini, limp carrots), liquified and added to cake mix (i.e. mushy bananas) or mashed up and put into cookie batter (the most convenient way i've found to use most "on-their-way-out" fruits!).

And then there's my sink disposal... gets a lot of use, unfortunately.

Balsamic vinegar is something i don't know how anyone who cooks could be without! It can do so much (sort of like a faux Swiss Army knife)...

KitchenAid... wow, they've been around a good long while. Gotta love those companies that make things that stand the test of time.

photogirl said...

Darlene – I like the pitching it into the canyon deal! :)

Patricia – Oh! You must try! They are so tasty. Balsamic is also great on watermelon with a little chopped mint thrown in there...

Kleopatra – I couldn't live without my Balsamic! :)

Mae said...

Looks great and sounds delish! Age old Balsamic Vinegar is so expensive here. Depending on how many years they've aged as well. I'm eyeing out a bottle but it's too dear.

photogirl said...

Mae... oh yes! aged BV can get pricey here. Luckily we have a store that imports a lot of products at such high volume that the prices are hard for most speciality stores and chain stores to beat. It's called Trader Joe's and I get a lot of really nice products for great prices that are sometimes as much as 25% off supermarket store prices.

Anh said...

What a beautiful way to enjoy strawberries...!

I normally use leftover fruits in baking. For veg, I throw them into stir-fry or soup.

photogirl said...

Hi Anh :)

Looks like using aging fruits in baking is quite popular!

Next time you have extra berries, give this a whirl. Quite yummy!

:)

Michelle said...

Veggies usually end up as pizza toppings, in a stir fry or sauteed and tossed with pasta. Slightly mushy tomatoes will end up as a pizza or pasta sauce.

One of my favorite things to do with abundant fruit is to use it as a dessert topping, especially on ice cream. This is really yummy with bananas (think Bananas Foster) as long as they aren't too soft. I also love to just slice up some apples or peaches and saute for just a few minutes with brown sugar, cinnamon and sometimes a splash of liquer. It's quick and fabulous over ice cream.

Another favorite is what my Mom used to make growing up in England -- a fruit crumble. I've never quite seen the same thing here, but it's somewhere between a cobbler and a crisp. Excellent to use up extra fruit and also quick.

I know this is getting long, but I have to say something about peaches before I go. I LOVE peaches, but tend to have too many around the house in the summer. That's because I refuse to buy them at the grocery store any more. They're as hard as hockey pucks when purchased and often do not ripen into the juicy delicious fruit that I love. I bought them at Costco once and they were perfect. I now buy them there every summer and have never been disappointed. The trouble is you get 12 really large peaches. I'm the primary peach eater in our household and there is no way I can get through all of them before they spoil so I incorporate them into dinners and desserts a lot. Here are some of the things I like best:

Cut them in half, remove the pit, then fill the center cavity with balsamic vinegar. Grill on the bbq or bake in the oven. Yummy with fish, chicken or pork, or even as dessert.

For a yummy dessert, do the same thing as above, but fill the cavity with some brown sugar and your favorite spices. After grilling dinner, turn the heat to low, put the peaches on, close the lid. They'll be done when you've finished eating and ready for a scoop of ice cream and fresh berries on top.

One more word on the bananas, definitely banana bread if they're beyond edible. My husband is the expert there. I especially like it when he adds a little Ibarra Mexican chocolate (chopped into small pieces) to the batter. It's out of this world!!

photogirl said...

Michelle,

Great to see you last weekend...
Wow! I love your suggestions and next time Nathan makes banana bread, I'd like to put in an order! LOL...seriously, I'm drooling over the addition of the Ibarra! And you know, I ALWAYS have it in my cupboards since I use it not just for Mexican hot chocolate but for my mocha's and of course for mole. I don't think I've ever made banana bread before. I think I'll experiment.