Strawberries and Chocolate, It Don’t Get Much Better

Strawberry 2010

The Strawberries are showing their ripe little faces early around here.  Both France and Spain’s strawberries are available and they are both succulent. … except France’s strawberries are better.  The small, funny looking ones taste the best.  Something that’s nice to do after everyone is leaning back, pants loosened, going on and on about what a great griller you are is to get out the strawberries and chocolate.  I pop about a half a cup or so of heavy cream in a pot and stick in on the grill.  After all the food has been cooked, the charcoal is usually just right for a slow warming of cream.  I then break up a bar of semi-sweet melting chocolate and add it to the cream stirring slowly.  Once it’s all incorporated, stick it in the middle of the table along with the strawberries and dig in.  No double dipping!
Swirling Strawberry
You Need:

  • Strawberries – Local strawberries are best.  The strawberries grown for shipping (like those sold at Costco) Look great, but don’t taste like strawberries.  I’m not sure what they taste like.
  • Semi-sweet chocolate for melting (Ghirardelli is nice if you can’t get Nestle)
  • Heavy cream

Do To It:

  • Warm cream
  • Break up chocolate bar and stick in cream to melty the chocolate

Voila!

… and nothing goes with strawberries better than a brut Champagne!


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Grilled Goat Cheese Parcels

Spicy Goat Cheese Parcel

Or as I like to call them, “Cabbage Sacks.”  These babies were a total success.  Straightforward to make with a little magic in the kitchen.  You could even make these and bring them with you to relieve your grilling host of preparing a vegetarian option.  Inside these elven wonders is a bit of spice, softened onions and garlic with red pepper (very pretty) and other goodies all brought together by melty goat cheese.  The whole thing works wonders in the mouth.  But let’s look inside …

Cabbage Revealed

Innards:

  • Onion, one will do
  • Red Pepper (or green or orange or yellow), one again
  • Clove of Garlic
  • Sesame seeds
  • Dried chili seeds n skin, just a pinch
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Fresh Parsley … yes FRESH don’t skimp here! The dried stuff no taste no good

… and for the wrapping part:

  • Goat Cheese
  • Bread Crumbs, a few handfuls

Outtards:

  • Cabbage Leaves
  • Aluminum (or Aluminium for the non-Americans in the bunch) Foil
  • Kebab Sticks

Two Ways To Grill A Cabbage Roll

Kitchen Magic:

In a hot sexy fry pan, toss in a big knob of butter.  Fry up the innards (don’t fry the Goat Cheese and Bread Crumbs. They are for later).  Everyone has their own order of frying things, do like you do.  You can let the chili fry first for a spell, then onions, then garlic and finally pepper.  It’s all good.  Just get it glistening, soft and sloppy.  Of course, you can do all this on the grill if you have that sort of grill.  Set this aside while you tend to the cabbage leaf softening.

To get the cabbage leaves soft for wrapping, drop the leaves in a pan of boiling water for a few minutes.  After that’s done, you’re ready to wrap.  It’s like a jungle sometimes it makes me wonder how I keep from goin’ undah.
Doing The Roll Stick a Stick In It stickin the stick

Doin’ The Parcel:

Katty did the parcels two ways.  One had an outer cabbage leaf with a stick in it.  The other was wrapped in foil.  I didn’t notice a difference in flavor.  I think the stick version is prettier!  Your pick.  In one cabbage leaf, drop in the onion-pepper mix, about a golf ball size.  On top of that, sprinkle some bread crumbs.  On top of that, lay a thick slice of goat cheese.  Wrap ‘er up.  Bring two opposites sides together to overlap in the middle.  Bring the other two sides together.  Stick that in another cabbage leaf, give it your new fancy wrap technique and stick a stick in it.  OR pop it in aluminum foil.  Rinse and repeat!


parcel on the grill

Grill and Serve (whew at last!):

Stick these puppies on the grill flipping both sides “until the cheese goes all melty” as Katty explained.  Hard to say how many minutes, make it hot, you can work it!  You can grill!  Eat the yummy spicy goat cheese parcel cabbage and all.  If you do the double cabbage option, you may want to remove the out layer before eating, but hey … it might taste good.  I’d wash this down with a nice Champagne … but that’s how I roll.