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Fried Strawberries (with eggs, sugar, rum, beer, orange and lemon zest)
Originated from: Italy
Occasion: St. Joseph's Day and St. Valentine's Day
Contributed by: Taken from Rizzi DeFabo's cookbook, "Cooking with Rizzi" (Crabtree Press, 2010)

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30 fresh, firm strawberries
1 tablespoon olive oil (do not use extra virgin)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons clear rum
2 extra large eggs, separated and at room temperature
1 cup light beer
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup sugar
zest of 1 orange, chopped
zest of 1 lemon, chopped

vegetable oil for frying
whipped crem for garnish


Rinse strawberries and remove stems.

Place on paper towels to dry. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

In a large bowl, beat olive oil, sugar, rum, and egg yolks.

Add beer.

Gradually sift in flour, beating until batter is smooth.

Cover bowl and let stand at room temperature for 3 hours.

With an electric mixer, beat egg whites, salt, and 2 teaspoons sugar until stiff peaks form.

Fold egg whites into batter.

In a deep, heavy pot pour oil to the depth of about 3 inches. Heat to 375 degrees F.

Place strawberries into batter a few at a time. With a toothpick, remove strawberries from batter, and place in hot oil, turning occasionally. When strawberries are golden brown, remove with slotted spoon.

Drain on paper towels.

In a bowl, combine 1 cup sugar, orange zest, and lemon zest.

Roll strawberries in sugar mixture.

Garnish with whipped cream and serve hot!

Serves: 8 to 10


This recipe was taken from Rizzi DeFabo's cookbook, "Cooking with Rizzi" (Crabtree Press, 2010) with the expressed permission of the author, an award-winning Italian-American chef and owner of "Rizzo's Malabar Inn." "Rizzo's Malabar Inn" is located in southwestern Pennsylvania (126 Rizzo Road, Crabtree, Salem Township). The food served at this restaurant, a local landmark dating back to the 1920s, reflects the culinary traditions of Abruzzo and Molise. Rizzi DeFabo notes in his cookbook that "Fried strawberries are a popular dessert served for Saint Joseph Day and Valentine's Day. I first tasted fried strawberries made by a street vendor in Italy. This fried dish is a perfect addition to our menu, since Staint Joseph is the patron saint of the frying pan."

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