Archive for ‘Pork’

October 6, 2015

Pad Gra Pow

Here’s my version/attempt at a favorite Thai dish of mine. Honestly, mine comes out tasting like Chinese food. Maybe ’cause I added sesame oil in the end. Don’t add sesame oil. Otherwise very tasty and simple stir fry that’s very “下飯“ or “makes you down a lot of rice”. My picture isn’t as pretty ’cause it’s missing the bright red chilis. Baby does not like spicy so we had to do without.

pad gra prow

Mmmm…comfort food.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb ground pork/chicken/turkey/beef, whatever. I prefer pork.
  • 0.5 lb green beans (hericots are more tender) chopped into 1/2 cm length pieces
  • 2-3 large shallots, minced (about 0.5 cup)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced (about 1.5 tbs)
  • 3 tbs fish sauce
  • 1.5 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1-2 tsp lime juice
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 2 pinches kaffir/makrut lime leaves, dried. 2 fresh leaves if you can find it
  • 5-7 thai chilies, sliced
  • handful of asian basil leaves
  • optional: sliced cucumbers
  • optional: fried egg

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat large wok/frying pan over med high heat until you can’t hold your hand over it for over 5 sec.
  2. Add 1-2 tbs high smoke point cooking oil (peanut, avocado, etc), when oil is just shimmering, add minced shallots, garlic, salt and stir until fragrant, ~1-2 min. Do not burn the garlic. Bad.
  3. Add ground meat and break it up with the spatula. Add all seasonings except basil. Mix well. When meat is juuuust barely cooked through, remove and set aside. Pour remaining meat juice back into the pan.
  4. Add chopped green beans, cover and let steam in meat juice (mmmm) 3-4 min or so or until just tender. Add meat back in and mix well. Scoop a little hole in the middle of the pan and add a bit of oil, fry basil, then mix everything together. Season to taste with soy sauce and lime juice if needed.
  5. Plate with sliced cucumbers, serve with rice.
  6. Optional: Top with fried egg
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January 8, 2015

Chinese Lion Head Meatballs 獅子頭

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 lb ground pork
  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 1-2 green onions, minced
  • 1 cup finely chopped mushrooms
  • 4 tbs minced water chestnuts (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp minced ginger
  • 2 – 3 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

Optional: 1/4 cup cornstarch

SOUP:

  • 4-5 cups napa cabbage, chopped
  • 3 tbs soy sauce
  • 3 slices of ginger
  • 3 cans chicken soup
  • 1/4 cup Chinese rice wine

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix all meatball ingredients. Do not over mix or you’ll end up with tough meatballs. Roll into large, softball size meatballs.
  2. Add corn starch in a large bowl. Roll meatball in bowl to lightly coat.
  3. Heat frying pan over medium high heat. Add plenty of oil to coat bottom of pan. Once oil is shimmering hot, add meatballs one or two at a time with tongs. Avoid crowding.  Remove once evenly browned on all sides. Reduce heat to medium if they start to blacken too quickly.
  4. In a large dutch oven or pot, add chicken soup, rice wine, remaining slices of ginger, leftover mushrooms, stem portions of the cabbage, soy sauce. Bring to a boil then add cabbage leaves. Stir and add salt to taste.
  5. Place meatballs over cabbage. Spoon over soup and cover. Simmer on low for 1 hour, adding the cabbage leaves at the half way point.
  6. Serve over a bowl of rice.
February 25, 2014

Jambalaya

jambalaya

In my attempt to stay lean for engagement photos in 7 months, I’ve been eating lots of chicken and rice. Chicken and rice sounds healthy, right? Especially since I only eat brown rice? Well, you be the judge, but my idea of chicken and rice is Cuban Chicken and Chorizo Rice, Chicken Korma, Vietnamese Roast Chicken with rice fried in chicken fat… annnd jambalaya. Yea.

It’s ok. I have seven months.

