Brown Sugar, Butter and Cardamom Skillet Roasted Peaches E.A.T. #31

Ingredients? 4. Time? 15 minutes. Results? Ripe South Carolina Peaches Caramelized with Raw Sugar, Cardamom and Kerrygold Butter to make the easiest, most delicious, screaming Summer dessert ever! No joke….it is as easy-as-this.

Select firm, juicy ripe sweet peaches. No peeling necessary.

Arranged in an iron skillet cut side up with a dab of butter, a sprinkling of cardamom and crunchy raw sugar and that’s all.

Roasted at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes until sugar caramelizes and peaches begin to blister.  Turn on the broiler if you like them a bit burnt like I do. You can also do this on a grill if you prefer. Serve with a quick cold, sour cream-brown sugar sauce and more sugar for crunch. How very summer is that?

Brown Sugar, Butter and Cardamom Skillet Roasted Peaches

Ingredients:

  • 4 firm, ripe peaches, unpeeled, cut in half with pits removed
  • 3 tablespoons butter, room temp, Kerrygold is what I use
  • ground Cardamom powder, to taste
  • 1 cup raw sugar, divided
  • 1 cup sour cream or plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Turn oven to 400 degrees. Arrange peach halves, cut side up, in an iron skillet.
  2. Place a bit of butter in middle of each peach half. Sprinkle with cardamom to taste.
  3. Top with 1/2 cup raw sugar sprinkled over each peach half.
  4. Roast in hot oven for 10-12 minutes. If you like your peaches more blistered like I do, then turn broiler on for a minute or two.
  5. While peaches are roasting mix together sour cream or yogurt and 1/4 cup raw sugar and lemon juice until blended. Chill until ready to use.
  6. To serve place one or two peach halves on a plate and add a dollop of sweetened sour cream and another sprinkling of raw sugar. A wonderful, simple summer dessert.

Note: You can also place iron skillet on a pre-heated outdoor grill to roast. A scoop of ice cream is really good with theses peaches as well.

http://www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com

 

“Falling in Love…Ines Rosales Tortas with Dark Chocolate & Pistachios”

Ines Rosales tortas

Do you believe it is possible to “fall in love” with an inanimate object? In this case a “food object? Well, it happened to me the first time I bit into an “Ines Rosales Torta” a few years ago. To this day these uniquely crisp sweet olive oil tortas from Seville, Spain are at the top of my indulgent food list. From the style of the packaging to the savory-sweet crispness these tortas appeal to every one of my senses. They are full of rustic charm & rare combinations of flavors.  Originally they made and sold just the Sweet Olive Oil Tortas, but now have flavors such as Seville Orange, Rosemary & Thyme, Cinnamon and Sesame & Sea Salt. Perfect as they are, they are very well suited to a bit of embellishment (previous blog on Ines Rosales).

I had been thinking for a while that a drizzle of really rich dark chocolate & a sprinkle of pistachios would take these tortas to a whole new level of goodness for a special celebration. On New Year’s Eve I pulled out my stash, got out the chocolate & nuts and brought this idea to life.

Ines Rosales Tortas, Chocolate & Pistachios

This is so easy and so elegant.

1. Spread 6 Ines Rosales Tortas out on a sheet pan covered with parchment.

Ines Rosales Tortas

2. Melt 3.5 ounces of good quality dark chocolate (Green & Black’s Organic is a good one) in a saucepan with 3 tablespoons of good butter (Kerrygold is my favorite) over low heat until chocolate is completely melted & silky. Roughly chop pistachios.

melted chocolate & butter

3. Here is what you do. Drizzle chocolate……..

Drizzle Chocolate

…Sprinkle pistachios….

DSC_5661

….take a bite…and fall in love.

Ines Rosales Torta with Chocolate & Pistachios

These large (5 to 6 inches in diameter) round tortas (cracker-like flatbreads) come individually wrapped in printed waxed paper in packages of 6. They are a bit pricey…anywhere from $4.50 to $6.00 per package. I first found them at Whole Foods but you can also purchase them online of course.

Stack of Ines Rosales Tortas

“Creamier, Dreamier Butter” E.A.T. #4

I love soft creamy butter….

