I’ve acquired an arsenal of secret cooking and entertaining tips and tricks—little go-tos for when $*** hits the fan (and trust me, if it hasn’t already, at some point it will). Because, sometimes you have a captive audience of fourteen hungry people, and a big hunk of wild Copper River salmon that’s still frozen. Or perhaps you’re frying halibut filets for a bunch of strangers in a small apartment and set off the fire alarm and have to explain to the fire department that we’re all good, no problem here, everything is great. #askingforafriend
My point? We all need some good, Mary Poppins-esque tricks for when things don't go as planned. This secret little ingredient is one of mine. And because it’s Valentine’s day, there’s always a little extra pressure to make things special.
Freeze dried raspberries are a favorite for many reasons, but mainly because they offer a quick aesthetic (and flavorful!) fix to just about anything. Here are a few of my favorite uses:
Pulse them in a food process or to make a fine raspberry powder. Fold that into buttercream (1 cup softened butter beaten with 2 cups sifted powdered sugar and a dash of cream) for a sweet and tart frosting. You don’t have to worry about your frosting separating like it might with raspberry jam folded in.
Crunch a few on a plate then top with a slice of cake (or really any dessert).
Warm a wheel of brie in the oven and top with a sprinkling of the dried raspberries.
Crush a small handful over vanilla or chocolate ice cream. Voila fancy dessert.
Throw a few in a smoothie (when you don’t have any fresh or frozen produce to add!).
Crush them and whisk together with olive oil and apple cider vinegar for a quick salad dressing.
Pour melted chocolate into silicone ice cube molds, then top with the raspberries. Freeze until set then pop out for an easy, last-minute dessert bite.
P.S. You can find them in almost any grocery store, typically in the dried fruit and nut section. You’ll also find freeze-dried strawberries, blueberries, and mango.