21 February 2010

Peaches En Regalia

Sometimes when recipes are as simple as Nigella's directions for Peaches in Muscat, I get suspicious. It almost sounds like Nigella is having a laugh, waiting to see if her legions of yes-people will follow along unquestioningly till some bright young thing says "Hey, she just cut up fruit and put wine on top of it! Is that even a thing?" Admittedly Nigella does claim that it's a classic example of Italian culinary genius, but, with all due respect to the wonderful cuisine of these people, sometimes it seems like saying The Italians Do It is an excuse for any old combination of foodstuffs to qualify as untouchable.

That said, I am so one of those yes-people. Surprise!

I was all, "I have peaches cheap from the market going nowhere! I have muscat now that I've gone specially to Moore Wilson's to buy muscat so I can have it sitting round for the express purpose of making this ridiculously simple dessert! I think it's meant to be!"

Peaches In Muscat

From Nigella Express. Serves 2.

1 large ripe peaches
1 bottle sweet muscat

Slice up your peaches and sit them in pretty glasses. I found that one peach did two smallish glasses, but have more ready. Pour over the muscat. Chill for a couple of hours. Nigella says to serve with some pouring cream or vanilla ice cream on the side which would have been lovely but we had neither. Ate the peaches with a fork then drank the muscat. Wonderful.

It's almost aggressively simple. Yet it works, and I clearly should never have doubted Nigella. The glossy fruitiness of the wine seeps into the grainy peachiness of the peaches most pleasingly. The chilliness plays its part too, the iciness crispening the already crisp flavours, a bit like using the "sharpen" function in photo-editing software.

It was actually gorgeous. We ate this while watching Season 5 of The Wire. Finally. It was a hot city evening with the breeze, for once, going nowhere so this chilly pudding was the perfect end to the evening's eating. That said, you'd want to be sure of your company that you serve this to. You just know that if you plonk this triumphantly on the table and cry "La dolce!" that at least one person is going to go home and write on Facebook "Where was my chocolate mousse? My cheesecake? That wasn't pudding, that was wet peaches in a cup!"
Muscat wine always makes me think of Wellington Phoenix player Manny Muscat, a fellow whose name surely cries out for him to abandon A-league football to pursue a career as a drag queen. Manny Muscat has a special place in my heart because of all the chants that we shout from the stands (some witty, some utterly dreary and gender-maligning) my favourite is his, which goes "Manny Manny Manny, MUSCAT!" to the tune of The Apprentice theme (Money money money money...Money!) After working 12 billion hours at Homegrown this weekend I was utterly munted but duty called and I found myself at the Phoenix match on Sunday evening where they played against Perth.

Even though lots of it went like this...

Me: Why is everyone angry?
Tim: Linesman called us offside.
Me: Yeah, is this whole "offside" thing even real? I'm pretty sure they just make it up as they go along for something to do.
Tim: Er, no, it's real.

...it was still rather thrilling, once we got through the arduous 30 minutes extra time due to a 1-all draw and went to penalty shootouts, where we utterly trounced Perth with our complete diamond of a goalkeeper. The ending was almost poetic when Durante, the captain, who has played every minute of the last 83 games without scoring a goal kicked the winning point for us.
Title coming at you via: Frank Zappa, whose big loud music has always found a way to wind in and out of my life, and whose tune Peaches In Regalia seems made for this recipe - they're both surprisingly palatable!

Music lately:
Dark Brown by Ladi6 from her gorgeous, much-thrashed album Time Is Not Much. One of the nice things about working at Homegrown was that our tent gave us an incredible view of her set at the Dub and Roots stage, plus I got to hang with her for a bit in said tent prior to her going on stage. Not only is she incredible behind the microphone she's amazing in person...and she completely renewed my interest in finding a pair of Doc Martens.

Keeping it local, I am also much enamoured with/of (shouldn't use words in sentences that I don't know how to finish) Bad Buzz, the new sounds from The Mint Chicks. It's got this eerie, fuzzy, sixties feel to it and I love the graduated melody, like they're walking down a staircase while singing. It's really, really good and so exciting to hear new music from these guys. I haven't seen them live since 2006 (closest I got at Homegrown was hearing their soundcheck at 10am while I was putting up posters) but they're coming back to Wellington in March so I know I'd better grab my tickets because they will fly.

Next time: I finally made that vegan banana bread over the weekend and it was really, really good. I guess between that description and the fact that I'm linking to the recipe I don't really need to tell you any more but this is my blog and I'll spin it out into an entire post if I want to!


  1. "The Italians Do It" Is a completely valid excuse. I've been there and never had a bad meal! I think its impossible, honestly.

    Also, question... where do I email you questions? Because I have some culinary questions.

  2. I have learned to never, ever, never question Nigella! :) I am so glad you are a yes person! This looks heavenly.

  3. Wellington Phoenix fans need yellow themed baking treats in the near future I feel!! *Hint Hint*

  4. Isi: You can feel free to email me at hungryandfrozen (at) hotmail (dot) com and I will do my best to answer!

    Chef Aimee: Thanks and thanks!

    Anonymous: O RLY?

  5. That is a great way to eat peaches! Yum!

  6. Sounds like one of those simple-but-why-didn't-we-think-of-it combinations, like macerating strawberry with balsamic vinegar or sending vodka into a watermelon :D

    Also, I kinda love that you said "munted". I haven't heard that word since high school. Fo'shizzle.

  7. Somehow I am hearing Manny Manny Manny Manny MUSCAT! Like Nana nana nana nana BATMAN! I suggest you use that next time you go to the football.

    So far the only time when Nigella has been wrong was when she said you could put cling film in the oven. Not at that temperature you can't.

  8. So glad the banana bread came out well!! I have a few pathetic looking near-dead bananas sitting in my fruit basket. Hmm it might be that time again...

  9. Karine: So true :D

    Hannah: Fo'shizzle indeed! Sometimes the simplest things can be really good in a quite complicated way...

    Foodycat: Okay that is pretty genius. Will suggest it in influential circles if I can ;) I also completely didn't believe Nigella when she said that, glad to hear I don't have to test it out!

    SavvySoybean: I'm soooo making it again this weekend :D

  10. Yum! Want. And I agree, isi, that's a perfect excuse.

  11. sounds yum, I'm loving your blog!
    and that is awesome, I just found out about it after readin this months cleo :)

  12. Have just bought sachets of yeast - inspired by your previous post's bread recipe... and some nectarines (instead of peaches) to soak in some dessert wine I was given for my birthday. Further inspiration. I wonder what I could soak in the last cupful of my Christmas coffee liqueur ...or I could just dab it behind my ears

  13. Who would have thought...muscat and peaches. Sounds like dessert to me! Delish. Also, your writing in this story is so clever!