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Oregonian Eats

Hi, it’s me. It’s almost been a whole friggin’ month since I last blogged and for that, I ought to be flogged repeatedly over the head with a stale baguette. But sometimes, life gets in the way of being a food blogger.


No, I haven’t been neglecting to blog because I’ve been skipping town or running barefoot on the beach; I take you too seriously to pull something like that. In addition to the nine-to-fiver being a bit nuts as of late, I’ve also taken on some work that I think you might be pretty jazzed about, my dear, unknown reader. I’m the official freelance food writer for South Pasadena’s newest online source of local news – SouthPasadenaPatch.com! The website officially launches on October 11th, but has been in the works for some time now. Patch.com, the parent site, hosts “e-newspapers” for many different cities all over the good ol’ U.S. of A. – and they’re growing rapidly. Yours truly will be writing the weekly Farmer’s Market column (appropriately named, “Farmer’s Corner”) in addition to the occasional restaurant review and random hard news story (I’m your new go-to gal for all things water conservation in South Pas). Be sure to check it out once the site is up!

So…where was I? Oh yeah, my month-long disappearance from the blogging world. It was more of a sabbatical, if you will. I’m sorry. Really I am. To make up for it, I ate my way through Portland last weekend for you. I went there to visit my best friend in the whole entire world. She knows how to roast a chicken. Isn’t that great? I think you’re officially an adult when you know how to roast a chicken. Guess I’m still a kid. I didn’t take any pictures of her chicken because, well, she’s still working on her presentation skills (sorry, Cait). It was damn good, though – trust me. I’m a food blogger. No month-long sabbatical will ever change that fact, you hear me? It’s part of the fabric of my very being.

Here are some highlights from my little vacay. Enjoy.

We visited Barista nearly every morning of my stay in Portland. The coffee there is superb. Their Stumptown coffee beans are roasted in Portland – a “claim-to-fame” for the quaint, Pacific Northwestern city. Strong, earthy and a bit on the bitter side, these beans will give you a morning jolt, alright. Barista also sells Intelligentsia coffee beans, as all pretentious coffee houses do. And don’t think I’m knocking pretentious coffee houses; I only buy coffee from pretentious coffee houses. The more snooty the staff and clientele, the better the cappuccino. It’s science!

Then there was our eight-mile hike on Sauvie Island. The idea was to knock out the hike and then go to U-Pick Farms on the island and literally pick our own produce for dinner. But after getting a bit lost on the trail and ending up hiking for far longer than anticipated, we didn’t quite have the energy to pick our own stuff. Food blog or no food blog, I was more than willing to let “Them-Pick”.

Sweet veggies, eh? We got some zucchini to make bread, but exhaustion kicked in soon after eating dinner and we quickly traded our aprons in and hit the sack early. The corn-on-the-cob, however, was sweet and delicious; a perfect complement to our savory roast chicken.

Our most fabulous meal in Portland came from a small French eatery, Le Pigeon, on the east side of the Williamette River. The restaurant decor made me wish I had a French granny who would serve me tea and croissants on her fine china. It was so quaint and rustic! Communal tables usually make me uncomfortable but I actually felt like it added to the dining experience in a positive way; casual-but-fine-dining all rolled into one. I like restaurants like this one; a place you could get all dolled up for or simply throw on a pair of jeans and your Patagonia fleece (if you’re a Portland local) and not feel out of place either way.

Caitlin and I each had a glass of Williamette Valley Pinot Noir and split a cheese plate to start.

The cheese plate consisted of Bethmale, a raw cow and goat cheese from France; Perrydale, a cow and sheep cheese from Williamette Valley; and Aged Iberico (what I might name my first child), cow, goat, and sheeps milk cheese from Wiscaaaaaansin. Homemade crackers and apple-onion chutney. Gotta make that chutney.

For my main entree, I decided to pull a Julia Child and order the Beef Cheek Bourguignon.

Well folks, it ain’t pretty, but it was indeed delicious. I almost shrieked in excitement when I felt the tender meat shred to pieces beneath the weight of my fork, laden with the rich flavors of butter and full-bodied red wine (Cotes du Rhone, perhaps). This was not a meal for the faint of heart. Caitlin had the duck, which was served on toast and came with kale and sweet peppers. It was good, but hard to compare the gamey flavor and chewy texture to my rich, melt-in-your-mouth…cheek. And yes, I realize the word “cheek” (with or without a “bourguignon” attached to it) is entirely unappetizing.

