Grilling is one of those quintessential summer activities here in the USA. So are things like lawn-mowing, going to waterparks, and watching mind-numbing action flicks. But this is a food blog, so let’s stick to the grilling.
I just learned how to operate the grill this summer. When I’m not singeing off my eyebrows igniting the damn thing, I really enjoy cooking on it. While many associate grills with meat (or Lil’ John and T-Pain, but that’s a totally different story), there are plenty of other things that can be grilled. Grilling veggies, in my opinion, is an infinitely better method than steaming. The vegetable slices gain that recognizably robust flavor that we associate with grilling. I’ve grilled eggplant, squash, red pepper, portabello mushrooms, zucchini and others. Hell, I don’t even like squash and I ate that like nobody’s business.
Last year around this time, I read an article in GQ about grilling. Normally I’d be wary of recipes from a magazine that plugs designer jeans with price tags that rival the GDP of some third world countries, but the close-up photo of the juicy peach with those grill lines looked so amazing that it was love at first sight.
Fast-forward one year. My grilling addiction is in full swing, and I stumble across that old GQ issue. Suddenly I’m reminded of the peaches, so I immediately schlep over to the grocery store in search of some perfect fuzzy-wuzzies. After washing them and padding them dry, I halved the peaches.
The recipe calls for a brown sugar glaze, which I sort of winged. In a saucepan, I heated three tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar until it began to boil. I then threw in a dash of cinnamon, a little salt, and a few drops of vanilla extract.
The grilling was pretty easy. I heated up the grill to high-medium and painted both sides of the peaches with the brown sugar/butter glaze. They went in flesh-side down; after three minutes, I flipped them onto their skins for another three. You do not want these babies to char or get mushy. When a fork pierces the flesh easily (like a baked potato), you’ll know it’s done.
I served the halves immediately, and spread the remaining brown sugar syrup on the peaches with a little ice cream. It was truly heavenly.
Grilled Peaches (serves 4 if you give each person a half, I served an entire peach to two people)
Adapted from GQ June 2008
Two Peaches, washed, padded dry, and cut in half (keep skin on)
3 tablespoons butter (salted preferably, but unsalted is fine—just add a pinch of salt)
1½ tablespoons of brown sugar (light or dark, whichever)
Pinch of ground cinnamon, add more if necessary
A few drops of vanilla extract, to taste
Heat grill to medium, and oil the rack in order to keep peaches from sticking (and also to achieve those awesome grill lines)
Heat butter and brown sugar in saucepan and after butter begins to brown, take off heat and add cinnamon and vanilla. Brush both sides of the peaches with this mixture. Place peaches flesh-side down on grill and cook for three minutes, then flip to other side.
NOTE: Using those metal tongs makes this a whole lot easier.