Monday, April 26, 2010

Peppered Strawberries

It wasn't possible for me to pass the strawberry stand at the Los Gatos farmers market last weekend without getting some. They were beautiful. They smelled so good. And they handed out samples - they did me in. The first basket was gone by the time I was home. The second one didn't survive the next two hours. But the third one was safely tucked away in the trunk, and actually survived till today. 

And they were ready for my favorite strawberry treatment: Black pepper and a balsamic reduction.

Reduce the balsamic until it's nice and thick, and all the sharpness is gone. Sometimes I do that for a whole bottle, and keep the leftovers in the fridge, they go well with everything from goat cheese to salads.

In this case: Drizzle over the strawberries, add some fresh ground pepper - and enjoy.

Also perfect together with this guy:

While it looks perfectly innocent, it's not. The cake has mint in it, and the chocolate buttercream is made with chili chocolate. Ok, time to eat, see ya later!


  1. Balsamic vinegar in strawberries? WOW!
    Chili chocolate buttercream? COOL!
    Okay seriously, you are introducing me to things I've never thought of/heard of before.
    How does the chili chocolate buttercream taste like?

  2. Jenn, you're funny.... I grew up putting lemon juice on strawberries, so the balsamic isn't so far off, is it? Once you turn it into a glaze it'll be super sweet, anyways. And I have a nice old one for special occasions, there I don't need to do anything, just drizzle on.

    The pepper - now that's a bit different. But everybody that has had it loves it. A friend of mine puts strawberries in her salads, and it tastes great.

    The chili chocolate just has a hint of chili (hubby got it at Aldi on the last Detroit business trip), so it went very well with the mint in the cake, you didn't quite know what hit you, just a little zing. But I've made chipotle truffles before - they were great. Just a bit of smoky zing. Hmmmmm.....

  3. Silke, now that you mentioned it I have had strawberries in salad, with grapes, and a thick balsamic vinegrette. It was really good. I fon't know why I didn't think of it yesterday. Duh!
    So how long does the reduced balsamic keep in the fridge? Though I'd imagine you probably use it up pretty quickly so there's no time to find out how long it actually keep, :).

  4. Silke,

    Thank you for following me to my new blog home on WordPress. Wordpress does not have followers, so I can't follow you here, but I can subscribe, but I don't see the subscribe button on your page.

    I love your recipes and your theme.

  5. Jenn - I haven't tried, it's usually gone quickly, but I imagine that if you work clean it keep a long time.

    Kathleen - though I'm pretty technically literate I'm still trying to find my way here. Is there such as thing as a subscribe button? Do you remember from the time you lived here? And thanks for the compliments.

  6. Kathleen - I figured it out! Thanks for making this better!

  7. Oooo, Silke, love the strawberries, and that must be the nicest looking cupcake swirl, ever!

    About how much do you reduce the basalmic, maybe by half? Or 3/4?

  8. Julie, you make me blush, a compliment from the one that makes the most beautiful cakes!

    I'm not measuring with the reduction, I go by feel. I reduce until it starts moving around sluggish, then turn off the heat, and the remainder of the heat will get it just right. I'd say more than half. It also feels that it depends a bit on the balsamico.

    For a special treat I whip out my 25 year old balsamico - that one doesn't need any reducing, it's perfect as it is....