Friday, May 30, 2008

Millions of Grilled Peaches (Grilled Peaches for Me)

I am a fruit girl. Sure, I like vegetables and grains appeal to me now more than ever, but I am, have always been, and will always be a fruit girl.

Besides the pleasure of scorching my translucent flesh to a bacony-textured, slightly off-white hue, the abundance and variety of fruit is the key reason I tolerate humid, stinky summers in New York. Every June and July the Union Square farmers market teems with cherries, watermelon, blueberries, plums – all the good stuff. It’s a rainbow of inexpensive nutritiousness, and sashaying down the open-air aisles, it’s all I can do to keep from stuffing my face with juicy, fruity wonderment. Even the local Key Food, normally a black hole of bruised produce, is starting to brim with berries, melons, and most importantly, peaches.

They were on sale this week, and despite my newfound aversion to off-season fruit, I couldn’t let their fuzzy goodness go to waste in some other Brooklyn kitchen. No, I had to have them. What’s more, I had to have them GRILLED.

Grilling stone fruits (peaches, plums, apricots, etc.) deepens the flavor and, to use a technical term, squishens them. This means you won’t need to sharpen your incisors and/or a hacksaw to enjoy them on frozen yogurt. Fortunately, broiling stone fruits has essentially the same effect, only you miss those darling grill marks. You know – the ones that scream, “BEHOLD, MORTAL! FIRE TOUCHED THIS PEACH!” If you’re lacking a Weber, however, broiling is the way to go.

That’s what I did with How to Boil Water’s Grilled Peaches. First, I let them marinate in a Food Network-approved brew for about five minutes longer than necessary. Then, the broiler was fired up, the peaches were plopped face-down on a pan (flipped halfway through), and blazing, blistering heat took care of the rest. The Boyfriend and I ate them with a spoon and no accompaniment (except each others' swooning gazes). And they were delicious.

One caveat – once the fruit passed the five-minute mark in the broiler, the sugar started to burn to a blackened mass. So keep an eye out. Also keep an eye out for more simple fruit-based dessert recipes in the near future. Because, I don’t know if I mentioned this? But I likes me some fruit.

Grilled Peaches
Serves 4
Adapted from How to Boil Water by Food Network Kitchens.

4 ripe medium peaches, quartered and pitted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 to 2 pints frozen vanilla yogurt (optional)
Suggested toppings: toasted sliced almonds

1) Preheat a grill (medium-high).

2) In a large bowl gently combine peaches, vanilla extract, almond extract, and brown sugar. Let marinate 15 minutes while grill is heating. Place on grill, skin side down, "until skin is slightly charred, about 3 minutes." Flip and grill the second side about 1 minute, until there are grill marks. Flip again and do the same for the third side.

3) Split peaches into 4 servings. If you like, fro-yo and toasted almonds are good accompaniments.

Approximate Calories, Fat, and Price per Serving
84 calories, 0.25 g fat, $0.39

4 ripe medium peaches: 153 calories, 1 g fat, $1.12
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract: 2 calories, 0 g fat, $0.12
1/4 teaspoon almond extract: negligible calories and fat, $0.20
1/4 cup dark brown sugar: 180 calories, 0 g fat, $0.11
TOTAL: 335 calories, 1 g fat, $1.55
PER SERVING (TOTAL/4): 84 calories, 0.25 g fat, $0.39


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