Gourmet Galley: Fresh strawberries

One of my favorite ways to serve fresh Louisiana strawberries is simply sliced in a pretty, stemmed glass, or bowl, with a dollop of whipped cream. Just presenting the fruit in a special glass or bowl makes it appear special. The cream I’m referring to is real whipped cream, not whipped topping in a plastic tub.

In less then 5 minutes you can have a bowl of whipped cream ready to top any fresh fruit or dessert. That white cloud of deliciousness can be served plain, with a little sugar for sweetness or jazzed up with liqueur, extracts or cinnamon sugar, chocolate shavings, citrus zest, or a sprinkle of instant espresso powder over the top.

Start with utensils, bowls and beaters that are free of oil or grease. A cold bowl will make whipping the cream quicker.

Strawberry Romanoff is one of the many desserts named after Russian royals by their French chefs. There are variations in the liqueur but basically the strawberries are soaked in orange juice and Grand Marnier, Cointreau, brandy or curaƧao and topped with freshly whipped cream. Simple, and it’s the perfect ending after a nice dinner. The portion size can be small and elegant.

When you soak fruit in a liqueur and juice mixture like that, it’s called “macerating.”

Corinne Cook is a columnist for The Advocate. Reach her at food@theadvocate.com.