Thursday, January 22, 2015

Strawberries in Red Wine Syrup & Lunch with Friends by the Pool


Strawberries in red wine syrup is a perfect to dessert to follow a rich main course because it’s refreshing to the palate and is a very colorful finale to the entire meal. You’ll quick find that the sugary wine syrup that collects in the bottom of the bowl is the very best part. This is a dessert that comes together in a matter of a few minutes and can and should be made at least 30 minutes ahead and up to an hour.



Larry and Beverly of Big Dude’s Eclectic Wanderings enjoy RV-ing and were visiting our area so we invited them to lunch at our house by the pool. The week before we drove up to their campground where they were staying near Port Charlotte and enjoyed a delightful afternoon seafood extravaganza consisting of oysters and clams from Cedar Key, some of the freshest I’ve tasted in a very long, served several ways, grilled Gulf shrimp, Bev’s homemade sourdough rolls, hot out of the oven, my French potato salad (recipe here) and cole slaw, which we brought, and le pièce de résistance – Larry’s own grilled Oysters Rockefeller, the best I’ve ever eaten. Link here to the Larry’s recipes.



For lunch by the pool at our house, we started with spicy cranberry goat cheese log as an appetizer along with a glass of wine. I’ve served this several times lately and it’s always a hit. Feel free to use dried cherries in the place of the cranberries and substitute fresh thyme leaves for the rosemary if you wish. But whatever you do, don't leave out the candied ginger, it's the secret to the spiciness of the dish. Link to the spicy goat cheese log recipe here.



Our main course was quick French cassoulet, which has become a favorite with us and can easily be prepared a day or two in advance. Even though we’re in south Florida, the day was breezy with a very slight chill in the air, meaning low seventies, so a hearty dish such as cassoulet was perfect. Link to cassoulet recipe here. A crispy French baguette and a simple tossed baby greens salad with our house French vinaigrette, recipe to vinaigrette here, rounded out the meal.

Strawberries in red wine syrup was our dessert. Strawberries from Plant City, Florida, the winter strawberry capital off the world, are in season right now, but any good fresh strawberry is fine. Plan ahead and remember the berries need to sit in the refrigerator for up to 30 minutes and as long as an hour for the flavors to blend.



Strawberries in Red Wine Syrup
Fraises au Vin Rouge
Slightly adapted From Paris to Provence, Ethel Brennan & Sara Remington – serves 4
Printable Recipe

2 pints medium-size ripe strawberries, stems removed and cut into halves or slices if large
¼ cup sugar
1 cup red wine, such as a Cote de Rhone
Sprigs of fresh mint for garnish
Thin chocolate cookies to accompany

Place the strawberries in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the sugar over the tops of the berries and gently toss to coat. Add the red wine and gently stir the strawberries, then place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour. Garnish each serving with a sprig of fresh mint. Serve slightly chilled. Great with thin chocolate cookies and a glass of red wine.



For better viewing, click photos to enlarge.

This will be shared with Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farm and Miz Helen’s Country Kitchen Full Plate Thursday.
Have a great weekend everyone.





33 comments:

  1. I was just thinking last weekend that it was time strawberries should begin to show up in the supermarkets Sam! Your dessert sounds wonderful and is very pretty:@)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sounds like a fabulous feast with your good friends! I love reading your foodie posts with Larry and Beverly (and from time to time, others); always creative and delicious meals created by all of you. Your strawberry dessert looks so refreshing, Sam. I've used balsamic with strawberries, but never wine. Super idea, simple to make and looks delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a delicious visit with blogging friends. While local strawberries are months away, we are fortunate to have beautiful ones from Florida and California in our markets. Lovely recipe. I am FB friends with Christo and have been most concerned. He is fortunate to have so many praying for and supporting him during this time.

    Best,
    Bonnie

    ReplyDelete
  4. Now I am dreaming of strawberries Sam. They won't be read here until June, the joys of living in the Great White North :-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sorry about your friend Sam..I did not know of him.
    What a shame..

