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Originally published Wednesday, August 6, 2014 at 6:03 AM

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It’s time for peaches

Recipes for cayenne-spiced peaches; peachy Greek panzanella; chicken and peaches with green beans and orzo; rosemary-peach chicken kebabs with orange glaze; double-crust peach pie; and peach-honey icebox pie.


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CAYENNE-SPICED PEACHES

Chopped peaches are an excellent addition to salsa, but you also can add a little heat to the peaches themselves to use as a topping on salads, tacos, wraps, sandwiches, with a cheese plate or on their own. You could even put them on ice cream if you’re a fan of sweets with a little bit of heat.

2 peaches, pitted and sliced or chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

Squeeze of lemon juice

¼ teaspoon sea salt

Pinch ground cayenne pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and cayenne pepper. Combine with the peaches and serve.

— From Addie Broyles, Austin American-Statesman

PEACHY GREEK PANZANELLA

Serves 4 to 6

Panzanella is a bread salad that’s bursting with flavor. It’s a great accompaniment to barbecued meat and fish or with a plate of Serrano ham or any other charcuterie and, of course, cheese. You can add many ingredients to this recipe. The saltiness of crumbled feta, for example, works really well with the sweet juicy peaches, as do charred green bell peppers. You could add some peppery arugula leaves or watercress, or olives and purslane. You could even use sesame rusks instead of the bread.

2 shallots

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

¼ cup red wine vinegar

2 ripe peaches

Olive oil, for drizzling

10 slices Greek sesame bread, or ciabatta

2 garlic cloves, peeled

About 1 pound cherry vine tomatoes, halved

Small bunch of fresh basil, leaves torn

For the dressing:

2 teaspoons dried oregano or thyme leaves

A pinch of sugar

¼ cup red wine vinegar

2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1. Peel and halve the shallots lengthwise and thinly slice. Put in a small bowl, add a pinch of sea salt, and toss with the vinegar. Let marinate while you prepare the rest of the salad.

2. Preheat a grill pan while you cut the peaches into halves, then quarters. Drizzle the peaches with a little oil and place on the hot pan until charred on each side — do this over high heat as you want the peaches to take on a charred taste but still remain firm and juicy. Place on a plate in a single layer (if you pile them up they’ll steam and continue to cook) and let cool.

3. Rub the bread with the garlic (do not discard the garlic), drizzle with olive oil, and place, in batches, on the hot pan until charred on each side. Set aside to cool.

4. Cut each peach quarter in half and put in a large bowl along with the tomatoes and basil. Tear the bread into pieces roughly the same size as the peaches and add to the bowl, along with the marinated shallots and their juices.

5. Finely chop the garlic and place in a separate bowl. Add the dressing ingredients and whisk to combine. Pour over the salad and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper; allow the flavors to marinate for about 10 minutes before serving.

-- Adapted by Austin American-Statesman from “Smashing Plates: Greek Flavours Redefined,” by Maria Elia (Kyle Books, $27.95).

CHICKEN AND PEACHES WITH GREEN BEANS AND ORZO

Serves 6

1 /3 cups dried orzo

2 ½ cups green beans, trimmed

2 medium peaches, cut into wedges

1 pound chicken breast tenderloins

2 tablespoons olive oil

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

2 to 4 oz. herb-flavor feta cheese (garlic and herb or peppercorn), crumbled

Fresh thyme (optional)

1. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven cook orzo according to package directions. Add green beans for the last five minutes of cooking time. Drain; do not rinse. Remove green beans and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, lightly brush peaches, then chicken with some of the oil; sprinkle with the ¼ teaspoon salt and the ¼ teaspoon pepper.

3. For a charcoal or gas grill, grill chicken and peaches on the rack of a covered grill directly over medium heat for four to six minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and peaches are tender.

4. In a large bowl combine orzo, feta cheese, and the remaining oil; gently toss to mix. Season with additional salt and pepper.

5. Divide green beans among four serving plates. Top with orzo mixture, chicken, and peaches. If desired, garnish with fresh thyme.

— Adapted by Austin American-Statesman from “Better Homes and Gardens The Ultimate Quick & Healthy Book” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $19.99).

ROSEMARY-PEACH CHICKEN KEBABS WITH ORANGE GLAZE

Serves 4 (1 kebab per serving)

Cooking spray

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, all visible fat discarded, cut into 16 1½-inch pieces

2 large ripe but firm peaches, cut into 16 1-inch wedges

2 large bell peppers, trimmed and seeded and cut into

1-inch chunks

¼ teaspoon pepper

½ teaspoon salt

For the glaze:

¾ teaspoon grated orange zest

3 tablespoons fresh orange juice

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

1½ teaspoons honey

1½ teaspoons vegetable oil

1. Lightly oil or spray grill rack. Preheat the grill on medium.

2. Meanwhile, thread the chicken, peaches and bell peppers alternately onto 4 14- to 16-inch metal skewers. Sprinkle the pepper and salt over the kebabs.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together the glaze ingredients. Set aside half the glaze. Brush both sides of the kebabs with the remaining glaze.

