Category: Peaches

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Blueberry-Peach Salsa–And Other Things to Do with Colorado Peaches

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Blueberry-Peach Salsa–And Other Things to Do with Colorado Peaches

Served here on Lemony Sautéed Spinach with Quinoa

If you live in Colorado, you know from peaches, which are grown way out west on the western slope–almost in Utah if you check the map. Every year about this time, your friends in other states begin to mention, “Hey, I bought Colorado peaches in the store the other day!” You look in your store and you find California peaches and begin to think we’re exporting all our best produce. It happens. (I’ll give you that there are also great peaches from Georgia, Washington state, Michigan, and even California. I just live in Colorado.)

Continue reading “Grilled Chicken Breasts with Blueberry-Peach Salsa–And Other Things to Do with Colorado Peaches”
She’s a Peach! Brown Sugar and Spice Peach Pie

She’s a Peach! Brown Sugar and Spice Peach Pie

My good friend, next-door neighbor, and sometime cooking student, Mike (below), knows that if you really don’t want to make pie dough, it’s fine with me that you use purchased refrigerator case pie dough (not frozen). I’d love for you to bake pie however it happens. Hopefully next time –or sometime–you’ll try to make dough; practice definitely improves the product. Take it from me.

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Fresh Fig and Peach Jam or Sara’s Gift

Fresh Fig and Peach Jam or Sara’s Gift

My friend Sara brought me figs the other day. A little giftie–much appreciated. Not much better to give a woman like me. Since it wasn’t time for figgy pudding, I opted to eat them fresh as they’re pretty rare in Colorado.

Continue reading “Fresh Fig and Peach Jam or Sara’s Gift”

Sweet Cinnamon Biscuit Peach Cobbler and Armagnac Ice Cream

Sweet Cinnamon Biscuit Peach Cobbler and Armagnac Ice Cream

Cobblers are often thought to take the place of pies--if you don’t know how or don’t want to bake a pie.  I beg to differ. Cobblers, along with crisps, buckles, fools, and pandowdies, etc., are their very own lovely desserts…or breakfasts. True, they’re a bit quicker or easier to both make and bake as they have only one layer of some sort of crust, but they differ in many other ways.  (Fools have no crust at all!) For me, the filling of a cobbler, in particular, isn’t nearly as sweet and surely isn’t as caloric as that of a pie with two crusts. Instead of pie pastry or pâte brisée, there is–for cobbler– a soft, billowy-pillowy biscuit topping with a crunchy edge that merely sets off the great big bite of fruit. And, while others might disagree, I’d typically only make a cobbler when the fruit was at its peak. Mid-winter apple cobbler might be the exception. Yes, it’s hot to bake right now and yes, it’s perfectly luscious, too.

Continue reading “Sweet Cinnamon Biscuit Peach Cobbler and Armagnac Ice Cream”

Peach-Blueberry Pie

Peach-Blueberry Pie

As the bittersweet arrival of the last of the northwest blueberries coincides with the happy coming of the first glorious Colorado peaches, the two together feel exactly like a match made in heaven in my kitchen on a beautiful cool morning.  With just a smidge over 5 cups of beginning-to-pucker and wilt Oregon blueberries in the fridge, I had not quite enough for a 9-inch pie. A case of peaches sat wafting their keen aroma from the mudroom, so I followed my nose out there and snagged a couple of not-too-ripe beauties to peel and slice for the bottom of the pie, filling that empty extra inch of space. The buttery sweetness from the berry mixture on top would provide plenty of juicy goodness for the still somewhat tangy peaches.  Making something with peaches that aren’t quite ripe or up-to-snuff?  Add a pinch of ground mace to increase their flavor.

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Grilled Peach and Corn Salsa–Colorado Summer Bounty

Grilled Peach and Corn Salsa–Colorado Summer Bounty

The Colorado growing season is short, but mighty.  We make up for the reduced length with the best and sweetest Olathe (pronounced: o-LAY-tha) sweet corn and toothsome, sticky-dripping Western Slope  Palisade peaches.  (Visit Colorado wine country, too, if you go to pick peaches.)  Somewhere in there the Rocky Ford cantaloupes also ripen, the Pueblo green chiles are roasted on street corners–going into myriad pots of pork green chile or into the freezer for scrambled eggs at Christmas and Super Bowl snacks. (We eat a lot of New Mexican Hatch chiles, too, which come in somewhat milder versions.) If you’re really lucky, you even know someone who fly fishes and will bring back trout we smoke to last all winter long. (More on those last three another post.)  

