Despite California’s clear dominance in peach production, the fuzzy fruits are undeniably southern. It’s only natural to pair them with other ingredients from the bottom-most states, and our favorite partner for the produce is bourbon. This match-up might sound like it’s only suitable for sweets, but these ingredients are versatile enough to go with everything from spinach to steak. And yes, we still included some dessert for those of you with a sweet tooth. These six summery recipes will bring the taste of the south into your kitchen no matter where you live.
1. Caramelized Peach Salad
Salad is usually a haphazard mixture of lettuce, some shredded carrots, and a few tomatoes doused with bottled dressing. You’ll enjoy eating your greens a lot more if you bring some better flavors to the table. Kiwi+Peach’s spinach salad with blue cheese and bourbon-glazed peaches is so good, you might actually enjoy it more than the main dish.
While it sounds fancy, this recipe isn’t much more difficult than any other tossed salad. Cook some peaches in a bit of butter, then stir in some maple syrup and cranberries. Deglaze the mixture with a bit of bourbon, and you’re ready to toss it with the spinach and a simple dressing. A hint of blue cheese gives this salad just enough salty bite to send it over the top.
- 2 peaches, pitted, and sliced ½-inch thick
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ⅓ cup pecans
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon bourbon
- 1 (5-ounce) bag spinach leaves
- 3 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Salt and pepper
Directions: Heat a deep skillet over medium heat. When hot, melt butter, and add peaches. Allow to cook 3 minutes, turn, and cook 3 minutes longer. Add pecans, cranberries, syrup, and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine, deglaze with bourbon, and remove from heat.
In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, olive oil, and honey. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
In a large bowl, toss spinach with dressing to coat. Add cheese and peach mixture. Toss to combine. Serve at once.
2. Peach-Bourbon Wings
Chicken wings are a perfect canvas for sweet and savory sauces. Tons of restaurants go the teriyaki route, but we like Food.com’s peach and bourbon rendition even better. These wings forgo the usual bath in hot oil for an easier oven method. If it’s nice outside, this recipe is great for grilling. The flames will enhance the bourbon’s smoky flavor even more. Make sure you have plenty of napkins handy for these snacks, because they’re as messy as they are delicious.
- 1 cup peach preserves
- 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- ¼ cup bourbon
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch stirred into 1 tablespoon water
- 4 pounds chicken wings
Directions: Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 15-by-10-inch pan with nonstick foil.
In a food processor, blend preserves, brown sugar, garlic, and salt until garlic is finely chopped. Remove to a small saucepan, and stir in vinegar. Bring mixture to a simmer over medium heat, and cook for 5 minutes. Add cornstarch mixture while constantly whisking. Cook until thickened, about 2 minutes longer. Set aside about ½ cup of glaze.
Cut wing tips off, and discard. Separate wings at joint forming two pieces from each wing. Place on prepared baking sheet. Brush wings with glaze, and roast for 15 minutes.
Remove pan from oven, turn wings over, and brush with more glaze. Roast until wings are fully cooked, about 15 minutes longer. Turn oven to broil, and crisp 2 to 4 minutes. Serve with reserved ½ cup glaze.
3. Spice-Rubbed Flank Steak with Spicy Peach-Bourbon Sauce
Most guys have a bottle of steak sauce languishing in the fridge and it’ll probably stay there, because it just doesn’t taste that good. Cooking Light takes the concept and turns it on its head by infusing their sauce with the flavors of peach and bourbon. Paired with a spiced steak, the taste can’t be beat. Feel free to try this recipe with some of your other favorite cuts as well. Just don’t go for anything too thick, or the spice rub will burn.
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- ¾ cup chopped onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1½ cups peach nectar
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons bourbon
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1¼ teaspoons garlic powder
- 1¼ teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ¾ teaspoon dry mustard
- ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 (1-pound) flank steaks, trimmed
- Cooking spray
Directions: Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add nectar, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, and vinegar. Bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 1 cup, about 15 minutes. Add bourbon, ketchup, Worcestershire, and pepper flakes. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in lime juice. Let cool slightly. Pour sauce into blender, and blend until smooth.
