Cook's Corner: Strawberry lovers find tasty treats

Published 10:12 am Wednesday, March 14, 2007

By By Lisa Tindell – news writer
The warm days we have been experiencing lately have gotten some culinary juices flowing toward spring and summer dishes.
I realize I promised to share some reader-submitted recipes this week, but I'm going to put that one off for a week so that I can share some timely recipes with you today.
I was informed last week that some local merchants had some fresh strawberries in their business and that got me to thinking about strawberry specialties. One thing is for sure, the strawberry season is a short one (for me anyway) and it's best to prepare some strawberry recipes when the fruit is at its peak. From what I can tell, that should be within the next couple of weeks. I wanted you to have these recipes ready when the sweet red fruit hits your kitchen counter.
When shopping for strawberries remember the biggest berries aren't always the best tasting. When you choose berries at the store or produce stand, look for brightly colored berries that are smaller but still plump. By choosing these, you'll find that the flavor will be more concentrated and delicious. And as a bonus, like other bright-colored fruits and vegetables, strawberries are rich in nutrients. They are a great source of vitamin C.
One of my favorite strawberry recipes is really very simple. Most of the time, a simple recipe that focuses on the flavor of one ingredient is always the best.
Strawberries and Cream
1 pt. strawberries, cleaned
3 tbsp. confectioners sugar
4 oz. frozen whipped topping, thawed
Sprinkle sugar over cleaned and hulled strawberries and allow to stand 10 minutes. Fold in whipped topping and refrigerate for 1 hour.
I loved this type of dish when I was a child. I can remember a time when my daddy would take fresh cream from the milk and let it chill in the refrigerator. He'd sprinkle sugar over some strawberries and pour the cream over it. The cream, although it wasn't whipped, was a wonderful mix with the fruit. You could try it that way if you'd like. But with the recipe above, you could cut out the fat in the dish by using the whipped topping from the store. It's almost as good as the way daddy used to eat it.
If you're looking for something a little different to do with fresh strawberries, this one is sure to fit the bill. I have a friend who could eat strawberries four meals a day - three squares and a snack. This next recipe should satisfy anyone's strawberry craving.
Strawberry Soup
4 cups fresh strawberries
1 (12 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
One-eighth tsp. ground nutmeg
One-fourth tsp. ground cinnamon
One-half tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup white sugar
One-fourth cup sour cream
12 ounces prepared pound cake, cubed
12 sprigs fresh mint, optional
Rinse strawberries with cool water to clean and then pat dry to absorb excess water. Remove strawberry stems and set aside 12 for later use. In a large bowl, combine remaining strawberries, whipped topping, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla and sugar. Mix on low speed for 5 to 7 minutes or until sugar has dissolved completely and mixture is smooth. Add sour cream and mix 1 minute. Place in refrigerator to chill. Toast pound cake cubes under broiler for approximately 6 minutes, turning once to brown both sides. Serve soup in chilled bowls and garnish with whole strawberries, pound cake croutons and mint sprigs.
If you like a pie, then this next one is both tasty and easy.
Strawberry Pie
2 cups sugar
6 tablespoons cornstarch
1 small pk. strawberry gelatin
2 cups water
4 pints strawberries, hulled
2 9” baked pie shells
Cook sugar, cornstarch, gelatin and water until thick. Cool. Place whole berries in cool, baked pie shells. Pour sauce over berries and refrigerate. Serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream.
Don't forget to drop your recipes off to me, either at the office or by email at
I love to try new recipes and I'm sure you've probably got a few in your file that I haven't tried yet. You've got another week to get those recipes to me in order to see them here next week. I can't wait to see what you have to share.
Here's hoping your strawberries and sweet and plentiful. Until next week, Happy Cooking!

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