No Summer is Complete without a Peach & Almond Slab Pie! Plus More of our Favorite Summertime Recipes!

We’ve rounded up some of the best recipes for when the weather is warm and our garden is lush! Here’s a few favorites from Asian Cucumber Salad to Strawberry Watermelon Agua Fresca that you can make at home today!

StrawberryWatermelonAquaFresca

STRAWBERRY WATERMELON AGUA FRESCA

Ingredients
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup water
2 mint sprigs, plus more for garnish
1’’ piece of ginger, peeled & sliced thinly or grated
2 cups seedless watermelon, cubed
2 cups strawberries, hulled & cut in half
pinch kosher salt
ice
chilled sparkling water
crystallized ginger for garnish {optional}
vodka {optional}

makes 8 drinks

Preparation

Heat sugar & water in saucepan over medium heat until dissolved. Remove from heat, add mint, ginger & salt. Place in refrigerator to chill. Remove & discard ginger & mint.

Puree syrup & fruit in blender, pour over ice & top with sparkling water.

Garnish with a sprig of mint or a skewer of crystallized ginger.

Adults
A splash of vodka is a great addition for a refreshing adult cocktail.

GreenBeans_SalumiVinaigrette

GREEN BEANS WITH SALUMI VINAIGRETTE

Ingredients
1 garlic clove
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 ½ tsp paprika
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
¼ tsp ground coriander
6 Tbsp olive oil, divided
pinch kosher salt
1 lb green beans, trimmed
6 oz salumi, sliced thinly

serves 6

Preparation

Blend garlic, vinegar, paprika, lemon zest, lemon juice & coriander in a blender on high.

Scrape down sides as needed, until very smooth. With the motor running, slowly add 4 Tbsp olive oil & 2 Tbsp water & blend until combined. Season to taste with kosher salt.

Heat remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beans & cook, tossing often, until tender & browned in spots, 10-12 minutes.

Top warm beans with vinaigrette base & sliced salumi.

_untitled_ 129 - Version 2 (1)

ASIAN CUCUMBER SALAD

Ingredients
3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
½ tsp granulated sugar
¼ tsp kosher salt
1 lb english cucumber
1 Tbsp scallions, sliced on the bias
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 Tbsp pickled white ginger
1 – 4 tsp jalapeño, seeded & minced
1 Tbsp black & white toasted sesame seeds

serves 4

Preparation

Mix rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, sugar & salt in a bowl with a whisk until well incorporated.

Slice cucumber as thinly as desired, with a knife, mandolin or vegetable peeler.

No more than ½ hour before serving, mix all salad ingredients well. Adjust heat by using more diced jalapeños. Season to taste. Right before serving, garnish with sesame seeds.

SouthwestPork_SweetPotato

SOUTHWESTERN PORK STUFFED SWEET POTATO

Ingredients
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
4 lbs pork shoulder, diced into 2″ cubes
3 tsp ground cumin, toasted
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried mexican oregano
to taste kosher salt & pepper
2 Tbsp dijon mustard
2 tsp garlic, granulated
dash of cinnamon
¼ cup gluten free soy sauce
½ cup pineapple juice
1 cup pork or chicken stock
1 cup fresh pineapple, chopped
5 medium sweet potatoes, skin on, scrubbed

serves 5

Preparation

Place the sliced onions in the bottom of the slow cooker. Mix all dry ingredients together, rub pork with seasoning, adding any left over bits to the slow cooker. Layer pork & pineapple on top of onions, add liquid, turn on low & let slow cook all day or at least 8 hours.

One hour before serving, prick sweet potatoes all over with a fork & place in 350° F oven to roast.

Remove pork from pot. It should shred easily using two forks. Discard any large chunks of fat.

Cut a slit in the top of the potatoes, creating an opening. Place warm pork mixture inside & top with garnishes
as desired.

PeachAlmond_SlabPie

PEACH & ALMOND SLAB PIE

Ingredients
3 palisade peaches
¼ cup granulated sugar {more as needed}
pinch kosher salt
1 orange, zested & juiced
¼ cup almonds, sliced & toasted
splash almond extract
splash vanilla extract
1 tsp cornstarch
1 pkg refrigerated pie crust {or make your own, use julia child’s recipe!}
handful all purpose flour
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbsp water or milk
1 cup heavy cream

serves 6

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400° F.