Tangent: If Chang wasn’t so busy all the time, I’d totally make him follow me around the kitchen and snap photos of the cooking process. One can dream. (Yes, I dream about being a “real” food blogger with a “real” camera and a photographer husband to boot.)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 lb chicken breast (8oz), chopped*
  • equal amounts of shrimp, chopped
  • Tony Cachere’s Creole seasoning
  • 10 oz Andouille sausage
  • 1 16oz can crushed/diced tomatoes
  • ~ 1/2 cup onions, chopped
  • ~ 1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • ~ 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1.5 cups uncooked rice
  • 2-3 cups chicken broth
  • 4 small bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp paprika

* Brined the night before is a plus

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Season chicken and shrimp with Tony Cacheres. Set aside with chopped sausage.
  2. Heat 5 qt dutch over/pot over medium heat.
  3. Add onion/bell pepper/celery to pot and sauté until tender, 3 min. Stir in garlic and continue to sauté, 1 min, until fragrant.
  4. Stir in rice. Add spices and ~1 tsp more of Tony Cacheres.
  5. Add canned tomatoes, bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce, slowly add broth (about 2 cups for white rice, about 3 cups for brown) and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat and medium low. Cover and simmer 20 min for white rice, 40 min for brown (do not disturb as lifting cover lets out steam and stirring rice makes it goopy). Start out with less broth than you think you need. Easier to add than subtract liquid…
  6. Uncover and add chicken, sausage, and shrimp. Push into the rice so chicken/shrimp is just submerged. Add more liquid if rice is drying out. Recover and simmer, adding broth when needed. Another ~15 min or until chicken is cooked through and rice is tender.
  7. Mix and season with Creole seasoning to taste. Serve.

jambalaya2

Rice is about eyeballing it. Too many varieties of rice out there to give you the perfect ratio of rice:liquid and exact cook times. Just remember not to over stir as this releases the goop-factor (technical term). Doesn’t hurt to pick up a grain and munch to see how crunchy or soft it is. Brown rice typically needs 1:2.5 ratio of rice:liquid. We don’t eat white rice in my house but typically it’s 1:2. Cooking is an art, not a science! So get to it. You’ll figure it out along the way.

November 29, 2013

Nothing I’m more thankful for than Huevos Rancheros

huevos rancheros

It’s the morning after our Friendsgiving feast last night in Manhattan and feeling a bit homesick. One would think I’d want to curl up with a bowl of congee: light fare after a night of pigging out, food of my people and all. But nope. Jumped out of bed this morning with a inexplicably strong craving for huevos rancheros. R took one look at the heaping plate of chorizo, fried eggs, and warm tortillas and responded with “woa…bIG breakfast..”

You betcha.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 lb chorizo*, sliced
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 1 lime
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ~ 3/4 can of diced tomatoes, in juice
  • 1/2 can black beans, with liquid
  • optional: 1/3 can of corn
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 1-2 tsp chili powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 white corn tortillas (these dont get soggy as fast as flour)
  • cheese (cotija if you have it, or shredded mexican blend)

*NOT cured chorizo, but uncooked chorizo sausage. Note packaging instructions if you have to remove the casing. I keep it on unless it’s plastic…The type that comes in plastic casing tends to be the ground meat type that breaks up. Either is fine.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Slice avocados. Squeeze over lime juice to keep it from oxidizing/browning.
  2. Toast tortillas in a single layer in toaster oven until they poof up. Start this while you begin cooking, remember to check on it from time to time so you don’t burn them.
  3. Heat pot over medium high heat. Add a bit of cooking oil, and cook sliced chorizos until browned and cooked through on both sides. Stir as needed. Remove and set aside.
  4. In remaining chorizo grease, add chopped onions and bell peppers. Season with chili powder. Salt generously and stir until soft, ~3 minutes. Add garlic. Stir until fragrant, 1-2 min.
  5. Add back beans with liquid in the can (this will help thicken the sauce), canned tomato, (and corn if you like corn). Salt to taste. Cover pot and simmer while you fry eggs.
  6. Fry eggs. In a 8-10” frying pan, heat on high. When pan is just smoking hot (or eggs WILL stick), add oil. Let oil heat to a shimmer, then bring heat down to medium/medium high. Crack three eggs into pan, spaced evenly. If you don’t like super runny eggs, carefully shimmy your spatula underneath each egg, then flip and let the top side just kiss the pan. Turn off heat. Salt and pepper tops of eggs.
  7. Plate tortillas, spoon over lots of tomato-y bean salsa. Top with a runny fried egg. Top with cheese. Squeeze over some lime juice. Add avocado and chorizo to the sides (or keep adding it to your tower if you’re brave.)
  8. EAT.

