2 cups balsamic vinegar
1/2 tablespoon apple juice concentrate (available in frozen foods section)
In a nonreactive saucepan over high heat, reduce vinegar to a syruplike consistency (about 3⁄4 cup), lowering heat to a simmer when volume is around 1 cup; test consistency by removing a spoonful and letting it cool (process takes about 35 minutes). Cool to room temperature and stir in concentrate. Transfer to a squirt bottle.
2 egg whites
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
4 cups pecan halves
8 ripe peaches
12 ounces goat cheese (Hudson’s uses Pure Luck brand chèvre)
Make candied pecans: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, beat or whisk egg whites until foamy. Add Grand Marnier and whisk again. Mix salt, sugar, and cayenne pepper together and whisk into egg-white mixture, blending thoroughly. Gently fold pecans into mixture until coated. Spread on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and stir to break up. Return to oven for 15 more minutes. Let cool before using. When ready to make salad, pit peaches (peel if you wish) and slice into wedges 1⁄2- to 3⁄4-inch thick. Arrange wedges in pinwheels on 8 plates and sprinkle candied pecans and dollops of goat cheese around them. Then find your inner Jackson Pollock and drizzle salad with Balsamic-Apple Vinaigrette. Serves 8.
Hill Country Peach Salad With Spicy Candied Pecans is a recipe from Hudson on the Bend’s second cookbook, Fired Up! More Adventures and Recipes From Hudson’s on the Bend, and was featured in Got Game in Texas Monthly’s July 2005 edition.