Celebrate Pie Day with a Peachiful Pie!

A delightful long weekend at the Cape and overripe peaches brought us to yearning for a delicious sweet fresh peach pie. As with most of the Empty Nester Gourmet's recipes, this one is easy and quick ... and on your dessert table, warm and ready to top with ice cream, in less than 90 minutes.

Ingredients

3 cups overripe peaches, peeled, pitted and cut in quarters or sixths
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg, beaten slightly with fork
2 tbsp. flour
1 tbsp. freshly-squeezed lemon juice
2/3 cup whipped butter, melted
1 pie crust/pate brisée (bottom and top for lattice)
Egg wash -- 1 egg + 1 tbsp. cold water, slightly beaten with fork
Sanding sugar -- approx. 1 tbsp.
Optional -- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Process
1. Preheat oven to 400F degrees.
2. Press bottom crust into pie plate, crimping edges decoratively.
3. Mix egg, sugar, flour, lemon juice and butter in a bowl until well blended. Set aside.
4. Peel, pit and slice peaches, and arrange in single layer on bottom of crust, then second layer.
5. Top with egg/sugar mixture.
6. Prepare lattice topping and layer on top of pie mixture, cutting edges and fitting snugly into crimped pie shell. (Use egg wash to seal edges.)
7. Brush top and crimped edges with egg wash, dust with sanding sugar, and cinnamon, if desired.
8. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 400F for 15 minutes, or until crust is browned. Reduce oven to 350F and bake for another 30-40 minutes, or until filling is well set. If crust browns too quickly, cover loosely with aluminum foil. Allow to cool for approx. 1 hour before eating. Top with your favorite ice cream, or whipped cream.


Blueberry Coffee Cake Goes from Breakfast to Night-time Treat!


Here's a blueberry coffee cake that's much more than just a coffee cake. It doubles as a dessert after dinner, as it is rich and crumbly, and would be a fantastic mid-day or late-night treat. Our thanks to Smitten Kitchen for the inspiration and guidance.

DRY ROASTED RIBS 
Low-carb, almost no sugar


Our recipe for dry roasted ribs is a delicious alternative to slathering sugary, high-calorie, carb-laden sauce. Containing almost no sugar, all you need is an oven set at 300F for four hours, a little water, and the delicious ingredients that are listed below. We served these with our Poblano Cornbread (recipe follows). This rub works equally well with chicken, just turn up the heat to 375F after 3 hours and roast for another 30 minutes, until brown and crispy.

Preheat oven to 300F

Ingredients

2-4 lb. rack of ribs
1 T high-quality smoky paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 T cumin, or more if desired
1 T ground chili seasoning, or more if desired
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp onion salt
Generous grind 5 pepper medley (Williams Sonoma)
2 T dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt or fleur-de-sel (Williams Sonoma)
Water

Take ribs out of refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature (about 20 minutes).

Mix spices well in bowl, rub generously into both sides of a rack of ribs. Place ribs on a sheet pan that has been fitted with alum foil to catch drippings and place ribs on a wire rack over pan with 1/4 c water beneath rack. Roast in oven 4 hours, turning every 20-30 minutes, replenishing with 1/4 c water as needed.

Here's what they will look like when they are ready. Carve and enjoy!




Early Summer's Bounty

Farmer's Market Antipasto


Now is the time to prepare your table laden with the fresh produce and other products you take home from the Farmer's Market -- grilled eggplant, sweet basil, tomato and garlic salad, rosemary ciabatta rolls and rich provolone cheese. 

Remember to support your local Farmer's Market! 

Savory Early Springtime Sweet Potato Salad


If you're looking for savory ways to utilize your early crops of springtime herbs, here's an easy and delicious salad that goes to the table with sandwiches, pasta, seafood, or simply as a light and refreshing entrée. This recipe serves four, you can increase quantities for larger gatherings.

Ingredients

1/2 c. fresh basil
1/2 c. fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. tarragon vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
One large sweet potato, boiled until fork tender, but not soft and cut into 1"- 2" pieces
1 c. sugar snap peas
1/2 c. red grapes

Process

1. In a small food processor, blend the first six ingredients until they become incorporated.
2. Put potato wedges, peas and grapes into bowl, pour dressing all over and mix well.
3. Serve with your favorite sandwich, seafood or as a refreshing entrée.





FAMILY BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION


Our son is celebrating 
his birthday this week, 
so we baked our
"traditional" family 
birthday cake -- 
butter cake, fresh 
strawberries and 
sweetened whipped cream.

Nice in springtime, 
and whenever 
strawberries are in season.



THE BLUES HAVE IT!

Blue Cheese Stuffed Burgers


Not for the faint of heart or appetite, our blue cheese stuffed burgers, topped with caramelized red onion and sautéed cremini mushrooms, are a hearty dinner for yourself and your guests.  The magic of this meal is the complexity of flavors created by use of spices and herbs. It's easy! Here's how we did it:

Ingredients

1 lb ground beef
1/3 c seasoned breadcrumbs
4 T crumbled blue cheese
Salt & pepper
1/2 lb cremini mushrooms, chopped
1 red onion, sliced very thinly
Butter and extra virgin olive oil for sautéeing
Pinch granulated sugar for caramelizing
Whole wheat hamburger rolls (optional)
Vine ripened or heirloom red tomato (optional)
Dry white wine for deglazing
Pinch each of oregano and thyme for seasoning
Onion and garlic salt for seasoning


Process
1. Mix breadcrumbs into beef. Divide into four sections.
2. Add 1 T of blue cheese into center of each patty, fold over and seal.

3. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, oregano. Set aside.


4. Heat sauté pan with 1 T butter and 1 T extra virgin olive oil. Thinly slice red onion, and add to hot sauté pan. Sauté until limp, then deglaze with white wine. When wine has evaporated, lower heat, and allow to sauté gently until brown and caramelized.


5. In another sauté pan, heat 1 T butter and 1 T extra virgin olive oil. Add chopped creminis, and sauté until until soft (about 7 minutes). DO NOT ADD SALT OR PEPPER until cooking is complete. It will rob the mushrooms of their natural flavor. When mushrooms are done, sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper. Set aside.

6. In third sauté pan, heat 1 T butter and 1 T extra virgin olive oil and add burgers to hot pan. Sprinkle with more salt, oregano, onion salt and garlic salt. AlsSear 6 mins on one side, flip and another 5-6 minutes on the other side.

7. Serve on toasted whole wheat buns. Note: Adding tomato slices on bottom of bun will absorb juices of burger and "cook" the tomato. Absolutely delicious!

Serve with a green salad and watch them disappear!