Currently viewing the tag: "quick hobbying"

 

While travelling through the Texas Hill Country during peach season, we had our pick of peach farmers’ stands to choose from. The peaches were stand-out at each and we settled on a 20 lb. box of “Number 2s” or “seconds”, which are the slightly misshapen brothers to the ones you will see in most produce sections and which are just perfect for canning and cooking with. The peaches we bought were freshly picked just two hours before and the drive back to Austin with the box tucked into the back seat was heavenly with the gorgeous aroma of fresh peaches.

Peach Cobbler

Having never made Peach Cobbler before, what better way to start than by using a recipe raved all over the internet as Salt Lick’s own. Salt Lick is an Austin area barbeque institution that deserves – and will soon get – a Hobbyists post in its own right after our recent visit there with some fellow Vancouverites who came here to visit. This recipe was tried out for one of our Canucks’ playoff parties in Austin and it seemed to be a hit, at least amongst a bunch of boys from the South who may have had a dish or two of peach cobbler in their day. Whether it was a good homage to Salt Lick’s or not, we won’t know until we can try it out on our next visit. Until then, give this recipe a shot and let us know what you think.

For the batter:

½ cup melted butter
1 cup flour
1 cup white sugar
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
2/3 cup milk – at room temperature
1 egg – also at room temperature

 

For the filling:

9 peaches – sliced and pealed (a trick to pealing: blanch the peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds, then submerse in a cold water bath and the peals should come off in your hands)
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter in a 9×13 pan. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together. Stir in the milk and egg. Pour the mixture evenly over the melted butter.

Combine the peaches, sugar and spices and spread over the batter - but do not stir! Bake for 35-45 minutes until the batter comes to the top a golden brown colour. Serve it warm with some delicious ice cream.

Bourbon Peach Vanilla Jam

Makes 7 or 8 8-oz. jars

1 package low sugar pectin
3.5 lbs of peaches – about 9 or so peaches
3 cups of sugar
¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
½ vanilla bean – cut into 1” pieces
¼ cup bourbon – or more, depending on your taste!
1 tsp almond extract
 

Peal the peaches (see above), remove the pits and dice them into ¼” pieces. Put the peaches, sugar, lime juice and vanilla bean into a large pot. Mash the peaches with a potato masher until you’ve found your desired consistency and continue stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. Over medium-high heat and bring the jam to a rolling boil, stirring frequently to prevent the jam from scorching. Boil for 1 minute, then add the pectin. Bring the jam to a rolling boil once more, stirring constantly, and boil for 1 minute.

Remove the jam pot from the heat. Stir in the bourbon and the almond extract and remove the vanilla bean pieces. Ladle the hot jam into jars and screw on the lids. Then set the jars in a large pot of boiling water, ensuring that there is at least 1” of water above the jars. Bring the water to a gentle boil and boil the jars for 10 minutes. Then remove the jars from the hot water and set aside to cool. When the jam is cool, check the seals on the jars by pressing on the center of the lids. If the lids don’t spring back, they’ve properly sealed and can be stored – otherwise, you have to reboil them for 10 minutes to have them seal. Scrape the rest of the pot and serve on ice cream or fresh bread to the patiently waiting crowd in the kitchen.

Since making this jam, bourbon has become the new craze in most of our cooking – it adds a great, sweet and ever so slightly oaky something. For a true Texas Hill Country bourbon peach jam, try using Garrison Brothers Bourbon, the only bourbon distillery outside of Tennessee and Kentucky located in Hye, Texas. Stay tuned for a post dedicated to the distillery after a great visit there recently!

Spicy Peach Chutney

4 lbs peaches – blanched, peeled and cut into ½” pieces
1 cup thinly sliced onion
3 tbsp vinegar
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tsp salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp coriander seed
2 tsp fennel seed
10-12 dried red chilis
1 ½ tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
 

Heat the oil over medium heat and add the whole spices. Cook for a few minutes, until the mustard seeds start to pop. Add the onions and fry until a nice, light caramel colour (adding a splash of water if they start to burn at all). Add the peaches and cook for a few minutes, then add sugar, vinegar, salt, ground spice and garlic. Lower the heat and cook until sticky, stirring to ensure that it doesn’t burn while it cooks down and reduces.

Ladle the hot chutney into jars and screw on the lids. Then set the jars in a large pot of boiling water, ensuring that there is at least 1” of water above the jars. Bring the water to a gentle boil and boil the jars for 10 minutes. Then remove the jars from the hot water and set aside to cool. When the jars are cool, check the seals on the jars by pressing on the center of the lids. If the lids don’t spring back, they’ve properly sealed and can be stored – otherwise, you have to reboil them for 10 minutes to have them seal.

This chutney is great to be served with a roasted bulb of garlic or two, baked brie or camembert and some lovely fresh bread. Chutneys are a staple for quick hobbying since they are perfect to grab from the cupboard for a last minute appetizer, add to any cheese board or for something to nosh on with a bottle of wine. This chutney can also be mixed with a home-made barbeque sauce to make a spicy, peachy barbeque sauce or  marinade.


While this recipe, like all recipes, is a work in progress, this latest combination is what we’ve found to work well so far to make a spicy, creamy avocado tomatillo dip. Being huge fans of TacoDeli in Austin and their infamous Dona sauce, we thought we may need to try our hand at making something, while not comparable of course, but that just might do for those days we’re not in Austin to head down to their Lamar Street location.

This is fairly quick and easy to make, which has made it a great trick for some last minute, quick hobbying on a Friday night. We’ve found that this dip goes great on tacos and enchiladas, as a substitute for salad dressing or a dip for veggies and, of course, just with a big ol’ bowl of tortilla chips. If you make sure that there is enough fresh squeezed lime juice in it, with the avocado pits kept in an airtight container, you may even find that it will last for a few days in the fridge…if there’s any left!

1 large poblano pepper

1/2 white onion

1 large can tomatillos, drained – or 10-12 small, cooked tomatillos (husk, rinse & boil them for 5 minutes til they soften)

2 serrano peppers

1 jalapeno pepper

1 habanero pepper – optional for a little more kick

4 small or 2 large avocadoes

fresh squeezed juice from 2 limes

sea salt

Roast the onion and the peppers in a 400 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes or until they are roasted, but not fully charred. Peel the poblano and remove the stems from the peppers (and de-seed them if you want to reduce the kick). Add everything to your food processor and run until smooth and creamy. Add sea salt to taste.

 

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