Peach Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

Ok, ok… I’ll stop with the peach recipes! I promise this is the last one for awhile, but, in my defense, it’s very different from my previous two. After making muffins, pies, and smoothies, I still had a bunch of peaches left. I wanted to do something I had never done, and while I can’t take credit for the idea, (there are loads of recipes for peach bbq sauce and peach hot sauce online), I can take credit for this recipe. It’s my very own creation. It’s also friend and kid-tested and approved! The mark of true friendship: sending my friend home with a jar of sauce I had never tested, and asking her to feed it to her family and let me know how they liked it. Her 11 year old son’s response: “Tell her she’ll be rich from it!” Gosh, I love that kid.

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This recipe shows the versatility of peaches and is a great way to use peaches that are slightly over-ripe. Use it in place of your favorite BBQ sauce on grilled chicken or pork. To ensure the sugars don’t burn, use it during the last 10-15 minutes of cooking—basting and flipping frequently.

I should also point out that I am not (NOT!) a bourbon drinker. I honestly can’t stand the stuff. But in recipes like this, it adds a smoky, almost caramel hint. If you are totally opposed to bourbon, or alcohol in general, you could replace it with apple juice or just plain water. It will still be delicious.

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Peach Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

Makes about 4 cups (one quart) of sauce

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 cups peaches, peeled and chopped roughly
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes (if you want it spicy—remember there is some heat from the chili powder already)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • juice of two lemons
  • ¼ cup bourbon
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • a few grinds of black pepper—about 1/4 teaspoon

To Prepare:

Heat vegetable oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, ginger, and salt and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add spices and cook for about 30 seconds. Remove pan from heat and add bourbon. Return pan to heat and cook until bourbon reduces to almost nothing. Add peaches, honey, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce and reduce heat to low. Simmer this mixture over low heat for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until peaches are very soft. Puree the mixture until smooth, either directly in the saucepan with an immersion blender, or in a standard blender. If using a standard blender, work in batches and place a towel over the lid. Hot liquids expand and can be very dangerous when blended!

Use right away, or cool and store in refrigerator until ready to use.

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Kale and Walnut Pesto

In honor of meatless Monday, I thought I would finally post my Kale and Walnut Pesto recipe. Obviously vegetarian, this pesto uses one of the trendiest super foods on the planet. While I don’t always hop on the trendy food bandwagon, kale is something I can really get behind. The first and most important reason I love it: It’s delicious. The fact that it’s healthy and inexpensive are lovely bonuses.

It is often compared to spinach, which I don’t really agree with. It is much sturdier than spinach and keeps a nice crunchy texture as opposed to the wilted flimsiness of cooked spinach. My veggie loving son won’t eat cooked spinach; he loves cooked kale. You can buy it in big bags already cleaned and chopped, throw it into soups, stir fries, and dare I say it… smoothies. But my favorite way to prepare it is this pesto — I couldn’t believe how delicious it was. Serve this alongside pretty much any grilled meat (just not on meatless Monday), or toss it with pasta for a totally vegetarian meal. My choice would be farfalle, or bowtie pasta, and if you want to push the healthiness factor even further, use whole wheat pasta! Or, perhaps the simplest and most delicious way to enjoy it: toast a good loaf of Italian bread ’til it’s crusty on the outside but still soft on the inside, tear it into chunks, and dip to your heart’s content.

Super healthy, super delicious, super easy… My kind of super food. Here’s the recipe:

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Kale and Walnut Pesto

 

Ingredients:

  • two bunches of Kale: about 16-20 ounces total
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • juice of one lemon (and zest if you want it extra lemony)
  • 1/4 cup grated pecorino romano
  • 1 garlic clove
  • salt and pepper to taste (the cheese is salty, so you may not need any salt)

To Prepare:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, just as you would for pasta.

Prepare your kale by removing it from the tough stems, tearing into smaller pieces, and rinsing well. (unless, of course, you buy it in a pre-washed and pre-trimmed bag — then you can skip this step.)

Once the water is boiling, add kale and cook for 1 minute. Immediately drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Once cool, squeeze with your hands to remove any excess water, then spread on a towel or paper towels and really press to get as dry as possible.

In a food processor or blender, add all ingredients and pulse until you have a fairly coarse purée, (if using a blender, you make have to stop and push the ingredients down a few times). If you want it looser, add more oil or a splash of water until you reach the desired consistency.

This will keep in the fridge for a few days and is good on pretty much everything!

Enjoy!