Dessert was profiteroles with foie gras ice cream, drizzled with salted caramel. Yes, you heard me right – I said, foie gras ICE CREAM. I was (and still am) utterly speechless.

Aaaand a vanilla bean creme brulee with chocolate espresso pot de creme.  Hey…we’d hiked for eight miles the day before. Cut us some slack.

Next on my list of Portland eats: food carts, City Market, and Tabla Mediterranean Bistro.

Mangiare a Mozza

I like Italian food. I know, big surprise, but I felt the need to come clean. The thing about Italian food is that it’s not complicated. Most dishes are fairly low-maintenance, straightforward and don’t require a ton of time spent in the kitchen. But the flavors. The flavors! When done right, Italian food has the same mind-blowing effect on your taste buds as the most complicated French dish. In my opinion, the secret to getting Italian food right is freshness: because produce is largely incorporated into almost every Italian dish, if it’s not fresh, it’s not worth it. Franca Spinelli, my Italian host mother, taught me that many people “these days” don’t know how to pick fresh fruits and vegetables. She’d frustratingly explain to me how people she’d come across at the outdoor markets would often avoid produce that didn’t look perfect at first glance – bruised peaches, lumpy tangerines, a brown-on-one-side tomato. “Questi sono i migliori!” – “These are the best ones!”, she’d exclaim as she threw her hands up in despair. And she was right. Just like books, you shouldn’t judge a fruit or vegetable by its cover. Chances are, the flavor is at its peak at about the time the outside begins to look, well, questionable. Aside from picky produce shoppers, Franca also had a serious bug up her bottom about the eating habits of American students. She used to complain about how they’d order pasta as a primi piatti (first course) and pizza as a secondi piatti (second course). “Troppo farina!!” – “Too much flour!!”, she’d say. A slight digression, but an important lesson from the Book of Franca.

My love for pizza followed me home from Italy and had me chomping at the bit for a visit to Pizzeria Mozza – the restaurant owned by Mario Batali, Italian chef extraordinaire. Although I desperately wanted to visit the more formal side of Mozza, the Osteria (two words: mozzarella bar), my family and I decided to keep our wallets in check and dine at the more affordable Pizzeria.

This dinner was to celebrate a soon-to-be new edition to the family – my sister and her husband’s first baby! I’m gonna be an auntie! Keeping with the theme of the night, I ate until it felt like I was carrying my own little bundle of joy in my belly…only this one was made of pizza. We started the meal with a few appetizers; Mozza’s rendition of a caprese salad, with tomatoes on the vine and buffalo mozzarella all drizzled in a delicious basil pesto. We also ordered Nancy’s chopped salad and the farro salad which had cucumber, tomato, onion and feta cheese. Check it out:

Per le pizze, we got the Coach farm goat cheese pizza with leeks, scallions, garlic and bacon AND one with fennel sausage, panna, red onion and scallions.

Anything with fennel sausage is a winner in my book. Look, there’s not much to say about these pizzas – they were delicious. Personally, I prefer a softer crust and if I could go back and do it all again (which I will), I would’ve ordered a margherita pizza instead of the one with goat cheese. A wise friend once advised me (two nights ago) that to truly give a pizza place a fair shot, you have to try their margherita pizza. It’s pretty much a dietary staple in Italy and it acts as a sort of barometer with which to measure the other pizzas on the menu. Ah well, next time. And trust me, there will be a next time.

Dessert was a smashing success. We ordered the Butterscotch budino with Maldon sea salt and rosemary pine nut cookies.  Sorry about the lighting in this one…

This was so mindblowingly delicious that I just made up a word!!!!!!! And used seven exclamation points. No but seriously, I’m drooling just thinking about that pudding. Salty and sweet, people. Salty. And. Sweet. Hot damn. We also ordered an Affogato – a scoop of vanilla gelato bathed in a shot of espresso and served with almond biscotti. Predictably delicious but nothin’ compared to that budino.

Do yourself a favor and eat at Mozza. You won’t be disappointed. Even Franca would approve (maybe).

Pizzeria Mozza
6602 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 297-0100

New Digs, New Eats

Moving into a new office building has meant a lot of great things for the organization I work for: the lunchtime scene however, is seriously disappointing. Our former location in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles left little to be desired in terms of food and we had our pick of almost every type of cuisine imaginable (Mendocino Farms, I mourn your loss every single day).  Call it a gentrifying work in progress, but the area we’re now in is on the outskirts of the city and there isn’t much by way of interesting eateries – or at least places you aren’t afraid of getting salmonella from.  Having contracted that nasty bug twice in my life, I’m only willing to be so adventurous.

