Monday, July 30, 2007

Cream Cheese and Pecan Stuffed Strawberries

I was in New York recently for the Fancy Food Show, and we happened to see Paula Deen from the Food Network when we were having dinner at the Blue Fin Restaurant in the W Hotel, Times Square. She breezed through and looked and sounded exactly as she does on TV, smiling and laughing, as she rushed by.

When I got back home, I was browsing through her cookery books in the bookstore and came across one by her two sons, Jamie and Bobby Deen, called "The Deen Brothers Cookbook". In it I found this simple, yet wonderful , which makes use of the abundant that are so inexpensive at the moment in the stores. They make an elegant looking dessert as part of a buffet, or can be served at a fancy brunch or as part of a tray.

  • 32 whole large strawberries, hulled
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' (powdered) sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans
1. Cut a thin slice from the bottom of each strawberry so the berries stand upright. Place berries, cut sides down, on a serving platter. Carefully, cut the berries into 4 wedges, cutting almost to, but not through, the bottoms. Fan the wedges just slightly, taking care not to break them. Set aside.

2. In a mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until combined but still stiff. Using a teaspoon or pastry bag with decorative tip, fill the strawberries with the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle chopped pecans on top of the stuffed strawberries. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

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