Thanks to Too Many Chefs for hosting this edition of IMBB?, the theme of which is barbecued and grilled dishes — a challenge for a city resident with no grill of my own. However, I often visit my parents, and it is not too difficult to persuade them that I should make dinner.
While preparing a range of savory dishes for the grill (balsamic-marinated mushrooms, planks of zucchini, garlic potato spears, baby beets, Vidalia onions, tomato halves, and my once-a-year burger), I set out to make a simple favorite for dessert: grilled peaches with brown sugar. One of my peaches split apart in my hands as I was halving it, and I feared quartered peach would slip through the grates. Improvising, I decided to use a different technique than straightforward grilling. When I realized that this would allow me to include some of the beautiful cherries on hand, I knew we had a whole new dessert: stone fruit in a pouch.
Split a few handfuls of cherries, removing the stones, and put aside in a non-reactive bowl: glass or stainless steel. Lightly score the skin on bottom of 3 peaches. This is an excellent use for the firm, fist-like, faintly fragrant peaches you have been eying impatiently — ripe, juicy fruit would turn to mush in this dish. Plunge the peaches into boiling water until skin at scoring just starts to curl, then shock in ice water. The skin should pare off with no fuss. (If skinning the peaches sounds like too much work, there is no need: it is a nicety, not a necessity.) Cut the peaches into quarters or large chunks. Toss peaches and cherries with juice of half a lemon, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, a tablespoon (or more, or less) of soft butter, a splash of orange liqueur, and a pinch of salt.
Using a good-sized swath of heavy-duty aluminum foil, crimp the sides to create a rough bowl. Tumble your lovely fruit mixture into the foil and crimp the edges roughly together. This does not need to be tightly sealed, just closed enough to prevent the liquid from evaporating rapidly.
Now you have a tidy pouch you can set by the grill while you sweat over the bratwurst, hamburgers, Thai chicken, or (in my case) grilled vegetables. When dinner is almost finished, set the foil packet on the grate over a low-heat spot. If the fire is dying down, close the lid, and your stone fruit will benefit from the residual heat. After dinner, remove the pouch and allow to cool slightly. Serve over ice cream, yogurt, shortcake. Mmmm.
update: Too Many Chefs has posted their IMBB? digest, listing the many blogs participating. Check it out!