Peach iced tea and Southern Comfort are a perfect match.
22 fl oz milk
5 fl oz peach iced tea syrup
½ cup Southern Comfort
1½ oz/¹⁄4 cup soft brown sugar
3 scoops vanilla ice cream
Monster your shake
1 cup white chocolate buttons
pink pearl dust, for decorating
Strawberry syrup (recipe below)
2 scoops vanilla ice cream
Vanilla bean whipped cream (recipe below)
2 Cinnamon donuts
2 mini ice cream waffle cones
1 dried peach half, cut into quarters
orange and yellow cake sugar, for decorating
Place the chocolate buttons in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Dip the rims of the glasses into the melted chocolate and sit upright, allowing the chocolate to drizzle down the glasses. Decorate with the pearl dust.
To make the shake, combine the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and combined.
Line the inside of each glass with strawberry syrup. Gently pour the shake into the glasses and top with a scoop of ice cream. Using a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle, top the shake with a swirl of vanilla whipped cream.
Set the donuts, ice cream cones and dried peach into the cream. Fill the cone with a swirl of cream and decorate with the cake sugar.
Makes 2 cups
2 tablespoons superfine sugar
9 oz strawberries, hulled
½ cup strawberry jam
2 tablespoons glucose syrup
Combine the sugar with 2 tablespoons water in a medium-sized saucepan over low heat. Stir constantly for 2 minutes until the sugar has dissolved, brushing any sugar from the side of the pan with a wet pastry brush. Add the remaining ingredients and stir for 1 minute or until well combined.
Remove from the heat and set aside to cool completely. Puree with a hand-held blender for 1 minute or until smooth. Transfer into a squeeze bottle or container.
The syrup will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream
Makes 2½ cups
10 fl oz whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
2 and 1/2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
(* Reproduced with permission from Monster Shakes by Vicki Valsamis , published by Smith Street Books in May 2017. Photography by Chris Middleton )
A cross between a Dutch baby (what a great name!) and a custard, clafoutis is a traditional French countryside dessert made by pouring a nutty batter over whole cherries and then baking it. A purist would argue that using anything other than whole cherries—pit in—is heresy and does not qualify as a proper clafoutis, but rather a flaugnarde. Given that you may not enjoy dodging cherry pits as you eat, ease trumps heritage in this recipe and the cherries are pitted.
Propriety aside, this is a dessert you can bake while you’re enjoying the main meal. Once you get the batter down, use it to make a flaugnarde with berries, stone fruits, apple slices, or chocolate chips.
1 teaspoon unsalted butter, softened
1 cup fresh or frozen cherries, pitted
3 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and reserved, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup sugar
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup almond meal
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-inch ovenproof skillet or pie dish and place it on a baking sheet.
Layer the cherries evenly in the bottom of the skillet. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs by hand. Add the milk and vanilla seeds, and continue whisking to combine.
Set aside 1 tablespoon of the sugar and add the rest to the milk mixture. Then gently whisk in the flour and almond meal and stir until smooth. Set the batter aside to rest for 10 minutes.
Pour the batter over the fruit and sprinkle the reserved 1 tablespoon sugar on top.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown, set, and puffy, rotating the pan after 10 minutes to ensure even browning. To test for doneness, insert a toothpick or cake tester into the center: it should come out clean.
Let the clafoutis rest for 10 minutes on a wire rack before slicing. The center will fall slightly as it cools.
Crunchy endive leaves are the perfect foil for smoky chorizo and sweet peppers. These Catalan flavors come from our good friend and teacher Carolina Català Fortuny. She makes this on her tapas course and serves it in a bowl with more whole endive leaves for scooping up the salad.
2x approx. 3 ounce cooking chorizo, sliced or crumbled
6 piquillo peppers from a jar, drained and cut into thin strips
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
12 Kalamata style black olives, pitted and halved
1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons dry sherry
3 white endives
1 table spoon sherry vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cook the chorizo in a cold frying pan over medium heat until the fat has rendered and it starts browning slightly. Add the peppers, garlic, olives, and parsley and cook together for a few minutes. Add the dry sherry and cook until it has reduced, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Remove from the heat and set aside.
Remove 8 to 10 of the outer layers of the endives and set aside. Chop the rest of the endives into 1/2 inch strips, discarding the woody ends, and mix with the cooked chorizo and peppers.
Make the dressing by mixing the vinegar and oil together, season with salt and pepper to taste; remember the chorizo is quite salty.
