Thursday, January 14, 2010

Strawberries in Rebecca Sauce

Whipping along on shrimp salad for tomorrow. Just finished dicing up the prawns.

I made a sinfully creamy dipping sauce called a Rebecca sauce to go with these ripe strawberries found at Costco. Strange to be buying strawberries in the middle of winter but I feel like a pick-me-up and these were it. Much to my surprise, the strawberries were full of flavor and juicy! Who Knew?

The Rebecca sauce received this name from the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky and used to be a standard dipping dessert during Derby Day. In fact, the dessert may still be popular. Derby Day coincides with the Kentucky Derby, held on the first Saturday in May since 1981. To find out more about Derby Day, go here.

Strawberries and Rebecca Sauce blows strawberries 'n' cream right out of the water. This is what strawberries 'n' cream Should be. Wonderful Valentines' dessert!

Strawberries and Rebecca Sauce

(adapted from Gooey Desserts by Elaine Corn)

1 1/2 cups sour cream

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1 T. pure vanilla extract

1 T. bourbon

Whole strawberries, stems on (if you can find them)

Combine all ingredients, except strawberries, with a fork and stir until completely smooth. Chill before serving. Use for dipping with whole strawberries.
Alternatively, slice the strawberries, place them in the bottom of dessert goblets or bowls, and top with Rebecca Sauce. Chill well before serving. Garnish each with a whole strawberry and a sprig of mint (optional).

Note: For a pretty presentation, do a red-white motif. Place strawberries, stems up, on a plain white platter, or pile them in a huge white bowl. Put the Rebecca Sauce along side in a red bowl.

Sipping tonight in warm mugs is Spiced Cherry Cider with Kirsch Cream. Another wonderful recipe for Valentine's Day but just right for a rainy evening like tonight.

Spiced Cherry Cider with Kirsch Cream
Serves 4
(Adapted from Bon Appetit)
4 cups cherry cider or cherry juice (found in the juice aisle or natural foods section)
2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
16 whole cloves
2 T. sugar, divided
1/3 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 T. Kirsch (cherry brandy)

Bring cherry cider, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and 1 Tablespoon sugar to boil in heavy large saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer until spiced cider is reduced to 3 cups, about 10 minutes. Strain cider.

Whisk whipping cream, kirsch, and remaining 1 Tablespoons sugar in medium bowl to very soft peaks. Ladle cider into glass mugs and top with kirsch cream.

Finishing up with a potato salad for lunches tomorrow. I think salads made from scratch are ultimate comfort foods.