I have very vague memories of my grandmother on the back porch of her house using a churn to make fresh butter. At times I think I just imagined this image. Other times I am sure it is a true image from early childhood. In late summer this same crockery was used to make pickles. A tallish ceramic crock with slices of cucumbers, vinegar and spices. It is the butter churning that I remember the best. A few years ago before my Mother died I asked her about this memory & she verified that it was very much a true memory.

I never considered making my own butter. I just buy my favorite Kerrygold butter at the supermarket. Recently I had quite a bit of fresh, local cream left over from a photo shoot, as I am not one to be overly crazy about cream in general, I thought of making fresh butter, which I am crazy about. I found lots of how-to recipes on-line. All of them simple & easy. In fact so simple & easy I wondered why I had not made butter before.

Here is a modern recipe for making butter. No churning necessary! It is Easy as This….

For 3 to 4 sticks of homemade butter you will need:

2 pints of fresh cream

a food processor & some cheesecloth

fresh herbs & sea salt for the dressed-up version

Instructions:

1. Pour fresh cream into a food processor.

2. Process cream for about 10-15 minutes. The first wonderful stage happens about halfway through the process…the most beautifully whipped cream I have ever seen. This is how I shall make perfect whipped cream in the future.

3. Keep an eye on the action in the processor. Soon after the whipped cream stage, like magic, the butter will separate from the whey. Turn off the processor.

4. Pour whey & butter through a cheese cloth lined sieve sitting over a bowl. The butter will remain in the cheesecloth. The whey will run off into the bowl. Bunch the cheesecloth up around the butter & twist  to squeeze out most of the remaining liquid. Butter…dreamy…creamy butter ready for spreading, smearing & melting.

5.  I pressed half of my butter into “sticks”, wrapped in wax paper & tied up with string for later use.

6. Into the second half I stirred herbs from my garden & some sea salt to spread on crusty slices of bread, add to a baked potato or to season homemade croutons for a salad.

As I was making this butter I thought of my Grandmother…. about how hard much of life was for her. She made butter, had a garden, chickens to care for, a large family to feed…just what she & her generation of rural, Southern women did. No complaints. My batch of butter took under 15 minutes…made for an urban household where everything is comparatively easy..no large family to feed..made not as a necessity, but simply for the pleasure of the act. It really was as “easy as that”.

Bon Appetit

“A Late August Four-Letter “F” Word To Savor!”

My favorite four letter “f” word in late August is “Figs”. Finally we have some figs to play with. I have been watching the trees in the neighborhood, snooping around the farmer’s markets, just waiting, thinking on simple recipes using tree ripened figs.

“Brown Turkey Figs”

Sitting with a group of food friends the other day we started talking about foods we really were not aware of when we were younger, foods that we now know and love. For most of us Southerners it seems fresh figs just didn’t make it onto our radars until adulthood. I am not sure why. Fig trees thrive around here so it seems that figs would have been a summer staple just like peaches & late summer pears. I think I will do a bit of research to figure out why I never ate fresh figs as a child. As an adult I relish the arrival of this little, lush four-letter word.

“Fresh Figs-Pine Nuts Cornmeal Upside-Down Cake” 

 The corn meal gives it a bit of a crunch as do the pine nuts. The caramelized fig topping drizzled with maple syrup is luscious.

Ingredients: 5 to 6 fresh figs, 2 to 3 cups self-rising white or yellow cornmeal (I used gluten-free); 1 tsp ground cardamom; 1 stick good butter (Kerry gold of course!); 1 cup brown sugar; (divided into two 1/2 cups; 1/4 cups toasted pine nuts; 2 eggs; milk; real maple syrup

Directions:  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt butter in a cast iron skillet, preferably, over medium high heat. Add in 1/2 cup brown sugar stirring until melted.

2. Wash & dry figs. Cut each one in half lengthwise. Place cut-side down in skillet in a circular pattern. Sprinkle toasted pine nuts over figs. Turn heat to low allowing the figs to caramelize somewhat for about 5-8 minutes.

3. Meanwhile in a mixing bowl whisk together the dry ingredients..cornmeal, second 1/2 cup brown sugar & cardamom. Add eggs & enough milk to make a batter.

                                                                   

4. Pour/scrape batter into the hot skillet with the figs on top of the stove. Transfer skillet to the pre-heated oven. Bake for about 20-30 minutes until cake is golden brown and set in the middle. Remove skillet from oven and let rest for about 5 minutes.

