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  • Mary


The Challenge:

Hey, friends! Recipe number two, coming up! In addition to the Tomato Crostini with Whipped Feta, last week’s challenge included Rossinis, Ina’s riff on the Bellini. If you're following along in your Foolproof cookbook, you can find it on pages 38-39.

Mary's Take:

A Bellini aside: when we lived in Texas, we had a restaurant nearby that would offer $1 Baby Bellinis during the month of July. They were tiny frozen mixtures of peach something (Nectar? Schnapps? Puree?) and sparkling wine. My girlfriends, the husbands, and I could polish off a dozen (each) during our Happy Hour Fridays, happily enduring the brain freeze that accompanied them. Sad that they’re closed now...perhaps our Bellini Fest $12 checks helped put them out of business, hard to say.

Found a pic of those little delights:

So cute, right?

Anyway, back to the Rossini. As I said, this recipe is also a fruit/sparkling wine (in this case, the Italian version, Prosecco) combination, but with strawberries instead of peaches.

We were invited to catch up with some friends we haven’t seen since March for a lovely dinner (again, properly distanced) in their backyard gazebo. It was the perfect group and event to try out this recipe.

I think strawberries are best in early summer here in Ohio. See all the white in the core? The riper, sweeter ones get darker and redder as you get to the middle of the berry.

Disregard that little bruise on the one in the bottom left corner. I cleaned that off before I whizzed them.

I haven’t told you this yet, but I love my food processor. It’s one of my most-used kitchen appliances. [Lea: And I have 2! I just might be a cook yet!] When we were first married, my sweet mother-in-law gave me her old Cuisinart. At that time, she and my father-in-law were moving from their large home into a condominium and she didn’t want to keep it and take up valuable kitchen storage space, so I happily held onto it for her. Until it died. We think it had a good 35-year run.

Its newer, shinier version is almost identical to the old one, and, while it doesn’t have the same sentimental value, it’s a workhorse in my kitchen. (Here’s my kitchen tip-of-the-day for my sister: buy chunks of aged Parmesan and grind it in your food processor (since you apparently have 2) [Lea: Like I said, 2!] rather than buy the pre-grated…or, God forbid, the green shaker (which she actually does, y’all)…of Parm. [Lea: Yes, I do and guess what? Mr. Picky Pants loves it. So, bite me.] Sooo much more flavorful. Same for Pecorino Romano.) [Lea: This is (grudgingly) a good tip for Mr. Good Eater. He can’t stand the green shaker.]

What’s great about this recipe is that it adds a bit of simple syrup and Grand Marnier to make up for the lack of sweetness that some of the strawberries in the container will inevitably have.

After you puree (purée?) the strawberries, you have to strain out all the naughty seeds (which makes my mother happy since she avoids all seeds). This takes a bunch of time, surprisingly. [Lea: Which is precisely why I skipped this recipe. Which, I realize makes this whole challenge moot if I’m not going to do everything, but since I only want to be a cook, not a bartender, I gave myself a pass. That, and I didn’t have ANY of the ingredients and it was getting late in the week, soo…] The puree is thick and it takes a while to get all the goodness through the sieve. But so worth it. Everyone knows the only cocktail you want to chew is a Bloody Mary.

Make sure to set your sieve over a bowl big enough to hold the entire strainer part. I was pressing up on the sides of it for more surface area and thankful I didn’t pick a smaller bowl. I’d have ended up with red goop all over my countertops.

After the straining I added the sugar syrup (aka simple syrup) and Grand Marnier (eyeballed that one…nothing wrong with a little extra in the mix). [Lea: Word.] On a side note, the version of the recipe doesn’t tell how to make the syrup, but the cookbook does. You heat up equal parts of sugar and water on the stove until the sugar dissolves. Make as much or as little as you’d like. It keeps for a while in the fridge and can be used for all kinds of cocktails, including one of my favorites, margaritas!

As I mentioned, I brought the Rossini ingredients to our friends’ home for a pre-dinner celebratory (it has Prosecco, after all!) drink. I carted an orange, the puree and a super-chilled (left it in the freezer for longer than I should have) bottle of Prosecco. I peeled strips of the orange with a veggie peeler, slid the peel around the edge of the flutes, added the Prosecco and mixed in a little of the strawberry puree. [Lea: See? This is the stuff I need to learn! Why didn’t you make a video of all this?!]

Ina wisely recommends “carefully” stirring the puree into the glass and she wasn’t kidding. I overflowed 2 of the 4 flutes when the Prosecco fizzed over the edge. Don’t judge, but I had a little sad moment thinking of the alcohol I just wasted.

Lea's Take:

Oh yeah, she didn't make them. Challenge fail #1. I say if you're going to skip a recipe, don't pick the cocktail!

The Result:

Look how pretty my friend’s champagne flutes are! (I had to be super careful not to topple it over while I was stirring.) This is post-overflow, so I had to top it back off after the pic was taken.

My mixture wasn’t as well-combined as the picture in the cookbook (I possibly didn’t stir enough due to my overflow issue), but they tasted great: not too sweet, refreshingly strawberry-flavored, and bubbly.

Lucky for me, I have a good amount of puree left. And the best thing about these as opposed to their Bellini cousins? No brain freeze.

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2 commentaires

08 sept. 2020

This needs to be a vlog!!!!


08 sept. 2020

Looks lovely! I would gladly be a tate tester on the cocktails:)

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