Tag-Archive for ◊ peach ◊

08 Jun 2013 Peach Iced Tea

2 Peach Iced Tea Vert

I made a Peach Iced Tea! I am so excited that I have to share the recipe with you, even as I work to make it more natural (off to the farmer’s market tomorrow for my first try). I didn’t want you all to have to wait until I got the natural version perfected as this version works fine!  I know there are hot days and summer parties in your near future–graduations, Father’s Day, showers, birthday parties, July 4th celebrations, and BBQ’s, so I know you need this recipe now!

This tea, as is, is not too sweet, and definitely has a pronounced peach flavor; it’s like Snapple Peach Iced Tea, only better!  Make the big-batch peach base to keep in the freezer and you’ll be able to whip up a quart of Peach Iced Tea for yourself and a good book! Or make a gallon or two  for a  summer party in a flash.  I, for one, would love to go to a summer party where there’s something to drink other than bottles of beer, soda and water 🙂 (BTW, I have a recipe posted for Blueberry Lemonade, too, which is also very good!).

The peach part of the tea was inspired by a recipe I found in a “Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publication” entitled , “Best Loved Reader Recipes; 125 Winners from 1930 to Today”.  The recipe in the magazine was for a “Sparkling Peach Punch”, where the base below is mixed with ginger ale or sparkling water.  I tried both versions. The ginger ale version was very sweet, the sparkling water version was given a thumbs up by my daughters, but the iced tea version created by yours truly was the star of the show.

Notes:

#1 Make the base and freeze it in three 1-quart batches or six 2-cup batches.  Each 1-quart peach base will mix with 2 quarts of strong tea to make 12 cups/3 quarts of  Peach Iced Tea, add ice and you have a party!  Each 2-cup peach base mixed with 6 cups of strong tea will make 8 cups/2 quarts of Peach Iced Tea, add ice and a friend and you have a cool and tasty summer drink with which you and  your friend can enjoy a little down time.

#2 Make the tea twice as strong as you would for regular hot tea!  I prefer English or Irish tea bags such as Barry’s Irish Gold, or Yorkshire Gold or PG tips.  Trader Joe’s Irish Breakfast tea is also very good (but, oddly, the English Breakfast tea isn’t very good at all). I use 3 or 4 tea bags to each quart of boiling water.  If I had to use Lipton or Red Rose Tea, I’d use at least six tea bags to a quart of boiling water.  I haven’t experimented with green tea, as I am not a big fan, but I am sure green tea could substitute for the black tea, and of course, decaf tea could be used too, if that is your preference.

#3 I don’t know why there is gelatin in the base, that’s one of the things I am going to experiment with and try to remove, but, I think it probably does add to the overall peachiness of the drink. Yes, yes, yes, one of the first things I will experiment with is using fresh peaches in place of the canned peaches…but until that happens, make this version, it’s yummy!

Peach Iced Tea

For the Peach Base:

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 13-ounce package peach-flavored gelatin
  • 1 29-ounce can peach slices in light syrup
  • 4 11 ounce cans peach nectar (find them on the shelves of the grocery store next to the bottled juices)
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  1. Combine water, sugar, and gelatin in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stir to dissolve the gelatin then remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. Place undrained peach slices in blender, and blend until smooth.
  3. In a 1 gallon capacity bowl, pan or pitcher combine gelatin mixture, pureed peaches, peach nectar, and lemon juice. Stir to combine.
  4. Divide peach mixture into three 1-quart batches or six 2-cup batches.  Use now (see steps below), or freeze until needed.  According to the original recipe, the base can be frozen for up to 3 months.

To Brew the Tea and Combine With the Peach Flavor:

  • Desired quantity of peach base (remove from freezer an hour or two before needing)
  • Tea bags (Make the tea twice as strong as you would for regular hot tea, see note #2 above)
  • Boiling water (You will need to make 2X the amount of water for the quantity of base you are using, see note #1 above)
  1. Pour the required amount of boiling water over the tea bags and let steep for 3-5 minutes.  Don’t let the tea steep for more than 5 minutes or it will start to get bitter.
  2. Fill a pitcher half full of  ice.  Pour the hot brewed tea over the ice. Discard the tea bags.
  3. Stir the peach base into the iced tea.
  4. Pour into glass and enjoy! ahhhhhhhh

It’s mercilessly HOT here, and I hate hot, but a glass of Peach Iced Tea, a day off, and a good book does make the summer somewhat enjoyable(!)

