Saturday, April 5, 2008

Peachy Keen

I get so excited every time I am in the produce section of a market. The beautiful, succulent, sweet and juicy peaches are in perfect season. You have White, Jefferson, Dixieland, June Gold and the adorable doughnut peaches. They ripen at all times during the summer so they are abundantly available. We eat them all summer long alone or in fruit salads, wrapped in pancetta even in chicken salad!
The BBQ sauce is heavenly with just a touch of heat from the green Tabasco. Super with grilled steak, salmon, chicken and even tofu. The peach pecan chicken is simple and all the flavors and textures go so nicely together. I created this deep-dish peach cobble during the Olympics when they were in Georgia and have requests for it still! Peaches and cream are such a natural that making ice cream seems inevitable. So enjoy this amazing fruit. We know that from a fruit standpoint summer is officially here.

Peach Barbecue Sauce

9 Peaches, pitted and chopped
1 1/2 cup white vinegar
1-cup canola oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch ginger, minced
5 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
Juice of 1 Lemon
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
5 shakes Tabasco
1 teaspoons pepper
2 cups brown sugar
2-tablespoon cornstarch

Puree peaches .Mix cornstarch with a little water. Combine all ingredients in large saucepan and heat to low boil, stirring occasionally. Continue to simmer 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Serve with anything you would use a traditional BBQ Sauce.

Peach Pecan Chicken
5 large Peaches, peeled and pitted and mashed
1 cup white wine (or chicken stock)
1-teaspoon cinnamon
1/8-cup sugar
6 shakes green Tabasco
1/2-cup flour
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup pecans, finely minced
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 chicken breasts, boned, skinned, split in half and slightly flattened

In a large skillet, combine the peaches, white wine, cinnamon, sugar and green Tabasco. Stir gently over medium heat until the peaches are tender and heated through. The sauce will reduce slightly and thicken. Set aside and keep warm. Place the flour on a flat plate, the egg in a large bowl and the chopped pecans on a flat plate. In a large skillet, heat the oil until hot. Dip chicken into flour and shake off any excess. Then dip into egg and finally into chopped pecans. Sauté 3 minutes on each side until cooked. Put onto dinner plate and top with peach sauce.

Deep Dish Peach Cobbler

4 cups all-purpose flour
2 sticks butter, chilled, cut into small pieces
1 cup shortening, chilled
1/2-teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons ice water

Place flour, butter, shortening, and salt in a large bowl. Using a pastry bender or two knives, cut the butter and shortening into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring it in with a fork. Pat the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate it at least 1 hour.

10 cups peeled, pitted, and sliced fresh peaches
Juice of one large lemon
1/2-cup sugar
1-teaspoon ground cinnamon
1-teaspoon ground ginger
1/4-teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 375F. When the dough has chilled, divide it in half. Wrap 1 half in plastic wrap and return it to the refrigerator. Roll out the other half on a floured board and fit it into the bottom and sides of a 9x13-inch baking pan.
Very gently toss peaches in the lemon juice in a large bowl. Add sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and flour and toss again with a spatula or wooden spoon to blend. Spoon the filling on top of the bottom crust. Roll out the remaining pastry on a floured board. Wet your fingertips with water and moisten exposed edges of the bottom crust. Place the top crust over the peach filing and crimp or flute the edges together. Cut several steam vents in the top crust. Bake the cobbler for about 1 1/4 hours, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, and serve.

Peach Ice Cream

1-quart milk plus 1 cup
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 small can evaporated milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 pint whipping cream
1-cup sugar
3 tablespoons vanilla flavoring
3 cups mashed peaches mixed with 3/4 cups sugar and juice of 1 lemon.
In a large bowl combine all ingredients and mix well. Place into your electric ice-cream maker following manufactures instructions. Enjoy!

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