Thursday, October 7, 2010

Six Songs, One Fruit Gratin and a Trip to the Bakery

I don’t often make desserts. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because local bakeries do such a fine job of making them that I see no reason spending much of my time in the kitchen trying to out-do their sweet creations.

Every so often I do come across a dessert recipe in a magazine where the picture looks so good that I want to squish my face against the page and try to eat it! This is one of those recipes. It also looked simple to prepare so I set my iPod on shuffle and gave it a go! Here is my step-by-step, song-by-song cooking recap.

Song One: "Fireworks" by The Tragically Hip
It’s a song about hockey, which got me thinking about of my 11pm beer-league hockey game tonight. I have a hard enough time staying awake until 10 pm. As I contemplated putting myself on the uninjured disabled list, in a medium bowl I mixed together the following:

  • 1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • ¾ cup light ricotta cheese
  • 1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
  • 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Song Two: “We’re Here for A Good Time Not a Long Time” by Trooper
I’m not sure how anyone could not feel good listening to this tune. It took my mind off the hockey and put me in my happy place as I washed and hulled some strawberries. Then I sliced them up. About 1½ cups.

Song Three: “Light My Way” by Audioslave
Ah Audioslave. I was really starting to get into that band…and then they broke up. Yeesh! Anyway the song provided some pure rock energy as I began chopping up 3 plums into equal sized cubes. About 1½ cups. I tossed the strawberries and plums into the bottom of an oven-safe dish.

Song Four: “One Piece at a Time” by Johnny Cash
Love this tune!!! Johnny sings about ripping off auto parts from GM to build his ultimate vehicle. In a strange way the message can be applied to making this dessert (minus the stealing part). Put it together…one piece at a time…and before you can drive your Chevy to the store and back it’ll be done.

During this country interlude, I evenly spread the yogurt topping over the fruit and sprinkled about ¼ cup of brown sugar on top. I popped it into the oven to cook under the broiler until the brown sugar began to bubble, about 5 minutes.

Song Five & Six: "Big Time” by Peter Gabriel "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" by Michael BublĂ©
During these two tunes, I was washing dishes while waiting for my dessert. Hats off to BublĂ© for his version this classic Queen song. It has a relaxing yet vibrant element to it, which is nice when trying to get through washing dishes. My dessert was ready to come out of the oven just as the second song was ending.

Upon first sight, I noticed this dessert was lacking visual pizzazz. My remedy was to sprinkle the toasted shredded coconut on top. It ended up being one of my better ideas as it added some visual flair and a crunchy texture to the dish.

My overall verdict on this dish is this:
  • It’s easy to make
  • There’s little clean-up involved
  • It’s nice with the toasted shredded coconut on top
  • It’s excellent on top of waffles (I had it this morning and it was delicious)
Is this dessert out of this world? Not by any stretch of the imagination…yet…not bad for a dessert that only requires 10 minutes to prepare. In defense of this dessert, the original recipe suggested making it in 4 individual bowls as opposed to one big dish. I should have followed that advice, as it’s not the type of dessert that looks great once you spoon it out on a plate.

If you decide to give this one a try, I would love to hear your thoughts.
I’ll be over at the local bakery!

* * * *
Brent Garell
The Kitchen Roadie

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