Monday, September 28, 2009

One Pot Wonder: Low Country Boil

Country doesn't get much lower than Georgia's back barrier islands and you won't find a better Low Country Boil than Cap'n Andy's Eagle Island version.

Andy's bankers may know him as owner of Private Islands of Georgia, the organization that offers travelers the unique, your-own-private-island experience. Many guests on Eagle Island, one of those exclusive getaways 15 minutes by boat from the port of Darien, know Andy as a dedicated and talented connoisseur of regional cuisine.

Book an island escape and if you like, Andy will stock your kitchen with the necessary ingredients. If you really want to escape from responsibility, you can order the classic dish done for you by Andy and his crew.

I'm one of those fortunate former guests and prevailed upon him to share.

Private Islands of Georgia Cajun Low Country Boil
Fill a large - and I mean large - pot with water, leaving room to accommodate the food without boiling over.

Add to boiling water:

Private Islands Seasoning Blend
2 sticks of butter                                          1 cup pepper
1/2 cup red pepper                                       1/2 cup seasoning salt
1 cup garlic salt                                            1/2 cup celery salt
10 lemons, halved and juiced                       10 jalapeno peppers, thinly sliced
Melt butter in large sauce pan on low to medium heat. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl and stir with a wire whisk. Pour ingredients into melted butter and stir with whisk until well blended.  Pour juice into pan and stir. Add jalapeno slices and stir. Add mixture to boiling water.
Note: You can substitute Old Bay Seasoning if you must.

Now it's time to add the ingredients, beginning with those that require the most cooking time.
16 new potatoes - 2 per person or more (See note below). Rutabagas and sweet potatoes are also good, instead of or in addition to the potatoes.
8 onions peeled - 1 per person or more (see note below)
1 small bag baby carrots
2 packages Hillshire Farm sausage cut into 1-inch slices
4 ears of corn, halved - 1/2 ear per person
4 pounds of shrimp - 1/2-pound per person
Add potatoes and boil for 10 minutes. Add the carrots, sausage and whole onions, return to boil. Add corn and return to boil. Add shrimp last, cooking until they are pink in color. Do NOT overcook the shrimp.
Strain and serve.

Extras: Cocktail sauce, lemon wedges and plenty of napkins.

Note: Outdoor gas cookers are typically used but a large pot on the range can also work. Adding extra potatoes and onions gives you the makings for great hash browns the next morning.

As you see, if you can boil water, cut up stuff, stir and keep time, you can prepare this regional favorite.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Colorful Curacao Treat

It's hard to believe but the now color blind, integrated city of Willemstad, Curacao, was where freshly captured West Africans arrived after their arduous trip across the oceans. After being rested and fed, they were sent to one of the island's plantations to be "trained" to be slaves.

If the slaves were lucky, they could snag the rind after their Dutch owners had eaten the cheese (in the days before refrigeration or plastic wrap the rind was kept intact). The story is that this dish developed to use up what scraps of cheese or cheese flavor remained by black slaves and poorer whites.

When served at the Avila Hotel, it becomes a gourmet treat. Even better, one easily and inexpensively recreated at home.  Many thanks to travel writer and Caribbean specialist Lynne Sullivan,, who shared that memorable lunch at Avila and found her copy of the recipe when I couldn't.                                                 

Avila Hotel Keshi Yena
Chicken filling: Rub 1/4-pound of chicken breast and 1/4-pound of chicken thighs with the juice of several limes. Season with salt, pepper, poultry seasoning and onion then allow to marinate several hours before browning in 3 TBS of butter.

Place browned chicken into a heavy pot with
1 qt water                                                 1 tsp salt
6 peppercorns                                           1 medium onion
1 stalk celery, with leaves                          1 bay leaf, bruised
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until chicken is tender. Strain and reserve the broth. Discard vegetables. Debone chicken and set aside.