Thankfully, I work with a bunch of foodies and it wasn’t long before one of them discovered a place only 4 blocks away. Being typical Angelenos, we were tempted to drive, but thought better of it once setting foot outside and feeling the glorious 75 degree “summer weather” we were having.  Unfortunately for you, I left my camera at home and wasn’t able to document my very first meal at Wood Spoon. The pictures below were from my second visit. Suffice it to say, it was good…not great, but definitely good. We ordered the Portuguese Croquette and yam fries to start. For those of you who don’t know what a croquette is (and don’t judge; I didn’t know), they are basically small, fried, potato balls. These ones had potato and salted Cod and were served with a cilantro mayonnaise of some sort. As mentioned in my last post, I hate mayonnaise unless its taste is disguised by garlic or a very potent herb. This stuff definitely met my mayo must-haves and after practically licking the ramekin clean, I only wished I’d paid better attention to what exactly was in it. For my entrée, I ordered the Chicken Brazilian Grill plate – or what I like to think of as a “Brazilian Kebab”. Chicken skewers served over black beans, rice, collard greens, plantains and salsa. Sounded like I couldn’t go wrong. And I didn’t…really. To be perfectly honest, it just felt like the whole meal needed to be doused in a bit more salt. It’s sad, really. It had such potential, but…there was just something missing.

Much like an ex who has disappointed you or done you wrong, I believe every restaurant deserves a second chance. Terrible analogy, I know, but I’ll do anything for a laugh some days (even a chuckle). I decided to give Wood Spoon a second go-around. I mean, the yam fries alone were worth going back for. Besides, maybe the chef was having an “off” day the first time I went. Maybe she had a severe allergy to salt and forgot to take her medication that morning. Maybe I’d missed the sign on the door that read, “BYOS” (Bring Your Own Salt). This time, I decided to try the thing that Wood Spoon is apparently known for – chicken pot pie. Figured I couldn’t go wrong with something the Food Network featured on The Best Thing I Ever Ate.

True to form, I had a hard time straying from the things I liked from my first visit,  so a coworker and I started with the potato and salted Cod croquettes and yam fries again.



I loved these yam fries because they were more baked than they were fried. I could eat my weight in yams or sweet potatoes. Next up was the pot pie. I’m no pot pie connoisseur, but truthfully, it didn’t blow my mind. If you like creamy, rich foods, then chances are you’ll like this. It’s been at least 10 years since I’ve eaten pot pie and frankly, it will probably be another ten years before I eat it again. And shoot, not to be a stick in the mud, but it needed more salt! Sorry, Wood Spoon 😦

At least it looked pretty…

Not to beat a dead horse, but I also don’t remember pot pie being so runny inside.  Is my memory failing me or is that how pot pie really is? It was like soup on the inside. Eh, I don’t know. I give Chef Natalia Pereira props anyway just for being Brazilian and cooking in the tiniest kitchen I’ve ever seen. I also have to say that all of the produce looked and tasted incredibly fresh – a major plus in my book.

Although I’m  a bit saddened by the fact that this would-be gem of a restaurant wasn’t all that I’d hoped it would be, I’ll probably go back. There’s gotta be something on the menu that tastes better when under-salted.

Wood Spoon
107 W. 9th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015

213.629.1765

Giada in the House

I don’t know about you, but I crave certain foods pretty consistently. For those of you that know me well, you know chocolate is one of those foods. I. Need. Chocolate. Pretty much everyday. It usually looks something like this: the clock strikes 4 pm and my afternoon slump kicks in.  The carrot sticks and hard boiled egg I packed are not gonna cut it (again).  The next thing I know, I am on a mission, stopping from cubicle to cubicle, hands outstretched, foaming at the mouth like a rabid dog, searching for something – ANYTHING – chocolatey.  Perhaps that’s a bit of an exaggeration. But seriously, it’s like a force outside myself takes over. Obey the force, and all will be well. Disobey and, well, you don’t wanna know what happens…

Burgers are another food I crave pretty consistently. I’m not sure if it’s the meat, the bun, the cheese, or all three that really get me going, but I love ’em. There isn’t a week that goes by that I don’t find myself longing for one at least once. For the sake of my waistline though, that’s one craving I don’t often give in to (chocolate, on the other hand, has antioxidants). What’s a girl to do when her favorite foods are chocolate and cheeseburgers?! I’ll tell you what!