To finish off the dish, arrange the whole endive leaves all around a serving platter and place the pepper, chorizo, and endive mixture in the center. Drizzle with the dressing and serve.
(* Recipe excepted with permission from Around the World in 120 Salads by Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi-Published by Kyle Books- May 2017, photography by Helen Cathcart)
The Italians have a few dishes they refer to as alla diavola, which means “devil style”—in other words, spicy as hell. In this butter, I bring together layers of not just heat but all kinds of good chile and pepper flavors. You can adjust up or down, depending on how intense you like your heat.
Makes 1 heaping cup
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon dried chile flakes
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup finely chopped seeded pepperoncini (patted dry on paper towels after chopping)
1 tablespoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco
Fold all the ingredients together with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula and pile into whatever container you want to serve or save it in. Chill the butter for at least 1 hour to firm it up and to let the flavors marry and permeate the butter.
Stuff in the center of a chicken breast and roast.
Every escabeche I’d encountered before seemed to have a lot going on: slivered vegetables, chiles, various seasonings in addition to the vinegar-heavy base. But while in Galicia in northwest Spain, I tasted the local mussels en escabeche and the dish was blessedly simple and outrageously delicious: olive oil, a touch of vinegar, paprika. It inspired this approach with oysters, which makes a wonderful appetizer or cocktail snack.
This is a recipe for which the spice’s freshness is paramount, particularly a spice like paprika that is relatively mellow to begin with. This may be the perfect time to invest in some fresh paprika; I buy bulk spices in smaller portions that I’m likely to go through pretty quickly. In place of regular sweet paprika (which means “not spicy” in this case, as for “sweet” bell peppers), you can also use Spanish smoked paprika.
For marinating the oysters, choose a small, squat dish in which the oysters will be fully covered by the marinade, ideally one with a tight-fitting lid so you can just shake gently now and then to ensure even marinating.
Makes 6 to 8 servings
For the marinade:
1 cup olive oil, plus more if needed
1 tablespoon sweet paprika (regular or smoked)
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 bay leaf, preferably fresh, torn into 3 or 4 pieces
1 teaspoon kosher salt
24 small oysters in their shells, shells well rinsed, or jarred yearling to extra-small oysters, with their liquor
Crackers or sliced baguette, for serving
In a small saucepan over low heat, stir together the oil and paprika and warm for about 15 minutes to draw the paprika flavor into the oil. Take the pan from the heat and let it cool for 5 to 10 minutes, then stir in the vinegar, bay leaf, and salt. Set the marinade aside.
If using in-shell oysters, steam them open, 5 to 10 minutes. While still warm, but not too hot to handle, remove the oysters from the shells (some shells may not have fully opened, so you will need a shucking knife to help here) and add them to the marinade. Stir to be sure the marinade is evenly coating the oysters and set aside just until cooled to room temperature.
If using jarred oysters, put the oysters and their liquor in a small saucepan and warm, stirring gently now and then, until the oysters plump up and their edges curl, 4 to 5 minutes. Set the pan aside for a few minutes to cool a bit, then lift the oysters from the pan with a slotted spoon and add them to the marinade. Stir to be sure the marinade is evenly coating the oysters and set aside just until cooled to room temperature.
Transfer the cooled oysters and marinade to a medium nonreactive container; the oysters should be fully submerged in the marinade; add a bit more oil if needed. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or longer if the oysters are on the bigger side. The oysters can marinate for up to 3 days before serving. Stir now and then to reblend the seasonings and ensure even marinating.
To serve, allow the oysters to come to room temperature. Discard the bay leaf. Transfer the oysters to a serving dish, drizzle some of the marinade over, and serve with crackers or baguette alongside.
Bay is rarely among the fresh herbs tucked into our window boxes or backyard gardens. But when I needed some fresh bay to test a recipe about twenty years ago, I bought a little four-inch pot of the herb, used what I needed for the recipe, and transplanted it to my patio garden. I still have that same bay—now a small tree—and can’t tell you the last time I used a dried bay leaf. Dried bay has its place in stocks and stews, but fresh bay has a whole different character, with more vivid flavor that is almost reminiscent of nutmeg. Use it as you would dry bay, though it is versatile enough to even use in desserts.
(* Reproduced with permission from Oysters: Recipes that Bring Home a Taste of the Sea -Sasquatch Books. 2016- by Cynthia Nims, Photography by Jim Henkens)