Saute in 2 TBS of butter:
2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped                1 onion, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced                                 salt and pepper
1 TBS minced parsley and/or a few drops of Tabasco sauce

Add in and stir well:
1 TBS ketchup                                             1/2 TBS capers
1/4 cup pimento-stuffed olives, sliced        1/4 cup raisins
1 TBS piccalilli                                              chicken

Simmer until tomatoes are reduced, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

Generously butter 4 soup cups then cover sides and bottoms with sliced cheese, preferably Edam although any yellow cheese will do. Fill with chicken mixture and top with a slice of cheese. Put a couple of inches of water in the bottom of a pot, place cups in pot, cover pot and steam for about 15 minutes.

Traditionally, this chicken dish was prepared and served in the shell of an Edam cheese rind after baking in an oven or steaming in the top of a double boiler. If you do it this way the red wax must be removed from the empty shell after it has been soaked in hot water.
For a more dramatic-looking version, the filled Edam, with red wax intact, is tied in a cheesecloth and suspended in boiling water for 20 minutes, The wax melts away in the hot water, leaving a delicate pink blush on the cheese.
Whatever method you use, beef can be substituted for the chicken.


Friday, September 18, 2009

Sauces a la Blue

During a recent trip to Flagler Beach, an old-fashioned beach community on the East Coast of Florida between Palm Coast and Daytona Beach, with a giggle (a gaggle would have been  a bigger group) of travel writers, we dined on some exceptional food.

All of us fell in love with Chef Gary Maresca and his wife, Kelli O'Reilly, who run Blue, a divine restaurant in the downstairs of Topaz Hotel, maybe a mile south of the Flagler Beach Pier. Gary, who's been working in food since the age of 12, developed his culinary chops working at Riverview in Oakdale, Long Island; the Daily Grill in Los Angeles; and Ruth's Chris in Beverly Hills.

I talked him into sharing two recipes for sauces so full of flavor that, in the words of Paul Prudhomme, "They dance in your mouth."

Note: Both are on the spicy side so go slow adding the hot stuff and season to your taste.

Wasabi Encrusted Oysters
1 lb. butter softened to room temperature                  1/2 cup wasabi powder
1/2 cup horseradish                                                    3/4 cup honey
2 cups Panko bread crumbs

Combine butter, wasabi and horseradish and blend well with your hands. Add honey and bread crumbs and combine until it forms a paste.
Shuck oysters and top with wasabi butter. Bake at 400 degrees for 5 minutes until golden brown. Drizzle with teriyaki sauce and sprinkle with a little minced red pepper and green onion then serve.

Store unused topping refrigerated for up to two weeks while you see what other foods it enhances (I'm thinking maybe as breading for shrimp).
Note: Gary originated this sauce as a crusty coating for salmon; the idea of adding a little Asian fusion to an existing recipe came to him in a dream, he said.

Mango Chili Garlic Glaze

2 cups diced mango (1/2-inch dice)                   1 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup sugar                                                         2 TBS fresh chopped garlic
1 1/2 cups water, separated                                1/2 cup corn starch
2 tsp. red pepper flakes

Combine sugar and vinegar in a sauce pot on high heat until sugar is dissolved. Add garlic, red pepper flakes and 1 cup of water.
While that mixture comes to a boil, combine 1/2 cup water with corn starch to create a slurry, add to sauce pot and stir until thickened. Remove from heat and glaze meat.
 Note: This is spicy and sweet - "The meat has the flavor, the sauce has the heat," said Gary, who uses this on duck but I can think of other meats - like pork or game - it would jazz up.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Red Mountain Spa in St. George, Utah is famous for its food, rated among the "Top Spa Cuisine" in Destination Spas by Conde Nast in 2007.

I was there a number of years ago and can confirm that rating. No one ever felt deprived. Satisfied, yes. Deprived, no.

You can go to their web site,, click on "recipe of the month" and pull up a whole list of options.

I had several favorites but most contained ingredients that are hard to find in your average grocery store. Here is one that doesn't.