5. Place a plate over the top of the skillet and “flip” plate & skillet upside-down. Scrape any caramel left in the pan over the top of the cake. While cake is still hot drizzle generously with real maple syrup. Cool cake for at least 10 minutes before cutting. Serve slices with additional maple syrup on side if desired.


Bonus Recipe: “Figgy Pancakes”

Ingredients: Same as for the cake recipe with a few extra figs quartered.

It was morning when I was baking the cake and had a bit of batter left over after filling the skillet. While the cake was baking I whipped up some pancakes for breakfast!

Directions: 1. Heat some butter in a small non-stick pan or griddle over high heat. Add a few quartered figs.

2. Pour in batter. When batter is set on bottom and bubbly on top flip pancake and  finish cooking til golden brown.

        

3. Serve immediately with real maple syrup. This was one good pancake recipe!

EXTRA, EXTRA BONUS RECIPE…SEE BELOW…THE EASIEST MOST DELICIOUS WAY TO EAT FRESH FIGS…….DON’T MISS THIS ONE!

“Sea Salt & Raw Sugar Dipped Figs”

Take some wonderful fresh figs. Cut them into quarters. Sprinkle some great sea salt & raw sugar on a saucer. Dip cut edges of figs in salt-sugar mixture and eat.

A sublime treat.

Doesn’t the word “fig” conjure up an image of Adam romping around in the Garden of Eden wearing a fig leaf?

I wondered what figs would be like after they were frozen?

 FYI. Mushy, but aren’t they pretty frozen?

Some “f” word music I like. A little bit different, fun and peppy to help you get figgy.

Album, “The Figs”,  The Figs, 2007 Valcour Records

Album, “What Keeps Me Up At Night”, The Figs 2008

Songs, “Jumbo” & “The Long Goodbye”, Marseille Figs, 2009 Figs of London

Eat good stuff.

“t(wo) for Thanksgiving, t for Tennessee”

We all know the phrase “t for Texas, t for Tennessee, right? This year we added “t(wo) for Thanksgiving”.  That’s right, this year was the year we had to share our children with all their other extended, far-away families. We do this every other year. If your family is like ours it is a combination of birth family, married-into families, step-families, long-time & new-friends-families. So Wouter & I had great day cooking a simple meal, a meal of not-too-much, a meal of local bounty and international recipes. We spent the day together cooking, talking, laughing and telling stories.

“t(wo) for Thanksgiving” Menu


Asian Roasted Hen & Gravy


Hutspot (A Dutch dish of Onion, Carrots, Potatoes & Meat Juices)

A simple salad of shredded spinach, julienned pears & plums (photo on finished plate image)

An Australian Malbec

Jill’s Fresh Citrus Granita with Limoncello Drizzle

For an afternoon tea time snack:

Boterkoek (Dutch Butter Cookie)

Yazoo Stout & Barista Pinotage (both great with a piece of butter cookie!)

First things first…………..

“Asian Roast Hen with Au Jus-Gravy”

For recipe: Go to relishmag.com. In search enter: “Asian Roast Turkey with Sticky Rice Stuffing” This is the cover story for the November 2010 Issue.  I wanted to cook a roasting hen using the same ingredients so I just cut everything in half for the basting glaze. Also I wanted the have Hutspot, so I did not make the Sticky Rice Stuffing, although I highly recommend it. The original recipe is by cookbook author Corinne Trang and is one of the most delicious bird recipes I have ever tasted.

1. Rinse and dry bird. Make basting glaze according to the recipe. Following original recipe, loosen skin of the bird, add glaze under skin and on top. Roast following recipe based on the size of the bird you are cooking. Roast bird until the skin is very brown and crispy. Use the pan juices to make an au jus-gravy by whisking in a bit of flour & black pepper.

“Hutspot”

1. For this you will need: 2.2 lbs (1 kilo) each carrots, onions & potatoes. 1/2 lb beef sirloin (or similar cut) sliced into 2 equal pieces, 8 ozs butter, salt & pepper, 1 cup water. A large dutch oven or stock pot.

2. Brown butter in a pan over medium-high heat, add meat seasoned with salt & pepper. Meat will sizzle & turn brown, lower temp and continue to cook for about 1/2 hr. until meat is tender.

3. While meat is cooking, wash & cut carrots into thick “coins”.

4. Place carrots in the bottom of pan and top with slices of cooked beef.

5. Chop onions into large chunks and add to pot on top of carrots & meat. Add 1 cup water. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and simmer for about 1.5 hours. Carrots & onions should be very “mashable” soft.

