Peach Crumble, Peach Crisp

Our local orchard is called Sunny Slope Farms. I’ve been going there since I first came to the US, and Jeff’s been going since he was a wee kid. They make it so easy to eat in season fruit – they sell high quality apples, peaches and nectarines, in huge plastic sacks for between $US5 and $US10 a bag. They make the argument for buying local for me every season.

Since their peaches came in season a month or two ago, we’ve been bringing home a huge bag once a week, once every couple of weeks, and just gorging on peaches. The last bag took longer than usual to ripen, and when it did, et voila, the last dozen all became overripe at the same time. Jeff suggested a crisp, I wanted a crumble, turns out they’re the same thing.

Ingredients

  • 6 fresh peaches – peeled, pitted and sliced
  • 1 cup plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1 cup white sugar.
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • Your favourite good vanilla icecream

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 190C (375F). Butter an 8″ square (approx. 6 cup baking dish.)
  2. Place the peaches in the bottom of the baking dish.
  3. In a bowl, combine the flour, white and brown sugars, cinnamon and salt. Cut the butter into cubes, and mix with your fingers (or pastry cutter) until the mixture is crumbly.
  4. Sprinkle the crumb mixture in an even layer over the top of the peaches. For a nicely crisp crumb, this should not be too thick. Don’t be afraid to toss some of the crumb mixture if it doesn’t look proportionate to your fruit mix.
  5. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 45 minutes, or until peaches are bubbling and topping is browned and crisp.
  6. Serve with a hearty scoop of your favourite vanilla icecream. Cream works too – but DO Not use that cream in a can – it’ll add water to your dessert and the crispy bits won’t be.

Eggy Crumpets

I saw this idea on Jamie Oliver’s new (new to the Food Network anyway, it’s from 2007) show Jamie at Home.  On his egg show, he did a recipe that he didn’t name, but I rather thought should be called Eggy Crumpets.  Turns out, so did he.  Here’s my take on it.

Ingredients 

  • 1 small pat of butter
  • 2 large eggs (preferably organic – they taste better!)
  • seasoning of your choice – I used Trader Joe’s 21 Seasonings Salute.
  • 2 crumpets (organic if you can get them)
  • good organic tomato sauce (aka ketchup)

 

Method 

  1. Whisk the two eggs in a shallow flat container with the seasonings.
  2. Place the crumpets top side down into the egg mixture to soak up.  Push down to get maximum soakage, then turn over.  Repeat with the other side.
  3. Put the small pat of butter In a non-stick frying pan,  moving it around to coat the whole base of the pan. Heat until it just starts to sizzle.
  4. Place the crumpets into the pan, flat side down.  This is where I also drizzled about half each of the left over egg over the top of each crumpet.  Pan fry for about a minute or two, until the bottom is golden brown.
  5.  Carefully with a spatula/egg flip, flip over onto the other side.   Pan fry until the bottom again is golden brown.
  6. Gently flip into a plate, and serve with a good lashing of your condiment of choice.  Mine is Heinz’s organic Tomato Sauce (US) or Australia’s Rosella’s Tomato Sauce.

 

Butternut Pumpkin Soup

In Australia, we don’t call most of the gourds squash, we call then Pumpkin.  So Butternuts are Pumpkin, not squash.  They’re the same vegetable, so this works just as well on this side of the world too.  Many recipes say to boil the pumpkin, but that means you have to peel it first (hard) and also that the depth of flavour is not there – to me the boiling makes the flesh more watery than I like.

Ingredients 

  • 1 butternut pumpkin, cut into large unpeeled chunks.
  • 3 tablespoons butter 
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 carrot chopped
  • 1 stick of celery chopped
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • chopped chives and sour cream to serve

 

Method 

  1. Preheat oven to 350F . Place the pumpkin cut side up, peel side down on a baking tray and roast for 30-60 minutes.  The pumpkin should be roasted until cooked through
  2. Whilst the pumpkin is roasting, add butter to a large pot and saute the vegetables (seasoned with salt and pepper) until the onion is soft. Add the cumin and garlic, and saute for about a minute, being careful not to brown/burn the garlic.  Add the vegetable stock, bring to a simmer for 5-10 minutes.   Blend until smooth – we used a stick blender directly into the pot.
  3. Scoop the pumpkin out of the skin, and  Add the pumpkin to the pot, peel the garlic and then add to the pot. Remove the pot from the heat.
  4. In batches puree the mixture until smooth.  Bring to a slow simmer for about 30 minutes
  5.  Serve with yoghurt and chopped chives.

 

Cheesy Broccoli & Rice Bake

Jeff and I, on our weekly trip to Pathmark, picked up and then discarded a pre-packaged Cheesy and Broccoli Rice.  The massive amounts of salt and the sundry unpronounceable ingredients all took away from the basic idea of the recipe. So we created this recipe.  American cheese, because it’s not very oily, jasmine rice because that’s what I have on hand, Mrs Dash seasoning because they make their seasonings sans salt.  Less than an hour from starting to eating, including cooking time.Ingredients

  • 2 oz butter
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 4 oz american cheese
  • 1 cup 1% organic milk
  • 1 tblspn Mrs Dash garlic and herb seasoning
  • 1/2 pound frozen broccoli, pulsed until chunky in the food processer
  • 1 cup jasmine rice, uncooked.