Vegetarian Chili

1/2 eggplant, peeled and diced                  1/4 tsp olive oil
1/2 onion, diced                                        1/3 tsp garlic, minced
3/4 green bell pepper, minced                   14 oz. canned tomatoes
10 oz. red ripe tomatoes                            2 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 1/3 tsp cumin powder                             1 1/3 tsp oregano powder
1 1/3 tsp basil powder                               2/3 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt                                     2/3 tsp fennel seed
3 1/2 TBS fresh parsley, chopped fine         1/2 cup pinto or anasazi beans, cooked
1/2 cup garbanzo beans, canned                1 3/4 tsp fresh dill, chopped
2 1/2 tsp lemon juice

Peel and dice eggplant. Place in a sieve or perforated pan and sprinkle with kosher salt. Let stand for 1 hour and dry.
Preheat a soup pot and add enough olive oil to coat the bottom.
Saute eggplant, onions, garlic and green pepper until tender.
Add remaining ingredients and cook over medium heat for 25-30 minutes, stirring frequently.
The yield is about 6 cups or 12 servings of 1/2 cup for a total of 47 calories.

Few of us would be satisfied with such a small portion but here's the trick. Steam a cored red pepper per person. Cut off the top, scoop in 1/2 cup of the veggie chili and the combination will be plenty. Especially if you serve with a few low cal crackers or chips and a big low-cal salad then follow with a low-cal dessert.

If only we all had a spa chef in the kitchen .....

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Jazzy Snapper

Chef Aaron Webb recently showed a group of travel writers how he prepares his signature snapper. It's by far the most popular dish in the wildly popular Sunday Brunch at the Casa Marina Hotel in Jacksonville Beach.

It isn't nearly as hard as it looks either.

Casa Marina Diced Snapper
Chef looks for 10-12-pounders but you can use whatever size snapper you need or want. (Don't expect leftovers whatever size you prepare.) The fresh fish should be gutted and cleaned with its side fins snipped off, something a good fish monger can do for you.

Cutting all the way down to the center bone and avoiding the other bones as you would in a fillet, slice across the fish in one direction, then score in another to produce a checkerboard effect. Turn the fish over and repeat. I didn't really need to add use a very sharp knife, did I?

Seasoning is a cinch. Chef Aaron changes it up each Sunday, but when he did it for us he used a combination of granulated garlic, cumin, fresh dill, finely ground pepper and a touch of oil-based Thai chili sauce.

Rub your mixture inside the slices until the fish is thoroughly seasoned.

Spray a baking pan with fat-free oil, then stuff bunched up aluminum foil in the belly of the fish so it sits up as if swimming across the pan. Baste the fish with olive oil and bake it until the meat is almost flaking. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes to finish cooking as you garnish.

Voila - a stunning presentation. The small, delicious squares of fish easily come away from the bones, which soon is all that you'll have left.

We were at the Casa Marina for a first hand look at how its weddings and receptions come together so of course we had to try the deep pink drink they created. Here it is.

Wedding Cake Martini
4 oz. Stoli Vanilla                                     2 oz. DiSaronno
Splash of pineapple juice                          Dash of Grenadine

Shake well with crushed ice, strain and serve in a martini glass with sugared rim. Mazel tov!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Cuisine a la Cruise

Eating is a large part of any cruise and many ships' kitchens have made feeding fabulous fare to masses of people an art form.

Princess Lines' Corporate Chef Alfredo Marzi, for example. I was fortunate to have met this talented man aboard one of the early Mediterranean cruises of the just christened Emerald Princess. Not only did he feed us superbly, he gave me an autographed copy of Courses: A Culinary Journey, a gorgeous book featuring favorite recipes from the lines' itineraries.

I want to share with you two recipes from it, one an unusual eggplant parmigiana from the Mediterranean, the other a yummy chilled fruit soup served during cruises along the coasts of Canada and New England.

