Gastronomy 101, a blog about food and Los Angeles restaurants

EVENT: Blog Party #13--Cool as a .....

Now that I have successfully participated in one blogging event, I'm ready to go crazy and do more. It's nice because it gives me a focus for what to make and what to post. This week I am participating in Blog Party #13.


Blog Party is a virtual party, wherein the participants each create one appetizer and one cocktail based on a theme of the hostess's choosing. This week, the theme is No Cooking, in honor of the recent hot weather.

Before I decided what to make, I decided what to make it with. Peaches are in season right now and I was ready to use them. Peach is one of my favorite flavors. Peaches are juicy and sweet and tart, with a little spice, all at once.

On our trip to the Farmer's Market, J. and I picked up a bunch of peaches, myself for the dish and drink below, and he for ice cream. There are tons of recipes out there for what to do with peaches right now, but not very many of them do not involve cooking. My favorite way to eat peaches is just by themselves, maybe with a little balsamic vinegar. But I wanted something a little fancier to show off for the event.

In the August 2006 issue of Bon Appetit, there happens to be an article about peaches, with recipes by Cat Cora. The article also had a little sidebar with ideas for other things to do with peaches. One of them was to substitute peaches for tomatoes in a caprese salad. Another was to make what they call a "peach margarita." Perfect. I hate tomatoes, but love everything else in a caprese so if the salad was good, this could be a new possibility for me. And I love every cocktail, so really anything would have done for that ... but this one was simple, which for me is a necessity, since I am the cook and J. is usually the bartender.


Do I dare to eat a peach?

The peach caprese salad turned out to be very pretty. And it was actually really good. The whole basil leaves , while they looked nice, were not the greatest idea. They were hard to eat and the flavor was too concentrated. Next time I would tear the leaves and sprinkle them over the top. This was actually made for my lunch, so it's obviously too large to be an appetizer, but to serve it as an appetizer, all you'd have to do would be split it into servings of one peach slice, one mozzarella slice and the equivalent of one large basil leaf and ... there you go.


RECIPE:

  • 2 peaches
  • One container mozzarella di bufalo
  • Basil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
Slice peaches into rounds. Slice the same amount of mozzarella slices as you have peach slices. Tear off one basil leaf for each slice of peach and mozzarella. Layer the ingredients: one peach slice, one mozzarella slice, and one basil leaf on the plate. Repeat until you have used them all up.
Drizzle salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with salt to taste.


Why so velvety, why so voluptuous heavy?
Why hanging with such inordinate weight?
Why so indented?

Why the groove?
Why the lovely, bivalve roundnesses?
Why the ripple down the sphere?
Why the suggestion of incision?

For my cocktail I created what the magazine called a "peach margarita." Although it's not much like a margarita. I guess you could call it a Peach Mint Blended Margarita, or a Peach Tequila Blended Gimlet, or A Peach-Mint-Tequila-Frozen-Daiquiri. Or something. I think it deserves a name all its own. So, because it is so cute, and sweet, but also is a little tart, I will call it the Lolita.

It looked even more like a little Lolita when J. sliced me a starfruit garnish. I love how the fresh peach tasted in a cocktail. It's amazing how different and how much better a drink can taste when you actually experience it made from fresh fruit rather than some weird artificially flavored liqueur. The Lolita turned out to be a frothy pale peach concoction with tiny little freckles of mint and it tasted like a summer day on the farm.

RECIPE:

2 peaches
2 oz. blanco or reposado tequila
6 fresh mint sprigs
1 oz. lime juice
Ice

Peel and slice peaches and puree them in a blender. Then add the rest of the ingredients and blend. Rim 2 martini glasses with sugar and divide the drink between the glasses. Garnish as you like: A peach round, a mint sprig, or whatever. A starfruit, even.

Variation: Instead using the whole peach puree, you could puree 4 peaches, and put the puree through a fine sieve to get just the juice and discard the solids, muddle mint in a highball glass, throw in some ice, and then shake the peach juice, tequila, and lime juice in a cocktail shaker with ice and strain into the highball glass. I haven't tried this though, so it may take some experimentation to get that one right.



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1 comments:

The Lolita is possibly the best drink name ever. I want to start ordering it in bars, and when they look at me all confused I can just say, "You know! A Peach-mint-Tequila-Frozen-Daiquiri, duh!"

said by Arianne at 9:36 PM Delete

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