Giada. Some of us know her for her fine Italian cookin’, others of us know her for her (ahem) generous bust that seems to fall into every ragu she prepares. NONETHELESS, my friends, her newest cookbook has become a go-to in our family for tasty recipes. So a couple of nights ago, when my hankering for a burger refused to let up, I decided to turn to good ol’ Giada to quiet the near-revolt in my belly. Chicken burgers with garlic-rosemary aioli. Before you start flailing your arms, screaming words like ‘blasphemy’, and getting yourself all up in a tizzy over a chicken burger, let me assure you that I am not giving up real beef burgers. This is by no means meant to substitute for the real thing. It’s damn good in its own right, but it ain’t beef. Although the recipe calls for ground chicken, we only had ground turkey on hand but it still came out pretty tasty. Half of the aioli is mixed into the meat itself, infusing the patty with an awesome flavor, and also keeping the meat moist. I’m not a fan of mayonnaise, but the garlic and rosemary sufficiently masked its taste. Also, take note: we didn’t have any on hand, but I imagine the spiciness of the arugula that this recipe calls for would balance out the richness of the patty quite well – it got a bit too rich by the end.

Chicken Burgers with Garlic-Rosemary Aioli
From Giada at Home: Family Recipes from Italy and California
Serves 4

Ingredients

Aioli:
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 clove garlic, minced

Burgers:
1 pound ground chicken
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
4 sandwich rolls or burger buns*
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup arugula, divided

1) For the aioli: in a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, garlic, and rosemary; set aside.

2) For the burgers: preheat a gas or charcoal grill or place a grill pan over medium-high heat. In a large bowl, add the ground chicken, salt, pepper, and 1/2 the aioli. Using clean hands, gently combine the ingredients and form the chicken mixture into 4 patties. Place the burgers on the grill and cook for about 7 minutes on each side. Transfer to paper towels and let rest for a few minutes.

3) Brush the cut side of each roll with the olive oil and a teaspoon of the aioli. Grill for 1 to 2 minutes until slightly golden

4) To assemble burgers: spread a dollop of the remaining aioli on the tops and bottoms of the toasted buns. Place the chicken burger on the bottom halves of the buns. Top each with 1/4 cup of arugula and finish with the top half of the bun.

*I bought ciabatta buns for this recipe, but I think they were a wee bit crusty for a burger – I like a softer, sweeter bun, but feel free to experiment with any type.

Enjoy!

Susan Feniger’s Street

Last Wednesday evening, I had the pleasure of dining at Susan Feniger’s Street with my friend and fellow food-blogger, Leela of Spoondles. Unfortunately, I can’t take credit for the decision to dine at Street. Unless we’re talking about a restaurant that is within five miles of my daily life, I tend not to be aware of it. I know, I know – it’s my downfall as a food blogger. At least I’m willing to admit that and have proactively subscribed to literally every e-newsletter out there that is remotely related to food in Los Angeles. And yes, my inbox is a nightmare.

On to the food. Let me first say that this is definitely one street you’re gonna wanna park it on (ba-dum-cha)! Sorry I had to. But seriously, if I were ever going to open a restaurant, I’d want the thinking behind it to be just like Street’s. Susan Feniger artfully combines her love of food and travel and presents it to you on a plate. The eclectic array of eats on the menu makes it hard to categorize this restaurant as any one type of cuisine. Let’s just say, it’s a whole lot more than “California Cuisine” (which frankly, I’m tired of). The menu is laden with Latin, Thai, Ukrainian, and Cheeseburger dishes…oh, oops, I guess that’s not a type of cuisine. If I ever rule the world, it will be.

Leela and I had a hard time deciding what to order – that’s what happens when you plop two food bloggers in a restaurant together. After humming and hawing we ended up ordering tapas-style so as to get the most bang for our buck and also to sufficiently entice our readers (all five of you). I now present you with: our meal, alla Ms. Feniger:

We began our meal with these little guys – I’ll describe them as curried rice-crispy treats (minus the marshmallow). Instead of bread, each table starts with a bowl of these.

I’m no mixologist, but this was damn good – and so refreshing on this particularly balmy LA night. Melon/cucumber/gin cocktail (don’t recall the name).

