Thursday, August 12, 2010


I have been so busy freezing peaches for the winter that I almost forgot to just eat them.  Luckily, a few days before they start to go bad, their sweet smell starts to creep around the house, and I remember.  There was one pile left in my fruit bowl from last week's farmer's market.  All but two went into the meal.  But this is high harvest time in New England, so we also had eggplant half from my garden and half from the CSA (the Asian eggplant that I put it are growing beautifully and thickly), and a savory watermellon salad inspired by a fellow CSA member who described something similar at yesterday's pickup.  But we haven't found a new meat CSA, so I did have to go to Whole Foods for that.  I went in thinking I would get pork loin or ribs and make a rhubarb barbecue sauce with the rhubarb that's finally really taken off back behind my tomatoes.  But the pork was from Oakland, California.  (Oakland is a city, so I hope it's really from somewhere nearby, but just that suspicion is one more reason to buy local meat!).  The only really local meat that the Fresh Pond Whole Foods carries is beef.  There were some beautiful and expensive steaks, and a stack of quite inexpensive and intriguing "Beef shins."  The butcher had never made them either, but another customer told him that they're best cooked slow and have nice marrow (so right).  So I took home much more than I needed (4 lbs, even with all of that bone, would easily serve 6 people) and threw it in the crock pot with just what I had though of for the ribs.  That was 1:00.  When we started cooking at 5, the meat was a little tough and the sauce kind of bland and thin.  But by the time we were ready to eat, around 7, the meat was falling off the bone tender and the sauce was thick, rich, and tangy.  I put the leftovers in the freezer to use later with some roots for a nice Fall stew. 

serves 2

4 peaches, peeled
1/2 cup tarragon grappa
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1tsp. lemon juice
1 T agave nectar

Blend thoroughly and serve over ice

serves 3-4
1 small watermellon, cubed (about 2 cups)
1 small red onion, roughly chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup feta cheese, cubed

Dress with:
1 T olive oil
1 T while balsamic vinegar
dash salt
dash pepper

My friend Liz made a version of this for me when I was in China visiting her a few weeks ago.  The taste stayed with me.  Steamed eggplant takes on a wonderful almost silky texture, and is perfectly balanced with this spicy, salty dip.  Use 1 large or 2 small eggplants per person.

Steam the eggplants whole for about 20 minutes, until very soft, almost mushy, to the touch.  You can let them sit in the steamer, covered, until you're ready to serve.  When you do serve, place the eggplants whole on a plate.  They will break open into long almost stringy parts with the most gentle prodding of fork or chopstick.  Set the bowl with dipping sauce in the center of the table so everyone can lift out pieces from their place and dip to taste.

Dipping Sauce
1 tsp. Chinese hot pepper paste
1/8 c. tamari
1 T dark rice vinegar
1 T light rice vinegar
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped

serves 4-6

2 large beef shins
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
12 rhubarb stalks, chopped into 1/2" pieces
2 T tomato paste
1 T red wine vinegar
1 T worsteshire sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper

Brown  beef shins and set in crock pot. In the drippings, saute the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent.  Add in all other ingredients and briefly stir.  Pour over the beef shins in the crock pot and turn to coat.  Cook on low 6-8 hours.

serves 4-6

For those who've been following us for a while, we made this using half of our clafouti recipe from April, substituting half peaches for the raspberries, and baking it in a small (half of a lasagna-pan) pan.  Here's the whole thing laid out:

3 peaches, peeled and halved
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1/4 cup 1/2 and 1/2
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour

Preheat oven to 350.  Set the peaches in the pan, flat side down.  Whisk together all of the remaining ingredients.  Pour around the peaches.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Cool slightly before eating.


maamypatom said...

I should have had you bring me some rhubarb, so I could try that sauce! The eggplant dish sounds so simple and yummy. I'll get eggplant at Saturday's farmer's market and try it. And the peach clafouti may make me break my no wheat regimen again.

John said...
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