Strawberry Fields Forever: Strawberry Season in Fia’s Kitchen

I have the fondest memories of berry picking with my mom as a very little girl. She would pack me in the car (then us, as I grew older and gained a younger sister) and drive to the berry fields at Popp’s Farm in Dresden. We reused our little green cartons year after year, until they were stained red with juice from season after season of ripe red berries, and the folks at the farm always looked the other way if my tiny fingers should sneak a berry or two into my mouth while I helped Mom filled the cartons with that season’s offerings.

The berries we picked would become strawberry shortbread first. Sliced and lightly sugared, we’d pile them on top of one of Mom’s fresh Bisquick biscuits and top them with a generous dollop of real whipped cream, if we had it, and Cool Whip if we didn’t. It was one of my father’s favorite summer treats.

Now that I live in Bangor, I notice that the berries I see around come from Tate’s in Corinth, and I’m hoping to wrangle a trip to capture that nostalgia of eating fresh berries, still warm from the sun. In the meanwhile, however, I did purchase some to play with in my kitchen, and I hope you’ll enjoy the results.

Chicken Soft Tacos with Strawberry-Cucumber Salsa

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into tenders/strips
  • 1 c. pureed strawberry
  • 1 tbsp. plus 1 tbsp. balsamic or black vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. plus 1 tbsp. sriracha
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 c. sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 10-20 basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 4 flour tortillas
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
In a bowl, combine pureed strawberry, 1 tbsp. sriracha (or your favorite hot sauce,) 1 tbsp. vinegar, garlic and salt. Cover chicken breasts in the mixture and allow to marinate at least one hour. Bake or grill until juices run clear. Meanwhile, in another bowl, combine fresh berries, cucumber, basil, 1 tbsp. sriracha, and 1 tbsp. vinegar. To serve, lay sliced avocado on flour tortillas, place chicken pieces on top of avocado, and top generously with salsa.

Maple-Strawberry Overnight French Toast

  • 8 slices of your choice of bread
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 c. maple syrup
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • nutmeg & cinnamon sugar to top
  • 2 c. sliced and macerated strawberries, divided
In a square baking pan, lay 4 slices of bread flat on the bottom. Carefully slice cream cheese and place on top of bread, covering as much surface as possible. Cover cream cheese with 1 c. strawberries, then the remaining 4 slices of bread. In a bowl or large measuring cup, beat together eggs, milk and maple syrup. Pour over bread, distributing evenly. Refrigerate overnight. Top with a generous sprinkle of cinnamon sugar and nutmeg prior to baking (about 30 minutes at 350°F) and serve with remaining strawberries on top.

Deep-Fried Cheesecake-Stuffed Strawberries

  • 1 lb strawberries, generously hulled
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 c. plus 1 tbsp confectioner’s sugar, plus more to dust
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 c. self-rising flour
  • 6 oz. beer (I used Dogfish Head’s Tweason’ale, which already has a hint of strawberry)
  • oil to fry

Combine cream cheese, 1/2 c. confectioner’s sugar and vanilla extract with a hand mixer until smooth, and pipe into hollows left from hulling the strawberries. (I use a huller that resembles a tiny melon baller with teeth! It’s great for saving the stem end of tomatoes, too.) Refrigerate for an hour or more. (You could also stick them in the freezer for 15-20 minutes, but don’t forget them in there!) In another bowl, combine self-rising flour, 1 tbsp. confectioner’s sugar and one half (6 oz.) of a can or bottle of beer, whisking together until smooth. Heat oil in a deep fryer, or several inches of oil in a deep pan on the stove, to 350°F. Coat each stuffed berry well with the beer batter before dropping into the hot oil, and cook until just lightly golden brown.

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Fia Fortune

About Fia Fortune

Fia Fortune is a home cook who enjoys gardening, creating recipes for her two blogs, cooking for herself and her boyfriend, and trying to keep up with their blended family of four cats.