Related posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Way to a Man's Heart

I have a wonderful husband.  He and I are partners in the kitchen. He bakes yeast breads (not an easy feat in the humid South).  I make desserts.  He is always looking to try something new.   I work on perfecting the dishes we decide are keepers.  So, when Father's Day rolled by, he new exactly what he wanted.  Fire-roasted artichokes with roasted garlic aioli, B.A.L.T.'s (bacon, avocado, lettuce, and tomato) sandwiches, and a fresh peach pie.  My husband definitely appreciates seasonal ingredients!

Now, you know I wasn't just going to don some dowdy sweats for this! I have this amazing vintage reproduction dress by Pinup Couture that Thomas brought back from a business trip for me (remember, I told you he was wonderful!) So, I put on my Betty Draper look and went into the kitchen.  Although, I left out the smoking and the dysfunction!

Image courtesy of Pinup Couture

Artichokes are lovely, strange things.  I can only imagine the first person who said, "Hey, let's eat this prickly, overgrown thistle!"  But, who ever did, thank goodness, 'cause they are delectable!

Fire-roasted Artichokes with Roasted Garlic Aioli:

2 artichokes, trimmed of points and halved

2 lemons

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1 head garlic, topped

1 T. lemon juice

1/4 c. olive oil

Pinch seasoning salt

Fresh ground pepper to taste

In a large pot squeeze lemons into 4 cups water (then just throw in the lemon halves as well).  Place artichoke halves face down and bring to a boil.  Cover and steam on medium heat for 40 minutes.

In the meantime, place garlic in a small oven proof dish and drizzle with a bit of olive oil.  Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake at 350 F for 1 hour.  Remove from oven and let cool.

Once the artichokes are steamed, remove them from the pot and set aside until ready to eat.  Don't worry, we'll roast them just before serving!

For the aioli, squeeze the head of cooled, roasted garlic into a small bowl.  Add mayo, lemon juice, and olive oil. Whisk well. Add seasoning salt and pepper to taste.

You can roast the artichokes on a hot grill or on the stove top (this is what I do).  For the grill, fire that puppy up, brush the 'chokes with olive oil and place on the hot grill face side down for 5 minutes.  For the stove top, using a griddle, heat pan on high until very hot.  Brush with olive oil and place face down on hot pan for 5 minutes.  Done!  

Serve with aioli and enjoy!

Now, for the B.A.L.T.'s.  It's not rocket science here, my lovelies, but it is delicious! Tomatoes are in season here in the South and, my goodness, they are perfection.  I literally eat them just with a bit of salt and pepper as a snack.


1 lb. good quality bacon (I prefer center cut and/or applewood smoked)

2 ripe avocados

Fresh romaine (although a great substitution is arugula)

1 ripe tomato, thinly sliced

Good quality bread, such as 5 grain, rye, or sour dough, toasted

Salt and pepper to taste for the tomato

Toast bread, cook bacon, slice avocado, slice tomato, assemble, eat.  Fresh summer ingredients at their best!

Last, but not least, the fresh peach  pie.  I live close to Chilton County, Alabama, and while I have eaten many a wonderful Georgia peach, they do not compare with smaller, sweeter, and juicier Chilton County peaches.

The first cookbook I ever bought was the Betty Crocker 40th Anniversary edition Cookbook.  It has served me well over the years.  While I have tried many other recipes for pie crusts and pies in general, I always turn back to this book for the best tasting crust and pies.

Fresh Peach Pie:

For the crust: (Don't be tempted to use a store crust, it's just not the same.  They taste like cardboard.)

1 c. shortening

2 2/3 c. all purpose flour

1 t. salt

8 + T. cold water

Mix flour and salt together in a large bowl. Add shortening. Using a pastry blender or fork, cut  the flour and shortening in together until the particles are the size of small peas.  Add water a tablespoon at a time, and tossing with a fork until all the flour is moistened and pastry cleans the side of the bowl.  Add more water if necessary to achieve this.

Gather pastry into a ball and split into two halves.  Tear a sheet of wax paper about 12 inches long and sprinkle with flour.  Place one half on the wax paper and roll out to desired size for pie pan (it should be about 1/8 inch thick).  Invert onto pie pan and trim.  Repeat for the top sheet of crust.

For the peach filling:

1 c. sugar

1/2 c. all purpose flour

1/4 t. ground cinnamon

8 c. sliced fresh peaches (about 8-10)

1 t. lemon juice

2 T. butter

Preheat oven to 425 f.  Mix sugar, flour, cinnamon in a large bowl.  Stir in peaches and lemon juice.  Pour into pastry lined pan.  Dot with butter.  Cover with pastry top and slice lightly to allow for venting.  Seal and flute the crust.

Bake 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown and juice bubbles through slits.

There is nothing that says summer like a peach pie, so cut yourself and slice, pour a glass of prosecco, and enjoy!  

Cheers, my lovelies!

No comments:

Post a Comment