Grilled Peaches

Anyone who cooks can likely share stories of recipes that just didn’t quite turn out right, or could have benefited from some tweaking. Today you get to hear one of mine! Several months ago, I spotted this recipe from The Framed Table on Pinterest and knew I had to try it!

This weekend, Bailey and I headed over to Strite’s Orchard to pick a bunch of yummy fresh peaches (stay tuned – more peachy recipes to come!), so it seemed like the perfect time to finally try my hand at grilling peaches. So here’s how to make ’em!IMG_1952

Grilled Peaches with Rosemary and Balsamic Vinegar

  • Peaches
  • Fresh rosemary, chopped
  • Canola oil
  • Balsamic vinegar

Step One: Pre-heat your grill to medium high. Cut each peach in half and remove pits.  Brush the cut surfaces lightly with canola oil.

Step Two: Place peach halves with their cut sides facing down and grill for 5 minutes.  Flip peaches over and grill for another 5 minutes, then remove from grill.

Step Three: Drizzle peaches with balsamic vinegar, and sprinkle with chopped rosemary.

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Sounds easy enough, right? The peaches came out looking and smelling pretty good – and even had a good flavor to them – but there are a few things I would definitely do differently next time:

  • The peaches were SUPER juicy, which is great for flavor, but made them a little challenging to eat. The excess of juice in the hole where the pit used to be also sucked up a lot of the balsamic, make that flavor less pronounced. Next time, I would grill the peaches cut side UP first, then flip the cut side down. This would allow some of that excess juice to run off.
  • Balsamic vinegar, by it’s nature, is a relatively thin, runny liquid.  Next time around, I would cook the balsamic down to make a reduction. A thicker reduction would cling to the peach better, and give the flavor a higher impact.
  • Lastly, we weren’t sure the best way to tackle eating these, so we scooped them out with a spoon. This was harder than I thought it would be, and we missed a lot of the flesh this way. If you decide to grill peaches at home, I’d recommend using a knife and fork to really get the most out of it!

I hope you enjoy these suggestions! Remember that every cooking hiccup is an opportunity to make something fantastic the next time around!

Happy Cooking!
~ Megan

All Purpose BBQ Rub Recipe

This rub is great in marinades, on meat before it goes on the grill and in combination with bbq sauce. The amounts are estimated. This makes a large amount of rub, we like to store it in glass jars, and it’s great to share!

Combine in a large container:

1/4 c. kosher salt

1/4 c. brown sugar

1/4 c. white sugar

1/4 c. paprika

1/4 c. chili powder

2 Tablespoons garlic powder

3 Tablespoons Celery Seed

3 Tablespoons Mustard Powder

3 Tablespoons Cumin

1 1/2 Tablespoons White Pepper

1 1/2 Tablespoons Black Pepper

Mix them all up and you are ready to go!

BBQ Rub

Farm to Table: Cantaloupe, Tomatoes, Basil

Complete Plate

Whenever I see cantaloupe I think of my favorite appetizer: prosciutto and melon! That’s so simple to make though, so I thought about making it into a salad with a little more to it. It turned out great!

Ingredients:

To make the salad:

10 oz. arugula (I used 1/2 arugula and 1/2 arugula blend to add variety)

1 medium cantaloupe

8 – 10 slices of prosciutto

about a cup of slivered almonds
To make the dressing:

1/4 cup champagne vinegar (if you can’t find champagne, use white wine)

1 tablespoon minced shallot

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1/3 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh chopped herbs (use what you have, I had sage, rosemary and mint)

1. Put the slivered almonds into a pan on the stove and toast them. Toss them frequently to get them to brown on each side. When they are done set them to the side and use the same pan to crisp up some prosciutto. Put a little olive oil in the pan, then add about 1/2 of the prosciutto that has been diced up. Saute it in the pan until it gets crispy. This adds a variety of textures to the salad.

