Tag Archives: peaches

Grilled Peach & Steak Salad

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It’s Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing I want to do is cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat. The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes. Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

Entree salads are a favorite summer time dinner. When topped with protein they are cool, crisp and completely satisfying. For me, the trick to keeping salads interesting is continually changing up the ingredients. This salad is built around what is good at the markets this time of year and peaches top that list. Grilling them gives them a slightly charred flavor which complements the steak. Peppers and tomatoes add to the salad’s texture while the blue cheese and sunflower seeds add interest. I’ve kept the seasonings for both the steak and the dressing simple as to not detract from the freshness of the fruit and vegetables. Add other vegetables if you want; after all the key to a good salad is one that includes the toppings you want.

GRILLED PEACH & STEAK SALAD

2 rib eye steaks, trimmed

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon salt, divided

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

2 peaches, halved and pitted

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

8 cups mixed greens

1 green bell pepper, sliced

1 red bell pepper, sliced

1 yellow bell pepper, sliced

1 cup grape tomatoes, halved

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese

  • Pre-heat a grill to high heat and lightly coat with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Sprinkle both sides of the steak with the garlic powder, half of the salt and half of the pepper.
  • Sprinkle the cut sides of the peaches with the nutmeg.
  • Reduce the grill temperature to medium-high then place the steak on the grill. Cook the steaks, turning after 6 minutes, until they are cooked to your liking. Medium-rare takes  approximately 9-11 minutes. Remove the steak from the grill and allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing along the diagonal.
  • Add the peaches to the grill, cut side down, and cook for 3 minutes then flip and cook for an additional 2 minutes. You want the peaches to be slightly softened but not mushy.
  • While the steaks cook, make the dressing by combining the honey, vinegar and remaining salt and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Divide the greens, peppers and tomatoes between two large shallow bowls.
  • Top the salads with the sliced steak, drizzle with the dressing then sprinkle with the sunflower seeds and blue cheese.
  • Serve immediately.

Serves 2

 

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I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream, For Ice Cream!

Its National Ice Cream day and nothing tastes better than the homemade version. So pick your favorite ingredients and whip up a batch today:

 

A non-dairy option:

 

Technically not ice cream but cold and tasty just the same:

 

Peach & Cherry Shortcake

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Strawberry shortcake is a classic summer time dessert but why not change things up a bit and substitute whatever fruit is in season? Or make it extra special by using two different fruit? Here I use fresh cherries and fresh white peaches, both of which are readily available at markets right now. The peaches are infused with a peach schnapps but if you prefer an alcoholic free version you can substitute white grape juice or even water. The cherries are made extra special with the addition of a cinnamon stick and Grand Marnier but orange juice can be substituted instead. And everything is better with real whipped cream. Plain whipped cream is nice but I love the addition of a small amount of tangy Greek yogurt. Its adds a surprising element to the topping that is sure to please.

Don’t let the long list of ingredients and multiple steps discourage you from making this recipe. The fruit sauces can be made up to two days in advance and refrigerated until ready to use. The biscuits taste best when made the same day they are served but you can easily bake them up in the morning to be served later in the evening. Only the whipped cream needs to be made at the last minute. So go ahead and serve these tasty shortcakes at your next cookout or summer time gathering. Kids of all ages will love building their own desserts.

For the biscuits:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup cake flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes and well chilled

3/4 cup cold buttermilk

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  • Pulse the flours sugar, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade.
  • Scatter the butter pieces evenly over the top of the flour mixture and pulse to combine, about 12 pulses.
  • Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add the buttermilk.  Use a rubber spatula to fold the liquid into the flour until a soft and sticky dough forms.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and quickly roll in into a rough ball.  Do not over mix.
  • Use a sharp knife to divide the dough into 12 even pieces.  Using your hands, quickly form each piece into a ball and place on a large baking sheet.
  • Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the biscuits are browned and flaky.

Yields:  12 biscuits

For the peaches:

4 cups sliced white peaches

1/4 cup Peach Schnapps

2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

  • Place the peaches, schanpps, sugar and cinnamon stick in a medium sized saucepan.
  • Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes or until the peaches begin to soften.
  • Remove from the heat and set aside.

For the cherry topping:

4 cups fresh cherries, pitted

2 tablespoons sugar

1 small cinnamon stick

1/2 cup Grand Marnier liqueur, or other orange flavored liqueur

4 teaspoons corn starch

  • Place the cherries in a large sauce pan.  Add the sugar, cinnamon stick and liqueur and stir to combine.
  • Bring to a simmer a cook for 5 minutes or until the cherries start to break down.
  • Stir in the cornstarch and whisk to combine.  Cook an additional 5 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and set aside.

For the cream:

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup plain full fat Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons white sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • Place all of the ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat until all of the ingredients are combined and the cream forms stiff peaks.

To serve:

  • Spilt the biscuits in half and place the bottom half in a dessert dish.
  • Add peaches, cherries and whipped cream in alternating layers.
  • Top with the remaining biscuit half and a dollop of whipped cream.

Serves 12

Peaches w/ Prosciutto & Mint

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Its been unseasonably hot here in Belgium recently. With record breaking heat and houses that lack air conditioning, the last thing anyone wants to do is turn on the oven to cook. The same goes for grilling since, yes it is simply that hot. But, you’ve still got to eat. My solution when the temperatures soar is to go simple, light, and if possible, not turn on a single appliance.

These peaches wrapped in prosciutto from William Sonoma are meant to be an appetizer, and they do make a very tasty addition to dinner, but on a hot night, they are dinner. Peaches are in season right now so it is easy to find a perfectly ripe peach. When wrapped in a slice of salty prosciutto the combination is out of this world. If you like, serve them alongside crusty French bread and wash it all down with a chilled prosecco. And dinner is served.

