I haven’t reviewed a book in a while, and wanted to feature Just Peachy, a cookbook focused on the wonderfully tasty stone fruit currently in season. What’s even better is that the book is written by Chef Belinda Smith-Sullivan, a fellow Dame from South Carolina.
I met Belinda several years ago at the Les Dames d’Escoffier annual conference here in Newport Beach, when our chapter hosted. I led one of the tours during conference, and Belinda happened to be on my tour. We were able to spend a little time chatting, and enjoying a meal together. I love Belinda’s infectious laugh and her uplifting energy. I caught up with her again in Seattle last year, where I also met her husband.
Therefore, I was absolutely thrilled when I received Just Peachy in the mail. Ironically, I am not a huge fan of peaches, but it’s my son’s favorite fruit. Each week, I would come home with an array of peaches for my boy since it is in season right now.
The Buttermilk Peach Waffles recipe is a delightful way to use sweet peaches. I don’t have a sweet palate, so by adding the fruit, I have enough sweetness without needing any syrup. Another great recipe is the Peach Bread Pudding with Rum Peach Coulis. This is an awesome dessert to prepare ahead of time for a potluck, or dinner party.
If you’re looking for savory dishes with hints of sweetness, then you’ll love the Herb Crusted Peach Mustard Pork Tenderloin. Peaches are ideal accompaniment for pork, and here, the mustard adds an acidic component to the sweet fruit.
Besides the 70 recipes, I also loved reading about Belinda’s childhood, and her stories of cooking with her grandma and mother. I’m going to the farmers’ market today, and I’ll be sure to pick up a few more peaches and try out another recipe from the book!
Belinda Smith-Sullivan is a chef, food writer, spice blends entrepreneur, and a commercially-rated pilot. She received a culinary arts degree from Johnson & Wales University and writes a monthly column for South Carolina Living and Bella magazines. Chef Belinda is an active member of the Southern Foodways Alliance, the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP), the American Culinary Federation, and Les Dames d’Escoffier. She lives in Trenton, South Carolina in the heart of South Carolina’s peach country. For more information on Chef Belinda, visit her website, www.ChefBelindaSpices.com.
Just Peachy is available from Amazon.
**Photos courtesy of Mark Broughton**