 toasting almonds toasted almonds cooked prosciutto   diced prosciutto

2. Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl combine all the ingredients for the dressing except the oil. Mix them together with a small whisk. slowly whisk in the oil to get the mixture to emulsify. Whisk very quickly. Set the dressing aside as you prepare the salad.

 dressing ingredients mixed dressingDiced Cantaloupe

3. Take the cantaloupe and cut it into small-medium size pieces. Use a melon baller if you have one.

4. In a large salad bowl, combine the lettuces, (now cooled) almonds, the diced cold prosciutto, the diced crispy prosciutto and the melon. Toss the dressing on the salad and serve! It’s a great salty, sweet combination.

 Untossed Salads Cantaloupe and Prosciutto Salad

For the Main Course we had an assortment of Gluten Free pizzas. We started with a crust from Bob’s Red Mill.

Pizza # 1 – Margherita

To start we brushed the crust with olive oil. We topped it with fresh mozzarella cheese, fresh tomatoes and basil.  It’s a classic for a reason!

Crusts Uncooked Margherita Pizza Margherita Pizza

Pizza #2 – Grilled Veggie and Prosciutto Pizza

To begin we took potatoes, yellow squash, and carrots, sliced them and put them on the grill. Once they were grilled on both sides we brushed the crust with olive oil then laid a single layer of prosciutto on the crust. We then layer the veggies in a rotation on top of the crust. We tossed a few tomatoes on top and some shredded Parmesan cheese then baked both crusts in the oven. They came out lovely and delicious!

grilling veggies Uncooked Veggie Pizza Veggie Pizza

Farm to Table Friday: Tomatoes, Corn, Peppers

Tacos and CornAs soon as we saw corn, tomatoes, and green peppers on our CSA list, we were inspired to head south of the border for this week’s Farm to Table dinner! This meal ended up being perfect to enjoy on a hot summer day. On the menu this week:

Carnitas Tacos
Fire Roasted Salsa
Sauteed Corn & Pepper Salad

From Bailey
Carnitas Tacos & Fire Roasted Salsa

To start we made Carnitas Tacos. This slow cooked pork is one my favorite items to order at a Mexican restaurant. Instead of going slow and making this on a smoker, I have a great recipe to make carnitas in a crock-pot.

Slow Cooker Carnitas

  • 2 tsp. Salt
  • 2 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 2 tsp. Cumin
  • 1 tsp. Dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp. Ground Coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 3-4 Bay Leaves
  • 2 cups Chicken Broth
  • 4 lb. boneless Pork Shoulder

This is very easy to assemble. Combine all the dried spices, pat them all over the pork shoulder. Put the shoulder in your crock pot, cover it with the chicken broth and drop in the bay leaves. I usually do this at night, then stick it in the fridge. Before I leave for work the next morning I pop it onto low and when I get home in the evening the meat is ready to go. I take it out of the crock pot and shred the meat with tongs or a fork.

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Fire Roasted Salsa

  • About 2 lbs. assorted Tomatoes (preferably small or medium)
  • About 1 lb. assorted Peppers (I use the small sweet peppers)
  • 1/2 cup chopped Onion
  • 1 Jalapeno
  • 1 Lime
  • 1/4 cup fresh Cilantro
  • 3 cloves Garlic, diced or minced
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Special Materials: A food processor or blender

Step One: Clean the peppers and tomatoes, then put them on a preheated grill. Turn them every few minutes to get a good char on each side.

Tomatoes and Peppers Veggies on the Grill Roasted Veggies

Step Two:  When the peppers and tomatoes are roasted, put them in a food processor bowl, You will easily be able to pull apart the peppers to remove the stems and seeds. Add the chopped onion, juice of the lime, the cilantro, garlic, and as much jalapeno as you want to control the spice level. Fire up the food processor and work the ingredients until you get a salsa consistency.

Salsa on the Stove

Step Three:  Move the salsa from the food processor to a pot and heat it on the stove to meld the flavors, serve warm.

