Staci Pederson is executive chef at Hy-Vee Food Store, 2100 Broadway in Yankton, (605) 665-3412. She shares her own recipes and presentation flair for summer’s special occasions. She uses vegetables and fruits that are in season in this three-part series. “Celebrate Desserts” is her June theme.

“It’s easy to forget desserts with backyard meals,” Chef Staci said. “For Father’s Day and parties in the backyard, these are simple recipes for desserts.”

Deviled Strawberries

1 pint Strawberries, washed

2/3 cup Nutella

Chopped Nuts

Cut the ends off of the strawberries and cut in half, top to bottom. Place cut side up on a paper towel-lined cookie sheet. If wobbly, slice a little off the back so they set level. Put Nutella in a pastry bag. Or cut the end off of a bottom corner of a plastic storage bag. Pipe the Nutella onto the sliced side of the strawberry, just like making deviled eggs. Sprinkle the top with chopped nuts, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Chef Staci’s Notes: They look like deviled eggs; bite-sized dessert with the crunch of nuts. Kids and adults love them. Nutella is hazelnut/cocoa spread, usually shelved near peanut butter. Use a flat-cornered plastic storage bag for piping, not a gusseted one, and cut a small tip. Pastry tips are not required.

Chutney Cream Cheese With Gingersnaps And Fruit

8-ounce block Cream Cheese, softened

1 or 1 ½ cups Chutney, depending on your taste

Gingersnaps or ginger thins and Apple, Pear or other fruit slices

Pour the chutney over the block of cream cheese, or stir them together, or process in the food processor. Be careful of the ginger chunks. Serve with a plate of gingersnaps or thins and sliced fruit.

Chef Staci’s Notes: With a pretty bowl of the cream cheese and chutney, your guests spread their own treat from the plate of cookies and sliced fruit. Adventurous kids may like this dessert or opt for the cookies and fruit. Chutney is a cooked fruit with spices that is usually found with foods of India. You may make your own chutney ingredients (Ask me.) or add ingredients such as raisins to the prepared chutney. This makes a great marinade for chicken breasts or pork chops.


Rum-Marinated Grilled Peaches With Vanilla Ice Cream

4 Peaches, cut in half and pits removed

8 ounces Dark Rum (not spiced)

4 tablespoons Brown Sugar

2 teaspoons Cinnamon

1 teaspoon Vanilla

4 scoops Vanilla Ice Cream

In a glass baking dish, place peach halves cut side up, and drizzle with rum. Combine brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla and put it into the peach pit openings. Refrigerate ½ hour. Preheat grill to medium high. Lift peaches from the liquid, reserving it, and place peaches cut side down on the grill. Use caution because the sugar and rum are flammable. Grill until peaches are marked, about 3-4 minutes. Turn and grill until heated through, about 1-2 minutes. Pour reserved liquid into a small sauce pan and heat through, or into a microwave safe bowl and microwave about 30 seconds until heated through. Serve peaches cut side up with a scoop of ice cream and the sauce drizzled over the top. Fresh raspberries and/or sliced toasted almonds can be added.

Chef Staci’s Notes: This recipe serves four adults. Choose or pick firm peaches with a little give for grilling. They should smell like a peach. Besides seeing and touching produce, I also smell produce that smells like it comes from my grandmother’s garden. After you grill hamburgers or brats, clean the grill grate before adding peaches. If you don’t have a grill brush, make a piece of aluminum foil into a ball and use it as a brush. Flip peaches for a quick char on the grill. If left too long on the grill, peaches become mushy. Pineapple and banana are other fruit that you can marinade and grill in this way.

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