Seasonal berries make a summer comeback

Strawberry shortcake recipe
July 15, 2009 Local restaurants are using berries in both sweet and savory dishes this month.

1729 N. Halsted
-Green tea scallops with spicy blackberries and coconut emulsion

Crofton on Wells
535 N. Wells
blackberry crisp, blackberry sorbet

619 W. Randolph St.
-halibut with caramelized fennel, rhubarb, strawberry and smoked cumin

160 E. Pearson St.
-strawberry shortcake

For the strawberries:
2 pints Mick Klug Strawberries
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 each vanilla bean
Wash and hull the strawberries. Cut them in half and place in a bowl.
Place the sugar in a small bowl.
Cut the vanilla bean in half and scrape out the seeds.
Place the scraped seeds in to the sugar and use a whisk to distribute them in the sugar
Toss the strawberries with the sugar.
Place the scraped vanilla pod and the sugared strawberries in a 9"x12" pan
Place the pan in an oven set at 200F for 1 hour.
The strawberries in the sugar will release their juices at first. Further roasting will concentrate the juice into flavorful syrup and the strawberries will also be more concentrated.
Set aside for the dessert

Honey Cornmeal Pound Cake:
½ cup butter
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup honey
1 ½ cup powdered sugar
2 each eggs
1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ cup Anson Mills Cornmeal
1 each lemon zest
½ cup buttermilk

Place the butter, sugars, lemon zest and honey in an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.

Crème the mixture on medium speed until it is light and fluffy

Add the eggs one at a time until the egg is incorporated.

Combine the flour, baking powder and cornmeal and sift

Add the flour alternating with the buttermilk to the creamed butter mixture in three stages.

Place the batter in a loaf pan 9"x4" that has been lined with parchment paper

Bake the loaf in an oven set at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean

Take the cornmeal pound cake and cut it into ½ inch slices. Butter lightly both sides. Place the cake in a toaster oven or toast in an regular oven set at 400F until the surface has turned golden brow. Place the cake in a shallow bowl. Place a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the cake. Warm some of the strawberries in the microwave and spoon it over the vanilla ice cream.

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