Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Ripe White Summer Peach is a Culinary Orgasm

Ah, sweet heaven! This is all I need for dessert, nothing else. Just a ripe white summer peach, whether it is straight from the refrigerator, or warmed from sitting in the sun, it is, as I already mentioned, a culinary orgasm: juicy, soft, and overflowing with good sweet flavor. I did try it with a little bit of cream last night, and it was still divine.... I haven't had the time, nor did I want to spend the last three peaches I had left, experimenting with new recipes. I've decided to eat the last three peaches over the next three night, buy buckets more, and then experiment with some new white summer peach recipes. I am already mourning the end of their season....Sa La Vie! Until then, here is one I would like to try:


3 tablespoons margarine
1/3 cup sugar
1 each egg
3/4 cup flour
24 ounces cream cheese softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
3 each eggs
16 ounces white peaches canned halves, drained
1/4 cup amaretto
1. BASE:
2. Beat margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in egg.
3. Add flour; mix well. Spread dough onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Bake at 450 degrees F for 10 minutes.
4. BODY:
5. Combine cream cheese, sugar and flour, mixing at medium
6. speed on electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add peaches and liqueur; mix well.
7. Pour over crust. Bake at 450 degrees, 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 250 degrees F; continue baking 1 hour and 5 minutes. Loosen cake from rim of pan; cool before removing rim of pan. Chill.
8. Garnish with toasted almond slices and additional peach slices, if desired.


Saturday, July 28, 2007

Shrimp Stuffed Trout with Watermelon/Feta Cheese Salad

I had a lovely day by the pool with my two most favorite women, make that three, and my favorite 3 out of 4 guys. My hubby was busy tending to accident prone people in the district, being a firefighter and all, so it was just the few loves of my life, though I missed him and his fantastic smile - I had him the night before, so all was forgiven. Here is another BBQ recipe. It needs a little tweaking, but it was OK for now and perfectly servable to three wine tipsy women starving because their blood sugar was low.

I picked up four little headless trout at the grocery store; and because I knew my mom liked trout, this is what I decided to prepare. I stuffed all four trout with a shrimp stuffing, wrapped them all in olive oiled foil and BBQed for about 20 minutes. Though I'm thinking now, 15 would have been perfect, and I think next time I'll wrap the trout in S & M twine and crisp up the skin over the fire instead. Though the skin was succulent, crispy would have been better.

Learn also how to de-bone these little buggers. I found that there were more bones on one side of their body and my sister told me you could actually use a pair of tweezers to pull out any additionals - please only use tweezers you purchased just for this reason, we don't need any eyebrows on these dudes.

Anyway I sauteed 2 cups of big shrimp in a frying pan with a chopped up onion. Then add about a 1/4 cup of bread crumbs. I then made a little sauteed mushroom and white wine sauce actually using a package of garlic Alfredo sauce and then adding sauteed mushrooms and 1/4 cup of white wine and simmered down and set aside.

Salt and pepper the inside of the trout after you've de-boned them, then stuff with the shrimp stuffing and wrap tightly in twine...I don't know, imagine someone you always wished was wrapped up at your mercy....Then rub with a little more olive oil and put on the BBQ over a medium high heat. Let cook on one side for about 7 minutes, then turn over for about the same time. Put the sauce on the side and dip away. P.S. I also served up Grilled eggplant and zucchini which I actually eat over toast with a little mayo for breakfast.