Eggplant Parmigiana
Serves 6
Note: Preparing the sauce ahead of time makes this relatively quick and easy. Eggplant can be sliced or stacked if you prefer.
Tips: To peel tomatoes easily, cut a small "x"  in the bottom (opposite stem end) of each and place in boiling water for about 20 seconds. Remove, place in ice water to stop the cooking and the skin will slip right off.
Fresh Tomato Sauce
1/4 cup olive oil                                              8 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
4 pounds Roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped or good quality canned ones
2 cups onion, small dice                                  2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped                           1/4 cup fresh oregano, chopped
salt and pepper                                                1 tsp butter, cold
Heat olive oil gently in a heavy stock pot, saute onions and garlic until translucent. Increase the heat, add chopped tomatoes and sugar. Stir often to allow for evaporation and prevent burning for about 10 minutes. Add the fresh herbs and season with salt and pepper. If preparing ahead of time, stop here.

6 medium Long Tom or any other kind of eggplant
1 cup mozzarella, shredded                             3/4 cup Parmesan, shredded
olive oil for frying                                             2 garlic cloves
salt and pepper                                                fresh basil leaves
Cut eggplant lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices keeping them connected at the stem end. Salt generously and let sit for 15 minutes to draw out moisture. Rinse off salt and pat eggplant dry with a paper towel.
Heat oil in a saute pan with the garlic cloves to season the oil. Cook eggplant until tender and nicely browned on each side. Form them into fans as they cook.
Preheat broiler. Place eggplant fans on baking tray, season with salt and pepper and top with cheeses. Broil until cheese is melted and brown.
Meanwhile, cook tomato sauce 3 more minutes until hot, stir in the cold butter and pour onto plates. Arrange eggplant on top and garnish with basil leaves.

Chilled Golden Delicious Apple and Peach Soup
Serves 6
Tips: To peel fresh peaches easily, cut small "x" at the bottom, place in boiling water for1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Remove, place in cold water and pull skin off with a small knife. To keep apples from turning brown either squeeze juice from 1 lemon into 2 cups of water or fill a bowl with orange juice. Put apple pieces in the liquid as you cut them.

2 cups Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1 cup apple juice or cider                                    2 cups peaches, peeled
1/2 cup orange juice                                           1 cup plain yogurt
2 cups fresh cream                                              1 TBS honey
1/2 cup dark rum                                                cinnamon

2 Golden Delicious apples                                   2 peaches, peeled and diced
fresh mint
Puree the apples with the apple juice in a blender or food processor until smooth. Set aside. Separately blend peaches and orange juice until smooth. Reserve a small bit of peach puree for garnish.
Combine the remaining peach puree, apple puree, yogurt, cream, honey and rum. Mix well and season lightly with cinnamon and nutmeg. Refrigerate well.
Serve soup in a chilled bowl, garnishing with diced apples and peaches, mint leaf and drops of peach puree.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Serious Southern Comfort

The 1842 Inn is an elegant, truly historic, four-star, four-diamond hostelry in the beautiful Southern city of Macon, GA. Approaching it along a street of antebellum homes then sitting by the fireplace for a relaxing cocktail, you feel as if you have been transported to a more gracious time.

When you taste this libation, served in an icy cold silver julep cup, you'll be glad you are in the here and now.

1842 Inn Mint Julep
Mint                                                          Simple syrup
1 1/2 jigger of Southern Comfort             1/2 jigger of amber rum
 Angostura Bitters

Simple syrup: Boil a handful of mint until it turns brown and strain through a piece of cheesecloth. Use one full cup of sugar for every quart of liquid. Stir until sugar dissolves.
Julep: Fill mint julep cup or glass with ice, preferably crushed. Pour in the Southern comfort and rum and fill the cup with the simple syrup. Ad two drops Angostura aromatic bitters. Stir and garnish with a large sprig of mint.

For information on the 1842 Inn, go to
For information on Macon, go to
To read my post on Macon for Levelers (travelers who prefer or need less strenuous walking and fewer stairs), go to

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Pie for dinner?

Yes, you can have pie for lunch or dinner and the balanced meal police won't get you.

In Charleston, SC, where it's almost impossible to find a bad meal, they've raised Tomato Pie to an art form. Everyone there has a "best" version, but this one is hard to beat for simple to make and simply delicious to eat. It makes even store-bought tomatoes taste good.

