Juicy organic strawberries and sour cream were the things that stared at me when I opened my crisper to see if I can eat something for a snack today and then I remembered this month’s Meeta Monthly Mingle hosted by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen. I waited until tea time for these teensy weensy nibbles and Boy , Im glad that I did ! There were fantastic and K and Mommy dearest enjoyed them thoroughly.
We each have distinct tastes , I prefer savory snacks and my mom and K love anything sweet. I chose East Indian cucumber sandwiches and stuffed juicy organic strawberries with mascarpone cheese and heavy cream.
Cream Stuffed Strawberries
10-15 Organic juicy strawberries
3 tablespoons of mascarpone cheese
1 teaspoon of brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Remove the leaves of the strawberries and place them on the cutting board with the pointed side up . Make an “X” shaped cut with a paring knife almost till the base . Now slowly open them apart , it will look like a flower with the petals open. Keep aside.
Quickly take the cheese and heavy cream in a bowl and whip until soft peaks appear. This would take about 2-3 minutes with an electric hand blender. Add the vanilla extract , sugar , mix well and take the cheese mixture into a piping bag. Remove the strawberry petals apart and pipe the cheese mixture into the strawberry . Enjoy !
This is a make ahead dish. You can refrigerate it for atleast 1/2 hour . I followed this recipe from the book Mary Berry’s “Desserts and Confections”
* Variations :
Mascarpone is expensive and hard to find, you can you sour cream + cream cheese + heavy cream or cream cheese+ Heavy cream or ricotta cheese for the same .
Dust with confectioners sugar for a nicer look. Instead of Vanilla sugar , you can choose a different flavor like lavendar sugar or lemon or orange sugar.
East Indian Sandwiches : (adapted from Paullete Mitchell’s Vegetarian Sandwiches)
4 slices of whole wheat soft bread ( I chose this because I wanted it to be a guilt free snack , especially after those juicy creamy strawberries , it was a trade off, those who are not particular can go with white or potato bread)
For the spread:
1/4 cup of sour cream/yogurt / tofutti better than cream cheese ( I used sour cream this time)
1/4 cup of cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon of peanut butter or peanut powder
1-2 thai chilli
salt to taste.
For the assembly:
A few slices of hot house cucumber ( circles) , you can use the normal ones but make sure that you remove the water by cutting them and sprinkling some salt and leaving it on some paper towels or a colander so that the water drips down.
A boiled potato ( microwave it immersed in salt water for 8 minutes or stovetop for 15min until fork tender)
Tomato slices or cherry tomatoes.
Take all the ingredients for the spread in a blender and pulse until mixed well . The spread should be thick and not watery , if you are using yogurt , make sure its thick and not watery.
Put the bread slices on top of each other and slice of the ends. Cut into equal squares or triangles or you can use a cookie cutter for desired shape.
Take the bottom slice and slather it with the spread , Place a cucumber circle on it and top it of with a slice of potato and tomato , if using cherry tomatoes , insert the toothpick in the sandwich and press in the cherry tomato.
Enjoy with some earl grey or darjeeling tea !
* These sandwiches make great picnic sandwiches , you can use thicker whole wheat slices , Its a great one for the kids lunch box sans the thai chilli
You can use plain cream cheese or toffuti better than cream cheese instead of the spread
You can also you avocado , cilantro spread spiked with cumin . It tastes great too.
How do I use the leftover cream / Chocolate :
This is a pretty versatile filling/spread. I make mini berry sandwiches using the cream and chocolate as a spread or top fruity crepes with this cream or chocolate . I also make french toast berry sandwiches for the same.
The above mentioned treats not only make great tea time snacks but larger portions of the sandwiches make a good picnic meal /lunch or dinner and also great party food.
The cream filled strawberries make great desserts especially when one is short of time.