**If you don’t have a food processor you can use a blender or just chop everything by hand. You will end up with a chunkier salsa, but it will still taste delicious!

We used gluten free, corn soft-shell  tacos for the Carnitas Tacos, and topped out tacos with the Fire Roasted Salsa, avocado slices, cilantro, and lime juice. Delicious!!

From Megan
Sautéed Corn and Pepper Salad

Since we had already made corn on the cob, I wanted to try something new that could also incorporate the green pepper. I came up with this Mexican-inspired sautéed corn and pepper salad. It’s easy to make and has a great flavor. I liked it so much, I ended up making it again to bring to a cookout later in the week!

Corn IngredientsSautéed Corn & Pepper Salad

  • 6 ears of Corn
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1 Red Onion, chopped
  • 1 pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
  • ½ cup of fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. fresh Lime Juice
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Step One: Using a sharp knife, remove the corn from the cob. I found it easiest to hold the ear of corn in a large bowl while I cut it, so the kernels did not fly everywhere.

Step Two: Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Once heated, add the corn, green pepper, and red onion. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until crisp tender. Add a small pinch of red pepper flakes, stir once, and remove from heat.

Saute Corn

Step Three: Pour the corn, pepper, and onion into a bowl. Add the cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Enjoy!

Mixing Corn

Farm to Table Friday: Sweet Corn and Green Beans

Ribs, Green Beans, Corn

Welcome to the late edition of Farm to Table Friday (aka: Megan is slacker and forgot to post this last week – my bad, guys!). On the upside? You get TWO Farm to Table posts this week! We only ended up using three kinds of produce from our box this week, but we still put together a great meal!

On the menu this week:

BBQ Ribs
Sweet Corn with Cotija Cheese & Chili
Green Beans with Fennel & Feta

From Bailey
BBQ Ribs

We started with BBQ ribs which came out delicious! To make them I started by rubbing them down with BBQ dry rub (recipe coming soon!) and letting them sit refrigerated overnight. The next day I baked them at 250 for 2 hours, then moved them to the grill, slathered on some BBQ and they were ready to go!

Sweet Corn with Cotija Cheese and Chili

For the corn I mixed a traditional Mexican preparation. It’s amazing because the cheese, chili, and butter all complement the sweetness of the corn for an mouth-watering combination. Cotija cheese is a hard Mexican cheese that you crumble, much like Parmesan. It’s more pungent, like a sheep cheese, but not overpowering.

To make the corn I first boiled it quickly to get it cooked, then I put it on the grill to get some smoky flavor.

Next I took each piece, rolled it in some melted butter, then rolled it in the grated cotija. I topped it with some chili powder and it was ready to go! I served lime wedges on the side for squeezing. This is a great way to mix it up and serve corn in a non-traditional way.

Corn on the Grill Corn With Cotija

From Megan
Green Beans with Fennel and Feta

I’m a big fan of fennel, so I was super excited when I found out we’d be getting a fennel bulb in our CSA box. Fennel has a very distinctive licorice-life flavor, and a texture similar to celery. The sweet undertones of the fennel were a perfect match for the fresh green beans we got, and some crumbled feta pulled it all together for this yummy side!IMG_1775

  • 1 lb. FRESH Green Beans
  • 1 Fennel Bulb
  • 1/4 cup Feta Cheese
  • 2 tbsp  fresh chopped Basil
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper

 

Step One: Wash green beans and trim the ends. Remove the leafy fronds from the fennel bulb, and cut the bulb into this slices.

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Step Two: Fill a saucepan half full with salted water and bring to a boil. Add the green beans and fennel slices. Cook until crisp tender (3-5 mintues). Pour into a colander to drain and run under cold water.

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Step Three: Heat Olive Oil in a pan, then add the cooked green beans and fennel. Season with the chopped basil, salt, and pepper. Cook until coated and warmed. Transfer to a serving dish and toss with feta cheese. Enjoy!