By the way, the Olathe Corn growers and the Palisade Peach producers each sponsor local festivals every summer and they’re coming right up:

OLATHE SWEET CORN FESTIVAL INFO AUGUST 5, 2017

PALISADE PEACH FESTIVAL INFO  AUGUST 17-19, 2017

Continue reading “Grilled Peach and Corn Salsa–Colorado Summer Bounty”

Peach-Avocado Salad with Basil

Peach-Avocado Salad with Basil

IMG_7810

My larder at any time of the year includes a good number of fruits and vegetables in a basket or on the counter to the right of my range. (As one cooking friend admits, “I’ll forget about them if they’re not out there in plain sight.”)  An embarrassment of riches sometimes produces a meal I hadn’t expected or thought of before –especially in the summer — and that’s exactly how we ended up with this eye-candy salad. My original thought was a sort of bastard caprese as I had beaucoup fresh mozzarella as well as a big bag of avocados and a box of ripe peaches.  I’m a rich girl.  But somehow in the making of the dish — I was racing Dave, who was grilling meat — I just forgot the cheese.  Add it if you have some or covet protein or calcium.  I’m sure it would be great, but this is a stunning plateful without any additions. While I’m a committed carnivore, the meat was nearly superfluous.  Try this:

PEACH-AVOCADO SALAD WITH BASIL

makes 2 generous servings

If you’d rather have this for dessert, try a drizzle of local honey in place of the olive oil. 

  •  2 handfuls of fresh greens–I used spinach
  • 1 large ripe peach (Of course I prefer Colorado western slope peaches!), pitted and sliced
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced
  • 12 large fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Handful of fresh grapes

Line a small serving platter or dinner plate with the greens and alternate all of the slices of peach and avocado.  Add a leaf of fresh basil every other pairing or so.  Drizzle with orange juice and olive oil; sprinkle with pepper.  Garnish with grapes. Serve immediately.

IMG_7809Sing a new song,

Alyce

Gone Fishin’ — In the Meanwhile Enjoy my Favorite Peach Post:

Gone Fishin’ — In the Meanwhile Enjoy my Favorite Peach Post:

Peaches, cream, and more 

If its August.  If it’s Colorado.  I’m eating peaches.  Any day. Every day.  For at least two weeks.  By themselves.  On Greek Yogurt with Colorado honey and slivered toasted almonds.  Or granola.   On top of vanilla frozen yogurt.  In a salsa on pork chops.  Etcetera.

Here are a few of the yummy things I’ve done.  Of course the best?  Above.  Fuzzy naked.


Grilled peaches:

Preheat clean grill to medium-high heat.  Cut peaches in half and remove pits.  Brush each half with a little bit of canola oil and place cut-side down on grill.  Let cook about 3 or 4 minutes and turn over when grill marks are well-established, but not blackened.  Cook another 2 or 3 minutes until tops of cut-side are somewhat visibly drying.  Remove and cool briefly.  Enjoy as is or try another good idea…

Grilled Peaches with Goat’s Cheese, Honey and Thyme
God had to have been in on this creation.  Of course.  Here’s how:
Grill peaches as above.  Top each with 1-2 T plain goat’s cheese (softened a bit).  Drizzle with your favorite honey and sprinkle with a few leaves of fresh thyme.   (recipe copyright Alyce Morgan, 2010)
Grilled Peach Salsa
Lovely on BBQ Pork Chops (Really),
Salmon
Shrimp Tacos
Grilled Fish
Tortilla Chips?  Of course.  Here’s how:

2-6 t very finely minced jalapeno (to your taste–start with 2t and more if you’d like)
1/3 c finely minced onion
2 large peaches (Colorado preferred), cut in half and grilled*, peeled after grilling, and chopped into 1/2″  pieces
1 ripe avocado, peeled and diced
1/2 ea medium red sweet pepper and green sweet pepper, diced
1/2 c chopped fresh cilantro
Juice of 1/2 a lime
Dash of kosher salt and a couple of grates of fresh ground pepper

In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients gently but thoroughly. Taste and correct seasoning if necessary. (Add more jalapeno, etc) Serve on with grilled pork chops, shrimp or salmon or on seafood or fish tacos. (recipe copyright Alyce Morgan 2010)


Wine? If you make the bbq pork chops or salmon, try a little inexpensive Beaujolais. Other reds or bigger wines will overwhelm this meal, though a nice Lodi (California) Zinfandel would drink!  It’s summer and something lighter and refreshing will turn on these peaches. If you make the shrimp or fish tacos, a cold Spanish Albarino (lovely white) or even an Oregon Pinot Gris could do the trick.

