STRAWBERRY AND FINGER BANANA FRITTERS, VANILLA BEAN ICE CREAM AND MOSTO SAUCE
Chef Carmen Gonzalez, the Danforth Inn
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup cold Red Stripe beer
8 finger bananas, sliced in half diagonally
Vanilla ice cream
3 strawberries, thinly sliced diagonally
3 mint leaves, thinly sliced
Mix together flour, granulated sugar and salt, add beer and whisk to combine.
Dip strawberries and banana slices in batter, shaking off excess, and fry in oil at 375 degrees, until golden, about 1½ minutes on each side. Transfer fritters with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Transfer to individual serving cups, top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and 2 tablespoons of the mosto sauce (recipe below). Garnish with the sliced strawberries and mint.
3 cups of dry red wine
1 cup sugar
Splash of fresh apple cider
Combine the dry red wine, sugar and cinnamon in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and cook until it is reduced to a thick and syrupy consistency. Remove from the heat and allow it to cool completely, transfer to a glass bottle.
Makes: 1½ cups
MAPLE PANNA COTTA WITH BALSAMIC GRILLED MAINE STRAWBERRIES AND OAT CLUSTERS
Tim Pierre Labonte, executive chef, Portland Harbor Hotel
MAPLE PANNA COTTA:
8 ounces Grade A amber maple syrup (preferably from Maine)
8 ounces half and half
4 ounces creme fraiche
Vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise
3 standard gelatin sheets
Four 16-ounce hinged lid Mason jars. (You may substitute a large red wine glass in place of jar.)
In a pot bring the first four ingredients to a simmer and turn off.
Whisk in three sheets of bloomed gelatin to the hot maple mixture. Strain.
In your jar or wine glass pour 5 ounces of the maple mix, place in refrigerator uncovered until set, about four hours. You may cover in plastic wrap once mix is properly chilled.
Note: The maple panna cotta can be prepared the day before served.
Note: You can substitute 1 tablespoon powdered gelatin in place of the three sheets.
BALSAMIC GRILLED MAINE STRAWBERRIES:
1 pint fresh Maine strawberries, cleaned, trimmed and cut in half
1 ounce extra virgin olive oil
1 ounce balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
Pinch sea salt
Toss all ingredients together in a mixing bowl to coat the berries.
Place a metal colander or a perforated pan on a grill that has been preheated. Pour the berry mix from the mixing bowl to the perforated grill pan and allow the grill smoke to rise into the strawberries for about 60 to 90 seconds, stirring constantly.
Transfer strawberries back to the mixing bowl and refrigerate until serving.
ROSEMARY OAT CLUSTERS:
½ cup rolled oats
1 ounce honey
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon softened butter
1 sprig fresh chopped rosemary
Pinch sea salt
Thoroughly mix together all ingredients, form into a thin even layer and place on a nonstick baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Set aside to cool. Once cool, cut oats into desired-size pieces,
Note: You can prepare the oat mix a day in advance.
Assemble by simply topping each panna cotta with balsamic grilled strawberries and garnishing with rosemary oat clusters. You may also use mint and/or whipped cream as a garnish.
STRAWBERRY CREPE CAKE
Erin Lynch, kitchen manager, Rosemont Market & Bakery
FOR THE CREPES:
6 tablespoons melted and cooled unsalted butter
2 cups scalded and cooled-to-just-warm milk
6 large eggs
1½ cups flour
5 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
Butter for your pan
FOR THE FILLING:
Two 8-ounce containers mascarpone
2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 quart sliced strawberries – reserve a few for garnish
To make the crepes: Whisk eggs, flour, sugar and salt until combined well. Slowly add warm milk and melted butter. Whisk until combined.
Warm a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Brush a little butter over the surface of the pan. Using a full ¼ cup measure, pour the batter into the pan. Swirl the pan so the batter spreads. Cook until the bottom begins to brown and gently flip the crepe. Brown the crepe briefly on the other side. Set the crepe aside on a sheet pan to cool. Continue cooking crepes until all of the batter is gone. You will have at least 20 crepes.
To make the filling: In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream, mascarpone, sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form.
To assemble: Lay one crepe on a plate, spread a thin layer of the whipped cream mixture, and then top with a few sliced berries. Cover the berries with a crepe and continue layering with the cream, berries and more crepes. Cover the last crepe with a generous amount of cream and garnish with a few berries if you desire.