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Farm to Table: Chives, Red Potatoes, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Snow Peas

Happy Farm to Table Friday! This week’s dinner was hearty and delicious, with the mashed potatoes anchoring the meal (so good!). The potatoes also allowed us to add in some other veggies, making good use of all of our produce. We paired our dishes this week with chicken breasts that were brined and grilled. The brine kept the chicken very moist while grilling. Here’s what was on the menu this week:

Complete mealMashed Potatoes with Broccoli, Cauliflower & Bacon

Sour Cream with Chives

Snow Peas in Orange Ginger Butter

Grilled Chicken Breasts

From Bailey:
Mashed Potatoes with Broccoli, Cauliflower & Bacon
Sour Cream with Chives

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Bacon
  • About 3 lbs of Red Potatoes
  • 1 Head of Cauliflower
  • 1 Head of Broccoli
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 bunch Chives
  • Sour Cream
  • 1 stick Butter
  • Salt and Pepper (to taste)

Start by cooking the bacon in a pan until it’s crispy, let it cool then crumble it. You can do this right before you cook the rest or earlier in the day.

 Taters and broccoli

I started using two burners. On one start a large pot of boiling water for the potatoes. Chop them into quarters and, when the water is boiling, put in the potatoes. When they are soft when prodded with a fork they are done. You can peel the potatoes if you want to, either way will work.

Steamed cauliflower

On the other burner I started a steamer. First I cleaned and chopped up the head of cauliflower, then steamed the cauliflower until it was soft to a fork poke. Put the cauliflower in a large plastic bowl, then do the same thing with the head of broccoli. You don’t need to change the water in the steamer, just throw it in.

 Mashed cauliflower with masher

Take a potato masher ( I know, so old-fashioned, but I usually use an electric mixer and this time I used the old fashioned hand potato masher and loved the results! I’m a convert to manual) and mash up the steamed cauliflower really well.

Added broccoli

Next add the steamed broccoli and mash it up. Then add the cooked potatoes and mash them into the broccoli/cauliflower mix. After the potatoes are mostly broken up, add a stick of butter and mix it in. Your mixture should have a pretty smooth consistency.

Adding bacon

Next, add about a cup of shredded cheddar cheese and the bacon crumbles. You can add salt and pepper as well.

 Ready to serve mashers

On the side dice up some chives and just mix them into some sour cream. I did about 1/4 cup of chives into about 3/4 cup of light sour cream. I served them on the side, so dollop away!

Chopped chives Chived sour cream

From Megan:
Snow Peas in Orange Ginger Butter

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 cups of Fresh Snow Peas (or Sugar Snap Peas)
  • 1 small Ginger Root, peeled and grated
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • Orange Marmalade
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Black Pepper to taste

Trim the ends of the peas. Cook the peas in a small amount of salted, boiling water for about 3 minutes, then drain well. Your peas should still be crisp, don’t overcook them or they will get soggy (blech!)

 Trimmed Peas Cooked Peas

While your peas are cooking, melt the butter in a pan, then add the grated ginger and cook for about a minute.

Peeling Ginger Grated Ginger

Next add a few spoonfuls of the orange marmalade, a splash of cider vinegar, and some pepper to taste. Stir the sauce until the marmalade has completed melted.

 Adding Marmalade Orange Ginger Butter

Pour the Orange Ginger Butter over the drained peas, and toss to coat. Serve immediately.Farm to Table Dinner

Maryland Style Pit Beef Recipe

A summer tradition at my house is the use of the smoker. I’m sure later this summer there will be some smoked deliciousness posts. For Memorial Day we wanted to try something new, so we decided to make Maryland Style Pit Beef. I was shocked to learn that it’s not smoked, just grilled. That makes this recipe easy for anyone to make! Pit beef is a Maryland summer-time tradition and it’s easy to understand why. It’s crusty spicy edges and perfect-medium rare middle make it an amazing summer sandwich.

