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Peach Gastrique

Peach Gastrique
Kevin D. Weeks for NPR

A gastrique is a French sweet-and-sour sauce. It is most often made using a fruit (in this case, peaches) with sugar for the sweet and vinegar for the sour. Gastriques in general are delicious on pork and poultry and sometimes lamb. They're not as good on beef. I've also made gastriques using apricots, cranberries, apples, pears, cherries and oranges. Here, ginger and coriander introduce an Asian flavor and add a slightly spicy edge to the sauce. The color of the gastrique will vary according to the color of the peach's flesh. Gastriques will easily keep in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks and freeze beautifully for later use.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 shallot, peeled and minced

3/4 teaspoon ground ginger

3 tablespoons sugar

2 medium peaches, peeled, pitted and diced (about 2 cups)

3 tablespoons white wine

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seed

1/4 teaspoon hot paprika

Generous pinch salt

Heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add butter and swirl to avoid burning. Add shallot and ginger. Cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add 2 tablespoons of the sugar and all remaining ingredients to the pan. Increase heat to high and bring just to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. The gastrique should be a fairly equal blend of sweet and tart with a clear peach flavor, a slight mustiness from the coriander and a touch of heat from the paprika and ginger.

Puree until smooth (I like using my hand blender, but a standing blender also works well; a food processor produces a somewhat coarser puree). Serve warm or hot over broiled chicken, grilled pork, smoked duck or roasted Cornish hens.

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