Chef Tom – Peaches and Passion

Peaches are my favorite fruit. Firm, ripe, juicy. Can’t be beat. We’re in mid-peach season. Eat as many as you can, as often as you can. Here are some yummy recipes to whet your imagination and tantalize your tastebuds.

Peaches in Wine

Peaches In Muscat

By Nigella Lawson

Customarily in Italy you will find peaches steeped in red wine (to which a little sugar has often been added) and chilled. I love this, but prefer it made with Muscat wine, not least because red wine makes the peaches lose their golden intensity. I also love the honeyed muskiness of the dessert wine with the peaches; it is absolute nectar.

Ingredients:
4 ripe peaches

1/2 cup sweet Muscat or other good dessert wine

Heavy cream or vanilla ice cream, optional

Directions:
Over a bowl (to catch juices), peel and slice each peach, placing slices in bowl. (If peaches are hard to peel, they may be dipped in boiling water until skins loosen, up to 2 minutes.)

Add Muscat to bowl and stir gently to make sure peaches are covered with wine. Cover bowl and refrigerate 2 to 6 hours.

Transfer peaches and their liquid to a decorative glass serving bowl or individual bowls or wineglasses. Serve chilled with cream or ice cream, if desired.

Peaches with Dukkah

Grilled Peaches with Dukkah and Blueberries


Dukkah is an Egyptian blend of nuts, seeds and spices, which you can either buy or make yourself. Once you’ve tasted it, it will become part of your pantry, I guarantee. Combine it with a grilled ripe peach for an impressive summer side dish (served with roasted fish, chicken, or a grilled steak), or as a dessert (with freshly whipped cream and some blueberries).

Just brush the cut fruit with some olive oil and place on a hot grill until lightly toasted and soft (or place it under the broiler in your oven for 4-6 minutes). The hint of char elevates the fruit, and paired with the spicy nuttiness of the Dukkah…well, let me know how much you love it.

Ingredients:
4 peaches

 Olive oil, for brushing

1 tablespoon dukkah

 Whipped cream, for serving

 Blueberries, for serving

Dukkah:
⅓ cup pistachios, lightly toasted

⅓ cup almonds, lightly toasted

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

1 tablespoon cumin seeds

1 tablespoon caraway seeds

1 teaspoon crushed Urfa pepper, or substitute Aleppo pepper

3 tablespoons sesame seeds, lightly toasted

2 teaspoons fine sea salt

1 teaspoon nigella seeds

1 teaspoon dried mint

1 teaspoon dried lemon zest

½ teaspoon dried marjoram

Directions:
Prepare the grill. Halve and pit the peaches, then brush them with oil. Grill the peaches, cut side down, for 5 minutes, without turning. Or brush them with the oil and broil cut side up.

To serve, transfer 2 peach halves to each of 4 plates. Sprinkle with some of the dukkah, then spoon over some whipped cream and top with blueberries.

Roughly chop the pistachios and almonds. Grind the coriander, cumin and caraway seeds in an electric coffee grinder, mortar and pestle, or a spice mill. Combine all ingredients and mix well.

Sprinkle on fruit, grilled meats or veggies. Keep in a tightly covered jar.

NOTE: You can buy readymade Dukkah at Trader Joes, or here.

Peach Upside Down Cake

Peach Upside-Down Skillet Cake with Bourbon Whipped Cream

Recipe from Virginia Willis, Adapted by Julia Moskin

A lush combination of a Southern upside-down cake and a French tarte tatin, this cake is deeply caramelized on top and light and fluffy beneath. The chef Virginia Willis, who put the recipe together, uses a whole vanilla bean, but if you don’t feel like making that investment, a teaspoon of strong pure vanilla extract is fine. She uses a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet, but a heavy nonstick one would work too. The whipped cream is optional, as is the bourbon that brightens it; you can add vanilla, confectioners’ sugar or both if you prefer.  —Julia Moskin

Ingredients:
Cake:
4 medium peaches (about 1 1/2 pounds), unpeeled and cut into 1/3-inch-thick wedges

Juice of 1 lemon

1 cup cake flour, not self-rising

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup granulated sugar

1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at cool room temperature

1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped, or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs

1/2 cup sour cream

Whipped Cream

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon bourbon

Directions:
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a nonstick baking mat or parchment paper. (This is in case the cake bubbles over during baking.)

In a large bowl, toss the peaches with the lemon juice. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and baking soda.

In a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, cook 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the sugar melts and turns a deep amber color, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and immediately add 2 tablespoons of the butter, stirring vigorously. The mixture may appear curdled and broken; don’t worry, it will smooth out. Arrange the peach wedges in concentric circles over the sugar mixture, overlapping as needed to make them fit.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the remaining sugar, butter and the vanilla bean seeds (or vanilla extract) on medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Add the sour cream and beat until blended. With the mixer running on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture, beating just until blended and stopping to scrape bowl as needed. Spoon the batter over the peaches in the skillet and spread to cover.

Place the skillet on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes.

Make the whipped cream, if desired: In a large bowl, preferably metal, combine cream and bourbon. Refrigerate, along with a metal whisk or mixer attachments, for at least 15 minutes. Once chilled, whip the mixture until it holds soft peaks, 3 to 5 minutes.

Let the cake cool in the skillet on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge to loosen. If you see liquid around the edges of the skillet, carefully pour off into a measuring cup and set aside. (It’s O.K. if you don’t have any excess liquid — it all depends on how juicy your fruit is.)

Carefully invert the cake onto a serving plate, replace any fruit that might stick, and drizzle with any reserved liquid. Let cool about 10 minutes more, to set. Cut into wedges using a serrated knife and serve, topping each slice with whipped cream if you like.

ON THAT NOTE

Speaking of peaches. Had to put this in. I know this is a repeat, but it’s one of my all-time favorite videos. A powerful Nina Simone song, featuring her daughter Lisa.


Four Women: Lisa Simone, Dianne Reeves, Lizz Wright, Angélique Kidjo

Remember these guys?


Peaches and Herb – Reunited (Live)

BONUS TRACK (NSFW)

Ok, this is a very famous scene from a groundbreaking movie some of you may or may not have seen, called Call Me By Your Name. Put Timothée Chalamet on the map as the current cinema darling who’s rocketing through the stratosphere of stardom with a mega-worldwide following. There is a private global facebook group with over 22 thousand members, all obsessed with the young star. Call themselves, of course, The Peaches. I’ve seen the movie twice and when I decided to feature the peach in today’s post, this was top of mind….so bear with me.

TRIGGER WARNING: This is rated somewhere between R and X. View at your own risk. No haters please.


Call Me By Your Name | Peach clip

=CTH=

Chef Tom is currently transitioning from Personal Chef to Private Chef. He also teaches cooking classes, caters small parties and leads overseas culinary tours. His specialty for the last twelve years has been cooking for people with food allergies and sensitivities. His motto is “Food should give you pleasure, not pressure.”

Check him out at www.hippkitchen.com

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