Y'all know how I've been trying to stay true to my diet -- Well, we had a fellow calorie/carb counter and her husband over the other night and tho Richard made an amazing "low-cal" dinner (the halibut in garam masala I blogged about in October), it was a challenge to do a "diet" dessert.
He rose to the challenge. Strawberries. But not just plain strawberries -- Italian Peppered Strawberries. For those of you South Beach Watcher-ing w/ me, you know that strawberries have little to no points -- so when you add liqueur and sugar, points will be added, but compared to a slice of cheesecake, a plate of cookies or a bowl of chocolate mousse, the points are minimal. Not to mention, the few points it adds to the strawberries are sooooooooo worth every mouth-watering taste.
When I was a kid one of my favorite desserts was frozen strawberries (thawed, of course) dripping with all that the sugar-y 'syrup' on top of vanilla ice cream (Breyers is my all-time favorite). Well, these peppered strawberries on vanilla ice cream take that childhood dessert to the next food level. Gourmet. But, there's that damn diet. So Richard, 'my food hero' found a "Watch'n Carbs!' ice cream sweetened w/ Splenda... a Safeway "in-store" product. Would I have preferred a rich, creamy non-diet ice cream? Yup. But this was still damn fine and our guests agreed.
BTW - the strawberries are damn fine sans the ice cream. Just thought I'd mention that.
Italian Peppered Strawberries
(Los Angeles Times Magazine, June 12, l988)
1 quart fresh strawberries (about 3 cups sliced)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup sambuca or other anise-flavored Italian liqueur
1/4 cup Grand Marnier or other orange-flavored liqueur
Fresh black peppercorns in grinder (set on 'coarse' grind)
3 cups vanilla ice cream (optional)
Wash, drain and hull strawberries.
Cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices.
Place in large glass bowl.
Ten minutes before serving, mix in sugar, liqueurs and 10 grinds of black pepper.
Spoon ice cream into chilled bowls.
Spoon strawberry mixture over ice cream.
Gind a little more fresh pepper on top and serve at once.
Makes 6 servings