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Veronica Arroyo's Santa Monica Strawberries

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This week we shared our talk with pastry chef Veronica Arroyo of Bourbon Steak. Today she gives us a taste of this season's special recipe from the restaurant.

"Something we have on the menu right now, it's called Santa Monica Strawberries...I was at the farmers' market in Santa Monica California which is huge, has great produce, and there's a Pryor there called Harry's Berries, and these berries are hand picked, there's a gorgeous red color...they're just fantastic and so we wanted to highlight this strawberry.

"And so essentially what we have is a mascarpone cheesecake that we dot along the plate and a pistachio streusel, a little bit of candied fennel. But the real highlight of the plate are these strawberries and they're in their fresh form, all we do is just quarter them, we don't toss them in any sugar, we don't do anything, the highlight are these strawberries and they should be what you're thinking about the entire time.

"These other flavors are actually enhancing your experience but at the end of the day you remember that you had these magnificent strawberries. You could also make this plate with any other seasonal fruit."

Find out how to make it after the jump

Ingredients
-Some fresh strawberries or any other juicy seasonal fruit.

Mascarpone Cheesecake
-12 oz Cream cheese
-4 oz Mascarpone cheese
-4 oz Sugar
-2 Whole Eggs
-3 oz Cream
-1/2 Vanilla bean

Method -Allow cream cheese and mascarpone to warm to room temperature. -In a stand mixer on the lowest speed setting, using paddle attachment, mix cream cheese until it is smooth. -Add sugar, mix 30 seconds and scrape down. -Add vanilla, continue mixing, adding mascarpone in three stages. -Scrape down bowl. -Add eggs. -Add cream. -Bake in a water bath at 325 degrees. Bake time will be approximately 30 minutes, the cheesecake should be set all the way through. It is acceptable if it begins to soufflé slightly, -Refrigerate before unmolding and piping onto a plate.

Pistachio Streusel
-4 oz Sicilian pistachios, chopped fine
-2 oz sugar
-2 oz AP Flour
-1 tsp Salt
-2 oz Butter, liquid but cool

Method
-Combine all dry ingredients, Mix in butter by hand.
-Sift through wire cooling screen onto parchment lined sheet pans.
-Bake at 250F (to maintain the bright green color), while moving the streusel
around several times during baking.
-When cool, keep in the refrigerator.

Arrange the cheesecake, streusel, and an abundant garnish of strawberries on a plate and enjoy! Serves 4-6

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