July 13, 2010

Grilled Peaches with Gorgonzola and Cherry Sauce



A couple of years ago, my friend Carmen, who now resides in England, joined me for a weekend “Farmer’s Market” Cooking class at Oregon Culinary Institute. She’d seen a cover photo on Gourmet magazine, of grilled peaches with Gorgonzola cheese, and we decided to make it our signature dish that afternoon.


The chef’s taught us how to create a savory-sweet reduced red wine, butter, balsamic vinegar and cherry sauce which we drizzled over the grilled peaches that we’d found at the local market. The creamy melting Gorgonzola added a surprising tangy bite that really brought out the fresh peach flavor. To compliment the warm and juicy peaches, we whipped up a bit of very slightly sweetened heavy cream and topped it with a sprig of fresh mint. (Creme Fresh would be wonderful as well)

With peaches in season, I’m beginning to crave it again!

First, just buy the biggest, juiciest peaches you can find, about 6 of them.  Then, simply wash them with cold water, pat dry, slice in half and place flatly on the grill.  Keep an eye on them, it usually only takes about 4 or 5 minutes per peach to cook perfectly.  They should be a bit squishy to the touch.  Using tongs, remove from the grill onto a serving dish.  Sprinkle about a tablespoon of crumbled Gorgonzola onto the hot peach so that it begins to melt and drizzle with sauce.  (sauce should be started about 25 minutes before you grill the peaches) 

Ingredients for Sauce:

• 2 lbs Cherries; stems removed or 1lb dried cherries, soaked in 1 cup red wine
• 1 c Red Wine
• 1 tb Balsamic vinegar
• 3 tbs Unsalted butter; room temperature

Preparation

In a medium saucepan, bring the cherries to a simmer in 1 cup red wine or water. Cook until cherries are soft. Using a metal strainer and rubber spatula, press the cooked cherries through the strainer to yield cherry puree. Discard skins and seeds. Return puree to saucepan and add balsamic vinegar. Bring sauce to a simmer slowly; whisk in small pieces of butter, being careful not to break the sauce.
Serve with a side of cool whipped cream, creme fresh or homemade vanilla ice cream.

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