Friday, June 19, 2009

Peach Ginger Shortcakes with Blueberry Sauce

It's not peak peach season here, but it's still warm out, so it's all about berries and other summertime fruits. This shortcake recipe is basically the one straight from Bon Appetit, and the blueberry sauce recipe is from Imagine that - I tried a Bo Friberg sauce recipe first that I hated, and lo and behold this one from a home cook website was just what I wanted.

The biscuit is, to me, the perfect texture, with just a hint of ginger. Combined with the tag team trio of peach and blueberry, and the shortcake soaking up some of the blueberry juice, and it's a kickass rustic dessert.

Peach Ginger Shortcakes
serves 6

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 10 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold salted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger, divided
  • 1/2 cup ginger ale
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 4 large peaches, halved, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk flour, 6 tablespoons sugar, and baking powder in large bowl. Add butter; rub in with fingertips until very coarse meal forms. Mix in 1/4 cup chopped ginger. Add ginger ale and sour cream, toss until moist clumps form. Gather dough into 7-inch log and cut crosswise into 6 equal rounds. Place on sheet, spaced apart (they will spread). Shape each into 2 1/2-inch diameter round. (Brush with one tablespoon milk or cream combined with 1 tablespoon sugar if you like - it helps give it a nicer golden color.)

Bake shortcakes until golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes. Cool on sheet.

Meanwhile, toss peaches in large bowl with 4 tablespoons of sugar and remaining 1/4 cup chopped ginger. Halve shortcakes horizontally, place bottoms on plates. Top each with peaches and the top of shortcakes. Serve with warm blueberry sauce and/or lightly sweetened whipped cream.

Blueberry Sauce

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • pinch of salt

In saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, salt, and water. Stir in blueberries. Bring to boil over medium heat and boil for 1 1/2 minutes to remove any starchy flavor.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


I know the past few weeks I've been a bad blogger and not posting, so I've decided to post some of my favorite links for food reading (plus other useful things) so you can entertain yourself when I'm too lazy to write something on my own.

Food Media Blog from Food-related news from all over the internet, movies, cookbooks, and more. Where else can you learn about Michael Ruhlman's new book and chic beer bottles? And I love that they made fun of Sandra Lee on the new KFC grilled chicken commercial.

Scott Ian's Food Coma. Yes, it's on the suicidegirls website, and no, I'm not going to explain how I ended up finding this awesome column. I'm not even into metal but I love the idea that Scott Ian of all people is into food. Plus, he's full of great quotes. A favorite: "There's no reason to eat at a chain. I hear stories about American bands touring Europe and only eating McDonald's. That's it. Maybe KFC. That is so fucking retarded. I have utter contempt for that. It makes your band suck even more." This is a wonderful site that's full of useful tools - they even have a culinary spell check you can download for MS Word! Plus a talking dictionary (for those weird words you've only ever read and never knew exactly how to pronounce), wallpapers, a message board, and collections of recipes from chefs that use the site. Hopefully it will get big and be even better because of it - with more chefs uploading recipes to share, creating profiles, and using the forum.'s big list of food and booze events all over the country. If you're planning a trip you can take a quick look at this site and find out if there's going to be something cool to check out while you're there. This site is incredibly detailed (honestly sometimes I really don't care for all that) with step-by-step pictures for most of the recipes. Sometimes it feels like they almost complicate things, but other times it's intriguing and helpful if you're uneasy making something for the first time. They really just have all kinds of cool shit. Pretty self-explanatory. And I'm a sucker for pretty pictures. Just plug in what you've got in your fridge and pantry, what you're in the mood for, and what course it is, and voila! A recipe just for you!

America's Culinary Heritage. I haven't gotten a chance to read through this completely yet, but if you're into the history of food this is a great place to start.

Food Pairings. Put in an ingredient, and find all sorts of flavors that go along with it. Especially helpful in coming up with new ideas for dishes.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bon Appetit Hot Dogs

This issue of Bon Appetit had no less than 80 hot dog ideas. Some are so insane I have to share - here are some favorites, from the ridiculous to the tasty-sounding.

Trailer Park - melted processed cheese and crushed potato chips. Get your trucker hat ready.

Australian - mushy peas. Only the Aussies.

Korean - kimchi and pickled cucumbers. This probably only sounds terrible to me because I find kimchi to be completely putrid.

Swedish - mashed potatoes and lingonberry jam. For some reason my mother bought me a Swedish cookbook from Ikea once, and of the 30+ recipes they all seem to be rearrangements of the same ingredients: lingonberries, potatoes, salmon, and caviar... and here they are again. As nice as it is to think that their food could be good if combined with a hot dog, I really, truly doubt it.

Colombian - pineapple, ham, mayo, mustard, ketchup, chopped onion, and crushed potato chips. Again with the crushed potato chips. Just thinking of the pineapple or ham coming in contact with the ketchup makes me shudder.

Hippie - alfalfa sprouts, sauteed mushrooms, and vegan mayo.

As far as the ones that I'd actually be interested in trying:

Thai - Thai basil, cilantro, lime juice, fish sauce, and crushed peanuts. I don't actually know if this would work till I tasted it, but I love Thai flavors so I'd definitely try it.

Indian - mango chutney and sliced red jalapenos.

Bistro - Dijon mustard and whole cornichons. Just mustard and relish in a new way, how can you go wrong?

French Dip - jus and provolone.

Tijuana Danger Dog - wrapped in bacon and fried. I gain a pound thinking about it, but I know it would be delicious.

So go ahead, get a little adventurous making your hot dogs this summer. I might even try one with a little Hoisin and cilantro tonight.