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today!  I am going to try some more recipes from this magazine–Calypso Shrimp Skewers, Coconut Salmon Curry, Macaroni and Brie with Crab, Green Beans with Basil and Mint, so stay tuned!

BTW, if you have the magazine, I’ve already tried the “Bagel, Lox and Egg Strata” recipe… The picture looked great.  The make-ahead casserole wasn’t bad, but neither was it great, and I see no reason to make it again.

01 Sep 2012 Banana Pancakes with Caramel Syrup

Hmpfff…, just got through looking at the two hundred and seventeen pictures of a recent bride’s Hawaiian honeymoon.  As one of her friends commented, “The envy hurts”!  I went to Hawaii once.  I did.  It was with my kids’ swim team.  I forget exactly how many 8 – 14 year old’s were on that trip, but it was over a hundred. And a handful of chaperones and coaches. I sure know how to vacation in Hawaii.  NOT.

This morning I was inspired, by the aforementioned 217 pictures, to bring a bit of Hawaii to the breakfast table.  One of the few things I remember about my trip to Hawaii, aside from the twelve year old climbing from one balcony to another–yes, balconies on the outside of the building, outside of  the eighth floor no less–were the breakfasts.  Most mornings we had sushi from the ABC store, and I know most of you won’t relish that,  but one morning, I think it was the last one, we had some wonderful coconutty-banana pancakes.  I think by this time we had locked the kids in their rooms, turned on the TV, handed them a box Twinkies, and thrown away the keys. Yes, I am pretty sure it was an adult only breakfast that morning…

Yep…, transported to the tropics with banana pancakes!  If I had sprinkled the top of the pancakes with a bit of toasted coconut or some diced macadamia nuts I could have been transported even closer to the tropics. These pancakes raise high and are wonderfully light.  The syrup is as sweet as maple syrup, but with a lovely caramel flavor that really makes the pancakes shine.  I found this recipe on epicurious.com (love that site).  I shared these pancakes with one of the kids who went on the trip with me.  She’s almost all grown up now, but I will always remember how she loved Hawaii 🙂 Ohhhh, OK, I do have many wonderful memories of a vacation in Hawaii…

A few notes on this recipe.  If you don’t have self-raising flour, add 1 tsp of baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt to each cup of flour and to make your own homemade self-raising flour.  Don’t have buttermilk?  Stir 1 T lemon juice or 1 T. white vinegar into each cup of milk and let sit for 5 minutes; but next time you are at the store, buy two buttermilk cartons, one to use now and one to store in the freezer for next time (never run out of buttermilk).  Buttermilk powder is also a nice ingredient to have on hand (available on the baking aisle of most larger supermarkets), use as directed. The last option is to substitute yogurt (vanilla, plain, greek, banana) mixed with a little milk until the mixture has a thick pouring consistency for the buttermilk.

Don’t want to go to Hawaii?  Want to go down South?  Substitute peaches for the bananas, and add bourbon to the sauce, and throw some diced pecans over the tops of the pancakes!

Banana Pancakes with Caramel-Banana Syrup 

3 large bananas, peeled, divided use

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted, divided use
3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar, divided use
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or rum)
2 cups self-rising flour
2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
toasted coconut, diced macadamia nuts or pecans, optional

Whisk flour 1/4 cup brown sugar in large bowl. In another bowl mash one banana, then stir in buttermilk , eggs, and 1/4 cup melted butter.  Pour the banana mixture over the dry ingredients (some lumps will remain). Heat griddle over medium heat; brush with melted butter or spray with a cooking spray.  Pour batter by 1/3 cupfuls onto griddle. Cook pancakes until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer pancakes to baking sheet; and place in 200 degree oven to keep warm, if desired.

Combine 1/4 cup melted butter, 1/2 cup light brown sugar, and 1/4 cup water in a saucepan. Bring mixture to boil over medium-high heat, and simmer until mixture thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Slice 2 bananas into 1/4-inch-thick rounds and add to syrup along with vanilla extract. Remove syrup from heat and let sit while you finish cooking pancakes.

Serve pancakes with caramel-banana syrup, and toasted coconut and/or chopped nuts for sprinkling on top of hot pancakes.

Aloha! Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today!

07 Sep 2010 Beer Can Chicken

My friend Adele is the queen of Beer Can Chicken.  She even tried to teach me how to do it. I failed miserably.  Mine just didn’t have the flavor that hers had.  Knowing I was beat, I decided that Adele would reign as Beer Can Chicken Queen forever. And ever.

