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Chef Brittany Flint

A blog just because...

The purpose of this blog is to provide culinary inspiration by suggesting in season produce, gourmet ingredients, simple recipes and product recommendations. If you're not already submit your email to be added to my monthly campaign. I promise not to fill your inbox with junk - just updates, recipes, culinary tips, history and trends.

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Hey it's been a while, but welcome August!

Updated: Aug 30, 2023

August is bittersweet because, despite the temperature, it's the first sign of summer coming to an end. Even though the month is about over I still want to share a few things with you. You can expect a few of my favorite produce to buy at the farmer's market this time of year, another recipe [or two] and a few tasks to add to your list before the month is up.



 


Wax Bean and Tomato Salad w/ Truffle Infused Balsamic Reduction

It's no coincidence that my two favorite produce to eat in the summer made it into a salad together. This recipe utilizes a pickling liquid I use for red onions, shallots and cucumbers. Feel free to make a batch and use it to preserve the remaining cucumbers of the season. Here's What you'll need:





Pickling Liquid For Onions [or Cucumbers] - Yields about 32oz-48oz

3 cups of white vinegar

1 cup of water

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/4 cup salt

1 cinnamon stick

1 tsp of peppercorns

1/2 tsp of allspice

1 bay leaf

2 garlic cloves

1/4 tsp chili flakes

a few sprigs of dill - optional


Quick Pickle Method

This method is most often used in restaurants because it's a full proof way to pickle without the risk of the finish product spoiling. Pickles can last for months in the fridge but probably won't last that long 😄

In a 3qt saucepan, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. While you wait for your pickling solution to boil prepare your red onions [or whatever you plan on pickling] by slicing them and putting them into a quart container or a sanitized glass jar. Once your solution comes to a boil, give it a quick stir to insure all the sugar and salt has dissolved. Then pour it over your sliced red onions, cover and allow them to come down to room temperature. Once slightly cooled, refrigerate your pickles ASAP.


Mustard Salad Dressing

Items for Salad

How to build

A few notes!


If you don't pickle at home by all means substitute the liquid required for the salad dressing with your choice of vinegar. I recommend red wine vinegar but honestly any will do. Also don't sweat it if you can't find a truffle infused balsamic reduction. Use a regular brand [or make your own] and instead of finishing with a good quality olive oil sub in truffle oil. AND if you don't care for truffle at all just omit it entirely and use olive oil. This salad is prep ahead friendly. Keep in mind that all your finishing ingredients should be added right before serving. As you can tell all of my recipes can be tweaked to suit your personal likes or dislikes and act as more of a guideline.




 


August Market Finds

Here's what I've been buying at the farmer's markets lately. These goodies have been the staple of summer sides and desserts. However we're reaching the end of the season soon so make sure you enjoy them while they last!


Blueberries




















These jewels have been the only berry I've been able to find at the market and the season will be ending soon. Blueberries make for an easy snack or topping for salad, yogurt parfait or cake. I personally have been making pie and smoothies with them this year. As soon as I get back home with my market bounty I get straight to it - washing, stowing and freezing all of my fruits and veggies. Next time you find yourself at a local farm stand snag several pints of blueberries to freeze or preserve. Freezing is BY FAR the easy way to store them, period!



 


Eggplant



























Also known as Aubergine, these edible nightshades make for a great vegetarian option or side. It's foamy texture makes seasoning effortless. When cooking this summer berry don't skip the salting step. By cutting, salting, draining and pressing eggplant you reduce the moisture content resulting in a concentrated flavor. Roast, sauté, fry or purée but whatever do don't forget to prep [by salting] them before hand.



 


Tomatoes


























Tomato sandwiches have been my main source of nutrition these last couple months. Now it's time to switch gears into preserving summer for winter. Red sauce is on my list to make this weekend. It freezes and reheats well. Buy your tomatoes in bulk if you're up for the task of cranking out a gallon or two of red sauce for your freezer. An alternate way to utilize your summer tomatoes is to cook them for salsa. Keep reading for a general recipe that works for both tomatillos and tomatoes!



 


Onions, Cucumbers and Peppers


These three are great raw and in salads but even better pickled. Use my pickling recipe above to preserve just about any summer produce but especially onions, cukes and peppers.



 


Corn, Green and Wax Beans


Corn is best served steamed, lightly buttered and salted BUT if your looking to save some for the cooler months start by freezing. Same goes for green and wax beans. Freezing will change the texture slightly requiring a quicker cooking time. Enjoy these summer favs as is, a side or in a salad before harvesting ends mid September - early October.




 


Before I go!

I'm going to give y'all [my members] a quick rundown for my go to salsa. I like to keep this on hand year around when the ingredients are in season but also for game nights. Since it's a cooked salsa, out of season ingredients work just as well. You can use this with tomatillos or tomatoes just keep the following tips in mind.


  • When making salsa verde with tomatillos it's important to add a pinch of sugar and chicken bouillon [when preparing out of season] to offset the natural bitterness as well as add depth when ingredients are not at their peak.

  • However when making tomato salsa no sugar is necessary. In the cooler months when ingredients are imported; the addition of Tomato Bouillon is key to adding depth and enhancing the tomato flavor.

  • When adding the bouillon be sure to taste your salsa before salting, you might not need it.

  • Add as many peppers and dried chilies as you like. After years of making this I realize the milder the chili the more you'll want to add. It truly makes a difference in flavor - don't be scared! Six jalapeños are on point for the amount of tomatoes.

  • This salsa should last for a maximum of 10 days. If you notice bubbling before then toss it!

  • This recipe is great as is but can be used as a "Chile" - a condiment or base for sauces.



Ingredients for Salsa

1lb of tomatoes or tomatillos

1/4 of a large white onion

4-6 cloves of garlic

4-6 jalapeños, serranos, or a combination of both

1-2 chili d'arbol - optional

1/2 a bunch of cilantro - cleaned, stems and leaves separated

1 Tbsp of chicken or tomato bouillon - *see my note above*

a pinch of sugar - *see my note above*

Salt to taste - *see my note above*

Method for Salsa


 



That's it, for now!

As always I hope you are able to find inspiration with this month's blog. Try out these recipes and let me know what you think. I want to hear from you, tell me what you'd add or use it for. Continue to eat well my friends!








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