huevos rancheros 1

Side Notes:

  • I love Tortilla Factory tortillas. I’ve said this many times before. I keep packages of it in my freezer at all times. Great chewy texture.
  • AVOCADOS:
    • Buying: avocados should be tender and give slightly when you press firmly on them (grip the whole thing in your hand, dont just poke it or youll bruise it). Skin should be dark, almost black, but NOT wrinkly or dimpled in any way. When buying avocados, I always get varying degrees of un-ripeness. ‘Cause you don’t eat five avocados in one day…. so get some that are a few days a way from ripening, that way they’ll be perfect when you finally get to it.
    • Cutting: I rock the knife from tip to end of one side, then back up to the tip on the other side (the pit will obviously prevent you from simply chopping it in half). Firmly chop down on the seed, twist the knife, then pull the pit out. Wrap the pit in a paper towel and gently pull it off the knife (be careful). Peel the skin off. If it is properly ripe, it will come off in sheets. Then slice and squeeze lime juice over it to keep from browning. IF the skin does NOT simply peel off (it’s probably not ripe enough), carefully slice with skin side down, then try to spoon out the slices. Messier, but will suffice.

huevos rancheros 2

September 11, 2013

Chinese BBQ Spare Ribs + how to mince garlic

Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 2.10.35 PM

I had left over spare ribs from my stew and basically tweaked the recipe for Chinese Chicken Wings

INGREDIENTS

  • spare ribs, cut in 2 or so inch pieces
  • equal parts honey, hoisen (NOT oyster) sauce, soy sauce, rice wine.
  • ginger, garlic, green onion
    • Classic Chinese recipe trio.
    • cut in thin but large slices so that it’s easy to remove from the marinade later. Less burning when you bake.
    • I also like so smash the slices with the flat side of my knife before I add it to the marinade, releases more juices.
  • Chinese Five Spice. ~1 tsp is fine. don’t over-do this. Just sprinkle over the ribs before you add it to the marinade.

It’s hard to mess up the ratio. as long as you keep equal parts of the liquid ingredients, you’ll be ok.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Marinate ribs in a large ziplock bag over night.
  2. Preheat oven ~310F.
  3. Space ribs evenly on foil lined pan, pour 1/2 cup marinade into the pan, tent over with aluminum foil (**this part’s different from the chicken recipe!).
    • Pork takes longer to cook. Lower heat, longer time, and tenting the foil keeps the meat nice and moist and prevents burning. Results in a more tender rib.
  4. Bake for 1 hour. Open the tent and flip the ribs 180 degrees, add a bit more marinade
    • pan bottom should be bubbly and brown, not black and charred. When you flip, the side of the ribs that were in contact with the foil should be shiny and have a bit of a golden crust.
  5. Re-tent and bake for 30min-1 hour more, depending on thickness of the ribs. Check on it on the 30 min mark, and if it’s not shiny and brown with a nice crust, it’s not done. If it’s greyish, it’s not done. If the meat doens’t come easily off the bone with a fork, it’s not done. Pan bottom by now should start to blacken. That is A-OK.
  6. eat.

MMM… nice end of summer snack. (yes. i eat bbq ribs as a snack.)

Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 2.11.05 PM

EAT.