    On a brighter note..everything looks mouth watering..our son-i-law Fédérick loves making cassoulets..they have a family gathering soon and that is one of the dishes he is bringing..
    I am familiar with Port Charlotte and have driven by many of the areas to have an RV..Clients used tostay at the Oscar S one.
    I love Fl:)

    ReplyDelete
  6. And what a fine afternoon it was at the Hoffer's. The food was all excellent and I especially liked the cheese log. As good as the food was, the visit was the best part for me as we got to share a little piece of our lives with each other not to mention putting a little dent in Meakin's wine cellar. Thanks for the shout out and, as always, we look forward to the next time.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The strawberries sound wonderful! I am sorry about your friend, Sam.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Your luncheon dishes look delicious Sam. Lucky Larry, Bev and Pat. I know all of you must have had a wonderful time. Sorry to hear about your blogging friend. I hope he will pull through and continue his cooking career. I have checked out his wonderful blog. Prayers sent his way.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Sam, That is a very elegant looking meal! The cassoulet looks great and with that strawberry finish, you can't lose! Looks like you and Big Dude shared a couple of great meals... Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

    ReplyDelete
  10. From the cassoulet to the strawberries, you have created a post -- and a menu -- that is so appealing, I feel as if I've been sitting on a sunny terrace in the south of France. Gorgeous, Sam!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sorry about your friend but not someone I follow. This sounds wonderful, but as much as I like strawberries they do not like me! Have a good weekend. Diane

    ReplyDelete
  12. Your strawberries look great! Sorry to hear about Christo, I'm a friend on FB and missed that this morning, so am headed there now. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oh my goodness, now I know what to do with all the strawberries I am planting this spring!!! <3

    Anyhoo, I found your blog through a fellow blogger and thought I would stop by and say hi! It would totally make my day if you did the same... or better yet, keep in touch!! <3 - www.domesticgeekgirl.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. What a wonderful meal! and the strawberries in red wine syrup is a beautifully delicious ending - yum!
    Mary

    ReplyDelete
  15. What a wonderful lunch you prepared Sam! Everything looks so delicious. Cassoulet is on my bucket list to make. I've never had strawberries macerated in red wine only Grand Marnier. A must try when those beautiful Florida strawberries start showing up here :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Ooooooh love all these, but those strawberries in the red wine syrup look delicious!!!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Ah! Cedar Key oysters and Plant City strawberries! I'm growing nostalgic for the land (and food) of my youth.

    ReplyDelete
  18. A simple yet very elegant and delicious dessert! I must try this when the strawberry is in season here.
    I love Christo's blog and am so sorry to hear about the sad news. Will keep him and his family in my thoughts.
    Angie

    ReplyDelete
  19. This looks like a delicious feast, Sam! Strawberries in wine sounds fabulous. We often serve sliced peachesin wine in the summer when peaches are ins season I am jealous that you can sit outside by your pool this time of the year!

    I was very dad to hear about Christos on facebook. He was always such a cheerful man with wonderful new recipe ideas. I am praying that he pulls through!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Sounds scrumptious, Sam! And so does "by the pool". Enjoy the gorgeous weather!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Just what I needed on a cold rainy day! The strawberries are begininng to show up at the grocery store and I have been ignoring them but this looks too good to pass up. It is just up MM's alley., she loves pears in wine. My compliments to the photo guy and his stylist !!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. What a marvelous lunch to share with friends. Every dish looks divine!!!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Good food, good friend and good view.....
    what a fest,,,,,

    ReplyDelete
  24. How wonderful it is when food bloggers become friends "in the flesh". Strawberries don't come into season in our Salinas Valley for a couple of more months, and I can hardly wait. I love the simplicity of this dessert.

    ReplyDelete
  25. The internet once understood is a great way to meet others of like mind, lovely dessert. Looks like a wonderful time.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Soooo much deliciousness, Sam! I can't wait to try the Quick Cassoulet and the divine sounding strawberries - the grilled Oysters Rockefeller sounded fabulous too - I don't know where to begin! Thanks for the wonderful predicament:)

    ReplyDelete
  27. By the pool with friends? I take it you are in Florida, ha ha. I was always a fan of Plant City strawberries when they would come in during early spring. Around here the big name is Driscol strawberries which are good but you just don't see Plant City ones up here often.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Oh boy! We do strawberries in California too, although not right now so much. This would make a great dessert for the dinner party I swear I'm going to throw soon.

    ReplyDelete
  29. How wonderful that the four of you have become such great friends over the years and that you are able to see each other in each of your homes! I can just imagine how wonderful the sugar-wine syrup tastes at the bottom as you said, Sam! What a treat . . . especially to enjoy by a pool!!!!
    Be well,
    Roz

    ReplyDelete
  30. i love simple yet elegant and delicious desserts. You are blessed to have such amazing friends.

    ReplyDelete
  31. You must have enjoyed the lunch and visit with Larry and Bev, your food sounds delicious.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hi Sam,
    This is a wonderful dessert! Thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with Full Plate Thursday, I will be pinning this. Hope you have a great week and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for stopping by.