Wash, pit & slice peaches into 12 slices {You can blanch & peel peaches if you’d like, but we think the skins add fiber & a rustic touch to the dish}.

Mix sugar, kosher salt & cornstarch together. Add to peaches, orange zest & juice, almonds & almond extract. Test to see if peaches are sweet enough, if not, add more sugar.

On floured surface, roll out pie crust to a rough 12’’x10’’ rectangle. Place on parchment lined baking sheet.

Decoratively arrange peach slices over dough, leaving 2’’ border. Arrange butter slices on top of peaches. Fold edges of crust up over peaches, pinch as necessary.

Whisk egg & milk, then brush over visible crust. Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for 25 minutes or so until crust is cooked & peaches are tender. Cool slightly before serving.

While pie is baking, whip cream with a pinch of sugar & kosher salt. Serve whipped cream with slice of slab pie.

Advertisements

Summertime Summertime Sum Sum Summertime

IMG_8436
Cleaning Up Your Act…for Summer

Ah – summer…does it get any better? The grass is green, the sun is shining and you’re ready to eat. Until you take a long hard look at your grill which is almost as disturbing as looking at the commercials for Tori Spelling’s reality show – which begs the question about what, exactly, defines a reality show because it’s not the hair, the tan, the full-face of make-up or Tori reading (she can read?) to her children so I am flummoxed. But it doesn’t matter because it’s summer and we shouldn’t be watching TV anyway.

There is spring cleaning and then there is summer cleaning. Summer cleaning is way better because you can drink margaritas during the endeavor without judgment.  Summer cleaning involves the grill, the patio furniture, the cooler and (the next day) the margarita glasses. Let’s start with the basics:

The Grill
Turn up the heat and use a long-handled metal brush dipped in water to clean all the grates. Once grates cool, wipe them clean with a hot towel. To remove rust spots, the wire wheel attachment of an electric grill works wonders – though you should definitely put down your drink before attempting this. God forbid it spill.

Awnings
Wipe the marg salt off your hands and climb that rusty old ladder you swore you were going to replace. Sweep dust and debris off awnings and, using a stiff brush, scrub the material with warm water and dish detergent. If stains persist, sprinkle the entire surface with baking soda and allow material to sit for ten minutes. To remove mildew, concoct a solution of one part bleach and three parts water and allow to dry in the sun.

Outdoor Furniture:
Bamboo
Vacuum or dust with a soft brush and gently scrub with a solution of 1/4 cup Borax and 1 tablespoon of dish detergent and warm water. Rinse and allow to air dry. Coat furniture with lemon oil to avoid drying out the bamboo. Coat the rim of your glass with lime and whip up another frothy batch of cocktails.

Iron Garden Furniture
Use a commercial rust remover to attack rust spots then prime and paint with a rust-resistant exterior paint. Oil the hinges often to avoid rust.

Wicker
If wicker is sealed or painted you should only need to dust it. If wicker is starting to crack, coat with a light coat of lemon oil. Once a year, wash the wicker with warm water and a bit of detergent and allow it to dry thoroughly in the sun.

Decks
If you’re lucky enough to have a new wood deck waiting for you, don’t ruin it by treating it too soon. Decks, like step-children, need some time to get acclimated. Wait at least a month before treating a new deck with any product. Older decks should be cleaned and treated every few years. Start by washing the deck with an oxygen-based bleach (such as StainSolver – a fab product that can be used for lots of different projects – even margarita stains on the carpet!). Allow the deck to dry for at least 72 hours before treating it with a coating of your choice. Clear finishes will have to be re-applied every year; opaque finishes block out the sun’s rays and only need to be applied every four years. Consider this – do you want to re-stain your deck every summer? That’s what I thought.

Happy sunning – Cheers,

Stephanie Blackford
Marketing Director, Epicurean Culinary Group
sblackford@epicureanCG.com