Its strawberry season here in Maine and it’s time to celebrate! We thought it would be fun to share some of the fun ways our culinary team uses strawberries to help make your summer one everyone’s taste buds will remember.
First let’s start with where you can get these luscious berries.
1) The best place…local farms! Need a great outdoor activity to do with the kids on a sunny afternoon? Why not pick your own strawberries! I’m sure most of you will eat more than you actually take home that day, but that’s the best part. Check out this site for a full list of local farms let you pick your own afternoon treat. http://www.pickyourown.org/MES2Z.htm
2) Farmers markets! Don’t have the time or energy during a busy work week to go pick your own? Pop up to your local farmers markets. They’ve done all the work for you. All you have to do is buy these berries bursting with flavor while supporting local businesses. I can personally attest that more than half the stands in the Portland Farmers market had overflowing pints of these berries. Find a farmers market near you today. http://www.mainefarmersmarkets.org/
3) In a hurry to get all those things on your shopping list but don’t have time to stop many places. Well we are very lucky that our local grocery stores here in Maine promote and carry local products as well. So don’t stress…pick up a pint on your way through your local produce section and start creating today.
Now what can you create??? Well the list is endless! But here’s what you can find on our menu today that contains this mouthwatering summer treat.
Ok I’m going to ignore Mom’s voice in my head saying "you can’t have dessert first" because ... I think you can! So let’s start with sharing our most popular dessert reciepe right off the bat.
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Makes one 9-inch pie
2 unbaked homemade pie crust (everyone has different renditions of their favorite crust…so you’re on your own for this part of the recipe….everyone has to have their own culinary secrets )
2 1/2 cups sliced rhubarb (about 3 large stalks)
2 1/2 cups hulled and sliced fresh strawberries
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 large egg yolk beaten to blend with 1 teaspoon water (for glaze)
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Prepare the bottom crust by rolling it into an 11-inch circle. Carefully fit the crust inside the pan so about an inch hangs over the sides and press down into the pan.
Mix the fruit with the sugar, flour, and lemon zest. Using a fork, poke the bottom of the pie crust evenly about a handful of times so the crust can breath. Pour the fruit mixture into the pastry. Dot with the butter pieces. Moisten the edge of the bottom crust with a finger dipped in water. Roll the top pastry in one piece over the fruit and slice in a few air vents so the entire pie can breathe and crimp the edges.
Brush the egg glaze over the crust to give it that buttery flaky texture we all love! Transfer the pie to a baking sheet and prepare to wait.
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350°F and bake another 30 minutes longer, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
Remove from the oven and cool on a rack before serving.
Now that your mouth is watering let’s share our receipe for our strawberry rhubarb fizz!
Strawberry Rhubarb Fizz
1.5 oz Vodka (we use Smirnoff)
.5 oz triple sec
1.5 oz of strawberry rhubarb puree
2 dashes of grapefruit bitters
Add all ingredients to your favorite glass, top with ice and shake generously. Top with sprite and enjoy
Recipe for puree:
1 cup strawberries hulled and halved
1 cup rhubarb cut into small pieces
.5 cup sugar
.25 cup lime juice
Place all ingredients into a pot and cook over medium heat stirring frequently. Cook for about 20 minutes or until the mixture is soft. Let cool and place in blender to make a smooth puree. Refrigerate or freeze unused puree n
Now for a dish we bring out for special occasions. Don’t want to cook for the whole extended family…have a family reunion or gathering at the Grillhouse and add this to your menu! Call to speak to our banquet coordinator today about all the seasonal dishes we have to offer for your memorable event!
Seasonal Strawberry Spinach Salad
1 bag baby spinach
1 pint of fresh strawberries hulled and halved
¾ cup of local goat cheese
½ cup of chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
Salt and Pepper – to taste
Mix ingredients together and enjoy a refreshing salad together with friends and family!