Strawberries and spaghetti

Happy new month (almost)! With Wimbledon well underway it seems only fair to take a quick look at the noble strawberry. Enclosed are a couple of unusual recipes for the sunny little chaps which we urge you to try – strawberries and steak, anyone?

First off, though, it is with great excitement that we can give you a tip to make hulling the things a million times easier! Somewhere, a blessed genius noticed that it becomes instantly far neater aand less wasteful by simply pushing a drinking straw through the strawberry from underneath, which pushes the hull out on top – similar to coring an apple. There’s a picture on the right just in case, click to enlarge – you’re welcome!)

Right, on to serious business!

As confirmed foodies (surprise!) we scouted a couple of unusual but extremely worthwhile things to make with strawberries, to help you do justice to this glorious fruit and avoid the usual slide into the monotony of just serving them with cream (and the less overdone it is, the more lovely when you do have them together)!

First, a strawberry salsa from Southern Living, perfect, piquant and refreshing alongside grilled anything – seafood, antipasti or a good steak (they recommend catfish, isn’t that wonderful?). This salsa is also an essential part of the kit for surviving the current heatwave!

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170g red pepper jelly (recipe here if you can’t find it in the shops! You could also use a different tangy/spicy conserve as an alternative)
50g chopped fresh chives
50g chopped fresh coriander
1 tablespoon lime zest
60ml fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
200g chopped fresh strawberries
40g 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.

Reproduced with thanks from myrecipes.com via Southern Living.

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Next up, this totally unexpected but totally delicious strawberry spaghetti recipe straight from New York – if you do only one thing today, just try this and have your mind blown.

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Sfoglia’s Spaghetti with Strawberries
450g good-quality dried spaghetti (like Setaro)
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing
450g ripe strawberries, cleaned and halved
2 tablespoons good aged (eight-year-old) balsamic vinegar
225g San Marzano tomato purée
7 tablespoons reserved pasta water
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cook the pasta in rapidly boiling salted water until al dente. (1) In a large sauté pan, warm the olive oil and half of the strawberries over medium heat. Cook until the strawberries start to release juice. Add balsamic and reduce by half. (2) Add tomato purée, the rest of the strawberries, and the reserved pasta water, and reduce by half again until the sauce thickens. Season to taste. (3) Toss with spaghetti. Finish with olive oil and black pepper.

Reproduced with thanks from Sfoglia via NY Magazine.

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And finally, needing no introduction – a gloriously traditional recipe from the other side of the pond – strawberry shortcake.

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D.I.Y. Strawberry Shortcake

Biscuit
120g plain flour
40g white sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder (3 teaspoons or 12g)
1/2 teaspoon salt
115g butter
1 egg
240ml single cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Strawberries
700g strawberries
1 lemon, zest & juice
50g granulated or caster sugar

Cream
500ml whipping cream
60g powdered sugar (or to taste)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt

Heat oven to 205°C. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment. Sift the dry ingredients for the biscuits together, then cut the butter in and work in with your fingers until it’s in pea-sized lumps. Beat the egg with the cream and vanilla and add. Work in just until the dough comes together. Turn out onto a floured countertop and cut into rounds. Bake for 10 minutes or until just barely golden.

Hull and chop the strawberries, and macerate for at least an hour with the lemon zest and sugar.

Whip the cream until it holds soft peaks. Add the sugar, vanilla and salt.

To serve, split each biscuit into two and layer with strawberries and cream.

Note – For a gorgeous alternative you could swap the lemon juice for balsamic vinegar when macerating the strawberries (the older the better) and add chopped mint and they will be delicious!

Recipe reproduced from The Kitchn with thanks.
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Enjoy the sunshine and the tennis!

Capital Cooking

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