6. About 1/2 hour before carrots & onions are cooked, peel potatoes, cut up and put into a pan of water. Cook for about 20 minutes until very soft.

7. When soft remove potatoes from heat, drain and mash-up.

8. Remove meat from the pot of carrots & onions. Set aside for later use. Drain liquid from pot. Add mashed potatoes to pot of drained carrots & onions.With a potato masher or large fork “stomp” all the vegetables together until they are well incorporated. Add salt & pepper to taste. This dish has everything you like about mashed potatoes with the added sweetness of carrots with a hint of onion added it. Wouter used Yukon Gold potatoes which are very “mashable”. Cover and keep warm until ready to eat.

(Note: If we were just having Hutspot as our main dish we would serve it with the pieces of cooked meat thinly sliced. Since we are having it with our “bird” we saved the meat for another meal.)

“Boterkoek”

For this you will need: 150 g all-purpose flour, 125 g butter, 125 g basterdsuiker (more about this later) or castor sugar.

Basterdsuiker – Wouter brings this back from Amsterdam and is what all his dessert recipes  call for. I have investigated and found there is no comparable sugar sold in our supermarkets. You can substitute Caster Sugar, or in a pinch regular sugar I suppose. Basterdsuiker has the wonderful consistency of our light brown sugars but is a very white, moist sugar that incorporates into your recipe more readily than our regular granulated sugar. You can order this online just by Googling it. After using it for desserts I really love it and wish we could buy locally.  I like that Wouter used Irish Kerrygold butter, Dutch sugar and Tennessee White Lily flour in this recipe!

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using your fingers or a pastry cutter, mix all ingredients together in a bowl until you can form a pastry ball. Add a bit of flour to your fingers if necessary.

2. Press soft dough into a buttered & floured pan.

3. Bake for about 25 minutes or until dough is a light golden brown. Remove from oven to cool. Dough will still be a bit soft, but as the sugar & butter cool the dough will set up like a cookie.

4. To serve, turn out on a cutting board and then invert onto a serving plate.

Serving suggestion: We had originally planned to have this in the afternoon with hot tea, but as the day got darker and windier and it got cozier inside we decided the boterkoek would be fabulous with a glass of Nashville’s Yazoo Brewery Onward Stout for Wouter and a glass of Barista Pinotage from South Africa for me, both very dark wintry tastes. As we thought….the perfect tea time!

Salad Note: At the last minute I rummaged through the fridge and came up with a simple salad by shredding fresh Spinach leaves, cutting some baby Pears & ripe Plums into julienne strips and drizzling with a bit of a Feta Vinaigrette. This is a non-recipe dish and you could substitute any greens or fruits that you have for the ones I used. I always like to have something a bit crunchy, green and fruity with my Thanksgiving dinner.

“Jill’s Extremely Fresh Citrus Granita with Limoncello Drizzle”

Recently the Relish Magazine folks were shooting some video at our house and Jill made this great Citrus Granita. I did not get the actual recipe but it is so easy that anyone can do it without a recipe. Jill made this on camera, put it in my freezer and there is has been for a couple of weeks. Yesterday I wanted something really easy & fresh tasting for after dinner. This fit all my requirements. When I showed it to Wouter and let him taste it he loved it and said that it would be really great with a drizzle of my Limoncello. This is how recipes are born I think.

For this recipe you will need:

6 cups of freshly squeezed Citrus Juice – Jill used a combination of blood oranges, ruby-red grapefruit, navel oranges & lemons. Try clementines, tangerines or any of the wonderful citrus that is available all year-long.

A simple syrup made using granulated sugar & water.  About 1 cup.

1. Mix together the cooled down simple syrup and the 6 cups juice. Taste and adjust sweetness if necessary. Pour mixture into a freezer container. Freeze until hard.

2. When ready to serve, use a sturdy fork to “scrape” frozen juice into “granita”

The color is so absolutely lovely. As I scraped I could actually see all the different colors of each citrus used.

3. Put Granita into a short glass & drizzle with very cold Limoncello. Very elegant, very easy and the perfect after dinner dessert-nightcap.

The table was set……

…night fell, we filled out plates, poured some wine……

….and toasted our day….bon apetit.