…but the flavor of her chicken kept nagging at me.  For two years I let it bother me…

Then, the theme of my Cookbook Club in August was “Grilling”, with the book being any BBQ/Grill book by Steven Raichlen.  I already had a few of his books (BBQ Bible, How to Grill, and Sauces, Rubs and Marinades) so I thought I was all set. Wouldn’t you know I would casually wander past the cookbook section in the bookstore ANYWAY?  Just to look, of course. What should I see there but another cookbook by Steven Raichlen!  The title of this book?  “Beer Can Chicken“!  I couldn’t NOT get it. It was only $12.95…, and I had a 40% off coupon!  It was a sign!  It was time for me to attempt Beer Can Chicken, again.

Now I am not quite up to Queen Adele’s level, but I am loving this method of cooking a chicken.  For Cookbook Club I made Thai Coconut Chicken and Peach Nectar Chicken. (Pictured above.  I cooked them both on the same grill at the same time.  The darker color of one of the chickens is a result of a darker rub.)  Both went over well, but I thought the sauce for the Thai Coconut Chicken was too thick and had too much peanut butter in it.  I’ll have to make a few changes before I can endorse that recipe (like decreasing the peanut butter from 3/4 cup to 1/4 cup, and increasing the liquid a bit).  BUT, I like fruity BBQ’d stuff, so the Peach Nectar Chicken was a big hit with me.  Both of these recipes I made on the grill.

Yesterday when my 19 year old son was home, and said he wanted to learn to cook something (I couldn’t believe my ears, but I jumped right on it!). One of the things we made was Raichlen’s Basic Beer Can chicken in the oven.  I’m coverted!  He is too. This is one GREAT way to cook a chicken.  Once the nasty prep work was done (rinsing the chicken and removing the innards) it was a super easy dish to make that needed no babysitting once it was in the oven.  I told my son he could eat a week off of one roasted chicken (especially if he boiled the bones up for chicken stock and then used that for a pasta-veggie soup towards the end of the week).  I’m not sure he’s at the point to make his own chicken stock and then transform that into a soup, but I have hope for the boy.  If can master Beer Can Chicken at 19, he’s off to a good start.

Now, I’m pretty sure that you are wondering WHY you should roast a chicken when you can buy good ones at the supermarket or Costco…  The taste my friends, the taste!  This chicken is moist and flavorful.  If you give a supermarket chicken a 4 or 5, on a scale of 1 to 10, you’d give this chicken a 10 (and you’d be wishing for an 11 on the scale)!

Recipes below can be cooked in the oven at 400 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes (check after 1 hour), or on either a gas grill or charcoal BBQ for the same length of time.  If you are unsure of how to cook indirectly on the grill or BBQ, please consult one of Steven Raichlen’s books (or view an online video). The first recipe is a basic roast chicken recipe, which we roasted in the oven and served without any sauce.  The second recipe is the one for the Peachy BBQ chicken, which I cooked on a gas grill and  served with a sauce.

Once you make one of these, you’ll be whipping up your own variations.  Will we be bringing back the traditional Sunday Roast Chicken dinner this fall?  Maybe, just maybe…, it would be easy enough… 🙂

Basic Beer Can Chicken

1 12 oz can beer (or Coke-a-Cola)
a 3 ½ – 4 lb whole chicken
2 teaspoons vegetable oil

For the rub:

1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 Tablespoon  Kosher salt (or 2 teaspoons table salt)
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more if you like  a bit of a kick)

1. Position oven an oven rack low enough to accommodate an upright chicken sitting on a can. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine all ingredients for the rub into a small bowl.  Mix and set aside.

3. Pour out or drink 3/4 cup of the beer or Coke.  With a church key make 2 additional holes in the top of the now half full can (so more liquid can steam out and into the chicken).  Spray the outside of the can heavily with Pam.  Set can aside.

4. Rinse the chicken, and remove the packet of innards. Pat dry. (This is the nasty part)

5. Place 1 teaspoon of rub inside the body of the chicken.  Place ½ teaspoon rub in the neck cavity of the chicken. Drizzle 2 teaspoons veg. oil over the outside of the chicken and rub or brush it into the skin. Rub the oil covered chicken with 1 tablespoon of the rub.  I also put a bit of rub in between the skin of the breast and the meat of the breast. (Just pull up the skin, sprinkle in the spice mix, then rub it a round a bit) Pour remaining rub into the can of peach nectar.

6. Put the chicken on the can.  Then put the can with the chicken onto it into a roasting pan. Pull the legs forward.  The legs are two of a tripod, the can is the third. Tuck the wings behind the chicken’s back.  Chicken should look comfortable and be well balanced.

