Commanders Palace's Compressed Strawberries

 "Compressed" Strawberries

Yields 4 dessert portions


24 ea. Ponchatoula Strawberries

1.5 c Strawberry jam

1 c heavy cream

4 oz. strawberry Jell-O pearls

1 pack strawberry pop rocks

1 ea. strawberry pixie stick

4 oz. Strawberry hurricane cocktail

4 ea. fresh mint sprigs

1 ea. Powdered sugar in a shaker


Method for compressing the berries:

Place the berries in a medium bowl and rinse briefly under cool tap water and drain very well. Add 1 cup of the strawberry jam and toss to coat evenly. Place the berries in a heavy cryovac bag and vacuum seal. Break the seal on the corner of the bag and re-seal 2 more times to drive the jam into the inside of the berry. Finally, after the third compression, leave the bag sealed for 4 hours to marinate.


Method for the pearls:

Place 2 cups of vegetable oil in the freezer in a shallow baking dish and chill for 1-2 hours. After making your strawberry flavored Jell-O, temper it in an ice bath and stir constantly with rubber spatula until it just starts to get thick. The Jell-O should be about 50-60 degrees. Pour the thickened jelly into a squeeze bottle with a narrow tip. Remove the chilled oil from the freezer and place on a counter top. Working back and forth and about 1 foot above the surface of the oil, inject the Jell-O into the oil to form tiny pearls. Pour the Jell-O and oil through a fine strainer to separate. Drain for 5 minutes in the refrigerator so the pearls are very dry and free of oil.


Method for the whipped cream:

Pour cream and half cup of strawberry jam into a bowl and whisk quickly to thicken. Note that different brands of jam have different sugar content so adjust as necessary.


Method for the Strawberry hurricane:

Shake up a normal hurricane but substitute strawberry jelly for some of the sugar


To assemble:

Break the seal of the compressed strawberries, pour them into a bowl, and slice each berry in half. Smear the strawberry whipped cream in the center of 4 dessert plates. Line up the sliced berries cut side up along the whipped cream then garnish the tops with the pearls, pop rocks and the pixie sticks. Place a small hurricane glass on each plate and pour in your cocktail. Finish with mint sprigs and a light dusting of powdered sugar.