Your favorite foods, what you cook on the Fourth of July or for Thanksgiving, and where you eat out are great predictors of your personality and background. The converse of your favorite foods telling a lot about you is true. Who you are predicts your favorite soup or whether you even like soup, your favorite restaurant, your favorite dessert.
I grew up with traditional Romanian food, am infatuated with the French, I am somewhat daring, and have a serious sweet tooth. It shouldn’t surprise that I will love polenta in any form, my favorite soup will be French Onion, my favorite restaurant will be a Mexican hole-in-the-wall place, and my favorite dessert will always involve rich smooth sensual drooling-just-thinking-about-it chocolate . That is just me.
But it is the Fourth of July and talking about my preferences seems out of place. So while the Romanian girl in me goes for the chocolate, Captain America will always go for the strawberry shortcake.
You met him. He is tall, handsome, attentive, and charming. He runs, cooks, mentors children, and his best friend is his dog. His family background is humble yet he has built an illustrious and patriotic career working for the government. He might have a fiery temper but you love him for it. He will always give you what you need when you need it – almost reading your mind. He has no super-human powers – he is simply the perfect specimen of human development and conditioning.
And this specimen loves strawberry short cake. He probably told you that. Give me some chocolate, make him some strawberry shortcake, or what the hell, I’ll have a little shortcake too!
Strawberry Shortcake, a Chez Panisse-inspired recipe from the Art of Simple Food
Ingredients: Cream Biscuits- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour; 1/4 teaspoon salt; 4 teaspoons sugar; 2 teaspoon baking powder (NOT soda!); 6 tablespoons cold butter cut into small cubes; 3/4 cup heavy cream plus one tablespoon that you will save for brushing before baking.
Strawberries and Whipped Cream – 3 cups strawberries; 1/4 cup sugar; 1 cup heavy cream, 1 teaspoon Mexican vanilla; 1 tablespoon sugar.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Mix the flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder in a large bowl. Cut in the butter with your fingers until the butter is the size of small peas.
Stir the heavy cream in with a fork until it barely comes together. Lightly and gently knead the dough a couple of times- no overworking.
Turn it onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out about 3/4 inch thick. Cut it into 1 1/2 inch circles or squares if you prefer. Re-roll the scraps if necessary. This will make you eight 1 1/2 inch biscuits.
Place the biscuits onto a parchment-line baking sheet and brush the tops of the biscuits with a little bit of heavy cream -the tablespoon you saved. Bake for about 15 minutes or until cooked through and golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
While the biscuits are baking, Stir the sugar in with the strawberries. Puree half of the strawberries. Return them to the rest of the strawberries- you will have this lovely concoction!
Whip together the the heavy cream, vanilla extract, and sugar.
Assemble by placing each biscuit on the serving plate. Over each biscuit, spoon some of the strawberry concoction and place a dollop of the Mexican vanilla flavored whipped cream on top. Dust with just a little powder sugar.
Bake with love. Enjoy with your favorite people. Make it memorable. Happy 4th!
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