The Kenwood Press|
Corn, tomatoes and peaches! It must be summer!
Back in the 60s when I was growing up in a big family, one of our only yearly vacations was to Canada during the summer, where we gorged ourselves on tomatoes, peaches and fresh corn while enjoying the lake. Perch from Lake Erie (I know, it was scarier then, it’s cleaner now!) was abundant and delicious pan-fried for breakfast. On hot days, my mom and uncle would leave the watermelon in the lake water until it was time to eat it. It kept it cool, but it kept moving a little downstream, so we had to retrieve it and bring it back each time it drifted away. In those days, every moment seemed to be about food, when the next food moment was coming and what was it going to be. We took such pleasure in eating. Those were simple, lazy summer days.
As my taste buds changed and grew more discerning, I’ve added tantalizingly new flavors and dishes to my repertoire. For instance, I love adding chilies wherever I can, an influence of Mexico and Central America. Dried chilies are never very far from our table and added liberally to most everything, I’ve noticed. During the summer, corn on the cob gets shaved into just about everything, from fresh tomato salads to pastas with fresh tomato, garlic, and parmesan. Corn seems to team well with the other fruits and vegetables of the season as if they were meant to be together.
The recipes below are a combination of sweet peach with heat from jalapeno and Ancho chiles (or you can use poblano for a milder taste). It’s the combination of the sweet with the hot that makes them, well, so sweet. Also, if you haven’t tried piloncillo, it’s an unrefined cooking sugar commonly used in Mexican cooking. It has a long history in Mexico, introduced well before the Spanish arrived, and is made into blocks that harden. If you can’t find it locally, brown sugar is a good substitute. This sauce is complex in flavor. It would be the perfect complement to grilled salmon with a side of fresh corn on the cob. Happy Summer! Happy Cooking!
Sweet Peach Ancho Chile Sauce