Seattle is famous for many things but food wise the top spot has to be Pike Place Market. This is the oldest continually operated farmers market in the country, starting in 1907.
There is a three story neon sign that says Public Market Center, and for locals the official name for a while was Pike Market, but Pike Place Market is now the accepted term by locals, visitors, and Wikipedia.
A big four-lane street, Pike Street, ends just where the market begins, but there is a slight extension that bends and then narrows to a two lane road called Pike Place jammed with outside stalls under tents, parking for the lucky, trucks coming and going and people milling and eating. It’s at that street bend that you’ll find the famous fish stand where men heave twenty-pound salmon in the air. Up and over the counter to a mate who always manages to catch that fish.
It’s a fun, fun scene with terrific vendors of all kinds. Suzen and I were there last week and we’ll pass along some shopping tips for you. Tip number one: Tiny’s Organics.
You’ll find Tiny’s at farmers markets all over Seattle but this Pike Place one instantly won our heart. They make the best smoothie you ever could conceive of. And it’s green – except for some electricity. And it’s really healthy – no ice cream or yogurt. And absolutely none of those “healthy add-ins” that many smoothie places offer. Why there even is no ice.
No, Tiny has a simple recipe. Take fresh fruit, prepare as necessary, freeze it. Then put it in a blender with some apple cider. The result is sublime.
The fruit is fresh, but frozen. Go today and you’ll get what is season now, go later in the summer and you see what is coming off the trees and bushes then. So last week, with cherries in season, we had frozen cherries – pitted of course – in our fruit combination. At home, you can make up any combination you want. Suzen and I usually use “equal measure” of each fruit we have available. Then just enough cider, not juice, to let the mixture blend. At Tiny’s the beverage has the texture of mortar. If you love fruit, or your father was a bricklayer, then you must give this recipe a try.
Smoothie ala Tiny’s
Yield: up to you
- Equal parts frozen fruit, at least two of these appropriately peeled and pitted before being frozen:
- Apple cider
Fill your blender perhaps halfway with fruit. Start with ½ cup of apple cider. Add more as you blend to reach the consistency you desire.
Source: Tiny’s at Pike Place Market
For this Memorial Day Weekend, I’ve promised a dessert with no chocolate and no buttermilk. Here it is: Grilled Peaches. In three different styles.
But, these dessert ideas come with a bonus because I’ve found uses for grilled peaches beyond dessert. How about in a salad or as the main component of a salsa. You can do an entire grilled peach meal. Ready? Here we go with 3 ideas for dessert. The salad and salsa will follow on tomorrow’s blog.
All the recipes here use 4 peaches for 4 people, but you can scale at will.
Alton Brown: Grilled Peaches for Dessert, the Honey and Bourbon Idea
Alton Brown offers this simple concept. Wash the peaches and dry them. Do NOT peel. Simply cut in half, and remove the pit. Cover the exposed flesh with a little olive oil and place on a hot grill for “a short time.” Say 30 seconds. Then turn the peaches over and lather the exposed flesh with a combination of honey and bourbon. Depending on your fondness for bourbon intensity, you can adjust the proportions. When in doubt, experiment.
Let the peaches just cook there until they are soft and bubbly. That’s going to depend on how ripe he peaches were to begin with, and how big they are.
Variations: you can use a flavored sugar syrup instead of honey and surely vary the liquor being used. Think dark rum and what happens with Bananas Foster!
Bobby Flay: Grilled Peaches for Dessert, the Butter and Sugar and Cinnamon Idea
Bobby Flay has a different take. In a small bowl, mix one stick of softened butter with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon sugar, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, and a pinch of salt. Halve and pit each peach, but again do not peel. Brush the peaches with oil and grill until golden brown and just cooked through. Remove from the grill, garnish with the sugar-butter, and top with some mint leaves.
Brian O’Rourke: Grilled Peaches for Dessert, the Everything Combo
I favor Alton’s technique, but Flay’s flavors. So, in a saucepan, melt one stick of butter. Add ¼ cup of dark brown sugar and ½ cup of either bourbon or dark rum. Stir just to mix. Add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon [not cinnamon sugar] and ¼ teaspoon mild chili powder. Stir to mix, and set aside. As it cools it thickens and that’s better for brushing on the peaches [less dribbling and spattering].
Cut the peaches in half and remove the pits. Do not peel. Cover the exposed side with a bit of oil and place face down on the grill for 30 seconds. Turn the peaches over and baste with the butter-sugar-booze combination. Keep basting and grilling until the peaches are well done. We are talking “candy” here. Remove, and if you wish, accompany with a side of French Vanilla Ice Cream.