Preheat grill to medium-high. Combine 1 tablespoon brown sugar, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, coriander, salt, mustard, and pepper in a small bowl. Evenly rub seasoning over both sides of each steak. Grease grill grates with cooking spray. Cook steaks until desired degree of doneness. Let rest at least 5 minutes. Cut steak diagonally across the grain. Serve with sauce.
4. Slow-Cooked Bourbon-Peach Barbecue Pulled Pork
North Carolina takes its barbecue very seriously. A perfect pulled pork sandwich is just smoked meat, slaw, and a bit of tangy sauce. Still, we don’t think they’d mind adding a few more southern staples to the dish. Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch introduces the sweet flavor of peaches and the kick of bourbon to a slowly cooked shoulder, and the results are fantastic.
This version is great for days when you don’t have time to babysit a pork shoulder on the smoker. While some might scoff at the thought of cooking barbecue in a crockpot, a little chipotle helps recreate the smoky flavor. Make some potato salad to serve on the side, and you’ll have a barbecue feast.
- 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder
- ½ large onion, diced
- ½ cup bourbon
- 4 peaches, peeled, and pitted
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 chipotle in adobo, chopped, plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- Hamburger buns
- Tangy Cilantro-Jalapeño-Lime Coleslaw
Directions: Purée peaches in a blender until smooth, and transfer to crockpot along with bourbon and onions. Add garlic, ketchup, vinegar, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, chipotle, adobo, and brown sugar. Mix to combine.
Add pork, and turn to coat. Cook on high for 6 hours or low for 8 to 10 hours. Pork is finished when easily pulled apart with a fork.
Using two forks, pull pork into bite-size pieces. Serve with buns and slaw.
5. Peach Sundaes with Bourbon-Pecan Sauce
If you thought banana splits were the pinnacle of fruit sundaes, then you’ve never tried adding peaches to your ice cream dish. Give it a go with this bourbon-laced recipe from Epicurious. Juicy fruit, rich caramel, and crunchy pecans go perfectly with a few scoops of vanilla. This dish is super easy to throw together in just a few minutes, so it’s a great choice for entertaining. For even more wow factor, top servings with a sprinkle of sea salt.
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 3 large peaches, peeled, pitted, and thinly sliced
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons cream
- ½ cup toasted pecan pieces
- 1 tablespoon bourbon
- 1 pint vanilla ice cream
Directions: Combine peaches and lemon juice in a medium bowl, and toss to coat. Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar, and stir until mixture bubbles. Add cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, and stir until sugar dissolves and sauce is thick and smooth, about 3 minutes. Stir in peaches, pecans, and bourbon. Cook until sauce is heated through, stirring constantly, about 1 minute longer.
Scoop ice cream into bowls, and top with sauce. Serve at once.
6. Peach-Bourbon Upside-Down Cake
For this summery spin on upside-down cake, Food Network combines the goodness of peaches and bourbon to make an irresistible topping. As far as cakes go, it’s one of the easiest recipes you’ll find. You don’t have to worry about any finicky frosting or stacking. The only trick to this dessert is getting it out of the pan. You want to invert the skillet while it’s still warm, otherwise the caramel will solidify and stick to the pan. Topping with a scoop of ice cream is a good choice, but we probably didn’t have to tell you that.
- 1¾ cups sugar
- 4 peaches, cut into ½-inch wedges
- 2 to 3 tablespoons bourbon
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup finely ground pecans
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine ¾ cup sugar and 1½ tablespoons water in a 10-inch ovenproof skillet. Stir until mixture resembles wet sand. Cook over medium-high heat, gently swirling, but not stirring, until light amber in color, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and arrange peaches in circles over caramel. Drizzle with bourbon, and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk flour, ground pecans, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Using a mixer, beat butter and remaining 1 cup sugar in a large bowl at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating to combine after each addition. Add vanilla, and beat to combine. Reduce speed to low. Add one-third of flour mixture, and mix just to combine. Add half of buttermilk, and mix just to combine. Repeat, and finish with final third of flour mixture, being careful not to overmix. Pour batter over peaches, and spread into an even layer.
Bake cake until golden and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Let sit 15 minutes, then invert onto a platter. Let cool completely. Serve.