It’s that wonderful time of the year when strawberries are everywhere. These nutritious and tasty morsels of fruit are delicious no matter what you do with them. They can be eaten raw, cooked, baked, broiled, frozen, and even grilled.


It’s that wonderful time of the year when strawberries are everywhere. These nutritious and tasty morsels of fruit are delicious no matter what you do with them. They can be eaten raw, cooked, baked, broiled, frozen, and even grilled. They are easy to work with and can be put into sauces, jams, ice creams, cakes, pies, pancakes and waffles, smoothies, puddings, salads, punches ,and any other creative thought you might have. They may be topped with whipped cream, honey, sugar, brown sugar, or even a liqueur and may be dipped in chocolate and/or crushed nuts.



Strawberries should be rinsed off just before serving to keep them at their peak of flavor. After rinsing them, pat them dry with a paper towel. If they are going to be frozen make sure they are absolutely dry and are laid out in a single layer on a freezable flat dish or pan and then are placed in the freezer before placing them into a freezer container. When strawberries are defrosted they will be softer than fresh berries. It is recommended not to wash them before freezing, because they will become soggy.



Helpful Hint: To hull or stem strawberries use a grapefruit spoon or a small sharp knife. Cut around the stem and gently remove it. Strawberries do not ripen after picking, so be sure to pick plump, ripe and shiny berries.



 



Strawberry Butter



This butter is perfect on biscuits, waffles, pancakes, toast, or English muffins. Makes 1 ½ cups.



1 cup butter softened



3-4 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar



1 tablespoon grenadine (Optional)



1/3 cup finely chopped fresh strawberries, hulled



With an electric mixer beat butter on high for about 3-minutes until creamy. Add confectioners’ sugar and grenadine; beat until blended. Stir in strawberries. Cover and chill for one hour.



 



Quick and Easy Refrigerator Strawberry Jam



Makes 2-half pint jars



4 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced



1 cup granulated sugar



Pinch of cinnamon



1-2 tablespoons orange juice or liqueur (Optional)



In a saucepan, add strawberries and sugar, cooking over medium heat and stir until the sugar starts to dissolve into the strawberry juice.



Using the back of a spoon, mash the strawberries to help break down the berries. Keep stirring occasionally and mashing the strawberries with the back of the spoon. After the strawberries break down and the syrup thickens, add cinnamon and orange liqueur, stir then remove from heat. The mixture will start to coat the back of the spoon. This cooking takes about 20-25 minutes.



Pour jam into very clean and dried pint jars. Cover and tip jar upside down to let cool. Place jars in the refrigerator until ready to use.



 



Strawberry Cream Jelly Roll



Serves 8-10



4 eggs



1 cup granulated sugar



1/3 cup water



1 teaspoon vanilla extract



¾ cup all-purpose flour



pinch of salt



1 teaspoon baking powder



Confectioners’ sugar



Cloth towel, preferably linen



Strawberry Filling – recipe below



Bring eggs to room temperature. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a jelly roll pan, 15 ½ x 10 ½ x 1 inch, with aluminum foil or waxed paper.



Lightly vegetable spray the paper.



In a small bowl with electric mixer at high speed beat eggs until foamy. Beat rapidly, and slowly and add granulated sugar. On low speed, blend in water and vanilla. Gradually add flour, baking powder, and salt, beating just until batter is smooth. Pour into pan, spreading batter to corners.



Bake 12 to 15 minutes until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Loosen cake from edges of pan; invert on cloth towel sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar. Carefully remove foil or waxed paper. Trim off crisp edges of cake, if necessary.



While hot, carefully roll cake and towel from narrow end of cake. Cool on wire rack for about 10 minutes. Unroll cake; remove towel, spread within ½ - inch of edges with strawberry filling. Carefully roll up cake and filling. Finish with open end of cake on the underside. Wrap towel tightly around roll to shape it. Finish cake by unrolling and sprinkling confectioners’ sugar over the outside. To serve, cut in 1- inch crosswise slices. Top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.



Strawberry Filling



½ cup whipping cream



2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar



2 cups thin sliced fresh strawberries



About one hour before serving beat ½ cup chilled whipping cream and 2- tablespoons confectioners’ sugar in a chilled bowl until stiff. Spread onto unrolled cake. Arrange 2- cups sliced fresh strawberries evenly over whipped cream. Roll up and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar. Chill. Serve with sweetened whipped cream or ice cream.