Charleston Tomato Pie
1 pie crust
2 medium onions sauteed in 1Tbs butter until translucent
4 tomatoes sliced
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup mayo
1 1/2 Tbs dried basil
Bake pie crust 5 to 10 minutes as directed on package (What did we do before frozen pie crusts?). Cover bottom of pie with sauteed onions and cover those with sliced tomatoes.
Mix basil, mayo and cheese together and spread over tomatoes.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Note: Let it cool a bit before cutting if you can. You can also cook it almost til done and finish the next day which will make it easier to serve in neat slices.

For additional information on the food and facilities in Charleston,
To read my post on Charleston for Levelers (travelers who prefer or need less strenuous walking and fewer stairs, go to

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Do Share!

I'll keep this going but would love to hear from fellow travelers who also have brought home good recipes as souvenirs.

If you're willing to share, send them to me at I'll make sure you are credited and if there's a story involved, goody! include that too.

Peachy Keen

I recently helped judge the annual Peach-Off, a recipe contest for residents of South Carolina's five primary peach-growing counties.  (In case you didn't know, South Carolina produces more peaches than any other state except for California.)

Here are some of my favorites, beginning with the amateur category and ending with the professionals.

Peach Cheesecake - 1st Place Desserts
Note: You and your guests will love this.

Crust:               1 ¼ cup graham cracker crumbs
                        ¼ cup sugar
                        ¼ cup melted butter
Mix together and press into aluminum-lined springform pan – spray sides of pan with non-stick spray.
Filling:             3 8-ounces cream cheese
                        1 ¼ cup sugar
                        1/8 teaspoon salt
                        4 eggs
                        1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
Topping 1 :      2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
                        1 ¼ cup sugar
                        1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Topping 2:       2 cups chopped fresh peaches
                        ½ cup mango juice
                        1/3 cup sugar
                        2 ½ tablespoons cornstarch

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix cream cheese, sugar and salt in mixer until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla extract. Bake for 50 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes.
Combine ingredients for Topping 1 in mixer and pour over cheesecake. Reset oven to 450 degrees and bake for 10 minutes. Let cake cool completely.
Combine ingredients for Topping 2 and cook over medium heat until mixture bubbles and thickens. Let cool and top cake.

Ray Craft
Laurens, SC

Peach Cobbler – 2nd Place Desserts
Cobblers like this are hard to resist.
1 stick butter or margarine, melted
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ cup milk
3 cups peaches
½ cup sugar

Combine dry ingredients. Add milk to dry ingredients. Add mixture to butter. Layer fruit on top and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes.

Annette Elwood
Laurens, SC

Peach Preserves – 1st Place Jams and Jellies
2 cups peaches
1 cup sugar
Cinnamon to taste

Prepare as many peaches as you need. Let stand overnight. Add cinnamon to taste. Cook until peaches are done. Take peaches out of juice and cook juice a little more. Put in hot jars and seal.

Helen Carpenter
Trenton, SC

Spicy Peach Jam – 2nd Place Jams and Jellies
5 pounds ripe peaches, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 ½ pounds sugar

Tie spices in bag. Mix peaches and sugar well and add bag of spices. Boil until the consistency of jelly. Remove spice bag. Pack in hot jars and seal tightly. Makes approximately 4 pints.

Mary Eddie Lindley
McCormick, SC

Spiced Peach-Carrot Bread – 1st Place Side Dishes
Note: Even though the judges were full to bursting, we went back for seconds of this. 

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 ½ cups chopped peaches
¾ cup grated carrots
¾ cup chopped nuts (pecans and walnuts)
2/3 cup vegetable oil
½ cup milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray bottom of loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Add remaining dry ingredients. Stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Spoon batter into pan. Bake 65-70 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven; cool in pan 5 minutes. Loosen sides of loaf from pan; remove loaf to cooling rack. Cool completely. Serves 12.

