Sunday, June 29, 2014

Farmers' Market Beef and Peaches... Means Burgers and Summertime Peach Cobbler!

After yesterday's stint as a sous chef at the W-S Farmers' Market, I couldn't
wait to get over to the Greensboro Farmers' Market for more goodness!
And, boy did we find it!
You could smell tomatoes...
And, peaches from the parking lot!
You know what they say... When peaches beckon, cobblers soon follow!
So I asked for a bucket of peaches capable of becoming cobbler today!
Which is exactly what I got!
Let's make the easiest peach cobbler, ever... Shall we?
I used all eighteen of these beautiful, ripe peaches!
Peel, then cut peach flesh away from the pit, slicing as necessary...
In a large bowl, add 1/4 cup each of the best granulated and brown sugars,
which for me means Dixie Crystals, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4
teaspoon ground nutmeg and 2 and 1/4 teaspoons of corn starch to peaches...
Then add 2 teaspoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice and stir...
If only we could bottle this smell!
Add the zest of one lemon and stir to incorporate again!
Butter a 2-quart pie dish. Don't even think of reaching
for the non-stick cooking spray... You know you deserve better!
Using a slotted spoon or other strainer...
Add peach mixture to pie plate...
Then bake in a preheated, 425 degree oven for ten-12 minutes!
While peaches bake, to another large bowl, add the following:
One cup AP flour, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup granulated
sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt...
Then, cut 6 tablespoons of really cold butter into chunks...
And, cut butter into dry ingredients with a fork or pastry blender...
Until butter looks like little peas...
Slowly stir in 1/4 cup boiling water and mix...
Just until dough comes together!
Remove peaches from the oven...
I know you'll be tempted to dig in, but wait... It gets even better!
Then, finish by dropping dough by spoonfuls over peaches!
In a small bowl, mix up 2-3 tablespoons
granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon...
And, sprinkle it over the dough topping!
Bake cobbler at 425 degrees for 20-30
minutes or just until crust is golden brown...
While my cobbler baked, I busied myself organizing the top shelf of my pantry!
And, prepared the beef I picked up at the Farmers' Market for dinner burgers!
I also harvested two cucumbers from our garden for my delicious cucumber salad!
By the time the burgers and cucumbers were prepped,
my cobbler was golden brown and smelling ah-mazing!
I was so happy with the way this cobbler turned out...
That I served it immediately!
Before dinner!
My resident taste-tester said it's the best peach cobbler he's ever had!
Well, that is since the last summer I made it for him!
Now, I could serve my burgers with my Oma's potato salad or my
mom's amazing noodle salad; however, since I have all this great
corn on the cob from the Farmers' Market and more cobbler to serve
for dessert, I'm making a light and refreshing cucumber salad instead!
Again, just like my cobbler, my cucumber
salad is super easy to throw together!
Remove seeds from two large cucumbers and slice. In a
medium bowl, add 3 tablespoons diced red onion to cucumber
slices and 1 clove fresh garlic, minced. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons
olive oil and a splash or two of any good white balsamic vinegar...
I love this herby German salad mix; however, if you cannot
find it at your local market, adding a packet of Italian dressing
mix or minced fresh dill, parsley and thyme will work just as well!
I boiled my corn on the cob for 8-10 minutes, wrapped each ear
in a foil sheet with olive oil, butter, sea salt and fresh cracked
black pepper and then, put them on the grill for 10-15 minutes...
Then, I added chopped (seeded) tomato to my cucumber salad to finish
it... Covered with plastic wrap to let the flavors get acquainted, while I...
Made my burgers!
Served poolside for another tasty summertime Sunday dinner!
I hope you have a spectacular week!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Chef Nikki's $20 Farmers' Market Challenge... And me, as her Sous Chef!

Working as Chef Nikki's sous chef during the taping of her $20 Challenge at
the Farmers' Market two weeks ago was so much fun! So, when she asked
if I might consider doing it again this week, I couldn't say Yes! fast enough!
There was so much to choose from at the market today... Clearly,
summer is in full swing here in Winston-Salem, North Carolina!
While Nikki taped her intro, it was time for me to take all
the goodies she bought and, get to work as her Sous Chef!
On the menu today was Chef Nikki's American-style Ratatouille
and homemade lemon curd custard served over fresh blueberries!
As soon as my work was done, it was showtime!
Here's Nikki rocking my apron for the show!
Mmmmmm, custard!
Everything smelled incredible! Elephant garlic, olive oil, white onion, two
different varieties of eggplant, zucchini, squash, tomatoes and green peppers!
It only takes a few minutes to draw a crowd when Nikki's cooking!
After my gig with Nikki at the Farmers' Market it was lunch time!
I couldn't wait to put the fresh bread and tomatoes I picked
up at the Farmers' Market to work for my club sandwiches!
For information about when to tune in for this week's episode
of Chef Nikki's $20 Challenge and her recipes, visit her blog, here!
Happy Weekend, Friends!