See the little black bits clinging to the meat? Doesn’t taste bad. Just looks bad. That’s green onion, diced. I know, I know, I said use long slices for the marinade. But I get my green onion in bulk in Flushing where it’s like 3 bunches for a $1 as opposed to 1 for a dollar. I chop ’em up then freeze them in ziplock bags. So if you want to be cheap, use frozen diced green onion. If you’re going for presentation, use fresh sliced green onion.

Ginger powder works fine if you don’t have fresh.

Never skimp on garlic. Canned stuff is foul. I don’t even do pre-peeled bulk garlic. Just break off a clove, smash with the back of your knife, and the skin comes right off. Chop off the hard nubby end and slice, OR, if you want minced garlic, I use my onion method (I think I learned this from Alton Brown):

HOW TO MINCE GARLIC – LESS MESS, LESS TOOLS.

  • break off 1 clove.
  • do NOT cut off nubby end.
  • Smash lightly a few times with flat side of knife, peel.
  • Lay clove on its flattest side.
  • slice parallel to the cutting board, then perpendicular along the LENGTH of the clove, all the while stopping at the nub. You should end up with long slivers, all still attached to the nub. Like a brush.
  • Slice perpendicular to the board, this time starting at the tip, along the wiDTH of the clove. this creates the mince.

Voila! less sticky fingers, less useless tools in the kitchen that only perform one duty. I will draw you pictures some day. SOME day…

 

EDIT: found an awesome video on chopping onions. The “traditional way” is how I mince my garlic. I think the new way looks intriguing, but not sure how I can manage that with a tiny garlic clove…

September 6, 2013

Pork Rib Noodle Soup

Pork Rib Noodle Soup

Holy crap! Was it really in the 50’s last night? Is it really only September and already noodle soup weather?

Yea, I’m not in Texas anymore.

Left over pork stew works wonders on a day like this.

Note: did not parboil ribs this time. Rubbed them with salt and brown sugar and seared them in the pot. Remove. Add aromatics, deglaze, add soup, add ribs, then simmered on the stove for 4 hours. Similar outcomes, different method of getting there. I did have to skim a ton of “meat particulate” throughout the simmering process though.

Mmmm…meat particulate…

April 24, 2013

Ants up a Tree 螞蟻上樹: Spicy Pork Noodles

Mmmm…spicy. Super fast Sichuan Chinese noodle dish. Screen Shot 2013-04-24 at 9.50.16 PM

A note on mung bean noodles: they come in different sizes and shapes, not unlike Italian pastas. I ran out of the thin skinny kind, which is traditionally used in this recipe. Personally, I rather like the thicker, more al dente texture of the thicker noodles. Random cultural lesson: in Taiwan, they call this chewy bite “Q”. Like mochi is Q. Or gummy bears are Q. Insert extra Q for added f.o.b factor: “these noodles are so QQ!”

Anyway. Mung bean noodles are awesome because they are made out of beans. And therefore gluten free! It’s got a brittle dry texture pre-soak. Stiff and slightly slimy post-soak. Wonderfully Q when cooked. Stole a picture of the thin kind from google:

Screen Shot 2013-04-24 at 10.02.27 PM

On to our recipe! Not including soak/marinating time, take 10 minutes max to cook. I heart me some fast stir fry.

INGREDIENTS: Screen Shot 2013-04-24 at 9.47.20 PM

  • 3 batches of mung bean noodles
  • 1/4 lb ground pork
  • 1 tsp hot bean sauce
  • soy sauce
  • 1 slice fresh ginger, julienned  (or 1/2 tsp ground)
  • 2 stalks green onion, chopped finely
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • corn starch
  • cooking oil

