Strawberry season is here. That's not really reason to celebrate too much, because they have ruined strawberries with genetic manipulations - one of my pet peeves. What we get are pink-to-pale-red chunks, sour and largely tasteless, with a thick white woody center, an almost crunchy texture, and a faint aroma of what used to be strawberries. And that includes the organically grown ones. I buy them because every time I see them, I think to myself maybe this time... Hope springs eternal. But yesterday, I lost my mind. Whole Foods was selling huge 4 lb boxes in addition to the normal sized boxes, and I bought one. Crazy lunatic woman.
The truth is, I had come across Harold McGee's article on berries and thermotherapy, and as someone who regularly loses most of the berries to mold, I was anxious to try his method. No, that doesn't justify buying four pounds, I'm aware of that. So shut up.
As soon as I got home, I got my pasta pot going. Heated the water to 125 F (52 C), put a single layer of strawberries into the pasta insert, lowered it into the hot water, and kept it there for 30 seconds. Then I placed them on paper towels without crowding them. Repeated this until all four pounds had been "bathed." I waited until the strawberries were dry, separated some to use right away, and put the rest into a ziploc bag, sucked the air out through a straw from one corner of the bag, and closed it tightly. OK, now what. We'll figure it tomorrow, I thought. I can freeze most of it for making smoothies, and use others to top cereal with yogurt. All healthy and responsible eating.
I started today by pureeing some in the food processor. I had no idea what I was going to do with it when I started, but then everything came to me quickly. Because evil temptation was whispering in my ear nonstop. I had some Crave Brothers mascarpone at home. Added it to the strawberries. Then grated the peel of half a lemon into it - it smelled heavenly. Nope, I'm not going to add sugar. So far it's still pretty healthy. Now how do I eat this goop? Ideally, you'd make a tart with it. Or cheesecake. Or muffins. Or crepes. That's it, crepes.
I made crepe batter with only half a cup of flour, so that I wouldn't be tempted to eat a mountain of them. Half a cup will usually make 3-4 crepes. I added a bit of agave syrup. (Oh yeah, I'm so so health conscious) and made my crepes. I filled them with a tiny bit of melted chocolate (60%, so that's good, right?) and poured the strawberry mascarpone concoction on. Heaven. So good that I refuse to feel guilty. I promise the rest of the strawberries will go into very very healthy things.