(If you’d like to make the green bean salad, here’s the blogpost for it, though I dressed it differently here.  Rather than a mustard vinaigrette, I mixed a bit of top-quality light Ranch with some roasted salsa for a dressing.)

Lovely frozen yogurt from David Levovitz’ book THE PERFECT SCOOP. (Click for the recipe.)  Just slice those lovely lady peaches and slither them on top of this silky iced lushness.

Or try  PEACH AMARETTO BREAD PUDDING  if nothing else sounds good:

Peach-Amaretto Bread Pudding  serves 4-6
 
Ingredients:

  • 2 large hard rolls, cut into ½” slices and buttered
  • 2 large peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced into 1/3” pieces
  • 3 extra large eggs
  • 1 ½ -1 ¾ cups milk
  • 1/8 c Amaretto liqueur
  • 1 t cinnamon (Vietnamese is good)

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter 2 qt round casserole and set aside.
  2. In medium bowl, beat eggs and add remaining ingredients. Beat well.
  3. Layer bread and peaches in casserole dish and pour egg mixture over all, stirring just a bit to make sure all ingredients are wet. If some bread/peaches are sticking out on top, it’s fine.
  4. Bake 60-70 min. until edges are crispy, but bread is still tender. Let sit at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream. Can also be served at room temperature or cold.

 

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While you do all that, I’m on the road again with a fishing pole in the trunk….

We’ll be back next week…all of us.

In the meantime, keep cooking…

and grinning.

Sing a new song, Alyce

Peaches and Cream (and Cake) Two Ways or Have Your Cake and Eat it Two

Peaches and Cream (and Cake) Two Ways or Have Your Cake and Eat it Two

 I don’t want to live in a world without peaches.  Really.  And I only like canned peaches pureed into Bellini Soup (is there such a thing?) or on top of cottage cheese for lunch in the winter if I’m just desperate and out of time and am feeling tres fat.  And while, “Sorry don’t get it done, Dude,” is one of the more famous John Wayne quotes, I often remember him in front of a campfire, “Open me up a can of those peaches.”  Poor cowboys.  They didn’t have fresh peaches.  Just cooked, peeled, old canned things.

In St. Paul, we’ve had peaches from several places for a few weeks.  And some of them have been glorious.  We’re still waiting for Colorado western-slope, but that’s as it should be.  Having lived in Colorado for years, I’m not addicted to those peaches.  In fact, I like peaches from other states better.  (These are fighting words, I know.  Sorry, Colorado.)  There’s just not enough rain in Colorado for fruit trees.  Around Penrose,  (south of Colorado Springs) there are some apple orchards that nearly bite the dust every few years despite large-scale irrigation.

Here are some of my favorite ways with peaches:

Unadorned and sweetly loved

Into a salsa for fish or pork or chicken or as a salad all alone with avocado .

 Here’s the link for the salsa recipe here at More Time at the Table.

Grilled with a little fresh cheese, thyme and a squiggle of honey

Here’s the salsa served with a grilled pork chop and my mustard tarragon green bean salad.

 This year, I’ve been baking in the wee, small hours of the morning. (Don’t you love that song?)  It’s the only way to get something in and out of the oven without adding to the heat index.  I tried Peaches, Cream, and Cake in two varieties, taking each to friends’ houses for dinner.  I can always be counted on to bring dessert.  Besides, it transports easily.

First off was Peach Shortcake and I recommend it highly if only because the shortcakes bake quickly and you could even do them in a counter top oven should you be blessed enough to have one.  I am not.  Second was Elvis Presley’s Favorite Cake with Peaches and (homemade) Ginger Ice Cream.  For some reason (not wanting to appear the forever blogger at dinner)–I only have a pic of the cake.  But you’ll get the idea.

Peach-Ginger Shortcake with Vanilla Ice Cream

First make the shortcakes, which are much like biscuits, but a tad sweeter:

Use a light hand with the dough.  Don’t pat or reform too much.

I like to bake them in a glass pie dish so you can see the bottoms.  You want them barely done.

Slice them in half and layer with the peaches.

 Fluffy Shortcakes from THE FANNY FARMER BAKING BOOK by Marion Cunningham
(Don’t bother to reinvent Marion Cunningham’s wheel.–That book is out of print, I think, but you might find a used one.  There is nothing like it.  It’s a veritable, perfect baking bible without any froofroo. BTW, her biscuit recipe is love in a bite and comes from years of testing/working with James Beard.)

