Fiery Grilled Peaches (Recipe Review)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A few days ago, I came across an interesting-sounding recipe on FoodBuzz for Grilled Glazed Peaches.Now recently, I have become intrigued by the idea of grilling fruit, I love what it does to fruit, how it sears the flavor in and creates an almost meatier texture. Since I'm a fan of peaches (although, there's nothing like a good Georgia peach) and since we're full-swing into summer, I thought, okay, why not? Now, I'm just asking ... why?

The recipe comes from the cookbook License to Grill, in case any one was interested. The ingredients are simple enough: peaches, molasses (I substituted with honey because I do not like molasses), balsamic vinegar and peppercorns.

The recipe says you should let a cup of vinegar, 1/4 cup of honey and two tablespoons of cracked peppercorns reduce. Wowza! The red flag should have gone up when I read the quantity of the peppercorns! While doing so, I halved and pitted my peaches and grilled them flesh-side down for 4 minutes. Once the mixture had reduced, I brushed it over the flesh of the peaches and regrilled them skin-side down for an additional 4 minutes. After taking them out of the grill, I reglazed them and served.

Right away, this dish has clear strengths and weaknesses:

  • Grilling the peaches really toughens up the skin, it gives it an almost leathery texture, which is quite pleasant.
  • I don't know if it's just the texture or if it's the flavors of the honey and vinegar, but the taste sort of resembles apricots.
  • Grilling peaches leaves you with a robust, peachy flavor, that's quite refreshing.
  • Honey and peaches? Well, let me put it this way, the old classic of peaches and cream, just had the ante upped!
  • After just one mouthful, I felt like I was breathing fire! Far too many peppercorns.
  • Why would you combine peppercorns with peaches anyway? The only reason I can think of is because they both start with p. There's nothing wrong with a little alliteration in the kitchen, kids! :) 
  • Peppercorns? Seriously guys? 
Obviously, peppercorns are the only qualm I have with this dish. I'm not sure what the peppercorn flavoring was meant to achieve, either. I don't know if it was meant to cut down on the sweetness of the balsamic vinegar, the ripe peaches and the honey or what. Surely, though, the best way to cut down on the sweetness isn't by setting people's  mouths alight ... is it?

In the future, I'm going to keep experimenting with this dish, I definitely won't be using two tablespoons of peppercorns. I'm not even sure I'll be using pepper in it at all! If you're in the mood for something different and you like a kick of spice, try the dish. But beware, you will be breathing fire.

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