In an effort to lose weight, be a better citizen of the world and live longer I have cut down severely on animal protein. I have not become a vegetarian, but I eat a lot less meat than I used to and that wasn’t much. Last night I was invited to the home of some really good friends. They always fix the most wonderful food. They both love to cook, eat great food and drink nice wine. My kind of people. Last night they made a really flavorful shrimp starter (which will show up here soon) and a tri-tip roast along with a whole host of vegetables, bread and, of course, lots of wine. The reason that I bring this up is that I enjoyed myself immensely and did not leave hungry, even though I only had one small piece of the tri-tip.
Our approach to meat is like many Europeans, especially Eastern European. We serve meat as more of a condiment than a main course. A few slices of beef or chicken on a salad or a handful of shrimp with some pasta is more than enough protein for one person. Additionally, we eat meat only a few times a week. You might be wondering how we get away with this with kids. We keep the table full. We always have a salad and at least one other vegetable and often two. We make the food as flavorful as possible without ladling on fat and excess carbohydrates. Nobody goes hungry and the complaints are more about the irrational likes and dislikes of a teenager than the need for more food. We heartily ignore those and keep the conversation going.
We do sometimes eat things like fried chicken or ribs. Those are special occasions just like the Sunday pot roast when we were growing up. When it is the exception, not the rule, it is enjoyed for what it is and not missed the rest of the time.
White peaches have just come into season and I am thrilled, even though they pose a particular challenge in our house. I have to keep the kids from eating them. If you recall, white peaches are the main ingredient in the original Bellini from Harry’s Bar in Venice. My wife comes home tonight and if I am successful in keeping the teenagers from devouring the bag that I bought yesterday at the farmers market, we will have a bellini tomorrow evening. Since I have already printed the recipe for Bellini, here is another great use for peaches. This is a recipe that is very similar to the strawberries in balsamic from a while ago. This is a traditional Italian dessert that was introduced to me by Kirk Francis, production sound mixer extraordinaire. The strawberry recipe is in his cookbook. I called him a few years ago during the summer and told him how much I was enjoying that dish and he said: “Wait till you try it with peaches.” Man was he right. Make sure they are really ripe. I let them sit in a paper bag for a day or two if I don’t think they are quite ready. (Same for the bellini, by the way)
- 6-8 Ripe White Peaches, cut in half and sliced
- 1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
- 1/4 Cup Sugar (or less)
- Ground Black Pepper
- Chef’s Knife
- Mixing Bowl
- Mix the sugar and vinegar together with the peaches.
- Add plenty of ground black pepper, more than you think. Mix thoroughly.
- Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or even longer if you can wait.
- Serve over homemade vanilla ice cream.