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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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Hi July!

Updated: Jun 28

We're well into the new month and the produce is popping! As usual I'll be sharing market finds and barbecue ideas. Not only that but Sun Tea has been [and always will be] my go to beverage during the Summer - view my take on the classic below.




 


Hibiscus Sun Tea

If you've never made a pitcher of sun tea are you even a southerner? Don't fret cause I got you! It's pretty straightforward - all you need are a few bags of your favorite tea, filtered water, a glass pitcher, cling wrap [or a lid] and at least 8 hours in the sun. This year I added dried Jamaican hibiscus flowers to the mix and I can't get enough of it.

Aside from the fact that I feel like I'm drinking juice hibiscus has many health benefits. The tropical flower is packed with antioxidants and Vitamin C, which apparently work wonders for your liver and aides in digestion, so no more bloating. It also has been proven to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol. I highly recommend adding hibiscus to not only your tea but your pantry too.




My Method

2 cups dried hibiscus - aka Flor de Jamaica

3 black tea bags - caffeinated or decaf

filtered water - about a gallon

1 - 2 cups of sweetener - use whatever you have, sugar, simple syrup, agave or honey

frozen berries - for garnish

orange slices - candied or fresh

mint - use whatever herb brings you joy


Place your tea, hibiscus flowers and water in a glass pitcher, cover with a lid or tightly fitted cling wrap. Then place the whole thing on your porch or deck for at least eight or up to 24 hours. It helps to have your flowers in a cheesecloth or a reusable loose leaf tea bag. If you don't have either of those, no biggie, you'll just have to strain out the spent flowers.


Once your tea is inside and is strained [or tea bags removed] add your sweetener ASAP. The warmth of the liquid will help dissolve the sugar quicker. If you're using granulated sugar be thorough and stir until it has dissolved. Add in as much or as little orange slices and mint as you want. That's it! Chill it in the fridge before serving or drink it right away. When fixing a glass [make sure its a big one] for myself I like to put crushed ice and frozen berries about a third of the way up. Fill it with tea, fish out an orange slice from the pitcher for garnish and enjoy.

This recipe yields about a gallon of tea



 


Barbecue Tips on How to Make a Bomb A** Potato Salad

Whenever we (my husband, who is also a Chef, and I) decide to cookout and make potato salad it's always one of the first things to go. Here are a few tips on how to make a deliciously consistent potato salad.


Dukes

If you know, then you know it just has to be Dukes mayo...


Mustard

Gulden's spicy brown is my favorite brand of mustard but use any brand or type you prefer. Mustard adds a layer of depth but also is my go to emulsifier for any dressing.


Vinegar

Just a spritz of apple cider, white wine, or even white vinegar will suffice. Once my potatoes are cooked, drained and cooling on a sheet tray; I use my handy-dandy food grade spray bottle and douse them with vinegar while they're still hot. Add as much or as little as you like.


Potatoes

Baby red or gold potatoes are what I have come to favor but russets work just as well. Skins on are great just make sure you scrub your potatoes well. When using russets I take the extra step in removing the skin before boiling.


Fresh Herbs and Seasoning

Any will do! Thyme, parsley, chives, dill or basil, just make sure they're fresh and are chopped well enough. Peas and carrots are a nice addition too. Salt and freshly cracked pepper is all you need.


Onions

For me it has to be either red onion or shallots but use what you have on hand [this includes scallions].


Texture

There's a thin line between slightly raw and over cooked. Lean towards the latter because creamy potato salad is the goal after all. Remember to salt your water before adding your potatoes - a little goes a long way. Also keep in mind that you can always add more mayo but a 1/2 cup is a good starting point for a pound and a half of potatoes. The next time you decide to bring a side follow my tips on How to make a Bomb A** Potato Salad!


 

7/11

Friendly reminder that today is free Slurpee day! There's something so nostalgic about treating yourself to a Slurpee. Mark your calendar millennials!





 

July Market Finds

This past weekend I took a sweaty trip to the Fredericksburg Farmer's Market. Eventhough I arrived an hour before the vendors take off it was bumping'. Each stand was brimming with tomatoes, eggplants of all sizes, peppers, herbs, beans and so much more. Let's get into it!


Corn

We all look forward to the moment we can get our hands on some local sweet corn. I'm sure you don't need any inspiration when it comes to preparing this veggie/whole grain. One thing you can attempt when removing those silky strands is it cook it whole, husk and all. Boiling is the easiest way and timing varies between 5-10 minutes depending on size and cooking equipment. Once cooked and slightly cooled enough for you to handle cut off the bottom and slide the husk and all those pesky strands off - leaving you with a perfectly cooked, juicy cob of corn.




Tomatoes

Behold the juicy tomato! Best when eaten as a sandwich but also as Pico, a quick pasta sauce, roasted salsa or jam. When making a fresh tomato pan sauce for your pasta this season, add Concassé [the process of removing the core, scoring the bottom, then blanching and removing the skins and seeds of a tomato] to the prep list. Yes it's one extra step BUT you can use the pot that's boiling your pasta, skip the ice bath by rinsing your tomatoes under cold water and just remove the skins. This added step allows the tomatoes to break down and release their natural juices and sugars making for a killer sauce. You only need good olive oil, Concasséd tomatoes, garlic, basil, cheese, pasta water and about 20 minutes to achieve a delicious summer meal.






Okra, Tomatillos and Peppers

Okra screams summer and frying it up for a snack is such a treat but pan roasting it with blackening seasoning is great too. Fold some into your grits, polenta or eggs for brunch or use it as a garnish for gazpacho.


Tomatillos make for a great cooked salsa. If you haven't made salsa verde it's very simple. Start by roasting tomatillos with onions, garlic and chilies. Crack a window things heat up quick! Blend it with fresh cilantro, salt and a pinch of sugar and you have your vary own salsa verde. You can also use that as a base for green enchiladas this summer.


Peppers, sweet or spicy are here! Once again a key ingredient for salsa but cooked quickly in a cast iron skillet makes for a great addition to any grazing tray you set out for your family and friends to enjoy.





Peaches

Stone fruits such as cherries and peaches are going strong. Freshly macerated peaches paired with sweet biscuits and whipped cream are IT. Add a splash of rum, basil and ice cream and you've got a peach melba shortcake for dessert.




Berries

Although you can find all the berries at your local grocery store Blueberries and Blackberries are the only ones available at the farmer's markets. I'm sure you've seen the many viral berry crumbles and bars on social media - give them a try! You can also add blue and black berries to banana bread.




Basil

This annual herb is easy to grow and even easier to use. My tip for basil is to put it in or on EVERYTHING!




 



That's It...for now!

Thank you for reading and following along with me and my blogs. I hope you find inspiration from them. I barely scratched the surface so stay tuned for more market finds, my culinary wish list and a new "series" I like to call 'Five Items to Add to Your Pantry'. Continue to eat well my friends!




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