Peaches scream summer to me. There is something about the delectable fruit that is typically best eaten on a hot day on the deck so the juices can just run down your chin. And the best peaches, I believe, are grown in the hottest states: Georgia, South Carolina and Texas, for example.
Not long ago, a friend from Texas brought me a bag of still-on-the branch peaches. They were unbelievable. I couldn’t get enough of them. But, the bag was big and they get ripe and spoil rather quickly, so I had to make something special with the last few that got a little too soft.
I know that some around here think the ones we can get from Utah and California are great. I, having experienced really good peaches, am not a huge fan of the ones we get around here. They simply aren’t as sweet and don’t have the peachy flavor of the ones that grow in really hot climates.
While peaches are delicious alone, I am a peach snob and only like the best peaches to eat straight up, so I make a lot of things with the peaches you can buy here. There are still plenty of dishes to make where the flavor of the peaches we have access to in Jackson can enhance a dish.
There are so many great things you can do with a peach. Make salsa, for instance. Peaches are delicious chopped up with cilantro, red onion and lime juice. Use this as a topping for grilled meats or as a chip dip or on top of a fish taco.
Grilled peaches served with vanilla ice cream make a pretty amazing dessert. Simply cut them in half, remove the pit, grill with the skin side up (fruit down on the grates) and serve with ice cream and mint, and you and your guest will be very happy.
I also like to put peaches in sangria and in salads. A simple salad with peaches, goat cheese and pistachio nuts makes a lovely meal. But lately, still on my kick of making and not buying sauces, I decided to use these last few remaining Texas peaches to make a barbecue sauce.
It was a Sunday night, and I didn’t feel like going back to the grocery store, so I looked around to see what I had. I knew ketchup should be involved, but I also wanted it to be a little tangy so I pulled out apple cider vinegar too. Ginger goes really well with peaches and of course, garlic. I also added red pepper flakes for a kick of spice.
I put everything in the food processor and blended it. This is not a thick sauce, it is more of a marinade and a topping. I let some chicken breasts rest in the sauce for an hour before I grilled them. Then, I reserved a bunch of it to pour on the chicken after it was cooked. The sauce was pretty spectacular. I am going to make it again for sure. This sauce would be great for any grilled piece of pork or poultry. I am not sure it would be as good with red meat, but you could try it to see.
I served the chicken with a simple salad, but if you want some sort of starch, put it on a bed or rice or couscous.