Watermelon Feta Cheese Salad

Is this weird or what? Simply fabulous and Nigella inspired. First cut up and cube about 3 or 4 cups of watermelon and allow to drain over a paper towel for about an hour or two. Then salt and pepper and toss, adding, 1/4 cup of olive oil. 2 fat tablespoons of dried mint, 2 slices of feta cheese, a handful of olives, and 1 chopped up red onion. Once combined, allow to sit in the refrigerator for a little while and serve. My mom has already lassoed this recipe for an upcoming family picnic.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Larry and Garry's Beer in the Rear Chicken

This chicken is succulent, delicious, and super easy. I used two whole chickens, two cans of beer, and some chicken rub. The cool part about this recipe is that you have to drink 1/2 can of beer before you can shove the beer can up the chicken. I don't like wording it this way, but it's exactly what you do. So drink two 1/2 cans of beer and set the cans up in a roasting pan that you can use on the BBQ. Then put the chickens over top of each can and season. I used a chicken rub I got at the grocery store. You can actually put herbs into the beer can before you sit the chicken on it to infuse more flavor. ***Oh yes, I used a can opener to take off the top of the beer can. I also kept the seasoning simple for my first time. Make sure the chickens don't topple over. Carry them to the BBQ and cook on a high flame for about an hour or an hour and a half. I cooked my chickens for one hour and should have cooked for at least an extra 20 minutes. They weren't big chickens and you know how chicken takes a while. I ended up cooking some of it in the oven because parts of it were just a little pink. It was amazing!


BBQ Salmon with Tzatziki Salsa and Red Wine Risotto

I'm kind of new to BBQing again. For years I was avid; then for some reason I couldn't understand how to operate our BBQ. My husband explained to me how to operate our BBQ, but we are different learners and I honestly couldn't understand what he was teaching me. I am a complete demonstration sort of person who needs to take notes with occasional requests to "show me one more time." Well I finally I figured it out and I can't stop BBQing! All I have to do is put the propane on full blast, set the BBQ dials to high, sit low to the ground so as to not light my eyebrows on fire, then stick a lighter through the little hole and BOOM! (that's exactly how it sounds when the flames lick our balcony roof). Yes I am exaggerating about the flame part....sort of.

Take a nice hunk of salmon, and put it on tin foil. Rub with a little olive oil, then add some fresh garlic, salt, pepper, and 1/4 cup of Hellman's mayo and layer salmon with slices of lemon and onion. Wrap in tin foil and cook on med/high for about 20-25 minutes. Check your salmon after 15 as you don't want to over cook it. Then for the tzatziki salsa: cut up 1/2 a cucumber and chunk each piece into fours, salt and pepper it, add a little garlic powder, 1/4 cup of plain yoghurt, and 1/4 cup of sour cream. I also added a package of splenda to heighten the flavor and it did. Let the tzatziki sit until the salmon is ready. Cool the salmon just a little and assemble it gorgeously on the plate with lemon and onion slices, top with tzatziki salsa and perhaps a sprig of parsley if you have it. Very delicious.

I also served some risotto. I often wonder how on these cooking competitions on TV, such as Ramsey's Kitchen, chefs FU** UP Risotto. It really isn't hard, and it is a really cool dish that you can just keep on adding liquid to and it only gets more divine. Perhaps I am the one doing it wrong, but it was delicious. This recipe served two 1/4 cups of rice. I sauteed a small chopped up onion with butter over medium heat until the onion was soft and clear. Then add 1/4 cup of arobio rice with 1/2 cup of chicken broth. Let it come to a boil and turn the element down to low. Keep stirring and about every 6 minutes, add another 1/2 cup of liquid until you have about 1 1/2 cups of liquid added. I added 1/2 cup of red wine only and then 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese. Keep stirring and tasting. Then turn off the element and serve, topping with more shaved Parmesan. Delicious!

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Tomato and Pepper Poached Eggs

I enjoyed this dish for breakfast this morning and it is not only delicious, but simply made. I made my entire breakfast in a pot. Of course a frying pan would be perfect if you are making this for more than one person. Chop up an onion and orange or red pepper and saute in a little olive oil for about 10 minutes on medium stirring often so it won't burn. Then add 2 cups of diced tomatoes to the pot with a little salt and pepper and simmer down for about 15 minutes. Then stir up the tomato/pepper mixture and make two little holes for two eggs. I added the two eggs and put a lid over it for a couple of more minutes, then added 1/4 cup of feta cheese. You can cook the eggs as long as you like, I liked mine a little runny. Once the cheese has melted and the eggs are set, let the mixture slide out onto your plate and voila! Bon Appetite!