Ellen J. Cook
McCormick, SC

Spiced Peaches – 2nd Place Side Dishes
3 cups apple cider vinegar
2 cups water
8-9 cups sugar
1 teaspoon whole cloves
48 peeled peaches (firm, prefer cling stone peaches)

Mix all ingredients except peaches in a large pot. Let mixture come to a boil and drop in peaches. Cook until done (test with a fork). Put in quart jars and seal. Add peaches until juice is used up.

Helen Carpenter
 Trenton, SC

 Professional Category

Peach Punch – Best Creativity
Note: Depending on how you make it, this punch can be a mild or potent; either way it will be popular. 

Peel, pit and puree 4 ripe peaches with ¼ cup sugar

Mix this with:
2 cups Southern Comfort
1 cup Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka
2 cups lemonade
4 cups ginger ale

To serve: Mix about half and half with either champagne or Sprite.

Jason Bundrick
Jacobs Highway Study Club
Clinton, SC

Peach and Havarti Dessert – Best Taste
 Note: This was everyone's favorite. It could be dessert or a dynamite appetizer. However and whenever you serve it, there won't be any left. I won't admit how many times we judges went back for another taste!
Croissant dough
6 fresh peaches
1 ½ pounds Havarti cheese
½ cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup
Slivered almonds to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 9 inch X 13 inch pan with croissant dough and bake for 6-8 minutes. Remove pan from oven and evenly distribute 1 ½ pounds Havarti cheese cut into ½-inch cubes. Cover with croissant dough to form top crust. Bake for 12-15 minutes (until dough is brown and cheese has had a chance to evenly melt). Dice 6 fresh peaches and glaze over low heat with the Golden Syrup (about 8 minutes). Evenly pour peach mix over pan. Sprinkle with slivered almonds to garnish.

Jason Bundrick
Jacobs Highway Study Club
Clinton, SC

Baked Peach Delight – Best Presentation
Note: Looked as good as it tasted.

6 vanilla wafers
3 tablespoons chopped pecans
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1 ½ tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
3 firm but ripe large peaches, washed, wiped clean of fuzz, halved and pitted
Amaretto Flavored Whipped Cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 11 inch X 7 inch X 1 inch glass baking dish. Combine cookies, almonds, flour and sugar in processor. Using on/off turns, process until cookies and almonds are coarsely chopped. Add chilled butter to processor Using on/off turns, process topping mixture until moist clumps form. Place peach halves, cut side up, in prepared dish. Spread topping over surface of each peach half (about 1 generous tablespoon for each), pressing lightly to adhere and leaving ¼-inch plain border. Bake peaches until tender when pierced with knife and topping is golden brown, about 35 minutes. Cool slightly. Transfer 1 warm roasted peach half to each of 6 plates. Top with scoop of amaretto whipped cream alongside.

James Patterson
Musgrove Mill Golf Club
Clinton, SC

Caramelized Peach Soup with Vanilla Crème Fraiche – Best Recipe
Note: This is a wonderfully refreshing way to start a meal.

3 large peaches, peeled, halved, pitted
1 large peach, peeled, halved, pitted to be sliced as garnish
4 sprigs of fresh mint to be used as garnish
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 ½ tablespoons honey
1 ½ cups fresh-squeezed orange juice
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon fine red sea salt
1 to 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
¼ cup crème fraiche (may substitute sour cream)
1 4-inch piece vanilla bean, split lengthwise (may substitute ½ teaspoon vanilla flavoring)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss peaches, sugar and honey in large bowl. Place peaches, cut side down, on prepared baking sheet. Roast peaches 15 minutes, turn over and bake until tender and juices begin to caramelize, about 10 minutes longer. Scrape peaches and pan juices into food processor and cool; blend until smooth. Add orange juice, cinnamon and salt; blend until smooth. Transfer soup to medium bowl. Season to taste with lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate until cold. Place crème fraiche in small bowl. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean halves and mix well. Ladle soup into 4 bowls; top with dollop of vanilla cream. Garnish with fresh peach slices and a spring of mint, if desired.

James Patterson
Musgrove Mill Golf Club
Clinton, SC

For information on South Carolina's peach-growing district, go to