Thursday, September 2, 2010

Peaches, Peaches & more Peaches......turned into......Salsa, Preserve & Ice Cream

Chutney, Preserve, Pickle, Salsa these were the few areas I was thinking and making almost a month ago. Many a times when I go for weekly grocery shopping I go overboard with fresh veggies & fruits. So trip to 2 different grocery stores in a day & a trip to peach orchard in the same weekend end result sweet & sour yummy treats. Though I've made quite a few Chutney's & Pickles etc. in the past few days like Mango Chunda/chutney/preserve  but today it's Peach time. Most of them were eaten just like that & few firm ones were turned into Salsa & riped ones were turned into peach preserve & finally over-riped were turned into cold treat peach ice-cream.

Fruit picking is one thing which not only kids enjoy but we as an adult also enjoy it equally. I still remember first time when we took our then 3 yr. old daughter for her first strawberry picking she was excited but Dad was over excited to get the freshest and juiciest fruit that I came back home with almost 15 pounds of fresh strawberries. I prefer to eat fruit just like that but that was the first time I started to make strawberry preserve, since then it's regular in my house. Now some recipes to use up all the juicy peaches no matter whether U picked up yourself  from the orchard or from the local farmers market.

Peach Salsa : I have to say this was among one of the best salsa I make, not only because we adult loved it but my 8 yr. old said she loved the combo I made, when I asked u liked the salsa, she replied whatever u call it(in her world salsa is either red or green) it's tasting good with this chicken tikka & pasta salad(that was the dinner). It's more of a guideline then a recipe U can change the fruit & veggies that goes in as per your taste or availability, also adjust the spices level as per your taste.
 What U need :
  • 3 firm peaches, skin removed(see notes)
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 1 tomato
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 stalk celery (optional, we like the crunchiness of it, if using make sure to dice it very fine)
  • 1/2 green /red bell pepper/capsicum/shimla mirch  (I used 2 Anaheim peppers)
  • 3-4 hot green chillies
  • 1 tsp. black pepper (kali mirch)
  • 1 tsp. roasted cumin powder(jeera powder)
  • salt
  • handful of cilantro(hara dhaniya), chopped
  • juice of 1 lime(nimbu)

What to do : Chop everything into small pieces except lime. Mix it in a big bowl, add black pepper, salt & cumin powder, squeeze the lime juice on to the mix. Mix it, taste it, if needed adjust the seasoning, cover it & keep it in the fridge. I prefer to make fruit salsas on the same day, usually 2-3 hours before I need it. If for some reason you want to make them ahead of time(in case of party or so) don't mix salt, cilantro and lime juice, get everything else ready & keep it in the fridge. When ready to use add salt, lime juice & freshly chopped cilantro.

You can serve it with Tortilla chips. pita chips or as a side for grilled fish or chicken, it goes well with roti(Indian flat bread) & rice also.
Variations : I make same recipe using mangoes also & mixing both fruits peaches as well as mangoes. If u want to make mango version only, try this one 1 mango + 1/2 cup of pineapple & leave the cucumber & tomato out, plus rest of the ingredients from the list, tastes awesome.

Peach Preserve/Chutney :
What U need :
  • 3 Large ripe peaches
  • 3 tbsp. brown sugar (can use regular one)
  • 1 cinnamon stick(dal chini)
  • 3-4 cloves(laung)
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. red chilli pepper
  • 1 tbsp. white vinegar (can be substituted with lemon juice)

What U do :

  1. Remove the skin off from the peaches(see notes). Roughly chop them, remove the stone/seed.

  2. In a non reactive pan add peaches & sugar  let it sit for an hour or so.

  3. Add all the spices  cook the mixture for 20 minutes or so on med. heat. Check the sugar level U can add more at this point if U like, these peaches were very sweet so I didn't used a lot of sugar.

  4. Add Vinegar & cook till all the water evaporates around 5 minutes or so.

  5. We don't like fruit preserves to be very thick. So I cook it to the point where it's still little loose as when it cools off it gonna get thicker. To check that, preserve should coat your spoon but if u take the spoon out preserve should drip like honey.
** I use little pepper & red chili powder as it gives the preserve a nice little kick, as per your taste u can totally leave it out. I did not make the big batch as everyone in house preferred peach salsa(no sugar so he loves it) & peach ice-cream(this got lot of sugar, but when it's ice-cream he don't!)

Peach Ice-Cream : I didn't took any pics, sorry about that. It's same recipe as Mango Ice-cream we used around 4 large peaches fully riped. Take the skin off(see notes) & remove the seed also. Roughly chop the fruit & sprinkle 2-3 tablespoon of sugar from the total sugar u r using. Leave it for around 2 hours in the fridge. Pulse the fruit pulp in blender making sure it's not fully pureed as we like little bites of fruit here & there in ice cream. Now follow the same directions as we did in my previous ice cream.

Notes :
In case of fully ripe skins, usually u can simply peel the skin off using your fingers(first make a little cut on peach using knife). In case of firm ones boil a pot of water & add few peaches at a time in it for 40-60 seconds then transfer them to ice-cold water for a minute or so & now u can peel the skin off. Enjoy the last bits of summer.