Thursday, July 25, 2013

Saw a recipe for a bizarro variation on the lovely and wonderful Monte Cristo sandwich yesterday. The variation sounded like a sodium overload and hence, a stroke on a plate. Bt it did make me crave the classic Monte Cristo. Ran down to the bang 'n' Dent and picked up some turkey and provolone -- had everything else. 3 sandwiches later, I think my Monte Cristo cravings may be sated for a bit.
My Monte Cristo (not that gawd-awful batter-dipped deep-fried monstrosity from Memories Grill in Rio Rancho... *shudder*). 

Raspberry Mousse

For 3 or 4 years after we came back to the NW Vaterland in 1968, my school bus driver mom took a job fo the Tsugawa strawberry farm in Woodland. Her job was to drive a ramshackle schoolbus around in the dead of night and pick up bleary-eyed teens on their way to the fields to go pick berries, make a couple of bucks, and engage in unending strawberry fights, and then cart them home again at the end of the day.

Every time I stem berries for a shortcake or jam, I distinctly remember the smell of berry juice and dirt under my fingernails and how I would still see the green leaves and cheery red berries as I drifted to sleep.

raspberriesHere in Puddletown,  the strawberry season ends just as raspberries are gearing up. Blackberries come right after that but there is no need to cultivate the Kudzu of the Northwest.

No-Bake Raspberry Mousse

 Looks like cheesecake, lots of fruit presence, but fewer calories and more appropriate for summer. This batch made about 12 servings for us.

For the crumb crust:
2 c. vanilla wafers
2 Tbs. sugar
6 Tbs. melted butter

Place wafers and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and process until it looks like bread crumbs. Stir in the butter and press into the bottom and sides of a spring-form pan. Set in the fridge until time to assemble the mousse.

Raspberry Filling:
2 pints fresh raspberries
1\4 c sugar
1 Tbs. lemon juice
splash of rosewater (very optional, but fun)
package of plain gelatin
2 c. whipping cream

Carefully rinse and pick over berries, discarding any stems, leaves or other foreign material. Drain off as much water as possible, then place in a large pot with the sugar. Over medium heat, stir gently until mixture is hot and berries are disintegrated. Soften gelatin in cool water and when dissolved, stir into the berry mixture. Cook a few minutes more and remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice and rosewater, if using.

While the berry sauce cools, beat the whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Fold in the cooled berry mixture and place filling in the crumb crust.