Sunday, July 26, 2015

Just Peachy! Three Recipes!!!

Ever picked a peck of peaches?  Now you can!  Here's where Rhode Island has peaches.  Peach cobbler, peach chutney, peach pie, peaches and cream on hot cereal...and a New England oldie, Indian pudding.

Gluten-Free/Low Sodium/Reduced Fat/Vegetarian
Indian Pudding and Peaches
Taste of the New England
Prep: 15 minutes  Cook: 1 hour (45 minutes baking)  Serves 6
2 1/2 cups low-fat milk
1/3 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup real maple syrup
2 tbs. butter
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cardamom
2 organic peaches (or other seasonal fruit of choice)
1 cup fat-free half-and-half
Contrary to the name, this dish is not Native American in origin aside from the cornmeal, which was more readily available to the pilgrims than wheat flour.  It’s also called “hasty pudding” and at least cooks faster than some 3 hour recipes I’ve seen.  With the molasses from the sugar trade not coming from North America or Europe, this dish was uniquely New England.  I’ve added maple syrup to make it more “native”, but couldn’t resist Indonesian nutmeg and Asian Indian cardamom (a relative of ginger).
Preheat over to 300ºF and grease casserole dish.  Pour milk into large sauce pan and heat on med-high until scalded but not boiling.  (Look for tiny bubbles around the edges of the pot.)  Whisk in cornmeal a tablespoon at a time, stirring well to prevent lumps.  Add molasses, syrup, and butter.  Reduce heat and cook 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently, until the consistency of pourable porridge.  In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and spices together.  Slowly add cornmeal mix to eggs, whisking constantly so as not to cook eggs.  Pour mix into casserole dish and bake 45 minutes.  Wash, pit, and cut peaches into half-wedges, or bite-sized pieces, leaving skin on.  Serve pudding warm with fat free half-and-half and peaches.

This sweet and savory dish with a hint of spice is based on the cuisine of Tunisia.  Wish I had a picture, but we dived right in.

Low Sodium/Gluten-Free Option
Chicken and Peaches
Taste of Tunisia
2 tbs. oil, divided
2 cups diced red onion
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 tsp. white pepper
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, fat trimmed
3 cups reduced fat, low sodium (gluten-free) chicken broth
2 organic peaches, cut into wedges then halved
2 tbs. honey
1 pinch saffron (optional)
couscous (not gluten-free) or rice
This recipe is based on the sweet tangine dishes of North Africa, but has less sugar and fat than the traditional fare.  By using boneless chicken thighs instead of whole chicken, it also cooks faster and costs less to prepare.  In a covered skillet or Dutch oven, heat 1 tbs. of oil on medium-high.  Cook onions, nuts, and spices, stirring frequently, about three minutes.  Remove mixture and set aside.  Add another tbs. of oil and brown thighs, about 2 minutes per side.  Add stock and onion mixture and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat slightly, cover, and poach gently 20 minutes.  Uncover and add peaches, honey, and saffron, crushing spice with your fingers and sprinkling on top.  Cook another 10-15 minutes, allowing liquid to thicken, until chicken flakes apart easily with a fork and meat thermometer reads 165ºF.   Serve over couscous or use rice for gluten-free option. 
Need to indulge a little?  Too hot to cook?  Impress your guests with this quick dessert made with only four ingredients:

Gluten-Free/Low Sodium/Vegetarian
Peach “Gelato”
Taste of Italy
Prep: 15 minutes  Freeze: 1 hour or overnight  Serves 4
2 over-ripe peaches
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/8 cup local honey
1 tsp. ground ginger
Have peaches getting soft on your counter?  Make this quick dessert!  Soft peaches are easy to peel the skin from.  You can peel, then freeze, or vice-versa.  I usually freeze the peaches in their skins so I don’t have to wrap them, but peeling must be done quick so peaches don’t thaw.  Freeze peaches at least one hour, preferably overnight.  Remove pit by slicing around peach and twisting sides.  Chop pitted peaches and mix with half-and-half, honey, and ground ginger in a blender until smooth.  Serve immediately.

Kickstarter coming soon to publish the Around the World in 100 Miles cookbook! 

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