Tag Archives | High Summer 2012 Recipes

PEACH SMASH

EJ’s mixologist has a peach of an idea for high summer

BY TOM RICHTER
PHOTOGRAPH BY DEBRA TRISLER

Peach Smash

Asmash is a classic cocktail that combines fresh lemon, sugar, mint and either whiskey or gin. Traditionally, a half a lemon is cut up into chunks and then muddled or “smashed” with sugar and mint. Whiskey or gin is added, and the drink is topped with crushed ice.

Smashes are very refreshing, and extremely versatile, because you can and should use the fresh fruit of the season. With that in mind, in late summer, I like to make a version using the delectable, juicy and delicious peaches that Jersey is famous for, along with the mint we all probably have taking over our gardens or backyards!

Rye whiskey, a little spicier and less sweet than regular whiskey, blends extremely well with the peach flavor in this drink. There are many good ryes out there, but Michter’s happens to be one of my favorites.

Equipment:

  • Cocktail shaker
  • ¾-ounce and 1½-ounce jiggers
  • Lewis bag or a blender to crush ice (A Lewis bag is a handy bar tool. Put ice cubes inside the canvas bag and whack it with the muddler, resulting in nicely crushed ice.)
  • Muddler

Ingredients

  • Peach
  • 5 fresh mint leaves
  • ¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ ounce simple syrup
  • 1½ ounces Michter’s Rye whiskey
  • Ice (4–5 cubes plus, crushed)
  1. Cut the pitted Jersey peach into 8 slices. Eat one of the slices (I love peaches, so maybe two.) Put 2 slices in the shaker with about 5 whole mint leaves.Tap it all with the muddler just enough to bruise the mint and lightly smash the peaches.
  2. Pour the lemon juice, simple syrup and rye into the shaker. Crush a bunch of ice in the Lewis bag or blender.
  3. Add 4 or 5 ice cubes to the shaker, and shake good and hard for about 5 to 7 seconds, so it smashes the peach and mint a little more.
  4. Dump the entire concoction into a double old-fashioned or highball glass. Don’t strain this one. We want the smashed chunks of fruit and mint in the drink!
  5. Fill with crushed ice and garnish with a few mint sprigs bundled together. (Serves 1).
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Watermelon Salad with Red Onions, Kalamata Olives and Feta Cheese

TEANECK FARMERS’ MARKET

Watermelon Salad
Photograph: Julie Pryma

We all look forward to watermelon season which begins early August in warmer southern Jersey and continues through most of September. Kurt Alstede of Alstede Farms in Morris County participates at 19 farmers’ markets which adds up to quite a lot of watermelons. His farm produces about 20 varieties, a kaleidoscope of different shapes, patterns and colors. Which is Kurt’s favorite? “Oh, I’m a red seedless guy.” This recipe comes from Teaneck market manager Margaret Aaker.

FOR THE WATERMELON SALAD:

  • ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 4 cups of bite-sized (about ¾-inch) cubes of seedless watermelon

FOR THE VINAIGRETTE:

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano

This salad must be assembled at the very last minute as watermelon is delicate and might seep too much juice. Firstly, combine the onions, olives and feta cheese in a bowl and set aside. Next, combine all the ingredients for the vinaigrette in a small bowl and whisk them together. Lastly, chop up the watermelon and add it to the salad bowl. Pour on the dressing, toss with care and serve immediately. (Serves 4.)

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Quickest Freshest Pickles

COLLINGSWOOD FARMERS’ MARKET

Pickles
Photograph: Julie Pryma

This recipe is a staple of market co-director Betsy Cook. Named one of the top three favorite farmers’ markets in the country by American Farmland Trust, the Collingswood Farmers’ Market showcases many regional farmers, including Fruitwood Orchards of Monroeville, Flaim Farms of Vineland and Springdale Farms—the last working farm in Cherry Hill, an area that was once home to more than 80 working farms.

  • 1 tablespoon pickling spices
  • ¾ to 1 cup sugar (depending on personal taste)
  • ½ cup cider vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • ½ packed tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
  • 4 Kirby cucumbers, skin on, sliced about ¼ inch thick
  • ½ medium red onion, peeled and sliced
  1. Steep the pickling spices in a mug with a ½ cup of boiling water, as you would a cup of tea, for 15 minutes or longer. In a separate bowl, stir the sugar into the vinegar and heat in the microwave for about 2–3 minutes until dissolved, stirring occasionally. Now add the salt, pickling spice water and dill to the vinegar mixture and stir again.
  2. Put the cucumbers and onions in a nonreactive glass, ceramic or plastic casserole dish, ideally one with a lid. Pour the liquid concoction over the cucumbers and onions and cover. It might seem at first as though you don’t have enough liquid, but in several hours the cucumbers will be covered.
  3. Keep the pickles in your refrigerator for up to a week but leave them to sit for at least 24 hours before eating. They aren’t really “pickled,” so they won’t last as long as canned or processed pickles.
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Doug’s Tartar Sauce

By Doug Hull

This sauce works well with grilled bluefish or any grilled fresh fish.

  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • ½ cup chopped cucumbers
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup chopped fresh garlic pickles
  • 2 tablespoons minced celery
  • 1 tablespoon minced Vidalia onion

Mix above together and serve.

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Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Fresh Blueberry and Strawberry Compote

By Louisa Hull

I have used this recipe since I was 8. My grandmother Daisy taught me how to make lots of fruit compotes. Compotes are great since they are so seasonal and can be used on everything, even simply eaten in a bowl with cereal. I make them constantly at home. We just finished a round of apricot compotes and we are now moving into peach and other mixed berry compotes.

For panna cotta:

  • ¼ cup cold water
  • 1 envelope plain gelatin
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup vanilla ice cream
  1. Sprinkle gelatin over water in a small sauce - pan and set aside to soften.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat up the cream, sugar and vanilla ice cream stirring gently until the sugar is dissolved. With the heat on low, stir in the gelatin mixture and stir until it is dissolved.
  3. Pour into a small pitcher and then pour into small glasses or wine glasses, leaving plenty of room on top for the compote.
  4. Allow to chill for 6 hours.

For compote:

  • 1 pint fresh blueberries, cleaned
  • 1 quart fresh strawberries, stems cut off and sliced in half
  • 1 cup sugar

Mix the above in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Chill compote and ladle on top of chilled Panna Cotta cream. (Serves 4-6, depending on glass size.)

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta

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