Friday, August 30, 2013

Grilled Peach Shortcake with Cinnamon Brandy Sauce and Honey Whipped Cream

Recipe by Rebecca Keller

I'm not one of those people who says, "Summer means going to the beach every weekend!" or, "Finally I can get a good tan!" To me, summer means "FOOD!" Nothing makes me happier this time of year than eating something fresh and seasonal. Though summer offers many seasonal ingredients, my favorite is the peach.

Take advantage of the local peach harvest. In the Lehigh
Valley, you'll find the best peaches at Scholl Orchards!
Peach season typically ranges from early July to the end of August. Peaches can be grown in many different ares of the country, so you should take advantage of the local harvest. In Bethlehem, we are fortunate to have Scholl Orchards, where you can find some of the best peaches in the region.

With the end of summer near, you're sure to enjoy the last days of peach season with this delicious shortcake recipe. Just in time for your Labor Day dessert!

Grilled Peach Shortcake with Cinnamon Brandy Sauce and Honey Whipped Cream
Serves 8-10

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • 10 large peaches, peeled and cut into halves.
Shortcake biscuits
Makes 10-12 biscuits
  • 4 Tbs. Butter
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbs. Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 cup non-fat milk solids
  • 1 Lg. Egg
  • 1 Tbs. Vanilla
  • 12 oz. Cold Water.
  • 5 cups sifted flour, plus more for rolling dough
  • 2 Tbs. Baking Powder
Cinnamon and brandy sauce for peaches.
  • 1 Tbs. Cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 2 Tbs. Sugar.
Honey whipped cream
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup honey (more or less, depending on taste)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

Short Cake 

Mix butter and sugar until pale and creamy, add salt and milk solids. Then, beat in egg and vanilla until incorporated. Slowly add water. The mixture should now look curdled.

Next, mix your flour and baking powder together, and then slowly add them to your wet ingredients. Mix until incorporated. You're going to roll the dough out so you will be mixing it a little more by hand.
Rolling the dough: I like rolling this dough on a flour and sugar mixture. Dust table with some sugar and flour and coat dough so it's easier to work with. This dough should look light and airy, and it should not look like a solid mass.
Roll out the dough about half an inch thick. Cut out circles using a three or four inch cookie cutter. Next, coat the cut outs with an egg wash (1 egg, 1/4 cup half and half) and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Place on a parchment lined pan and bake for 12-14 minutes. Be sure to turn the tray half way through the baking.

Preparing the Peaches 

Mix the three ingredients for the cinnamon brandy sauce, and then toss it with the peaches in a large bowl. Make sure peaches are coated evenly with the sauce.

Light your grill and get it to a medium heat. Once heated, place the peaches cut side down on the grill. Note: Save the excess brandy sauce in bowl for use after grilling.

Grill 3-4 minutes on each side. If grill flares up, turn heat down to low and grill peaches for longer duration.

Once grilled, add them back to the bowl, toss again with brandy sauce, and allow to cool for thirty minutes in refrigerator.

Whipped Cream
Recipe adapted from

Pour heavy cream into a large metal bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low for 5 minutes. Gradually increase speed to medium, beating another 5-7 minutes, or until cream has formed soft peaks. Add honey and vanilla to the cream ,and continue to beat until peaks form and the cream looks light and fluffy.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Black Bean Citrus Salad With Mango & Grilled Citrus-Infused Shrimp

Recipe By Suzanne Virgilio

Serves 4 as a Main Course


  • 1--28 oz. can Goya black beans – rinsed and drained (I find if you don’t have time to cook the beans fresh these are next in line for quality and texture)
  • 2 ears fresh corn – off the cob and blanched in microwave for 1 minute
  • 2 ripe mango, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 cup 1/4-inch diced jicama (about half of a 2-lb. jicama)
  • 3 Tbs. minced red onion
  • 1/2 cup finely sliced fresh basil (or cilantro, which I LOVE, but basil is a nice surprise)
  • 1 lb. wild extra large shrimp – peeled, deveined and partially butterflied
Citrus Vinaigrette

As with any form of “cooking” adjust seasonings to your own likes and dislikes.

  • 2 tsp. finely grated orange zest
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tsp. finely grated lime zest
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice*(see note)
  • 1 Tbsp. honey or granulated sugar
  • 1 small finely minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, finely minced (more if you like “spicy”)
  • 1 ½ tsp. ground cumin powder
  • 1 large clove garlic – peeled & minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper       
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Juicing Limes: Limes can be difficult to juice. A good trick for any citrus fruit, but especially limes is to pierce the fruit with a knife, place in microwavable bowl and heat for a minute or two, depending upon how many limes you want to juice.  Remove from microwave and allow to cool.  You will find the limes have already given up some of their juice, thus the reason for the bowl. Now, the limes will be softer and easier to juice.



Prepare citrus vinaigrette and remove ½ cup to a medium bowl for the shrimp marinade.

Marinate the peeled and deveined shrimp in the medium bowl while preparing the remainder of the salad. 

As each salad ingredient is prepared, combine in a large bowl and then top with remaining vinaigrette.  Stir well to mix and adjust seasonings to your liking.  Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

When ready to serve heat grill to high.  Remove shrimp from marinade (discard marinade) and place on prepared skewers. Season with salt and pepper. Turn heat to medium and grill shrimp until golden brown on each side, about 1 ½ minutes per side

Serve with black bean salad topped with a chiffonade of basil garnish and some warm crusty bread to mop up all the delicious flavors  - YUM!

Procedure Notes
Sizing your ingredients
When making any type of salad it’s important to keep all components the same size.  Use the main component as a measure. In this case the black beans are the main ingredient, so try to keep all other additions to this salad close in size to the black beans.
Prepping your shrimp skewers
If using wooden skewers, soak in water for at least one hour.  I find that no matter how long I soak them, they still burn!  A good trick to prevent this is when ready to grill shrimp, cover portions of exposed skewers with scallion stalks, and the remove the stalks from the skewers before serving. This way the wooden skewers are insulated and still make for a nice presentation on the plate.  In you don't have scallions, then use foil J

Make Ahead Tips

You can make the salad up to one day ahead and refrigerate, but let it come fully to room temperature before serving. Freshen the flavor of the salad by adding more sliced fresh basil and a squeeze of orange and lime juice just before serving.