Oh yes, July’s here! Unless you’re part of the die-hard, anytime, anywhere BBQ crowd, in our parts this is the month to keep the embers fanned. Finally warm enough to sit outside for an extended period of time, too early in the summer to be in any real danger of being eaten alive by mother nature’s bad-hair-day experiments, and not yet hot enough to call the friendly guys with the giant butterfly nets whenever someone mentions open fire and coals.
Of course, with certain athletic events turning the city, it’s gardens, rooftops, public places and parks into a gigantic outdoors loony bin for the last couple of weeks, the usual BBQ season has started early this year, what with gathering around the fire to stare at a screen showing a major sports event, burger in hand, being a favorite past time for a big chunk of the planets population. The fire, the burger, the drinks and the gathering, I get. The staring/shouting/cheering at a box in unison will forever remain a mystery. Well, to each their own and the really important bits remain: a bunch of people, possibly a lot of friends, and tons of delicious food in the same place at the same time, what a blast~! So, to set the groundwork for many a delicious evening around the fire during the upcoming weekends, I decided to wrap up this month’s recipes into a little BBQ Special for you guys! While all of these recipes are perfectly yumtastic prepared the “normal” way, they’ve proven to be high-ranking crowd pleasers coming fresh off hubby’s Weber for the last couple of years, so get those coals fired up, time to BBQ~! Today’s dish works wonderfully as a simple starter with a couple of green leaves if you’re going down the “separate courses/dishes” road with your BBQ. If you’ve served them up once or twice, you might, however, notice that these morsels have a habit of mysteriously disappearing into thin air, leaving you with the impression that there can never be enough and only having them as a separate course clearly doesn’t work. So, should you be skipping the whole “courses” idea for a garden party, count them in on the “keep ’em coming” side dish list and don’t worry about what else is sizzling away on the racks, they go with everything~
For an… orderly Starter-Main+Side-Dessert kind of shindig, I usually go with 1 peach per person (and 2 extra because… been there, done that), so here’s what you’ll need for 4 people at the table.
The Honey-Roasted & Goat’s Cheese Stuffed Nectarines (or peaches~)
4 Nectarines or Peaches, sliced into halves, pits removed – whether you’re going white or yellow on the fruit kind of depends on the strength of the goaty essence of the cheese you’ve picked. The stronger the cheese, the brighter the color should be. A question of taste, though, feel free to use this as an excuse to prepare tons of… experiments~
8 Goat’s (cream) Cheese Rounds
A generous Drizzle of Dark, Runny Honey for each Peach
1 Pinch of Dried Rosemary Needles per Peach
1 Pinch of Fleur de Sel per Peach
Opt: A couple of Dried Lavender Blossoms on top – I always use these since they look pretty and add just a small hint of… dot on the I~
1) Nestle the halved and pitted golden globes into a fireproof dish or one of those special BBQ aluminum tray thingymabobs.
2) Make sure they’re sitting in there safe and sound, cutting surfaces beaming straight up at you, with a bit of breathing space in between the individual pieces. If the whole arrangement seems a bit too wobbly for your tastes and BBQ-maneuvering skills, use potato wedges to stabilize the fruit halves before stuffing them.
3) Give the hollows previously inhabited by the pits a quick once over and check for any fuzzy or woody remnants left behind by the pits.
4) Gently ball up the cheese disks and wriggle, fit and mold them into in the convenient cups left behind by the pits. If the cheese disks, once balled up and pressed into the fruit, stick out by more than a few millimeters, slice off the tops and even out the surface with your fingertips. While the usual goat’s cheese rounds don’t put up much of a fight in the melt-and-run department, there will be some delicious oozage, way too mmmmmh! to waste, once exposed to the heat.
5) Generously drizzle each half with honey and sprinkle each one with a pinch of dried rosemary.
6) Pop the tray onto the BBQ (or under the grill of your oven) and roast them for 5-10 min, safely tucked away under a bell cover.
7) Once they’re done, sprinkle the tops with a couple of fleur de sel flakes and lavender blossoms for effect~
8) Rinse, repeat, raise your glasses to delicious and healthy gluttony~! Oh and… to all of you guys sitting across the big pond, happy 4th of July~!
Coming up next week: Heresy, open fire, unexpected results and stunned carnivores. Tee~hee.