Here’s a little something you should know about me. I have a head full of statistics. I hear one and it sticks. Mr. Fit’s teases me about the fact the a rare week goes by that I don’t reference one. Including the fact that 36% of all statistics listed online are outdated or inaccurate. So take that for what it’s worth.
Here is one that’s more useful. California produces 86% of the nations strawberries. More fascinating than that is the fact that California also grows more than HALF the nations total produce. Seriously, HALF of the fruits and vegetables that are grown in the U.S. come from just one little state (ok, so it’s not that little, but STILL!).
We’re not all palm trees and reality TV, there is some amazing food here. Nothing is better than local produce, especially strawberries. If you have the opportunity to visit our great state, skip Beverly Hills and Hollywood Blvd and head straight for a farmers market, we get to have them year round.
Here is another fun fact about strawberries (have I lost you yet? is this stuff interesting only to me??) They are one of the few fruits that will NOT continue to ripen after being picked. If you pick a green strawberry, it will never turn red. Once they are taken from the vine they become a ticking clock towards rotten fruit so use them quick. Or freeze them fast.
Chocolate is always a welcome twist on a classic. I love a great homemade shortcake and adding chocolate is great surprise. This is just my biscuit recipe, modified to add chocolate.
Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake
Goat Cheese Raviolis with Blistered Sugar Plum Tomatoes and Hefeweizen Marinara
- 1 ¾ cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 3 large egg yolks, room temperature
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 ½ teaspoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 3 ounces goat cheese
- (2 tbs chop fresh herbs, if desired)
For The Marinara
- 1 lb sugar plum tomatoes or grape tomatoes
- 1 tbs olive oil
- ½ white onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup beer
- 5 large basil leaves, chopped
- 1 tsp chopped fresh oregano
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 2 tbs tomato paste
- On a flat surface add the flour. Make a well with walls that are about 1 inch thick, make sure the well is large enough to hold the eggs, milk and oil.
- Add the yolks, egg, milk and oil. Break the yolks.
- Using your fingers, stir quickly. The motion will allow the liquid to pick up flour from the walls and will gradually become thicker. This will take about 10 minutes.
- As the liquid becomes thicker, close to a paste consistency, start to push the flour walls up over and into the liquid pool. Continue to stir until the flour and liquid is mostly incorporated.
- Pull the dough into a ball, it will be shaggy and seem a bit dry.
- Knead on a flat surface with the heel of your hand, this will take a ten to fifteen minutes. Knead until the dough is smooth and slightly elastic. If you aren’t sure if the dough is done, keep kneading. This isn’t a dough that can be over worked, but too little kneading is a problem.
- Put dough into a small bowl and cover tightly and allow to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.
- Cut into 4 sections. Place any dough sections you are not working with back in the bowl and cover.
- One at a time, roll out the dough sections to about ¼ to ½ inch rectangle.
- Attach the KitchenAid Pasta Roller attachment to your stand mixer.
- Set the thickness to 1 (the thickest setting).
- Turn the KitchenAid stand mixer to a speed of 2.
- Feed the dough rectangle into the pasta roller narrowest side first.
- Pass through two or three times.
- Narrow the thickness to a 3. Pass the dough sheet through two or three times, this should get easier and easier with each pass.
- Narrow the thickness to a 5. Pass the dough sheet through two or three times, this should get easier and easier with each pass. You want the dough sheets to be so thin you can see through them.
- Lay the sheets on a flat surface.
- Place about 2-3 tsp of goat cheese on the dough sheets about 1 ½ inches apart, in to rows.
- Brush the dough with water around the balls of goat cheese (sprinkle with fresh herbs, if desired). Top with second sheet of pasta.
- Press the pasta around the filling, sealing well. Use a sharp knife or a pastry wheel to cut into squares.
- Place on a plate, allow to sit for about 10 minutes.
- Cook in a pot of lightly salted boiling water until raviolis float and are cooked through.
- Drain, plate and top with sauce.
Make the sauce:
- Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat, cook the onions until soft about five minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, cook until soft and the skin has blistered. Add the garlic, cook for about 30 seconds.
- Add the beer and cook until the beer has mostly evaporated, about ten minutes.
- Add the remaining basil, oregano, salt and pepper, stir, remove from heat.
- Add to a food processor along with the tomato paste, process until smooth.
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