So, the last few weeks have been challenging. Found out that pain from my neck, down my shoulder, radiating down to my fingers was the result of pinched-nerve and mild-bone-spur issues. Not fun.
So grateful for the BF, who has been heroically helping me with everything, including the many things you can't do with one hand, such as opening jars, schlepping 50-pound food-filled bins in heavy glassware, fastening a bra hook. Good times.
It was a week where a cheesecake must be made. [Ed. note: Or a day ending in "y."]
The original recipe comes from Stella Parks of Serious Eats, and to be clear, this is not your traditional New York dense cheesecake. This particular cheesecake is creamy, fluffy and has an acutely concentrated blueberry flavor. Bodes well considering the hot summer months that will be here soon. This will be a go-to dessert for my clients.
I realize it's often said, "Hey folks this dish is really easy to make," but consider I made this for Memorial Day with one hand. It was also a hot day and I didn't have to even bake the crust. Can't wait to try the freeze-dried strawberry and mango versions.
As Stella Parks says in her blog, "Unlike fresh fruit purée or jam, freeze-dried fruit has no water or added sugar, so it packs a concentrated flavor that won't throw off the consistency or sweetness of the no-bake cheesecake filling. And thanks to the low-temperature processing method, freeze-dried fruit has the same bright flavor as fresh, not the semi-caramelized profile of a stovetop reduction."
Adapted from: Stella Parks, Serious Eats
Number of servings: 8-12
My BFF (since 4th grade) lives in a charmingly small Washington-state town in the shadow of Mt. Rainier. Her circa-1920s farm house is populated with every imaginable nut and fruit tree – chestnuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, apples, cherry plums, pears, and bay. Wild blackberries, raspberries, huckleberries, a summer garden, as well as a menagerie of animals (rabbits, chickens, birds, goats, cats) complete the picture.
The pièce de résistance is the blueberry orchard (see last photo below), with blueberries as large as grapes that, dare I say, truly taste “blue.” We recently reconnected, and I of course took the opportunity to bring home a good supply of the prize blueberries and put them to good use.
This sauce is the perfect compliment to pork chops, wild salmon, chicken and steak. Personally, I don’t like cloyingly sweet fruit combined with meat, but this is different as the balsamic and red wine vinegar give it just the right amount of acid to counter the richness of the protein.
By the way, this is peak salmon season in Washington and the recipe is as Pacific Northwest as they come.
Number of servings: 4-6
I'm Jacquie, personal chef & recipe developer in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Lover of books, bourbon, chocolate and movies.