Saturday, August 15, 2009

Peaches in Wine & Candied Mint + Breakfast Parfait!

“Do you really need a recipe for a platter of figs? No. Is that the point? Yes…The platter of figs perfectly illustrates the idea of eating with the seasons…As with good tomatoes, you wait all year for the best figs to arrive. The reward is heavy, juicy fruit with oozing centers—sweet figs to swoon for…”
-David Tanis
A Platter of Figs and other recipes

The title and cover picture won me over with this book! David Tanis, one of the head chefs at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, organizes this book by the seasons and his recipes are super simple so as to enhance the beautiful glory of the food itself.

Yesterday I tested out his recipe for peaches in wine. Slice up some stone fruit, sprinkle with a little sugar, pour over a bottle of dry white wine and BAM! Damn good.

This is great to serve as a before the meal “drink” or an after dinner, light summer dessert. Just spoon some peaches in a shallow bowl and don’t forget to add in some of the wine juices!

Peaches in Wine

Adapted from David Tanis, A Platter of Figs

8 ripe peaches (I used a combo of peaches and nectarines)
2-3 Tablespoons sugar
1 bottle (750mL) dry white wine or rosé

1. Peel the peaches with a good quality peeler or paring knife. Slice the fruit and put in a bowl.

2. Sprinkle with sugar and toss gently. Pour the wine over the fruit, cover, and refrigerate for several hours.

3. To serve, ladle the fruit slices into shallow bowls or glasses, adding half a cup of the winey juices to each.

To go along with the peaches, I experimented with candied mint leaves. Almost every time that I intern in the pastry kitchens at Chez Panisse, one of my jobs is to candy rose petals or fresh red currants.

It is quite the arm workout to whisk egg whites until super foamy. You want the foam that sticks to the side of the bowl. Brush your desired ingredient with the egg foam, and lightly dip in sugar. Place on a rack to dry.

I did not let my mint leaves dry out long enough. They looked really nice but they were more of a garnish as I probably would not eat more than one tiny leaf!

Candied Mint Leaves
Adapted from my cooking experiences in the Chez Panisse pastry kitchens

Mint Leaves (you can use anything you want…rose petals, fresh red currants, berries…)
Egg whites

1. Whisk your egg whites until super foamy!! You want to use the foam that hugs the side of a bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, pour in some granulated white sugar.
3. Take your mint leaf, brush it lightly with egg foam, and lightly dip it in the sugar on both sides. If it is not completely covered with sugar, dab with some more egg foam and sprinkle with more sugar.
4. Lay the leaf on a drying rack to air-dry overnight.
5. Repeat with remaining leaves. You will want to re-whisk the egg whites throughout the process to get them really foamy again.

Of course, I preferred my peaches in wine the next morning, drizzled over some yogurt and granola for an exquisite breakfast! Enjoying my parfait in a pretty martini glass made everything taste just that much better!

I began my parfait with a mix of cereal topped with some Greek Fage yogurt, poured in some wine soaked stone fruit, and dolloped on some more yogurt! As a final touch, I added fresh blueberries, plain rolled oats, and a sprig of mint leaves!

Yogurt Parfait with Wine Soaked Peaches

¼ cup of Cereal (I used a mix of Kashi Heart to Heart and Bear Naked Peak Protein Granola!)
½ cup of plain yogurt (I prefer Greek Fage or Straus brand!)
A few ladles of wine soaked peaches
To garnish:
1 or 2 peach slices in wine
Fresh blueberries
Plain rolled oats
A sprig of mint

1. Start with a little sprinkle of cereal.
2. Dollop with some yogurt.
3. Spoon in some wine soaked fruit.
4. Top with more yogurt.
5. Sprinkle with a little more cereal.

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