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Cheese and Onions

While waiting for my tea to steep tonight, I popped a slice of Farmer's Cheese (not Foremost), with a blanket of BBQ ed onion into my mouth. Wow! This is delicious. I need to make up an appie that consists of these two ingredients and assemble it in a pretty way. One would have to be brave, sensuous, and a libertine - like the late great French poet, Colette, to enjoy this simple though vibratingly delicious ensemble, as cheese combined with onions may require a sprig of mint or parsley post chew; but like I said, wow, what a superb combo - and BBQ ed is a must (it brings out the onion's sweetness).

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Dining by the Pool

Yesterday I cracked open a $70 bottle of champagne at exactly 12 noon and together with my friend we toasted the end of the school year. I wish that I was more like my mom and put tea on mid-day to toast, but it wouldn't have gone with the simple although Frenchy like lunch I prepared. I will admit...I fed my children, as well as hers Kraft Dinner. Though I am certain our children would have tried the lunch we were eating, I'm sorry to say I wasn't about to waste any bites on "maybes." So after we toasted we ate the simplest chicken and salad dish fit for the mother queens we are. Here is what I did. Keeping in mind that the French enjoy palm-sized portions of meat, I poached two chicken breasts, the size of "my" palms which actually look like maps of North America...in white wine and garlic, salt, and pepper. Once done, and don't over do, set aside. Layer a bunch of gorgeous organic salad mix over a flat tray and sprinkle in bits of fresh basil. Oh yes, prior to this, I'd sliced up a tomato and generously doused it in salt (about a tsp. total) and set aside for about an hour to suck out all the juices. Once the tomatoes are done, add about 1/4 of olive oil and 1/4 cup of balsamic over tomatoes and pour all of it over the mixed organic lettuce. I then added pristine white boccaccini cheese over top. (sorry I am too lazy to see if this is how to spell it).

OK. Take a chicken breast and top with Boursin Cheese. Then add about 2-3 leaves of fresh basil and wrap up in prosciutto and put over salad. Now you can see why I served champagne! The rest of the afternoon was spent lying around in the sunshine watching our kids swim. La Dolce Vita!


Valerie's Fabulous Chopped Salad Recipe

I had the greatest weekend with my mom. She stayed at our place for a few days and we sat by the pool, watched a couple of my son's lacrosse games, and ate very well. The first night she cooked us delicious T-Bone Steaks. The second night she concocted the most divine "chopped salad." I read a quote by Paul Newman regarding a la chopped salad that said...and I paraphrase...I will not eat any salad unless I can eat it from a spoon. Hence the beauty of a chopped salad. Every spoonful packs sumptuous flavors and divine succulence. I'm going to phone my mom right now as I write this to get the exact ingredients. Let me begin by saying this salad takes patience; so pour a glass of something something, put on a little inspiring music and begin chopping. If you have a friend to co-chop , yahoo! Here is Valerie's Fabulous Chopped Salad Recipe: chop 2 celery, 2 green onion, and 1 Spanish onion (mom likes this onion best), chop up red or yellow pepper or both if you want, 1 head of iceberg lettuce, chopped up small cubes of cheddar (or add whatever cheese you prefer, but at least a cup full, put in one package of shredded pollack crab, then add salad toppers like a nice basil tomato almond medley. This really is a "random salad". Just add one of each item and a package of crab, we had the Pollock, aka fake crab and it was delicious. Then, wrap it up and put the bowl aside, in the refrigerator for at least a half our to allow the flavors to mingle. It really made a difference. I took this salad a step further and added seafood salad over top of mine. This was a bunch of tentacle octopus looking fragments with little shrimps and calamari all marinated in oil and spices.