Grilled summer peaches

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Probably one of the best things about living in Virginia is access to fresh Georgia peaches at almost any store. Last night was one of those sit on the couch together with wine and netflix marathon. About half through our endless episodes of undercover boss the need for some snacks set in, but neither wanted to leave the house. Thankfully I am pretty handy in the kitchen #trophyhusband.

I love grilling fruit either on the grill or via a grill pan, but apparently this is something that many people think is crazy. This I learned last night when a overly wined up girlfriend kept saying “you’re going to wreck my peaches for breakfast tomorrow paaaauuulll.” So to quite the haters in your life and show them magic of grilled fruit make sure that you brush it with some very high quality olive oil this adds another layer of flavor and will make the grilling possible so it doesn’t stick and burn.

Peaches, plums, and even apricots make perfect grill companions, as do all other stone fruits. They’re more delicate,  so leave the skins on and then peel them afterwards (or just leave the peels on). There are few summer desserts tastier than grilled peaches with ice cream, but they also pair well with grilled pork tenderloin, chicken, or steak.I like the in salsa with red onion and jalapeno as well.

grilled-peaches

For the dessert above its really easy to make and super tasty on a summer night.

  • 4 peaches cut in half brushed with high quality olive oil
  • 4 table spoons of honey
  • small bunch of mint chopped fine
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of ricotta impastata

Brush peaches with olive oil and place onto a hot grill maybe 400 if you can get a temp off of it. Let the peaches sit for 5-6 minutes until soft but not gushy they will pull away from the grill with no problem that’s when you know they are done. Drizzle the honey over the still hot peaches let sit to cool down a little. Add chopped mint into the ricotta stir to bring together.

This is also really good with ice cream as well or if you have crushed nuts or granola to put on top is a added bit of crunch.

 

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Leopold Bros

Apples will always have a home in my heart. Growing up in the Hudson Valley meant you liked apples even if you didn’t.  Leopold bros managed to capture two things close to my heart well crafted whiskey and New York Apples.

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At a 40 dollar price point this should be a easy add to any home bar.liqueur is flavored with a wide range of apples, from Golden Delicious to rare Macoun apples. The apples are allowed to become almost overripe before juicing and blending with whiskey. The blend is then aged in bourbon barrels.

I liked it with a ice cube or two in it to help bring out the apple. Straight up it can be little aggressive, but slightly chilled on ice its smooth and beautiful.  This whiskey can be easily paired well with ginger beer, cider, or a hard cider for a elevated flavorful drink combo.

 

 

I really wish the CIA had brainwashed me…

So yeah I’ll take that brain scanner to forget what a awful meal this was. I normally will never write a true negative post, but of the all places I never thought I would pen these words from its the Culinary Institute of America. To say it was a utter disappointment from service to concept would be doing this place a service.

The night is July 7th 2016 my 30th birthday. I am not one for birthdays nor milestones just never been that guy, but my brother wanted to treat me to a solid meal as a food lover deserves. Living in the Hudson Valley we are lucky to have this place in our backyard, too bad I wish we could burn it like the wood pallets in our fire pit because this meal was terrible.

American Bounty

The American Bounty was just awful from start to finish.  First before we even get to the food I will say this place is beautiful its about all it had going for it.

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I’ll start with this, I understand these are working culinary students, but they are at the premier culinary school in the USA. Sorry, but you’re held to a standard. Our server was fit for a chili’s at best. I knew we were screwed from the get go when my dad asked what wine would you recommend and the response was ” I don’t drink or know anything really about wine, so I really don’t know I bet they are all pretty good”  I’m sorry, but what?  You’re literally trained here on wine and you work here…you should as a professional have at least talking point on wine if you don’t drink it. I am not a wine guy at all, but I know enough at the restaurant to offer a recommendation if asked. So after picking one we thought would be solid we moved on to food. We asked well what have you liked that stands out to you?  I know a crazy thing to ask a person who goes to culinary school and works here, but apparently we are out of line with this one. Our waitress responds with “well I don’t really eat here so I don’t know, but I bet its all pretty good” I’m sorry what the fuck did you just say…. so we just ordered based on our gut no thanks to the awful server. This chick didn’t even bother to bring our food out on time like people got entrees when appetizers were coming out don’t worry the food is equally as bad as the service for 20-45 a plate!!!

First Courses: From bad to worse

chicken salad

So they bring us this little cracker with chicken salad and some pearled melon juice as if it was some kind of epic foodies experience to try and cover up for our clueless waitress. It was good as far as chicken salad goes….like we should of left when the damn culinary institute brought us chicken f-ing salad. Also are people really still making fake caviar with juice and gelatin? Thought that died out in top chef season three…

oysters cia 1

My brother and I split a dozen oysters served with a beet mignonette. The only good part of this dish was the oysters. The only way I can describe the beet sauce was basically smuckers jelly. It wrecked anything that the oyster could possibly taste like. Whoever thought this worked well shouldn’t be allowed to put things near a menu.

zucchini flowers

This dish the zucchini flowers, muscles, and clams in the smoked broth was good I will say of anything that was presented it was good and that is about it. Good not great, but to be the star of a shit show isn’t saying much Wendy’s put on a better meal after we left here.

I would like to add that our waitress was allergic to shellfish.  Completely fine, but her acting like every dish I ordered was going to set her a blaze and the dramatic bright purple glove and having other servers come remove plates was a little over the top. Once again you’re a professional now act like it. A clear glove with a white napkin over it to remove the plates like a professional who is getting tipped on a expensive meal.

cia smoked lobster

I’m still looking for the right words to describe how bad this was. I don’t think bad, awful, poor are the right words. So this “smoked” lobster is par smoked apparently at some earlier point then boiled to hell in butter at dinner service. This lobster was so rubbery and tough ISIS wanted to recruit it. This dish sucked just over all was awful. They had this random pea puree on the side that was good. I asked for more, but apparently the Culinary Institute of America doesn’t have enough to offer me a little more on a 34 lobster claw. There is nothing about this dish I can speak well of. Bland, overcooked, not thought out, and lacking any kind of seasoning.

Overall I was excited to go, but was quickly let down it started with service ended with the meal. I’ll never back to try any of their restaurants again.  If you find yourself in the Hudson Valley don’t waste the money there is far better local fare close by. I would like to add that I later on sent them a facebook message expressing the service and quality to never hear back. Glad to see the poor hospitality starts from the top down.