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Soak mung bean noodles in cold water for 1 hour+. Drain and set aside. 
  2. Marinate pork in 1/2 tsp corn starch dissolved in 1 tbs soy sauce and ginger for 30min-1 hour. Discard ginger.
  3. Dissolve ~1 tsp+ corn starch in 1 cup of cold water and set aside.
  4. Heat 1 tbs oil in wok/large saute pan on high. When pan is smoking hot (smoKING), add meat. Using the edge of the spatula, break up the meat as small as you can. When evenly brown and cooked through, remove from heat and set aside. NOTE: I used a sharp pair of kitchen scissors to cut meat up even smaller after cooking.
  5. In remaining oil over medium high heat, fry garlic and green onion until fragrant ~ 1-2 min. Add ~3 more tbs soy sauce, HALF the corn starch mixture, and stir. When mixture starts to bubble, add meat back in and stir evenly.
  6. Add noodles. COVER and let it steam for 3-5 min. If not enough liquid to steam noodles, add more corn starch mixture. (this is not meant to be a soupy dish, just enough liquid to cook the noodles is fine). Remove from heat.
  7. Top with fresh chopped scallions and serve.

Screen Shot 2013-04-24 at 9.50.29 PM

April 24, 2013

Lemon Thyme Meatballs 2.0

Citrus-y meatballs, TAKE TWO! This time I managed to take photos before total consumption… lemon thyme meatball1

INGREDIENTS: (makes 16-17 meatballs)

  • 3/4 lb ground pork
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or other hard, sharp cheese
  • ~1 tsp dry sage
  • ~1 tsp dried thyme
  • ~1 tsp parsley
  • 1/2 medium onion, minced
  • 1 Meyer lemon
  • salt/pepper
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tbs butter
  • <1 tsp corn starch

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Heat 1 tbs oil over high heat. Saute onions until just brown (5 min). Salt generously. Set aside to cool.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix meat, panko, cheese, cooled onions, seasoning, ~1.5-2 tsp kosher salt, several cranks of black pepper, zest from 1 lemon, and 1 egg. Mix with hands until just combined. Roll into racket ball sized meatballs.
  4. Bake meatballs in oven on a greased aluminum lined pan ~ 15 min or until cooked through. It’ll be browning slightly on the top.
  5. SAUCE: Melt butter in small sauce pan over medium heat. When completely melted, slowly add 1 tsp corn starch/flour. Stir continuously until evenly incorporated. Add white wine and reduce on med/high heat. When wine is mostly cooked off (you can smell it cook out) and 1/2 cup chicken stock slowly. Continue to stir and reduce liquid by half. Add a pinch more thyme and sage. Stir in more chicken stock if necessary to reach consistency of your liking. Reduce heat.
  6. Add meatballs into sauce. Toss to cover, serve.

photo 3

January 5, 2013

Healthy Eggs Benedict + Wilted Spinach and Truffle Salad

Screen shot 2013-01-05 at 1.14.05 PM



Weekends = real breakfast.

EGGS BENEDICT:

  • 1 multigrain English muffin
  • 2 eggs
  • white vinegar (or any non colored vinegar)
  • 4 slices canadian bacon
  • shredded cheese

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Fill a small sauce pot half way with water. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add 1 tbs vinegar. Carefully crack eggs into hot water (or crack into individual small ramekins and dip ramekins into water and slide out egg). Cover pot and set aside ~4 min. 
  2. Halve and toast English muffin.
  3. Heat small frying pan on medium high. Add a tsp or so of oil and fry canadian bacon until crisp on edges, flipping as needed.
  4. Remove bacon from pan onto each slice of toasted English muffin. Top with cheese. Return to toaster oven, set on broil, and let cheese melt. (If you dont have a toaster oven, put cheese on bacon while it’s still in the frying pan and let it melt with heat on medium).

Screen shot 2013-01-05 at 1.13.56 PM

.
WILTED SPINACH and TRUFFLE SALAD

  • 2 handfuls of clean baby spinach
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • truffle oil

In remaining bacon fat, fry shallots until soft. Add spinach and a pinch of salt. Toss until just wilted. Remove and plate. Drizzle a few drop sof truffle oil on top.