7. Place chicken in oven.  Bake for approx. 1 1/4 hours.

8. CAREFULLY remove the chicken from the oven.  Be even more careful removing the chicken from the can, don’t let any hot liquid spill on you. Removing the can from the chicken is really a two person job.  I had my son hold the chicken with foil covered oven mitts over the sink, while I pulled the can out of the chicken cavity with tongs. If you sprayed the can with Pam, this should be relatively easy to do, just a bit awkward.  If you forgot the Pam, may God be with you.

9. Let chicken sit for 15 minutes, lightly tented with foil, before carving.  We slice the breast, and serve in surrounded by thighs, drumsticks, and wings.

Peachy BBQ Chicken

1 12 oz can peach nectar
a 3 inch cinnamon stick
a 3 ½ – 4 lb whole chicken
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 cups wood chunks (peach or apple) soaked for one hour in water/beer then drained (not needed if cooking in oven)

For the Rub

2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cardamon

For the Peach BBQ Sauce

¾ cup peach nectar
½ cup ketchup
2 tablespoons peach or apricot preserves
1 tablespoon honey, more to taste if desired
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon dark rum (or peach schnapps)
½ teaspoon soy sauce
¼ teaspoon liquid smoke
¼ cup water
Kosher salt
Black pepper, to taste

1. Combine all ingredients for the rub into a small bowl.  Mix and set aside.

2. Pour ¾ cup of the peach nectar into a measuring cup and set aside for the BBQ sauce.  With a church key make 2 additional holes in the top of the peach nectar can.  Add the cinnamon stick to the can, Spray the outside of the can heavily with Pam. Set can aside.

3. Rinse the chicken, and remove the packet of innards. Pat dry. (This is the nasty part)

4. Place 1 teaspoon of rub inside the body of the chicken.  Place ½ teaspoon rub in the neck cavity of the chicken. Drizzle 2 teaspoons veg. oil over the outside of the chicken and rub or brush it into the skin. Rub the oil covered chicken with 1 tablespoon of the rub.  I also put a bit of rub in between the skin of the breast and the meat of the breast. (Just pull up the skin, sprinkle in the spice mix, then rub it a round a bit) Pour remaining rub into the can of peach nectar.

5. Put the chicken on the can.  Pull the legs forward.  The legs are two of a tripod, the can is the third. Tuck the wings behind the chicken’s back.  Chicken should look comfortable and be well balanced.

6. Set up grill for indirect grilling.  Place drained wood chips in smoker box.  Preheat grill to high or until there is smoke, and then reduce to medium.

7. Set chicken on can on unheated portion of grill.  Cover grill.  Rotate chicken ¼ turn every 15 minutes.  Cook until chicken temp is 180 in thickest part of thigh, about 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hours.

8. While chicken is cooking, combine all ingredients for BBQ sauce in heavy saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often. Add additional salt, pepper, and honey to taste.  Serve sauce warm or at room temperature with cooked chicken.  Any leftover sauce will keep for a week, covered, in refrigerator.

9. CAREFULLY remove bird from grill.  Let chicken rest for 5 minutes then wrestle the bird off the can.  DO NOT SPILL THE HOT LIQUID or burn yourself in any other way.

10. Halve, quarter, or carve the chicken and serve with Peach BBQ sauce.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today.  Come back again!

01 Sep 2010 Fresh Peach Pie

I found two good recipe for fresh peaches this year!  I’ve shared the recipe Peach Crumble Bars, now I’m sharing this recipe which has even more peach flavor and crams even more fresh peach into each serving.  There is some bad news about this recipe though. One of the ingredients in the glaze is Jell-O.  I am not a big fan of processed food, so I would rather not use the Jell-O, but as of today, I don’t have a good substitute, and this pie is too good not to share.  Summer is almost over, you just have to make and enjoy one more good fresh fruit pie before delving into pumpkin, apple and mince!

Oddly enough, I found this recipe on the “Fix-It and Forget-It” cookbook site, which is a crock pot cookbook!  Oh, wait, now I get it, this recipe was posted as a preview for the authors newest cookbook, “Fix-It and Enjoy-It”, which I am guessing is not a crock pot cookbook.  Here’s a link to the book, if you are interested.   This recipe is on page 250.

