Dragon Fruit & Strawberry Poke

makes 10 (2 piece) servings
Pepper’s mouth-prickling boldness is softened by naturally sweet dragon fruit in this creative take on poke. Serve fresh strawberry and diced dragon fruit salad (mock poke) atop a dollop of peppered whipped cream and crispy wonton triangles. Drizzle with a balsamic-pepper syrup for an assertive spice sensation that’s here to stay.

  • 1/2 cup brown rice syrup
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 1/2 teaspoons McCormick Gourmet Organic Coarse Ground Black Pepper, divided
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 8 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups diced strawberries (1/4-inch dice)
  • 5 egg roll wrappers
  • 1 cup oil, for frying
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups diced peeled dragon fruit (1/4-inch dice)

Bring rice syrup, vinegar and 1 tablespoon of pepper in small saucepan to boil, whisking occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 15 minutes. Stir in lemon juice. Let stand 1 hour. Strain balsamic pepper reduction through several layers of cheesecloth into small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Meanwhile, beat cream, 2 tablespoons sugar and another 1/2 teaspoon pepper in medium bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Mix strawberries with another 3 tablespoons sugar in small bowl. Let stand at room temperature 10 to 15 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut each egg roll wrapper in half to create 2 rectangles. Then cut each rectangle in half diagonally to create 4 triangles.

Heat oil in large skillet on medium heat. Fry triangle wrappers in batches until puffed and golden, about 1 to 2 minutes per batch, turning once. Remove with slotted spoon to paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain.

Mix remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons pepper in small bowl. Brush fried triangle wrappers with 1/2 of the melted butter.

Sprinkle each triangle wrapper with 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper sugar mixture. Brush triangles again with remaining butter.

Place triangles on baking sheet. Bake 6 minutes or until golden brown and pepper sugar mixture is caramelized. Let cool slightly on wire rack.

To assemble for serving, place 1 tablespoon peppered whipped cream on the wide side of each triangle crisp. Top with 2 teaspoons each strawberries and dragon fruit. Drizzle with balsamic pepper reduction.

Courtesy of McCormick

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