WRAL reporter Brian Shrader and our own Lisa Prince feature seasonal recipes in their weekly Local Dish Cooking segment. This month Brian and Lisa featured three new ways to enjoy sweet red, ripe strawberries. With about 250 strawberry farms in North Carolina, it should be easy to find a pick-your-own farm near you.
The first recipe is for strawberry chipotle chicken wings. Lisa says her family enjoys the raspberry chipotle wings at My Way Tavern in Holly Springs. Lisa re-created the wings at home using fresh N.C. strawberries. Serve with celery, lemon wedges and ranch or blue cheese dressing. This is a great way to serve wings in the spring time.
1 pound chicken wings
1 pound strawberries, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 teaspoons adobo sauce
1⁄2 cup apple cider vinegar
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 cup brown sugar
1⁄2 cup granulated sugar
Season chicken wings with salt and pepper. Place chicken wings on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake at 450 degrees for 45 minutes.
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in jalapenos; cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Mix in garlic, and adobo sauce; bring to a simmer. Stir the strawberries into the sauce; cook until soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, salt, brown sugar and white sugar. Mix well. Simmer until thickened and reduced by half for about 15 minutes. You can mash the berries with hand chopper or fork to break them up to desired size. Transfer sauce to a large heatproof bowl; add cooked wings and toss.
The next recipe is for strawberry flatbread. This would work great as an appetizer for upcoming showers or graduation parties. Lisa suggests making sure you get a taste of each ingredient in every bite for this pizza to work. Make sure to use plenty of basil and use all the pecans. Also, drizzle with lots of honey.
1 refrigerated thin-crust pizza dough
1 cup strawberries, sliced
1 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, divided
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon firmly packed lemon zest
1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1⁄2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1⁄2 cup pecans, chopped and toasted
1 teaspoon honey
garnish with basil
Cook pizza crust according to package directions and let cool. Toss sliced strawberry slices in 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice. Stir together ricotta cheese, lemon zest, salt, pepper and remaining lemon juice. Spread ricotta mixture over the baked crust. Arrange strawberry slices over ricotta, sprinkle with onion slices and pecans. Drizzle with honey and garnish with fresh basil. Cut into squares and serve.
The next recipe is a fat-free, dairy-free dessert. This sorbet is refreshing because of the mint but rich and sweet enough to be a dessert because of the sweet North Carolina strawberries.
3⁄4 cup sugar
4 cups strawberries
1 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1⁄4 cup mint leaves (a good handful)
Combine sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepan, and cook over medium heat, stirring often, 3 to 4 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Add in the mint leaves and let steep for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Place strawberries and lemon juice in a food processor, and process until smooth. Strain strawberry mixture through a fine wire-mesh sieve placed over a bowl, pressing solids with a wooden spoon to extract liquid. Discard solids. Remove the mint from the cooled sugar mixture and stir it into the strawberry mixture. Transfer to a 13×9-inch glass baking dish. Place in freezer and stir every 15 minutes, until almost firm, about 1 hour. Continue to freeze (without stirring) until firm, 2 hours or overnight. May be stored frozen, covered, for up to 1 week.