2 cups cake flour (I’ve used all-purpose flour for years..just noticed she said “cake”)
1/2 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
3T sugar
8T (1 stick or 1/2 cup) butter
1 egg, well beaten
1/3 milk or cream, plus droplets more if needed

1.Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Get out two 8 or 9″ cake pans or a large baking sheet, but do not grease.  (I like glass pie pans for these and for biscuits, too.)
2.  Combine the cake flour, salt, baking powder, cream of tartar, and sugar in a mixing bowl, and stir and toss them together with a fork or wire whisk.  Cut the butter into bits and add it to the dry ingredients.  Then, using two knives or a pastry blender, or your fingertips (Dorie Greenspan would approve), work the butter into the dry ingredients until you have a mixture of fine, irregular crumbs that resemble fresh bread crumbs.  (I do this all in the food processor and have for years.)
3.  Add the beaten egg and the milk all at once, and stir with a fork just until the dough holds together.
4.  Turn out (it will probably be very sticky) onto a smooth, well-floured surface, and knead 12-14 times.  Pat into a rectangle (I do a circle) 1/2″ thick Cut the dough into squares or rectangles (I do circles), using a knife or into rounds with a 2″ cookie cutter. (Like I said.)  Place the biscuits, touching each other in the pans or on the baking sheet.
4.  Bake 15-20 minutes, or until very lightly browned.  (Do not overbake.)   makes 16

Minced fresh ginger mm

  For the peaches and ginger (1 peach per serving)

Peel and slice about one ripe, but firm peach per person.  To easily peel peaches, gently drop them in boiling water for 30 seconds, retrieve using a slotted spoon, cool a bit and the peel will slide right off when coaxed with a sharp knife.  If not, put the peach back in the water for another 10 seconds or so.  You could use an ice bath to cool the peaches, but I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary.

Add about 1tsp freshly minced ginger for each 4 peaches.  Stir together.
Squeeze the juice from half a lemon over all and stir again.  Set aside until needed or refrigerate if not using within an hour or so.  (The lemon will keep the peaches from turning brown so quickly.) 

To assemble:
  For each serving:  Slice a shortcake in half.  Place bottom half in a small bowl and top with  gingered peaches.   Add the top half and spoon the rest of the peaches on top. You’ll use  about 3/4-1 c of peaches (1 large peach) per person.  If you’re flush with peaches, slice and use more!

Scoop up some great vanilla ice cream (I like Haagen Dazs 5 or make your own) and nestle it to the side or on top of the peaches and shortcake.  Whipped cream would be nice if you had some.  Not needed, though, unless you skip the ice cream.

 
Elvis Presley’s Favorite Pound Cake with Peaches and Ginger Ice Cream
 1.  Make the cake up to 2 days ahead…. Does this look like something you’d call someone’s favorite (pound) cake?  I don’t think it does, but it is.  The recipe is NOT an urban legend, but is on epicurious.com and is so fattening and so tender and so scrumptious that you should even make it at Thanksgiving and top it with a cranberry conserve and gingered whipped cream!
Cool thing:  this serves about 12 so it’s a great thing to take to a picnic.  I won’t put the recipe in this blog, but you can just click here for it. It also is a good deal for camping, etc. as it keeps at room temperature for several days.  I loved making this great big buttery cake with its tender crumb. 
2.  Make homemade ice cream the day you’re serving this dessert.  I used this recipe for homemade ginger ice cream from an old (1998) GOURMET, but it’s on epicurious.com now and you can click here for it.  You can make whatever kind of ice cream you like, but this was yum.  In a pinch, buy some best-quality ice cream.  Don’t scrimp here.
3.  Slice up a dozen peeled peaches and squeeze the juice of a lemon over all; stir.  (See directions above for peeling peaches.)
4.  To assemble, slice cake into 12 pieces and place each piece in a serving bowl.  Top with a big spoonful of peaches and a scoop of ginger ice cream.  
5.  Say, “AH, summer; I love thee!”
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Two-Dog Kitchen and Around the ‘Hood
We’ve been up on Devil Track Lake (just west of Grand Marais, MN and Lake Superior) cooking and grinning this last week.