Screen shot 2013-01-05 at 1.14.15 PM

August 29, 2012

Pork Chops w/ Mustard Cream Sauce and Baked Peaches

This turned out VERY well. I especially like the sweet buttery peaches. The recipe was inspired by a pork chop special at Bouchon Bistro in Las Vegas. Serve over kale and some creamy farro or barley risotto. Or a bed of mashed sweet potatoes. Unfortunately, I seem to have misplaced my photos. But you know what pork chops look like (:

Edit 4/13/2014: made this dish again. Still awesome. Here’s a pic!

pork chop

INGREDIENTS: (for 2)

  • 2 ~1lb bone in center cut pork chops (2 inch thick)
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, halved
  • high smoking point oil (ie: avocado oil)
  • 1 large shallot, sliced (1/4 medium onion will do in a pinch)
  • 1/3 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tbs Dijon mustard
  • ~1 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice (less than half a lemon)*
  • 1/4 cup half&half
  • 1 ripe peach, sliced and skinned
  • butter
  • brown sugar

*can substitute with 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar or other light vinegar

Tools of the Trade:

  • TONGS. makes your life easier. only so much a spatula can do.
  • Cooking thermometer probe. A must for cooking meat, esp for those that aren’t experienced enough to just eyeball it. (like me)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Brine chops:

  1. On the morning of (or 12 hrs prior), heat ~2 cups of water in a medium pot with 1/2 cup salt, 1/2 brown sugar, 1 clove of garlic halved. Heat and stir until salt/sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and add 5 cups ice cubes.
  2. In a gallon/large ziplock bag, add chops and enough of the salt water to submerge. Place in shallow pan (in case bag leaks) and into the fridge for 12 hours (do not over brine!! it’ll be too salty to eat. Better to under-brine…If your’e going to do this the night before, I would halve the amount of salt to brine 24 hours.)

Brown chops:

  1. Preheat oven to 325F-350F and line a baking pan w/ aluminum foil.
  2. Pat chops very dry. This will give you that nice crust. Wet chops=steamy & soggy.
  3. Heat a heavy skillet (NO non-stick pans) over med-high heat. Add avocado/peanut oil (not olive oil or pure butter as that will burn the meat and the pan) and heat until shimmery hot.
  4. Add meat and space chops out so they don’t touch. <– important to avoid steaming the meat instead of browning it.
  5. Brown each side ~ 4 min, NOT flipping until meat slides easily off the pan with a gentle push. You should have a nice brown crust on each side. If you’re anal retentive like me, sear the sides of the meat too.
  6. Remove and bake in oven for 15+ min or until internal temp reaches 135F 

The Sauce:

  1. While chops are in the oven, drain off any excess fat and add shallots. Saute until soft.
  2. Deglaze pan: Add chicken broth and bring to a boil, scrapping up browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  3. Stir in mustard and lemon juice (or vinegar). Reduce heat to medium and let liquid reduce by half.
  4. Add cream. Bring to a boil and let sauce thicken ~3 min. Remove from heat and set aside. Spoon over chops when chops are done.
  5. Optional: if you’re cooking for friends and don’t care about their waist lines, melt a pat of butter in the sauce at the end to thicken and finish the sauce. Butter tastes good in everything.

Baked Peaches:

  1. Line a baking pan w/ aluminum foil. Rub a thin layer of butter on to prevent sticking.
  2. Place peach wedges on the pan, evenly spaced out. (NOTE: if using fresh peaches, place peach in a deep bowl and pour 2-3 cups of boiling water over it. let is sit for 1 minute, then drain and rinse. The skin will peel right off.)
  3. Top each wedge with a small sliver of butter then lightly sprinkle on brown sugar.
  4. Broil on high until peaches are soft. Time will vary depending on oven.
    Just take a piece out and taste test it. Warning: you may end up eating all the peaches while waiting for your chops. Just make extra…

Plate chops, spoon over sauce, and top with peaches. ENJOY.