June 27, 2012

Sweet: Strawberry recipes from Maine chefs


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Erin Lynch’s strawberry crepe cake.

Meredith Goad/Staff Writer

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Tim Pierre Labonte quickly grills the strawberries for this dessert of panna cotta and rosemary oat clusters.

Meredith Goad/Staff Writer

Additional Photos Below

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Chef Carmen Gonzalez, the Danforth Inn 

1 cup all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup cold Red Stripe beer

16 strawberries

8 finger bananas, sliced in half diagonally

Canola oil

Mosto sauce

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.

Servings: Four


3 cups of dry red wine

1 cup sugar

Cinnamon stick

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


Tim Pierre Labonte, executive chef, Portland Harbor Hotel


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.


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.


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.

(Continued on page 2)

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Additional Photos

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Carmen Gonzales drizzles sauce on her strawberry and banana fritter creation.

Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer


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