Grilled lake trout filet salad at The Angry Trout

   We made simple things like bacon and leek pasta, grilled chops and steaks, and of course blueberry pancakes and eggs in the hole.  We ate a few restaurant meals, but not many.  Didn’t even have cell service.  For restaurants, I’d recommend The Angry Trout (sit outside) and Chez Jude right on the main drag of Grand Marais.  Of course you’d better visit:
P.S.  As a Blogger Against Hunger, I receive a lot of information about starving people.  The situation in Somalia is so critical, I ask you to take a look at sending just a small amount of money to the World Food Programme to help.  One woman walked for days looking for food; three of her children died as she searched.  Meantime, I’m writing about peaches and cream.  Read about it?
Sing a new song and live summer!
Alyce
Peaches, cream, and more

Peaches, cream, and more

If its August.  If it’s Colorado.  I’m eating peaches.  Any day. Every day.  For at least two weeks.  By themselves.  On Greek Yogurt with Colorado honey and slivered toasted almonds.  Or granola.   On top of vanilla frozen yogurt.  In a salsa on pork chops.  Etcetera.

Here are a few of the yummy things I’ve done.  Of course the best?  Above.

Grilled peaches:

Preheat clean grill to medium-high heat.  Cut peaches in half and remove pits.  Brush each half with a little bit of canola oil and place cut-side down on grill.  Let cook about 3 or 4 minutes and turn over when grill marks are well-established, but not blackened.  Cook another 2 or 3 minutes until tops of cut-side are somewhat visibly drying.  Remove and cool briefly.  Enjoy as is or try another good idea…

Grilled Peaches with Goat’s Cheese, Honey and Thyme
God had to have been in on this creation.  Of course.  Here’s how:
Grill peaches as above.  Top each with 1-2 T plain goat’s cheese (softened a bit).  Drizzle with your favorite honey and sprinkle with a few leaves of fresh thyme.   (recipe copyright Alyce Morgan, 2010)
Grilled Peach Salsa
Lovely on BBQ Pork Chops (Really),
Salmon
Shrimp Tacos
Grilled Fish
Tortilla Chips?  Of course.  Here’s how:

2-6 t very finely minced jalapeno (to your taste–start with 2t and more if you’d like)
1/3 c finely minced onion
2 large peaches (Colorado preferred), cut in half and grilled*, peeled after grilling, and chopped into 1/2″  pieces
1 ripe avocado, peeled and diced
1/2 ea medium red sweet pepper and green sweet pepper, diced
1/2 c chopped fresh cilantro
Juice of 1/2 a lime
Dash of kosher salt and a couple of grates of fresh ground pepper

In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients gently but thoroughly. Taste and correct seasoning if necessary. (Add more jalapeno, etc) Serve on with grilled pork chops, shrimp or salmon or on seafood or fish tacos. (recipe copyright Alyce Morgan 2010)


Wine? If you make the bbq pork chops or salmon, try a little inexpensive Beaujolais. Other reds or bigger wines, will overwhelm this meal. It’s summer and something lighter and refreshing will turn on these peaches. If you make the shrimp or fish tacos, a cold Spanish Albarino (lovely white) or even an Oregon Pinot Gris could do the trick.

(If you’d like to make the green bean salad, here’s the blogpost for it, though I dressed it differently here.  Rather than a mustard vinaigrette, I mixed a bit of top-quality light Ranch with some roasted salsa for a dressing.)

Lovely frozen yogurt from David Levovitz’ book THE PERFECT SCOOP. (Click for the recipe.)  Of course, we then had it like this:
 

                 Vanilla Yogurt with Sliced Colorado Peaches
 
Two-Dog Kitchen and Around the ‘Hood
 

Our tomatoes are ripe.  Salads are every day now.
 

Skippy Jon Jones and Tucker saying, “Hi!”
 

Emily’s home for a week or so.  Here she helps beat melted chocolate, a little cream, and sugar for a frozen chocolate yogurt testing that looked like this when done:

 
I’m still working on this…want to try it with toasted almonds, etc.  I’ll admit it was tres tres tres like it was… made with Valhrona Chocolate.  Definitely.  Oh my.  Ask for it if you’re coming to dinner.

Speaking of coming to dinner:  I have one space left in Cooking with Music for September 18 at 12:30.  It’s an Italian class with pizza appetizer, two main-course soups, and an apple crostada (free form apple pie) for $50.  Includes dinner (you also get to invite a friend) and wine.  Email me if you’re interested.

Right now, the sun is shining so brightly.  But on the windows I hear the tip, tap, tip of rain.  Opening the shades (closed to keep the sunroom cooler), I see it’s definitely raining.   Sun, Rain=Rainbow!  I’ll be watching out east for it.

It’s time for a little music, a candle or two, cell phones on off, and watches stored.  Friday.  A bit of dinner together.  Breathing how blessed I feel to have almost my whole family in my house.
Alyce