Now getting back to the Jell-O issue.  This recipe calls for the smaller box of peach Jell-O, the 3 oz size. I have not been able to find it where I live, and I have looked everywhere.  I have used the larger box, the 6 oz. size.  I just measure the Jell-O powder out and use half of it in the recipe and save the other half for next time. One time my son came home with  Sugar Free Peach Jell-O (which is available in the 3 oz size).  I used it, surprisingly enough,  and it did not kill me!  (I find sugar free Jell-O to have one of the most horrible aftertastes of any food on the planet).  Then, another time (I have made this pie quite a few times this summer), I forgot to measure the Jell-O and used the full 6 oz. box!  That worked too! (The pie was a bit sweeter, though.)  So, what we have here, might be an infallible recipe!  If you can’t find the 3 oz. box, I’d suggest getting the 6 oz. box and measuring out half of the powder to use in this recipe.  I am pretty sure it won’t be long before you are using the other half!

Fresh Peach Pie

¾ cup sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 cup water
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. white corn syrup
3-oz. pkg. peach gelatin (if you can’t find a 3 oz pkg, use half of a 6 oz. pkg.)
6-8 large peaches
9″ baked pie crust

Make the glaze first. In a saucepan, combine sugar, salt, water, cornstarch, and syrup. Cook over medium heat until clear (clear as in “not cloudy”, the mixture does not get glassy) , stirring constantly. Add peach gelatin and stir until dissolved.  Remove glaze from heat and cool in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

While glaze is cooling, peel peaches and slice into a large mixing bowl. Slice enough peaches to mound nicely into your pie crust.  You can quickly place the peaches in the crust to measure how many you have/need, then quickly dump the peaches back into the mixing bowl to proceed.

Pour cooled glaze over peaches. Stir gently to combine. Pour mixture into baked and cooled pie crust. Chill until ready to serve (at least an hour).  I serve with whipped cream.  Ice cream would be good too, I am sure.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today. I hope you make this pie soon, if you do, I guarantee you’ll finish up the summer on a high note!

30 Aug 2010 Peach Crumble Bars

Peaches are really good this year, which is good news after a few disappointing crops the last few years.  I’ve enjoyed some delicious, chin dripping peaches this summer.  Topping that, I’ve also had success with two new recipes using fresh peaches.  Here’s the first.  Move over brownies.  Move over lemon bars.  There’s a new kid in town: Peach Crumble Bars.  I like this recipe becasue the peach layer is composed of fresh peaches, not canned, not peach jam, real fresh peaches!  The crumbly cakey layer is light and buttery (whoa…light and buttery?  LOL…yes!).  Next time I would like to add some vanilla into the crumb layer; I don’t think vanilla extract will work, so it would have to be vanilla bean or vanilla paste.  Even without the vanilla, this recipe is a winner, juicy, chin dripping, peaches, with cake, in an easy-to handle bar.  What could be better? According the websites I consulted, this recipe can also be made with blueberries and raspberries, so it’s a versatile recipe, too!

I found this recipe at Annies-Eats and she found the basic crumb bar recipe at Smitten Kitchen.  Both sites have better pictures than I do…  One of these days I need to either find a photographer or take a food photography class.  I think I had better start looking for a friend who wants to photograph food–payment being the food that’s being photographed!

Peach Crumble Bars

1½ cups sugar, divided use
1 tsp. baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. salt
Zest of half a lemon
16 tbsp. (2 sticks….ouch) cold, butter cut into small pieces
1 egg, lightly beaten
5 cups peeled, chopped peaches (about 5 peaches)
5 tsp. cornstarch
Juice of 1 lemon
freshly grated nutmeg, to taste (I used about 1/4 of a whole nutmeg)

Preheat the oven to 375° F.  Grease a 9 x 13? pan; set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup of the sugar, the baking powder and flour.  Mix in the salt and the lemon zest, and stir together with a fork. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until the largest chunks are about pea-sized.  (I grate the butter, with a cheese grater.  Roll the butter in the flour mixture, grate, roll butter in flour mixture again if butter gets too soft to grate easily).  Combine well.  Stir in beaten egg. The resulting mixture should be crumbly without much loose flour.  Spread a bit more than half of the dough mixture in an even layer over the bottom of the prepared pan and press down firmly to form the bottom crust.

In another bowl, stir together the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and nutmeg. Gently mix in the peaches with a rubber spatula until combined.  Sprinkle the fruit mixture evenly over the crust.  Crumble the remaining dough over the top of the peaches.

Bake for about 45 minutes or until the top is slightly golden brown.  Cool completely before cutting into squares and serving. Eat within 48 hours, which shouldn’t be too difficult.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today.  I love your visits!