Saturday, July 27, 2013

Glenn's Pepper Steak and Peach Pie

July 21, 2013

Glenn's Pepper Steak over Steamed Rice
Vella Merlot
Peach Pie

Peach Pie from Cook's Illustrated

I recently wrote about a recipe in progress from Diane's family. It has always been called Goop but I have re-christened it Glenn's Pepper Steak, named for the woman who created the recipe in the 1960's. The written instructions were vague so I attempted to write them down with enough detail for  others to duplicate it for themselves. My first attempt came up short of the mark but this time I got it right. Cutting the meat into long, thin strips which were browned in two batches produced more tender and flavorful meat. Omitting hot sauce and doubling the amount of allspice provided a more balanced sauce. One of my favorite aspects of this dish is the flavorful sauce with its combination of sweetness from the sugar, tomatoes, and onion; meatiness from the steak; and hint of spice from  allspice. The Goop was served, as usual, over steamed white rice but in a bowl this time rather than on a plate. I appreciated the ability to more easily mix the rice and Goop together.  Diane, however, still preferred using a plate. Either way is fine.

In the summer time I like to take advantage of the wonderful fresh fruit. I enjoy it for lunch every day but I also like to make pie. Peaches might be my favorite summer fruit but I have never made a peach pie until now.  Making the pie was straightforward though it did take a few hours with making the dough, preparing the peaches, assembling the pie, and baking.  I used peaches from the grocery store which were pretty hard when I bought them but they ripened nicely in the day they sat on the kitchen counter; they were sweeter and juicier than I was expecting.  The recipe uses tapioca to thicken the filling and specifies a range of 3-4 tablespoons, depending on the ripeness of the peaches. I used 3½ tablespoons for these peaches which worked out well. Since we are not found of thick, fluted edges on pies, I used a fork to flatten the edges of the crust and this worked out well; no one left crust behind on their plates. The pie was good and we enjoyed it. It would have been better, we think, without the tablespoon of minced crystallized ginger as the ginger flavor overpowered the flavor of the peaches which should be the star of the show.

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