Cooking Strawberry Delights

Plump, red berries ripening in the sun beg to be brought into the kitchen. Cooking strawberry delights for your family and friends begins with a good supply of strawberries. Whether you pick the luscious June berries yourself from local growers or choose the freshest strawberries from the grocery store, fresh fruit is always best when bought and used in season for cooking strawberry delights.

If at all possible hand-pick your strawberries rather than purchase them boxed or bagged, that way you do not have to worry about freshness. This can also serve as a fun family outing for you and the family, or even a date, as you can be out in nature and assured that you will end up with loads of strawberries. While the huge strawberries may be pretty to look at they are less likely to have the best flavor, so go with the smaller ones. Also, a strawberry that has white spots or is more pink than red is not ripe enough to be plucked.

If you do find yourself going to a store for strawberries, look for all-red plump strawberries that are firm and show no signs of mold or bruising. A good strawberry should make your mouth water when you sniff it. Also, smell for mold and check the package for mold on the berries or on the bottom of the carton.

As you scan the berries, check the green tops and make sure they are still intact. Strawberry juice staining the bottom indicates that it is best to pass on that package. If you notice strawberries that are shriveled, discolored, or mangled, it is probably best to move on, as this is a sign of age. Ripe strawberries should be shiny, deep red, and firm. Taste a strawberry from the pile or package, if possible, to assure fresh flavor.

Once home, go through your pickings and remove any bruised, moldy, or squishy strawberries. When it comes to cooking your strawberry delights, you will want only the best of the bunch. If you find some that seem overripe, wash them, and put them in a bowl to be eaten that day. The rest should be placed in a container, covered lightly with plastic wrap or a cotton dish towel and refrigerated. Strawberries do not last long once they are picked, so plan to eat or use them in your strawberry recipe within a day or two of bringing them home.

Ideas for Cooking Strawberry Delights

Cooking with strawberries often means little more than washing and hulling the red berries. Try serving fresh strawberries in a bowl with balsamic vinegar in another bowl, and fine sugar in a third. Dip the strawberry into the balsamic vinegar and then the sugar.

You can also make a delicious chocolate dip by melting half a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips with one or two tablespoons of heavy whipping cream over a double boiler. Serve the chocolate sauce in a small chafing dish and mound berries on a plate or in a bowl. Dip the strawberry into the chocolate and enjoy. In this case, you would leave the green caps on the berries for dipping.

A truly elegant strawberry pyramid can also be designed when cooking strawberry delights. You will need a Styrofoam cone, toothpicks, strawberries, and curled parsley. Begin by placing the most perfect strawberry on the top of the pyramid using a toothpick to insert it into the Styrofoam. Continue moving downward inserting toothpicks into strawberries at various angles until the pyramid is covered. Tear curled parsley into small pieces and insert between strawberries where the white of the Styrofoam is showing. Set various dipping bowls around the strawberry pyramid filled with such ingredients as balsamic vinegar, granulated sugar, chocolate, and powdered sugar.

Strawberry flavor can be added to all kinds of recipes by dicing up berries and adding them to the batter. Cooking strawberry cake requires little more than adding diced or sliced strawberries to a white or yellow cake mix. Frost with your favorite vanilla frosting and decorate the top with sliced fresh berries.

Try strawberry muffins or bake a loaf of strawberry bread. Use a basic muffin recipe, but add about a cup of sliced strawberries to the batter. Bananas and strawberries go great together. Mix up banana bread and toss in diced strawberries. Toss a few strawberries on top of ice cream or make a strawberry sauce by adding sugar and mashing the berries until they become syrupy.

Is there anything better than strawberry pie heaped with whipped cream in the summertime? Have fun finding recipes for cooking strawberry delights such as Strawberry Glaze and Strawberry Wonderful, which can both be tasty treats at a picnic or party.

For a summer supper try cooking strawberry soup. There are two varieties of strawberry soup. One version is a savory soup served at the beginning of a meal that is creamy pink and works well with grilled chicken breasts and a salad. The other type of strawberry soup is a side dish that is served as a light dessert similar to a smoothie. When cooking strawberry delights in the form of soup, you will find endless options online or in cookbooks.

When winter takes hold and the snow starts falling, open a jar of freezer jam and the memory of cooking strawberry delights in the summertime will warm your soul.

Freezer jam is easy to cook up with little fuss or mess. Ball makes small jars just for jam as well as the pectin to use in the jam so of course the recipe comes with the jars. It is the best tasting jam and so easy to make that there is little reason not to freeze up enough to spread on bagels and give as gifts.

Cooking with strawberries is not a very common idea. The healthy red berry is usually eaten fresh and raw. Every June the strawberries begin to ripen and the mind wanders towards strawberry shortcake and strawberry pie, but there are many ways to cook strawberry delights such as desserts, soup, smoothies, drinks and more. The strawberry rises to every occasion by adding fresh flavor and you can dress it up or take it as it is.

Post a Comment