And we were off with a bang! This was the New Jerusalem Bread Salad. It had artichoke, cucumber, tomato, feta, parsley leaves, and cumin toasted olive bread drizzled with warm sumac oil and fresh lemon. MM.

This may have been my favorite part of the whole meal – and I’m not even a fan of runny eggs! This was their famous Kaya toast spread with coconut jam and served with a soft fried egg drizzled in dark soy and white pepper. Holy smokes. Here’s another shot:

Shoot, that was good.

These were Mexican Ricotta Ñoquis – they had the texture of actual, Italian gnocchi but with a Latin-flavored flare. Sheep’s milk ricotta and maseca dumplings lightly simmered and served with chipotle and tomatillo salsas. Just delicious.

Spinach Varenyky – small Ukrainian dumplings filled with spinach and a light layer of salted cheese; boiled and then pan fired, served with sour cream and lemon marmalade. Per usual, I swooned for the sweet/savory combo – the marmalade with its sweetness and the sour cream with its tartness.

Not the best photo – sorry, it was getting dark and I was anxious to eat. These are the Lamb Kafta Meatballs. When you’re talking lamb, I don’t think there’s much else to say, but I’ll indulge you: these were served with warm Syrian cheese, grape leaves and spiced flatbread. Drizzled with date and carob molasses.

Sauteed black kale with white beans. Honestly, this was my least favorite dish. I love kale, so I’m thinking it was the white anchovy butter I spread on the toast before piling the kale atop that turned me off. I’m not a fan of anchovies and didn’t realize they were in the butter until after the first bite.

Last but CERTAINLY not least, we ordered Rhubarb Strawberry Crisp with Ginger Streusel. Served with a shot of homemade rhubarb cream soda. Hell yes.

Ok, you get the point. It was so good. If it has ginger in it, chances are, I’ll like it. I usually opt for something chocolatey when ordering dessert, but I’m glad I stepped outside my comfort zone ‘cuz this did not disappoint. Rhubarb cream soda?! Come ON!

I wholeheartedly encourage you to eat at Street. The vibe is nice, the food is unique and delicious, and they use sustainable products and organic ingredients. Really, what more could you ask for?

If you’re at all like me, the word “casserole” makes you cringe and think of your old Aunt Lulu’s broccoli and cheddar casserole.  You know, the one she brought over every Christmas (the day you’d inevitably be forced to wear that ugly-ass sweater she bought you). It was the type of dish that never quite looked edible (forget photogenic) and made an actual splatter-like noise when it plopped from the serving spoon onto your plate. I actually don’t have an Aunt Lulu and I don’t think I’ve ever had broccoli and cheddar casserole – but that’s beside the point. Point is, don’t let your casserole woes interfere with what I’m about to disclose. Cuz this stuff is tasty.

Growing up in a house with a personal fitness trainer has not been easy, folks. As a child, I constantly compared my brown-bag lunches to those of my friends. Sitting around the lunch table in the school yard, I would often sulk and think to myself, “Why do they get Ranch Doritos and I get carrot sticks?” or “How come they get Coke/Capri Sun/Sunny-D and I got stuck with this lousy soy milk?” And don’t even get me started on the embarrassment of having friends over and trying to explain my junk-food-less cabinets – and yes, I’m STILL bitter that my mom never bought me one damn box of Cap’n Crunch cereal.  Hmph!  Anyway, I’ll admit, the older I got, the more appreciative I became that Mom raised me the way she did. Once I started learning about food and the value of good nutrition, I realized how right she’d been all those years. Not only that, but nutritious, fresh, wholesome food tasted GOOD. And made me feel great.

Now, I’m not one to turn down a dessert (EVER) nor am I one to abstain from ordering something really rich or fattening at a restaurant – facts you should all know about me by now. I’ve done my share of calorie-counting and stressing out about portion control, but the bottom line is, I love food too much to be so high-strung about it. And I’m not gonna NOT eat something I want. My day-to-day meals are pretty darn healthy and I’m an active girl – so I ain’t trippin’.

The challenge we face in this household is making our healthy eats also be tasty eats – a skill not everyone has mastered. I’m about to give you one easy, healthy, and DELICIOUS way of doing just that. This recipe was given to my family by a close friend and fellow foodie. It’s become a favorite over the years – I even made this in college, so you know it has to be easy. As with many casseroles (probably even Aunt Lulu’s, believe it or not), the longer you let it sit, the better it tastes. Sometimes we make it a day in advance, stick it in the fridge, and reheat the following day. YUM.

