Working for Good, Clean, Fair Food for All - Slow Food Urban San Diego Convivium of Slow Food International


Infused Peach Butter

by Rachel Helmer
SFUSD Board Member

peaches

The delicious fruits of spring and summer are popping up everywhere. Overflowing in grocery store bins, scattering tables at farmers markets, and if you are lucky, hanging heavily from the branches of trees in your yard. Peaches are one of my favorites and their season seems so short that I like to capture all that sweet summer stone fruit deliciousness and preserve it to be enjoyed well past the sunshiny season. This recipe for peach preserve can be infused with anything you fancy! A few of my favorites are vanilla bean and lemongrass. Try one, or both and enjoy this peachy sweet preserve on yogurt, waffles, and muffins or incorporated into salad dressings and sauces all year long!

Infused Peach Butter

Ingredients
Approximately 6 lbs of peaches (or nectarines if you prefer)
3 cups sugar
4 lemongrass stalks, smashed and cut into chunks
2 vanilla beans, split open lengthwise and cut in half
½ cup water
3 tablespoons lemon juice

Making the butter
First you need to remove the skins from the peaches. To do this fill your largest pot 2/3 full with water and bring to a boil. While you are waiting for this to boil prepare an ice bath in a large bowl, again filling only 2/3 full with water. Once the pot of water is boiling plop as many peaches as you can fit into the bubbling pot and allow to simmer for 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon remove the peaches and add them immediately to the ice bath to cool for 2 minutes. Once the peaches have cooled you can easily remove their skins, just give the skin a pinch and it should peel off.

If you were unable to boil all of your peaches in the first batch repeat the process until all of your peaches have been simmered and skinned. Using your hands or a knife slice open the peach and remove the pit, cut away any bad spots on the fruit, slice the peach into a few different pieces and place the meat of the peach into a large bowl.

Add to this the sugar, gently combine and then cover the bowl to let the peaches sit and get nice and juicy for 1 ½ to 2 hours.

After a few hours have passed, strain the juice from the peaches into a large pot. Add to this your lemongrass chunks, vanilla bean, and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and let simmer on low for 3o to 40 minutes or until the mixture thickens slightly. Turn off the heat and using a slotted spoon or a strainer remove the lemongrass from the syrup. Now you are ready to puree everything together. Using your blending machine of choice (vita mixer, blender, or if you have one an immersion blender right in the pot) blend the peaches and the syrup together until smooth.

Add this mixture and the lemon juice back to the pot (if it’s not already there). Stir and taste test, add more lemon juice and sugar if you like, and then cook on medium low until the mixture thickens to the consistency of baby food, about 30 to 40 minutes. If you don’t want to mess with the canning process you can store the peachy butter in containers and pop it in the refrigerator, just make sure you consume it within a few weeks. Otherwise you can proceed with your preferred method of canning and enjoy the peachy goodness all year long!

Seafood Saturdays!

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Chef Cindy Quinonez will cook Sweet and Sour Rockfish with Bok Choy and Opah Meatballs (recipe below) this Saturday. 

opah

Opah Lampris guttatus (aka moonfish). Opah is a bycatch fish in the tuna and swordfish fisheries off California and around the Pacific Islands.  They are available year round, but landings seem to peak from April through August. In 2015, San Diego scientists discovered that opah are warm-blooded fish.

For more information on opah go here. 

Lettuce-Wrapped Spicy Opah Meatballs

Spicy meatballs made from ground opah, served on lettuce or other greens with a lime dipping sauce. Variation of recipe of same name from Pacific Flavors by Hugh Carpenter.

Spicy Opah Meatballs:
1 pound ground opah
2 green onions, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh coriander
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 egg
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
3/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Chinese chili oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
Cornstarch for dusting

Spicy Lime Dipping Sauce:

2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon Chinese chili oil
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 head Bibb lettuce or other greens*
1 bunch fresh cilantro
20 mint leaves
1/2 cup peanut oil
* Baby bok choy leaves, kale, chard, spinach, etc.

Preparation:
In a bowl, combine ground opah, green onions, coriander, soy sauce, egg, orange peel, nutmeg, chili sauce, pepper, garlic, and ginger. Mix thoroughly, then rub a little oil on your hands and form 20 meatballs about 1 inch in diameter. Arrange on a lightly oiled plate and refrigerate until ready to cook.

Pull leaves from Bibb lettuce or other greens and cut into 20 pieces about 3 inches square. On each lettuce square, place a sprig of cilantro and 1 mint leaf. Arrange lettuce leaves on a serving platter and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Cooking:
To broil meatballs, preheat oven to 550 degrees. Place the meatballs on a small baking sheet. Turn oven to broil, place the baking sheet about 4 inches from heat, and broil meatballs until no longer pink in center, about 3 to 4 minutes. To pan-fry meatballs lightly dust with cornstarch. Place a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. When frying pan is hot, add oil. When oil just begins to give off a wisp of smoke, add meatballs and pan-fry them, turning them over in the oil until golden brown and no longer pink in the center, about 4 minutes.

Place meatballs next to lettuce cups on the serving platter. Serve at once, accompanied by the dipping sauce. Each person wraps a lettuce cup around a meatball and dips one end of the package into the sauce.

In a small bowl combine dipping sauce ingredients. Add 2 1/2 tablespoons water and refrigerate. Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer; 2 as an entree.

The New Edible San Diego for Kids is Here!

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Slow Food Urban San Diego is excited to announce the arrival of the Winter 2015/6 issue of Edible San Diego for Kids. This issue is all about dairy and meat. It features articles written by and for San Diego kids, a delicious recipe and a gardening activity.

This issue is appropriate for 4th through 6th grade independent readers. It may also be worked into lesson plans for younger students or sent home for reading with their families.

Edible San Diego for Kids is produced by Slow Food Urban San Diego’s Education Committee in collaboration with Edible San Diego.

If you are interested in having copies delivered to your school, please email LisaJoy@slowfoodurbansandiego.org

See past issues here.