Peach salad with goat’s cheese, pecans and chile pequin

Anyone need a stove? Please, take mine and put me out of my misery. Even looking at it makes me break out in a sweat. These days, you’ll find me standing in front of an open freezer, eating ice cream out of the container. Classy, right?

We’re well and truly in the dog days of summer. It’s hot and steamy – the kind of days when it takes all the energy you can muster just to pop another ice cube into your gin & tonic. The idea of actually cooking something is absurd, laughable and down right sadistic.

And even if you could stomach a pot of boiling water, who wants a plate of hot pasta? Or how about a nice hot stew? No. Way.

Nope, what we want is something cool with no muss and no fuss. A slice of watermelon with a pinch of chile de arbol and flakes of sea salt. Gazpacho with a sneaky dash of habanero to jazz it up. Or how about slices of peach – sliced razor thin and perfectly ripe – with some crumbled goat’s cheese, pecans and an acidy vinaigrette and a generous sprinkle of chile pequin?

So please – take my stove. Just remember to return it in the Fall.

Serves 2-3

2 peaches, halved & sliced thinly

1-2 oz. goat’s cheese, crumbled

1 ½ Tbsp. chopped pecans

Chile pequin

Vinaigrette

2 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar

2 Tbsp. olive oil

Salt

Pick a plate. A pretty plate. Arrange the peach slices with an artistic flourish. Remember, your eyes eat before your mouth does. Whisk together the vinegar and oil, taste and season with salt. Drizzle some over the peaches. Dot the goat’s cheese and pecans on top then wet them with a bit more vinaigrette. Sprinkle the chile pequin and serve, preferably in a cool place with a generous glass of rosé wine.

Caramelized chile pears & pecans

Well it’s official. And we knew it was coming. It’s like your mother-in-law who comes around every Christmas whether you invite her or not. It’s Autumn. Or Fall. Call it what you will. It’s officially here and it’s not going anywhere for awhile.

Come to think of it, you ask, why do we call it Fall? Well our good friend, the world wide web has a thing or two to say about this. Apparently, Fall comes from the Old English feallan which means “to fall or to die”. Well isn’t that cheery? Eventually, some smart so-and-so shortened feallan to fall. The Brits stick with Autumn while we say Fall.

And there you have it. Death. Fall means death. Summer is done and dusted and Fall is here with lots of dead things. Like leaves that fall faster than you can shake a rake at. Or that tomato plant that’s on its last hurrah. It’s over folks. Hunker down like a hibernating bear because this is it until Spring.

But hold on. It’s not that depressing, is it? Fall is pumpkins. And fires in the fireplace. And that cold nip in the air that makes you breath in deeper. It’s Halloween and that obnoxious kid from down the street who always tries to grab all the candy but you get there first and yank the bowl away. C’mon, you love. You know you do.

And finally we can cover up the BBQ and quit pretending we like to blacken everything, including our eye brows. We can go inside and turn on the oven without passing out from the heat. We can eye the box of Christmas decorations and wonder if it’s really naughty if we put the Christmas tree up before Thanksgiving this year.

And there are pears and caramel and red chile. And heck, if that’s not enough to get you smiling, then I don’t know what is.

Carmelized chile pears & pecans

4 pears

¼ cup brown sugar

2 oz. unsalted butter

¼ cup pecans

½ tsp Chile Molido Powder Hot

Pinch of salt

squeeze of lemon

COYO Coconut Milk Yogurt

Place the butter and sugar in a frying pan over medium heat. Stir in the chile, salt and pecans.  Slice the pears in quarters or sixths (depending on the size) and add to the mixture. Stir gently to coat. Continue to cook until the pears are tender but still retain their shape. Add a generous squeeze of lemon, taste and add more chile if you so desire.

Place a healthy serving of COYO into four bowls and divide the pears equally (well not equally, give yourself more) along with the caramel sauce. Devour and go to bed, it’s Fall for heaven’s sake.