A few of Steve’s “friends” (mostly the Facebook and “Fox & Friends” kind) might deny any existence of global climate change. Try as they might, though, they can’t deny it’s been horribly hot in Gourmandistani territory the past week or so. All-time heat records are being broken every day. The astonishing heat contributed to something called a “land hurricane” that swept through not too far from here, killing several and knocking out power to millions without any letup in temperature. One of Steve’s meatspace mates has been bemoaning the loss of his childhood vacation dude ranch as Colorado Springs continues to burn. Our response to the apocalyptic hellscape unfolding before us? Resent our neighbors’ appalling inaction, redouble our own (possibly insignificant) efforts to tread lightly on the planet, and renew our acquaintance with Donna Hay and her recipe for Baked Vanilla Rice Peaches. (It’s Gourmandistan. Whatever happens, we’re going to eat.)
An author, editor and food stylist, Hay has produced numerous beautifully-photographed cookbooks and magazines with simple recipes. Some leftover rice, a little sugar, cream and vanilla and some fresh peaches are really all you need. The light, lovely little dish brings out the sweetness of our summer peaches with only about 30 minutes of oven time, and that’s something we really appreciate right now. Remembering this recipe reminded us that Sydney, Australia’s answer to Martha Stewart might call to us again—but right now it’s just too damn hot.
BAKED VANILLA RICE PEACHES
(adapted from Donna Hay’s Off the Shelf: Cooking From the Pantry)1/3 c. cooked rice 1/6 c. crème fraîche or heavy cream 1 t. vanilla 1/2 TB white sugar 2 peaches Butter Demerara sugar
Combine rice, cream, vanilla and white sugar in a bowl.
Lightly butter the bottom of a small baking dish. Halve the peaches and remove the stones. If the halves don’t sit straight, slice off a bit from the bottoms. Place in baking dish. Put a tiny bit of butter in the cavities. Sprinkle peaches lightly with demerara sugar. Mound the rice mixture over the peach halves. Sprinkle more demerara sugar on top.
Tent aluminum foil over. Bake in a 350° oven for 20 minutes or so. Remove the foil and bake for 5 minutes more. Then turn on broiler and cook until sugar on top is browned.