Peach Compote or Kompot A Refreshing Fruit Drink

Peach Kompot-7121A recent trip and talking food and drink with some Romanian ladies, inspired  this Eastern European fruit drink known as compote or kompot. Mothers and grandmothers would make this much-loved refreshing fruit drink at home, made with fruit, sugar and water. With lots of fresh peaches in my kitchen, some were grilled and added to a tasty quinoa and chicken salad and the rest used to make this Peach Compote… for drinking. I am sure this fruit drink has less sugar than the overly sweet fruit drinks found at supermarkets.

The fruit compote I am familiar with is the dessert version, where fresh or dried fruit is lightly poached in a small amount of water, fruit juice or alcohol with added sugar and spices. Really, both are very similar and as this peach compote is for drinking, the volume of liquid is greater.

Peach Kompot-0675The recipe below is only a basic guide and you could experiment with other fruits and flavourings. Use pears, apples, plums, cherries rhubarb or berries, or try a combination of fruits. Try adding spices and flavourings such as cloves, cinnamon, allspice, star anise, vanilla or citrus peels. Use honey or raw sugar as sweeteners. Depending on the sweetness and type of fruit you use, adjust the amount of sugar to suit your taste. If you fancy turning this peach compote into a cocktail, add a little brandy to the chilled drink before serving, a very nice alternative. If you like, serve some of the poached fruit with the drink, which they did in Romania.

Peach Compote Fruit Drink

Ingredients:
7 peaches, halved, stoned and quartered
8 tablespoons of sugar
1.5 liters of cold water
Juice of one lemon
1 whole vanilla pod (optional) (after use, rinse and dry, use to make vanilla sugar)
fresh or frozen raspberries, for garnish (optional)

How to make:
Add the sugar and water to a saucepan and on low heat, dissolve the sugar. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Add the peaches, lemon juice and vanilla pod, simmer very gently for about 6 to 8 minutes, or until the peaches are softened but not mushy. Remove the saucepan from the heat, cover with a lid and leave to cool. Place the saucepan into the fridge for about 8 hours or overnight to further infuse and intensify the flavour of the fruit drink.
Remove the vanilla pod and pour or strain the contents into a large serving jug. Serve some of the fruit with each drink, if preferred. Serve chilled and garnish each drink with a raspberry, if using.
Note: If you are making this fruit drink with berries, simmer them for about 2 or 3 minutes.

 

In My Kitchen August 2014

IMK_August_2014-7081

Celebrations are a great excuse to bake something indulgent and luscious. Over the Eid holidays we enjoyed a delicious home-baked cheesecake, which always goes down a treat. It also reminds me that I must post a cheesecake recipe on this blog sometime soon. Once again, continuing the monthly In My Kitchen posts and joining with Celia’s blog Fig Jam and Lime Cordialshowcasing a few more treasures from my kitchen.IMK_August_2014-7127

These cute little pottery bowls and mug are little reminders of a few days spent in Bucharest. I think they are a perfect size for holding seasonings or mustards and also make pretty little props for my food photography.
IMK_August_2014-1059Ditched my old poacher when I came across these handy silicone poach pods, we love poached eggs in our family and they get plenty of use. Apparently you can poach other foods in them but have never gotten around to doing this. Would love to know if you have any other great uses for poach pods, if you use them?
IMK_August_2014-1383
When it comes to blending soups I find myself reaching for my old immersion blender, so easy to use and clean up is a breeze.
IMK_August_2014-7128Picked up this cute wooden board in Bucharest but at the moment it’s looking a bit sad. A nice homemade fromage blanc would liven it up and with the cheese knife I guess this makes it my new mini cheeseboard.

Quinoa Salad with Grilled Peaches and Chicken

Black Quiona Salad with Grilled Peaches and  Chicken-7093-2

When you find peaches that actually smell and taste like peaches, it’s a good time to put them to good use in the kitchen. Already a fan of white Doughnut Peaches, decided to use these yellow peaches in this delicious Quinoa Salad with Grilled Peaches and Chicken. I am sure by now you know how to pronounce quinoa. When I first came across quinoa I mispronounced the word and watching a cooking program highlighting quinoa set me straight, “keen-wah” sounded so much more edible! Hailed as a superfood and the “gold of the Incas”, quinoa is high in protein and a good source of minerals and fiber.

Black Quiona Salad with Grilled Peaches and  Chicken-7145You can use the red or white varieties of quinoa with this recipe but I love the contrasting colors of the black quinoa, grilled yellow-orange peaches, white creamy feta cheese and green rocket leaves. Black and red quinoa have a bit more a bite, with a crunchier texture than fluffy white quinoa. Even if your packet of quinoa states that it has been pre-washed, it’s a good idea to give it a good rinse anyway, as some of the seeds natural coating of saponins (which are bitter-tasting) may remain. Do use a fine meshed strainer when rinsing, otherwise you will end up washing those tiny quinoa seeds down the drain of your kitchen sink. Love the tiny squiggly tails of the cooked quinoa seeds, which you can see in the front bowl above.

Black Quiona Salad with Grilled Peaches and  Chicken-7092

If you wish to cut corners, buy a ready roasted chicken and simple slice it instead of grilling the chicken fillets. There are many other ways of adding this superfood to your recipes, like these Roasted Shrimp Quinoa Spring Rolls. In fact these Healthy Shrimp and Kiwi Rolls that I made perviously would also be delicious with a few tablespoons of cooked quinoa added to the filling. I have not made patties out of quinoa yet, but might be inspired to make them after seeing these tasty looking Garlic and Thyme Quinoa Patties. A tasty and colorful salad to brighten up your August and perfect for serving at lunch or a light evening meal, or when dining “al fresco”.

Quinoa Salad with Grilled Peaches and Chicken

(serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 225g of quinoa, black or red
  • 500ml of cold water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 4 chicken fillets (boneless and skinless) (flatten each fillet to a 1/4 inch thickness)
  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil
  • 4 peaches, halved, stone removed and each half cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 teaspoons of honey
  • 4 handfuls of rocket leaves
  • 1 large spring onion finely chopped (green and white part)
  • 110g of creamy feta cheese, cut into small cubes or you could use a soft goats cheese

For the dressing

  • 1/2 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 small garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning

 

How to make: Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer under cold running water. Add the quinoa, water and sea salt to a medium saucepan and bring the contents of the pan to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook the quinoa for 15 minutes until tender and all the water is absorbed. Place the cooked quinoa into a bowl, fluff up with a fork and leave to cool.

Heat a ridged grill-pan to high. Brush the chicken fillets with olive oil and season with some sea salt. Heat a ridged grill-pan to medium high and lightly brush the grill pan with some olive oil. Grill the chicken fillets for about 3 to 4 minutes each side (depending on thickness) or until done. Remove to a plate and cool.

Gently toss the peach slices and honey together. Heat a ridged grill pan to medium and lightly brush with olive oil. Grill peaches for about 2 minutes on each side or until grill marks are visible and the peaches have softened a little, but not mushy. Remove to a plate and cool.

To make the salad dressing: Add the mustard, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar and garlic into a small bowl. Whisk the ingredients together, then gradually whisk in the olive oil. Season the dressing with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

To assemble: Toss the quinoa, spring onion and  2 tablespoons of the dressing together, season to taste with a little more sea salt if needed. Scatter the quinoa salad over the base of a serving plate. Cut the chicken fillets into slices and place on top of the quinoa. Place the grilled peaches in between the chicken slices and dot the feta cheese cubes over the chicken and peaches. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the salad and serve.