Sunday, September 13, 2009

Midnight Snack: S'mores & Broiled Peaches


Welcome to a new feature here at Beach City Cooking: Midnight Snack. Think of this feature as a tribute to those of you who are up late, hungry, and browsing food blogs. This frequent feature will help you treat yourself to an occasional midnight snack, some of which will be healthier, some of which will be decidedly more dessert-y. Either way, the goal is to provide you, the reader, with a delicious late-night treat designed to stave off hunger when you have a late night of work or much-needed relaxation in front of you.

First, let's make some s'mores. This classic campfire snack can easily be recreated in the comfort of your home, provided you have a gas burner. Even better, it's Oliver Twist's favorite dessert, so you can revel in your literary expertise as you chow down on these crispy, melty treats. The great thing about s'mores is the nostalgia they fuel in many of us--whether you made them in the microwave or in near-darkness over a bonfire at your summer camp, chances are pretty decent you have a fond memory of eating s'mores, or something like them, as a kid.


To start, you'll need your s'more mise en place work done: place two pieces of Hershey's chocolate on two graham crackers, leaving two more graham crackers for sandwiching purposes.


Next, place a marshmallow on a BBQing skewer and turn your gas burner to medium-high. Hold your marshmallow just above the heat.


The closer to the heat it gets, the nicer the char it gets. If it lights on fire, blow it out. Always be super-careful with an open flame like this.


Place your first marshmallow on the side with the chocolate, so the chocolate can begin to melt.


Let's take a closer look. Looks good to me!


Make your second marshmallow and place it on the lonely, remaining pieces of chocolate.


Smush, and enjoy.

See, the idea behind these Midnight Snack posts is that their preparation needs to really sync up with your level of brainpower at this hour, in terms of complexity and speed. A sophisticated pastry might be delicious at Midnight, but it's going to take a lot more time and effort than your tired brain may have cells or patience for.

With this in mind, the Broiled Peaches recipe, from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything, is even simpler than the above s'mores.


Start by halving a peach. A nectarine would also work well, and that's what I used this time. Place a teaspoonful of butter in the core.


Spoon a few teaspoons of honey into the core. Repeat these steps with your remaining peach or nectarine halves. You could probably try this recipe out with other, similar-size stone fruits with different, but equally delicious, results.


Keep an eye on your peach halves, and after 2-3 minutes, they should be starting to blister and just beginning to bubble. Serve in small bowls and enjoy.


Thanks for stopping by Beach City Cooking, and I'll see you all very soon for another edition of Windy City Cooking! Have a great night, and stay cool! (And get some sleep!)

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