Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Eating In

I’ve gotten to the stage where I am cooking and eating in a lot more. Why? The last three times I’ve eaten out, the food has been run of the mill at best and they were at 3 highly recommended restaurants.

I’m disappointed. I can’t rely on Michael Coons to feed me – although he has a cooking class almost every week. More about Michael in a few weeks when I do another tasting in his kitchen. The last one was incredible. 

My standards are very high and simple when it comes to food…when I spend money to eat out, I expect good food.

Sourcing ingredients here has been somewhat difficult but I am gaining confidence as I cooked another terrific Sunday dinner at home. I’ve never been a huge fan of Rachel Ray but this recipe was good. I savor the fresh peaches as long as they are in season.

Of course, the Watermelon Margarita helped boost my confidence. So much so I had to have two.

Buen Apetito!

Chicken and Peaches
Recipe by Rachel Ray

2 tablespoons butter
4 peaches, pitted, thickly sliced or halved
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 pieces boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 shallot, chopped
1 (2-inch) piece ginger, grated or minced
3/4 cup chicken stock
2/3 cup peach preserves
2 teaspoons hot sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Heat a medium skillet with the butter over medium heat. Add the peaches and the juice of 1/2 lemon, and cook until tender and lightly golden, 10 minutes. Turn off the heat.

Heat 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, a turn of the pan, in a large skillet over medium-high to high heat.

Cut the chicken breasts in half across the center of each breast to make 4 equal portions.

Add the chicken breasts to the pan and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 12 minutes, then remove to a plate and cover with foil.

Drizzle the pan with the remaining extra-virgin olive oil, half a turn of the pan.

Add the chopped shallot, and the ginger, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.

Stir in the stock, the preserves, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce and season with black pepper, to taste.

Cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes to thicken.

Arrange the chicken and peaches on a platter and douse with peach sauce.

This was both delicious and strong. A few sips and I was already looking for my second one. 

You can switch out the fruit. I tried it with rum and loved it.

Blender Watermelon Margarita
Makes 1 cocktail

4 to 5 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 parts tequila
1 parts vodka or rum
Dash of triple sec
2 cups mashed watermelon flesh, seeds removed
3 tbsp. sugar
3 cups crushed ice

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Pour into the glass and garnish with watermelon or a lime wedge.