Baked Barley & Kidney Bean Casserole
Recipe from Donna Furey

Ingredients

1 clove minced garlic
1/4 cup onion, minced
1 cup barley
2 cups vegetable broth
2, 15-ounce can beans (kidney or black)
1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce
16 ounces cottage cheese
2 Tbsp. chopped, canned green chiles
1/2 12 ounce package soy chorizo (available at most grocery stores)
1 cup shredded jack cheese
2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp. chopped green onion

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2) Saute garlic and onion in pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray over medium heat for about 2 minutes.

3) Stir in rice and cook, stirring until rice begins to brown, about 2 minutes.

4) Stir in broth, cover and let simmer until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Fluff rice with fork, stir in beans.

5) Spoon 1/2 cup enchilada sauce into 2 quart casserole dish. Spoon 1/2 of rice and beans over sauce in an even layer. Pour another 1/2 cup enchilada sauce over rice, then spread cottage cheese over top.

6) Sprinkle with chiles, soy chorizo and the 1/2 cup jack cheese. Spoon remaining rice mixture over cheese and pour remaining 1/2 cup enchilada sauce on top.

7) Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.

8 ) Uncover, sprinkle with 1/2 cup jack cheese and return to oven for 10 minutes.

9) Remove from oven, sprinkle with cilantro, green onions and sour cream (optional). Serve with tortillas.

Healthy food never tasted so good…


Oh My, Peach Pie!

My friend Kate and I don’t exactly embody your average 23-year-old.  While most young women our age can be found painting the town on Friday nights, engaged in sometimes-regrettable behavior, we were in the kitchen, unabashedly baking pies, plotting blog posts, and advising one another on our finances. No shame in that.

Peaches are at their peak right now, so Kate suggested it would be a delicious and blog-worthy endeavor to bust out our aprons and make some peach pie for her BBQ last night. Equipped with our perfect peaches, the Joy of Cooking cookbook, and a chilled bottle of chardonnay, we went to work.

Although our recipe didn’t specify, I suggested we peel the peaches using a tip I learned from my nectarine jam-making adventures. Side note: as an amateur cook, it’s not often that I know how to do much of anything without a recipe in front of me (except for scrambling eggs), so I was pretty proud when I pulled this little pearl of wisdom from my bag o’ tricks: boil a large pot of water and place whole peaches in for about 2-3 minutes (longer if they are less ripe); remove and let sit in an ice bath for another 2-3 minutes, after which time the skins should slip right off. That right there is straight-up innovation. Who’s afraid of straying from a recipe? Not this girl.

Peach Pie
Adapted from The Joy of Cooking

For the crust:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2/3 + 2 Tbsp. Crisco, chilled
4 Tbsp. cold water (plus 1 tsp. to 1 Tbsp added)

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine flour and salt in a large bowl.  Add the Crisco, combining until the mixture resembles a course meal.  

2) Add the 4 Tbsp. water, kneading the dough until it comes together in a nice, little ball. You will probably have to add a couple more teaspoons of water to get the dough to cooperate.  Careful not to over-knead the dough, then cover and set aside in the refrigerator to chill.*

3) Remove dough from refrigerator, divide in half and set atop a lightly floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll out.

4) Place pie dish upside-down on dough, then flip dish and dough over, trimming off any over-hang.

5) Roll out other half of dough, then cut into 1/2 inch strips and set aside.

*The longer you are able to chill the dough, the more manageable it will be when forming the crusts. Some recipes advise chilling for 24 hours, but we only did it for about 20 minutes and didn’t seem to have too much trouble rolling it out.

For the filling:

5 cups fresh peaches
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
2 Tbsp. flour

1) Remove pits from pre-skinned peaches and slice. Pour peaches into pie crust.

2) Combine egg, yolk, and sugar and beat until smooth. Add flour, making sure there are no lumps.

3) Pour egg/sugar mixture over peaches in pie crust.

4) Carefully handling the 1/2 inch dough strips, weave over the peaches, creating a lattice crust. Again, this will be easier and the strips will be less likely to break the longer you are able to chill the dough. But if you’re as impatient as we were, just piece-meal the strips together and make it work.

5) Bake for 5 minutes at 400 degrees, then lower heat to 300 and bake for 50 more minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

We let the pies cool for 24 hours before serving ’em up with some vanilla ice cream. Perfect summer’s eve dessert and a beautiful way to end a lovely BBQ with lovely friends.