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C.
  2. Bring a pot of water to the boil, and cook the jasmine rice for 10-15 minutes – until to the tooth.
  3. While the rice is cooking, prepare the sauce. 
  4.  In a saucepan, melt the butter.  
  5. Add the flour and stir well until combined into a roux.  Lightly cook the roux until blonde, not browned.  
  6. Add the milk, bit by bit until sauce is thickened, but not lumpy.  
  7. Add the cheese – reserve a small handful for garnish – and stir through until melted.  
  8. Set aside in the saucepan.   
  9. When the rice is cooked, drain and put back into that saucepan.  
  10. Stir through the food processor chopped broccoli.   
  11. Then stir through the sauce mixture until all combined. 
  12. Pour into an oven proof dish (I use a standard pie dish) and smooth until even.   Sprinkle with reserved cheese.
  13. Bake for 25-30 minutes until hot and bubbling and the broccoli is done.       

Potato Feta Bake

This has become one of those old-stand-by staple recipes for me. 5 ingredients, and less than 10 minutes of prep time, and just the one pre-packaged ingredient? Works for me! I adapated it from a chicken recipe in the comments on someone’s blog. I didn’t have, or fancy that evening, chicken, but I did have organic russet potatoes from my farm share, and I figured they’d make an even swap.

This is even better when the potatoes are slightly overcooked and crispy on top.

Potato Feta Bake

Ingredients

1 purple onion, halved, and sliced into thin half rings
4 medium potatoes, skin on, small dice
1 pint (punnet) cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/3 – 1/4 cup Paul Newman’s Original Salad Dressing
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled.

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 350F (180C)
2. In a baking dish, lay the sliced onion, creating a base.
3. In a mixing bowl, mix well diced potato, sliced tomato and salad dressing.
4. Layer over the sliced onions.
5. Evenly sprinkle the feta cheese over the potato mix.
6. Bake for 30 minutes. Turn thoroughly. Bake for a further 30 minutes, or until tender to the knife tip.
7. Can be served as a side dish, or as a main dish.

Honey Crackles


Image of Honey Crackles

(Image from Kelloggs Australia. Recipe from the back of a cornflakes packet when I was a kid)

These are a childhood favourite of mine. A traditional Australian sweet snacky baked treat. They can be easily made by kids, with adults having to be involved with the cooking of the honey mix, and the 10 minute stint in the oven.

From deciding to make this, to eating them, is about 30 minutes, which is also cool. I’ve been making these as my contribution to the US Summer events, family barbeques, birthdays, and the local woman’s club dessert meeting. Everyone has both never had them before (traditional Australian recipes don’t always feature large in country Southern New Jersey) and when they see how simple the recipe is, vows to make them.

A tip. The weather in SNJ is fairly humid, and Honey Crackles have so much sugar in them, they’re hydroscopic, which means they suck that moisture out of the air. On high humid days, Honey Crackles can start to fall apart very quickly. Coming from the second dryest state in the dryest Continent, this never was much of an issue for me before.

Honey Crackles

90g/3 oz butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon honey
4 cups Kellogg’s® Corn Flakes

1. Preheat oven to 150°C/300F.
2. Lay out on baking tray 18-24 paper patty pan cases. (small size, not muffin size)
3. Melt butter, sugar and honey together in a saucepan until frothy.
4. Pour butter mix over corn flakes and mix well, but carefully, not crushing the flakes. Make sure the liquid is well distributed through the flakes.
5. Working quickly spoon into paper patty cases.
6. Bake in a slow oven for 10 minutes. NOTE: You will maybe think they aren’t cooked because they’re not brown, or they’re still fairly loosely joined together. Do Not Cook them for longer than 10 minutes. This is all they need to provide the final toasty taste. When they cool, they set up firmly and crunchily and hold together. They also don’t last do well the next day, so just make as many as you need.
7. Cool.

Fig Quesadillas

1.5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Four 9 inch flour tortillas
2 cups grated partial-skim mozarella (can also use Monterey jack or Manchego)
1.5 cups sliced trimmed firm ripe green or black figs (original recipe said diced, I used slices instead)
2 tablespoons finely diced or sliced red onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeno

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
2. Brush large baking sheet with the oil.
3. Place tortillas on the baking sheet. Spread 1/4 cup of the cheese on the bottom semi-circle half of each of the four tortillas.
4. Add a layer of fig, distributing evenly.
5. Mix together the onion, coriander and jalapeno. Sprinkly evenly over four tortillas.
6. Top with the remaining cheese.
7. Fold the tortillas over to make half circles, press down lightly.
8. Bake until the tortillas are golden brown on the bottom, about 8 minutes.
9. With a broad spatula, turn the tortillas over.
10. Bake until the tortillas are again golden brown on the bottom, about 3 minutes.
11. Remove baking sheet from the oven, cool slightly.
12. Transfer quesadillas to a cutting board and slice into four wedges.
13. Serve warm.