4. Grill the kebabs for six to eight minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center and the vegetables are almost tender, turning once halfway through and brushing with the reserved glaze, using a clean basting brush. Reduce the heat or move the kebabs to a cooler area of the grill if they are cooking too fast.

Note: Ripe but firm peaches are important for this recipe. Direct heat softens and sweetens the fruit.

— Adapted by Tampa Bay Times from “Go Fresh: A Heart-Healthy Cookbook With Shopping and Storage and Tips” by the American Heart Association (Potter, 2014)

DOUBLE-CRUST PEACH PIE

Serves 6

The bubbling filling will continue to cook the crust after the pie is removed from the oven. If you cut the pie too soon, the dough will be undercooked. Jackie Garvin recommends letting the pie rest for three hours.

Pastry dough for double-crust pie

For the filling:

4 cups peaches, peeled and sliced (see note)

Juice of 1 lemon

1 cup sugar

½ cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Make the pie dough using the accompanying recipe.

2. Place peaches in a mixing bowl and gently stir in the juice of 1 lemon.

3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a separate small bowl, mix sugar, flour and cinnamon. Gently incorporate with peaches.

4. Spoon peach mixture into prepared pie shell. Add top layer of dough, again following directions from accompanying recipe. Crimp edges, brush with half-and-half and sprinkle with sugar.

5. Bake for one hour or until the crust has browned and the filling is bubbly. If the edges of the crust start to brown before the filling bubbles, cover the edges with strips of aluminum foil.

6. The pie should sit for about three hours before slicing. The heat from the bubbling filling will continue to cook the pastry.

Note: Fresh or frozen peaches can be used. If using frozen, make sure they are thawed and drained.

— Adapted by Austin American-Statesman from Jackie Garvin, syrupandbiscuits.com

DOUBLE-CRUST BUTTER PIE CRUST

Makes top and bottom crust for a 9-inch pie OR two 9-inch bottom crusts.

2 ½ cups all-purpose soft winter wheat flour

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon sugar (optional)

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed and chilled

½ cup ice water

1. Place flour, salt and sugar (if using) in the bowl of a food processor. Add cubed butter on top. Turn on food processor and let it run just until the butter disappears into the flour. STOP!

2. Add water and pulse until the dough begins to clump together. Don’t keep pulsing and whirring until it turns into a ball in the food processor.

3. Turn the dough out into a large bowl. Gently work it into a ball. If it’s too dry and not holding together, lightly sprinkle with some ice water and work it in.

4. Divide the ball of dough in half.

5. If you’re making two pies, roll out each piece to 12 inches in diameter. Place them in 9-inch pie plates. Trim the dough and crimp the edges. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before using.

6. For a double-crust pie, wrap one ball of dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. Roll out the other ball to 12 inches and place in a 9-inch pie plate. Trim the overhang, lightly cover the pie crust with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

7. When ready to make the double-crust pie, remove the dough in the pie plate and the ball of dough from the refrigerator. Add the filling to the pie plate then roll out the remaining dough to 11 inches. Fold it into quarters to make it easier to transfer to pie plate. Unfold and spread over filling. Trim the overhang to 1 inch and fold it under the bottom crust. Crimp. Cut vents in top crust and bake pie according to directions. If the edges start to darken before the pie is ready, cover them with strips of aluminum foil.

Makes top and bottom crust for a 9-inch pie OR two 9-inch bottom crusts.

— Adapted by Austin American-Statesman from Jackie Garvin, syrupandbiscuits.com

PEACH-HONEY ICEBOX PIE

Serves 8

¼ cup butter

2½ cups chopped fresh or frozen peaches, thawed

¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons good-quality local honey, divided

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 cups vanilla ice cream, softened

1 (9-inch) ready-made graham cracker pie crust

1 cup whipping cream

Garnish: fresh mint sprigs, chopped fresh peaches

1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add peaches and ¼ cup honey; cook, stirring often, six minutes or until peaches have softened and liquid has thickened to a syrup that coats peaches. Spoon peach mixture into a medium bowl; place over a bowl of ice, and stir occasionally until cool (about one hour). Stir in lemon juice.

2. Add vanilla ice cream to peach mixture; stir well. Spoon ice-cream mixture into crust, spreading evenly. Cover and freeze six hours or until firm.

3. Let pie stand at room temperature 15 minutes before serving. Meanwhile, beat whipping cream at high speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Spoon whipped cream over pie, and drizzle with remaining 3 tablespoons honey. Garnish with mint and chopped peaches. Serves 8.

— Adapted by Austin American-Statesman from “Southern Living Scooped: Ice cream treats, cheats, and frozen eats” (Oxmoor House, $19.95).



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