Among other things, May is National Strawberry Month, so I thought it would be good to explore different ways to eat this luscious fruit.
EASY ICEBOX STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE
32 ounces fresh, ripe strawberries, washed, hulled and dried
3 ounces orange juice
1 (14 ounce) box of graham crackers
3 cups heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place whisk attachment and the bowl of a stand mixer in the freezer for at least 10 minutes.
Set aside 7 large strawberries to be sliced and layered on top of your cake just before serving. Add remaining strawberries and orange juice to bowl of food processor. Pulse until berries are broken up but small berry chunks remain, 10 to 15 short pulses.
Remove whisk attachment and the bowl of the stand mixer from freezer. Add cream, sugar, and vanilla extract and whip until soft peaks form.
Line the bottom of your pan with graham crackers. Cover with half of the strawberry mixture and one third of the cream mixture. Repeat. The top layer of graham crackers (the third graham layer) will just be covered by whipped cream. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Just before serving thinly slice reserved strawberries and use them to cover the surface of your cake. Serve chilled. Cover and refrigerate leftovers for up to a day.
1/2 cup red pepper jelly
1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon lime zest
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
2 cups chopped fresh strawberries
1/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1 small avocado, diced
Whisk together red pepper jelly, chives, cilantro, lime zest, fresh lime juice, and dried crushed red pepper in a medium bowl. Stir in strawberries and sweetened dried cranberries; cover and chill 1 hour. Stir in diced avocado just before serving. Serve with grilled or pan-fried meats, poultry, or seafood.
SPRING GARDEN STRAWBERRY SALAD
1 1/2 cups trimmed fresh sugar snap peas (about 5 oz.)
1 (4-oz.) package baby arugula
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1 cup seeded and chopped English cucumber
3/4 cup frozen baby English peas, thawed
4 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
6 cooked bacon slices, coarsely chopped
Sweet Basil Vinaigrette
1. Arrange sugar snap peas in a steamer basket over boiling water. Cover and steam 1 to 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Plunge peas into ice water to stop the cooking process; drain. Cut peas diagonally in half.
2. Toss together arugula, next 5 ingredients, and sugar snap peas on a large serving platter. Serve with Sweet Basil Vinaigrette.
Sweet Basil Vinaigrette
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 shallots, chopped
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup canola oil
Process first 8 ingredients in a blender until smooth. With blender running, add canola oil in a slow, steady stream, processing until smooth.
1 (8-oz.) Brie round
8 Italian bread slices
8 ounces thinly sliced smoked turkey
8 fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup sliced fresh strawberries
2 tablespoons red pepper jelly
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Garnish: strawberry halves
1. Trim and discard rind from Brie. Cut Brie into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Layer 4 bread slices evenly with turkey, basil leaves, strawberries, and Brie.
2. Spread 1 1/2 tsp. pepper jelly on 1 side of each of remaining 4 bread slices; place bread slices, jelly sides down, on top of Brie. Brush sandwiches with melted butter.
3. Cook sandwiches, in batches, in a preheated panini press 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown. Garnish, if desired.
Note: For testing purposes only, we used Braswell's Red Pepper Jelly. To prepare sandwiches without a panini press, cook in a preheated grill pan over medium-high heat 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden.
BANANA SPLIT CAKE IV
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
1 quart strawberries, stemmed and quartered
1 1/2 cups sugar free strawberry glaze
1 (12 ounce) container lite frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (10 ounce) jar maraschino cherries, drained and quartered
In a medium bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Press into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking pan. Chill to set.
In a large bowl, mix together the cream cheese, butter and confectioners' sugar until smooth and creamy. Spread over the chilled graham cracker crust. Arrange the sliced bananas over the cream cheese mixture. Then cover with the drained crushed pineapple. Place strawberries cut side down over the pineapple layer, then coat with the strawberry glaze. Spread the whipped topping over the strawberry layer, decorate with maraschino cherries and sprinkle with chopped nuts.
Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.