PEACHES w/PROSCIUTTO & MINT

3 white peaches

8 thin prosciutto slices

24 fresh mint leaves

  • Slice wach peach in half and remove the pit.
  • Cut each peach half into four equal slices.
  • Cut each prosciutto slice lengthwise into three strips.
  • Place a mint leaf on each peach slice and wrap it with a strip of prosciutto.

Makes 24

 

Specaloos Crumble Peach Pie

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This time of year I can’t get enough fresh peaches. A ripe peach is good as is but nothing says summer like making a peach pie. And this isn’t just any peach pie; think of it as pie on the bottom and a crumble on top. Yes, that’s right you have all of the goodness of a pie–flaking crust and a juicy fruit filling but it is topped with a crumble topping. In this case I’ve combined toasted pecans with spicy specaloos cookies for a crunchy and flavorful topping that really makes the pie sing. The only thing that makes it better is a dollop of fresh whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The pie can be served chilled, at room temperature or slightly warm. I prefer it slightly warm but any way you slice it, it is delicious.

Here’s a tip: If the top of the pie is browning too quickly, simply cover it with a sheet of aluminum foil.

SPECALOOS CRUMBLE PEACH PIE

1 double recipe of your favorite pie crust

Filling:

8 cups fresh white peaches, pitted and sliced, peeling optional (about 16 medium sized peaches)

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 cup sugar

4 tablespoons corn starch

1/2 teaspoon salt

Topping:

1 cup toasted pecans

2 cups coarsely chopped Specaloos cookies

1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into a small cubes

1/3 cup pack brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • Roll the pie crust to fit a 9 x 13 casserole dish. Alternatively you can fill two- 9 inch round pie dishes or halve the recipe to make a single 9 inch pie.
  • Place the crust in the baking dish, making sure to press it into the corners and up to the rim of the dish. Crimp the edges with a fork if desired.

To make the filling:

  • Place the sliced peaches in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with the lemon juice and toss to coat.
  • Sprinkle the sugar, corn starch and salt over the top of the peaches. Using a rubber spatula, carefully fold the dry ingredients into the peaches taking care to not mash the peaches.
  • Turn the peaches into the prepared crust lined baking dish. Set aside.

To make the topping:

  • Place the pecans in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse the nuts until coarse, about 8-10 pulses. You want them to resemble a coarse crumble but not fine crumbs. Place the nuts in a large bowl.
  • Add the cookies to the food processor and give them 5 whirls. Drop the butter onto the cookie crumbs and continue to pulse until a coarse meal forms. Add the crumbs to the nuts.
  • Using a rubber spatula, fold the nuts and cookie crumbs together.
  • Add the brown sugar and salt and fold until just combined.
  • Pour the topping over the prepared peaches, making sure to cover the entire surface of the dish.
  • Bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees.
  • Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for additional 25 minutes until the topping is browned and the peaches are bubbling.
  • Allow to cool slightly before serving. Top with whipped cream or vanilla extract if desired.

Serves 16

Peach Pancakes

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Who doesn’t love pancakes for breakfast? In my house they are always a hit on weekend mornings. Some people prefer thinner pancakes but to me those are crepes. Don’t get me wrong; we love crepes too but for me a pancake is big and fluffy and as my husband says, a meal unto itself.

To make my fluffy pancakes I use the same basic recipe then add in what ever fruits are in season. This time of year that means peaches. The markets are filled with the juicy fruit and with a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg they are the perfect addition to these pancakes. Top with warmed maple syrup and a side of bacon or sausage if you like, and breakfast is served. These disappear like, well, hot cakes so make a double batch. Leftovers are perfect popped into the toaster during the week.

 

PEACH PANCAKES

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

4 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

4 tablespoons melted butter

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup plain yogurt

1 1/2 cups whole milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 large ripe peaches, pitted and cut into 1/4 inch pieces

  • Lightly grease a griddle and pre-heat it to medium-high.  It is ready when a drop of water immediately sizzles when placed on the griddle.
  • In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, eggs, yogurt, milk and vanilla extract.
  • Make a small well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the egg mixture. Fold gently to combine. Do not over mix.
  • Add the peaches and fold to combine.  You should have some small lumps in the batter.
  • Drop the batter by the ladle onto the hot griddle.
  • Cook until small bubbles form around the edges of the pancakes, about 3-4 minutes.  Flip the pancakes and cook an additional 2-3 minutes or until browned.
  • Repeat the process until all of the remaining batter has been used.
  • Serve with butter and warmed maple syrup or molasses if desired.

Yields: 8-10 large or 15-16 small pancakes

 

Rhubarb-Peach Muffins 

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Muffins are the perfect foil for whatever fruit or vegetable is in season. I think of the batter as a blank slate and let my imagination, and market, dictate what goes into them. And this time of year the options really are unlimited as new seasonal fruits are appearing weekly. This week’s discovery was the first rhubarb of the season. While rhubarb itself is astringent and bitter, when cooked with a bit of sugar its flavors mellow into a unique and delicious. Add in juicy peaches (again, the first ones are appearing in the markets as well) and you have the perfect breakfast treat.
RHUBARB-PEACH MUFFINS
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/ cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup fresh peaches, diced (peels optional)
1 cup fresh rhubarb, diced
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons sugar
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the insides of one 12-cup muffin pan. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and using a rubber spatula, mix until just combined.
  • Add the melted butter and mix again.
  • Fold in the peaches, rhubarb and lemon zest until just combined.
  • Divide the batter between the prepared muffin cups.
  • Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl then top each with a sprinkling of the mixture.
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool slightly on a wire rack before serving.
Yields: 12 muffins

 

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