 



Strawberry - Mango Shrimp Salad



1 pound flash cooked shrimp, shelled, deveined and tails removed



1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered



1 cup fresh mango, diced



½ English cucumber, diced



1 tablespoon lime juice



2 teaspoons lime zest



2 tablespoons orange juice



1 teaspoon granulated sugar



2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped



1 teaspoon champagne, white or rice vinegar



Flash cook shrimp until just a light pink, drain and put into ice water, drain and set aside.



In a bowl whisk together lime juice, lime zest, orange juice, and sugar together until dressing is smooth.



In another bowl combine together shrimp, mango, cucumber, and cilantro. Toss to combine well, fold in strawberries, gently toss together. When ready to serve add dressing and toss to coat. Drizzle vinegar over salad.



 



Strawberry Torte



½ cup butter, softened to room temperature



¾ cup granulated sugar



1 teaspoon baking powder



Pinch of salt



2 large eggs, room temperature



1 teaspoon vanilla extract



2 tablespoons orange liqueur or Grand Marnier



1 cup all-purpose flour



2 cups fresh strawberries, cut into ¼-inch slices



2 tablespoons Turbinado sugar or coarse sugar



Vanilla ice cream, if desired



Preheat oven to 350 degrees.



In bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add baking powder and salt, and beat until well creamed



While the electric mixer is running add eggs one at a time, and mix to combine. Scrape bowl and mix again.



Add vanilla and Grand Marnier and mix to combine.



Add flour and mix on low until a thick, almost dough like batter is formed.



Vegetable spray a 10-inch rimmed cake pan, pour in batter. Spread batter to the edges of pan.



Place the 2-cups of cut up strawberries over the top, with the seed side up.



Sprinkle with Turbinado sugar or coarse sugar over the top and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired.



 



Strawberry-Banana Smoothie



(Makes 2 glasses)



12-16 fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled



1 large banana cut into 1 inch pieces



½ cup skim milk



½ cup plain yogurt



2 tablespoons granulated sugar



1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract



6-8 ice cubes



In a blender combine strawberries and banana with the rest of the ingredients. Add 6-8 ice cubes through the covered top, a couple at a time. Serve immediately. Fresh strawberries will make a better smoothie.



 



Chocolate Fondue



12 ounces of milk chocolate or dark chocolate



¾ cup light cream



2 tablespoons orange flavored liqueur, if desired (I use Grand Marnier.)



2 teaspoons instant coffee or strong coffee



Strawberries



Angel food cake, cubed



In a heavy saucepan or a fondue pot, melt chocolate and cream over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat; stir in liqueur and coffee. Pour into fondue pot or chafing dish to keep warm. With a fork dip strawberries and angel food cake pieces into hot chocolate. Enjoy!



 



Strawberries Romanoff



1 quart fresh strawberries, rinsed, dried, hulled, and sliced in half lengthwise



½ cup confectioners’ sugar



1 cup chilled whipping cream



¼ cup orange flavored liqueur or orange juice



Sprinkle strawberries with sugar and stir gently. Cover and chill for 2- hours. Just before serving beat cream in a chilled bowl until stiff. Gradually stir in orange liqueur or orange juice. Fold in strawberries. Spoon into sherbet dishes and top with a large fresh strawberry.



 



Strawberry Vinaigrette and Spinach Salad



1 5 ounce ( about 8 cups) package of baby spinach leaves,



rinsed and dried



2 cups fresh whole strawberries, hulled,



rinsed and dried and sliced in half lengthwise



½ cup toasted pecans



On a cookie sheet toast pecans for 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven until lightly toasted and fragrant. In a large clear glass salad bowl toss together spinach and hulled, halved strawberries. Chill in refrigerator about 40 minutes. Serve with strawberry vinaigrette and toss gently with toasted pecans.



Strawberry Vinaigrette



1 ½ cups fresh strawberries, hulled



¼ cup red wine vinegar or champagne vinegar



¼ cup strawberry jam



¼ cup olive oil



1 teaspoon fresh shaved or ground ginger (Optional)



For vinaigrette place 1 ½ cups strawberries in a bowl and crush with a potato masher; then add and whisk together jam, oil, vinegar, and ginger (Optional). Chill and serve over salad before the toasted pecans are added.



 



Hope Cusick has won awards at the North Carolina Strawberry Festival in 2012; The North Carolina Blueberry Festival, winning first place for her Blueberry Cheese Danish Pastry in 2012, and placing on her blueberry spinach salad and dressing; and has won various other contest awards for her blueberry cheesecake, breads, cookies, brownies and jams. She resides in Hampstead.