Maryland Style Pit Beef

First mix up your dry rub:

  • 2 Teaspoons of Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 Teaspoon of Sweet Paprika
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper

You may find that you need to mix up more rub depending on the size of your meat. I think I actually tripled this when I made it, but I had two pieces to cook.

5-27 - 1 Pit Beef Ingredients               5-27 - 2 - Pit Beef Spices

Other ingredients:

  • A piece of Top Round (ours were about 3 lbs each)
  • Rolls
  • Horseradish or Horseradish Spread (see below for recipe)
  • Veggies for on sandwiches.

Making Maryland Pit Beef is deceivingly simple. Begin my rubbing the top round with the pre-mixed dry rub. Let it sit in a container, uncovered or lightly covered, in the fridge for 2-3 days. This gives the rub a chance to absorb into the meat and start to break it down and tenderize a little bit.

5-27 - 3 - Pit Beef Raw                     5-27 - 4 - Pit Beef Rubbed

After the meat has sat for a few days, fire up the charcoal grill. Get it nice and hot, then grill the meat for only about an hour. It can be longer if you meat is a larger piece. You want the internal temperature to be 120. This will have your meat rare on the inside. If you don’t want rare, cook it a little longer, but be aware that cooking it too long will make the meat tough.

5-27 - 5 - Pit Beef cooking      5-27 - 6 - Pit Beef Temped 

5-27 - 7 - Pit Beef RestingThe next step is to let the  meat rest, you can even let it cool down completely if you want. When you slice it, go against the grain and slice it as thin as possible. If you are lucky like I am, your husband can take it to work and slice it on the a real meat slicer!
After it’s sliced, reheat if you need to, serve and enjoy! Traditionally this is put on a good roll with a horseradish spread which is easy to make. Just mix to taste!

Horseradish Spread:

  • Mayonnaise ( I use my own homemade, see The Truth About Mayonnaise )
  • Prepared White Horseradish
  • Salt & Pepper
  • A dash of Lemon Juice

Even if you don’t live in Maryland you can now enjoy one of their greatest culinary delights!
~ Bailey

Dustin’s Amazing Picnic Beans Recipe

With Memorial Day Weekend upon us, let’s talk cookout food! My (now) husband made Picnic Beans for me when we first started dating; I won’t say they are the reason I fell in love with him, but they certainly didn’t hurt his cause!

Picnic beans are a great summer side dish – they are lighter, fresher, and healthier than baked beans, and can be made quickly! One of the fun things about picnic beans is that they are never exactly the same twice. If there’s an ingredient you don’t like, omit it! If there’s something you’d like to add, go for it! While picnic beans are very customizable, the basics are always the same.

Photo 2013-05-22 10.28.26 AMBasic Picnic Beans Ingredients

  • Variety of Beans – We typically use black beans and navy beans, but have also used Chickpeas, black-eyed peas, and kidney beans.
  • Bacon – Use as few or as many strips as you want
  • Pepper – Any type
  • Onion
  • Celery
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt/Pepper
  • Celery Seed (the secret goodness)
  • Lime Juice (fresh is best)
  • Fresh Cilantro

Step 1.
Dice the bacon, pepper, celery and onion

choppedveggies

Step 2.
Add some olive oil to a skillet (Dustin prefers cast-iron). Heat up the olive oil, then add the diced items and spices.

Photo 2013-05-22 10.29.09 AM

Step 3.
Saute until the onions start to turn clear, then add the beans.

Photo 2013-05-22 10.29.28 AM

Step 4.
Continue the saute everything for twenty minutes. You can leave them longer, but reduce the heat after a few minutes. The longer they mix the better the flavors will meld together. Add chopped fresh cilantro before serving.

These beans are a perfect go-to for summer potlucks and cookouts (ahem… Memorial Day). They can even be made them ahead of time, refrigerated until needed, and easily reheated in the oven or on the grill. How would you adjust this recipe to your taste?