Archive for August, 2011

August 10, 2011

Farm Stand Peach Shortcakes with Fresh Mint

Farm Stand Peach Shortcakes with Fresh Mint

How good does that look! These shortcakes were adapted from an Alton Brown recipe. I’ve also made this with strawberries, which is equally delicious. Fruits will always taste best during the height of the season. I love the intense flavor of macerated berries, so I thought I would give it a try with peaches. I’ve found two methods to macerate fruit. One using either wine or liqueur such as Grand Marnier or a simple combination of sugar, water and a little citrus. With our kids being my blog recipe victims, I used the sugar method for this. It brings out the sweetness in the peaches, combined with the freshness of the mint… it was a perfect summer treat.

INGREDIENTS FOR SHORTCAKES (makes about 10 small shortcakes)

  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp cold butter
  • 2 tbsp shortening
  • 3/4 cup half & half
  • 1 tbsp melted butter (to brush on top)
  • Turbinado sugar to sprinkle on top

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter and shortening. Make a well in the center and slowly mix in the half & half. The dough should be a little sticky once combined, similar to a biscuit dough.

Drop by large spoonfuls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush tops with the melted butter and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar (also called Sugar in the Raw). Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly golden.

INGREDIENTS FOR THE MACERATED PEACHES WITH MINT (Serves 4)

  • 3 large ripe peaches, each sliced into 8 pieces
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 4 fresh mint leaves, snipped

Toss all the ingredients together in a bowl. Make sure the sugar and water have combined and nicely coated the peaches. Ideally this should sit in the refrigerator covered for a day or at least an hour.

HOW TO PUT IT TOGETHER

Slice a shortcake through the middle and place open on a plate. Put a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the bottom half, pour over some of the peaches with their juices. Top with the other shortcake half. Yum!

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August 8, 2011

Roasted Peppers with Garlic & Anchovies

Roasted Peppers with Garlic & Anchovies

This recipe was given to me by an old family friend a few years ago, so I don’t know its origin. Since anchovies are one of my favorite ingredients, I was anxious to give this a try. It’s turned out to be one of our favorite starters or even an afternoon snack. You might think you don’t like anchovies, but you’d be surprised what a little time roasting in the oven with slivered garlic can do to these delicious little fish. Anchovies impart a saltiness and flavor that can’t be achieved by anything else. The combination of the roasted garlic and peppers, with the salty anchovies is amazing. If you’re truly an anchovy hater, make these without them. They’re still delicious, but I think you should give the anchovies a try… you might actually like them.

INGREDIENTS (Serves 4-6)

  • 2 large red bell peppers
  • 2 large yellow bell peppers
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 8 or more flat anchovies in olive oil, drained and sliced in half
  • Chopped basil and/or parsley
  • Fresh cracked pepper

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

Cut the peppers down the sides into wide slices removing ribs – about 4 to 6 slices each depending on the size of the peppers. Rub some of the olive oil over the peppers to make sure they’re lightly coated. Lay the peppers cut sides up (like little boats) on a sheet pan. Lay a couple of garlic slices and half an anchovy in each pepper. If you love anchovies, put a whole anchovy in each. Season with freshly ground pepper. You don’t need salt if you are using anchovies, they’re salty enough. If you’re making this without anchovies, sprinkle with kosher salt. Drizzle remaining olive oil over the peppers. You will want a little oil in each pepper “boat” with the garlic and anchovies.

Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes until the peppers have softened and the edges begin to brown. Right before serving, top with the herbs. These can be served hot right out of the oven or at room temperature. Serve with some crusty french bread. Leftovers (if you have any) are really good.

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