I am on vacation. From my main job, anyway. Sadly, there won’t be any beach or Mediterranean abode or even a lot of relaxation. There’s a lot to do–a new fence being built (yay!), garden beds to replant after being tramped while the fence was being built (boo!), storage spaces to clean, committee meetings to go to, a zoo to visit. But at least there won’t be any boredom…?
Remember when summer vacation was actually…a vacation?
Oh well. At least I’ll get a lot of good stuff done and this “vacation” was definitely started off right. I got at least one proper, full relaxation day in, though. Slept in, laid around, watched tv (a Psych marathon if you’re interested), had a mini cookout with friend and watched a movie. I won’t go into detail about my feelings on the movie we watched (Oz The Great and Powerful)–I hated it but that’s ok. Because at least while watching it, I got to eat good food.
First of all, jazzed up hot dogs from Biercamp, an artisanal charcuterie in town. Their sausages are delicious enough, but we decided to kick it up another notch….so we split them in half, stuffed them with sliced jalapenos, wrapped them with Biercamp peppered bacon, grilled them, served them on Zingerman’s buns and smothered them with shredded sharp cheddar. There should have been grilled, buttered onions on top too but sadly, I forgot to make them. I know. I know. I’m working on forgiving myself.
Alongside those hot dogs, we had Mexican street corn–you know, grilled corn on the cob slathered with a “crema,” or essentially, mayo, sour cream and lime juice, and rolled in parmesan and chile powder. Pretty good, I will say. We also sampled a bit of this week’s Champagne Wednesday cocktail, too.
Dessert was also fabulous: grilled peaches with vanilla bean gelato and balsamic glaze. More specifically and food porn-ingly, we brushed halved, fresh peaches with butter, ground cinnamon and brown sugar, grilled them on either side and served them in cocktail glasses with a scoop of Talenti vanilla bean gelato and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar glaze.
Yeah baby. Just thinking about it makes my muscles feel all soft and happy.
The meal in general went a long way to soothe frustrations I have about how ridiculously difficult it’s been to get our fence replaced. I mean, endless paperwork and permits and days of construction and blah. But it’s ok because peaches. Peaches.
- Hot dogs
- Fresh whole jalapeño peppers
- Bacon---and not "Canadian bacon" either
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Grilled buttered onions
- Any other hot dog toppings you like
- Carefully slit each hot dog down the middle lengthwise, being careful not to cut the hot dog all the way in half. You basically just want to create a little pocket in the center.
- Cut the jalapeño in half. For two hot dogs, I used about a third of a large jalapeño, because we like things spicy. Adjust accordingly for your quantity and preference. Slice the jalapeños into thin slices crosswise. Stuff as many slices into the hot dogs as you like.
- Wrap a slice of bacon around each hot dog. You'll probably need two slices to wrap from top to bottom. Seal the slices with tooth picks to keep them from unraveling, or tuck the ends into the strips.
- Grill the hot dogs as you normally would until heated through, and the bacon is crispy.
- Put a hotdog into a good quality bun, and top with any other toppings you like--ketchup, relish, mustard, etc--and finally smother it in cheddar cheese. Place under a broiler for a minute to melt the cheese a bit.
- If you'd like to add the buttered onions, what I usually do is thinly slice an onion and pile it into the center of a good-sized piece of tinfoil. Place a big pat of butter in the center of the onions, pull the corners of the tinfoil together and tightly wrap into a little package. Put the package on the grill while you get the hot dogs ready, or for about 10 minutes, then pull them off. Put 'em on your dogs.
Obviously, this can be scaled up or down pretty easily for however many hot dogs you need to make.
Also, if you don't like hot dogs, try bratwursts or any other kind of sausage.
Works for veggie dogs, too! Although without the bacon obviously...ribbons of zucchini might work though!
- 4 peaches
- 2 tablespoons butter,softened
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar
- 4 tsps ground cinnamon
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- 4 scoops vanilla bean gelato or ice cream
- Pour the vinegar into a small pot and cook over medium-low heat until reduced by at least half, about 20 minutes. You want a thickened but not stiff consistency that fully coats the back of a spoon. You can start this about 10-15 minutes before you cook the peaches. If it finishes first, turn off the heat and let it sit. It will stiffen a bit and may lighten in color but if so, just give it a good stir.
- Cut the first peach in half from tip to tip. Keep the knife still, but turn the peace 360 degrees. Then grab both halves of the peach and twist in opposite directions to disconnect them. Remove the pits. Repeat this process for each subsequent peach.
- Brush the inside (flesh side) of each peach half with about a quarter tablespoon of the butter and sprinkle it with half a teaspoon of cinnamon sugar and half a tablespoon of brown sugar. Pat the sugar down so it sticks.
- Turn your grill onto about medium heat. Place the peaches flesh-side up on the grill and let cook for 4-5 minutes. Turn the peaches over and cook another 4-5 minutes, or until slightly charred and soft.
- Put one peach half in a small bowl, or be super-fancy and use a wide-bottom cocktail glass. Put a scoop of vanilla gelato on top. Drizzle it with a tablespoon or two of the balsamic glaze and top with another peach half. Repeat for each peach.
- To eat: Put on your fancy face, lift your pinky and enjoy.
This is also easy to scale up or down. Basically, one peach per person, each peach gets 1/4 tbsp of butter, 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, 1/2 tbsp brown sugar, 1 scoop of ice cream and however much glaze you want.
Also might be good to add: whipped cream with a slight bit of cinnamon added, or chopped, salted nuts.