Blackberry Sheep Milk’s Frozen Yogurt

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This is my favorite part of the summer and the time I’ll think about in the middle of winter when I’m craving fresh figs, perfectly ripe strawberries and blackberries, edible flowers and squash blossoms from the garden. The nights get cooler and there’s hints of the next season, but all of my favorite foods are in full flush, exuberant in their short, perfect moment that is now. Go to your farmers market, this is the season where you buy full boxes of this and that and learn how to make jams, preserves, pickles, sauces, salsas, whatever. Buy out the farmer and have too much summer goodness and then make stuff to bring back the sweetness of this easy summer moment when you’re huddling by the fire in a few months.

Blackberry Sheep Milk’s Frozen Yogurt 

3 cups blackberries+extra for garnish
1 tablespoon lemon juice
12 oz/370 g plain sheep milks yogurt
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
4 tablespoons/large spoonfuls honey
Fresh yerba buena + pea flower blossoms for garnish

In a small bowl, use a potato masher to smush the sugar and berries together until there are no large chunks left. Add the lemon juice, and 2 spoonfuls of honey and the sheep’s milk yogurt + cream. Stir well.
Freeze in your ice cream maker, and when the ice cream is very nearly done, add another two spoonfuls of honey, drizzle it in as the ice cream churns-this way you’ll get little honey laced bites.
Garnish with yerba buena, pea flower blossoms + blackberries.
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Vietnamese Hoi An Pancakes with Wild Shrimp, Squash Blossoms, Maitake + Nuoc Cham

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These Vietnamese pancakes are perfect for the grill. You gather the ingredients you need, bring them outside, and with such a hot grill the pancakes get crispy, and the inside ingredients stay hot. You could sub out the shrimp and just use vegetables, or add something like pastured pork belly. These were filling, but light, easy and satisfying. The nuoc cham sauce is pretty much essential as it offsets and balances the savory pancakes.

Hoi An Pancakes with Wild Shrimp, Maitake, Squash Blossoms, Green Onion + Nuoc Cham
(Adapted from Bon Appetit)
Pancakes
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cups water
1 egg

Filling
1 lb wild shrimp, peeled
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 big handful maitake mushrooms, roughly chopped
10-15 squash blossoms
2 cups or so mung bean sprouts
2 cups snap peas, chopped
salt & pepper

Nuoc Cham (vietnamese dipping sauce)
1 thai pepper, or red jalapeno, finely diced
2 garlic cloved, minced
1 inch fresh ginger, minced
Juice from 3 limes
1/4 cup fish sauce (Red Boat)
2 tsp coconut palm sugar

Fresh Herbs: Mint, basil, cilantro

Method: Mix the ingredients for the pancakes, except for the egg, and let it sit for 1 hour so the rice rehydrates. During this time combine all of the ingredients for the nuoc cham and set aside.
After an hour, whisk an egg into the pancake batter and turn on the grill.
In a medium size cast iron, season the shrimp with salt, pepper & oil. In another cast iron, add the mushrooms and peas, again seasoning with salt, pepper & oil.
Cook the shrimp & veggies covered on the grill over high heat for 5-8 minutes. Add the squash blossoms to the veggie mix and cook until wilted. Transfer the shrimp to the veggie cast iron and add a bit more oil to the already hot skillet. Ladle about 1/2 cup of the batter into the skillet, and, using an oven mit, move the skillet in a circle so the batter spreads out and covers the pan. Close the lid of the grill and cook the batter in the pan until crisp-about 5 minutes or so.
Add a few shrimp, a big spoonful of the veggies and handful of green onion & mung beans on one side of the pancake. Cover again, cook until hot and extra crisp, then use a spatula to fold over one half of the pancake.
Serve with the nuoc cham & fresh herbs.

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Yellow Watermelon, Blackberry, Thyme + Lemon Verbena Margarita

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Yellow Watermelon, Blackberry, Thyme + Lemon Verbena Margarita
makes 4 cocktails
1 small yellow watermelon, rind chopped off
Juice from 2 small limes
Tequila
Vanilla infused sea salt (for rims)
Lemon Verbena simple syrup (recipe below)
Blackberries
Fresh thyme
Ice

Blend the watermelon with 3 cups of ice (or more), the lime juice and 1/4 cup lemon verbena syrup. Blend until smooth, you can also juice the watermelon.
Coat the glasses with a bit of the lemon verbena syrup, then coat with salt. Crush a few blackberries in the glasses, add a sprinkle of thyme, pour a half shot into the glass, then pour the watermelon mix on top. Garnish with addition fresh thyme and nasturtium flower petals.

Lemon Verbena Simple Syrup
4-5 small springs lemon verbena
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
1/2 cup water

In a small saucepan heat the water + sugar. Chop the lemon verbena and bruise a bit with your hands, then add it to the saucepan. Whisk on low heat for a few minutes, until quite fragrant. Remove from heat, and pour into a glass jar. Cool in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

 

Grilled Top Sirloin with with Roasted Greens, Shishito Peppers, Fingerling Potatoes + Chimichurri

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For the last few weeks I’ve been primarily cooking over an outdoor fire in Maine. There’s no fire danger there so we grilled whole lobsters, fish, summer squash, oysters, mussels, greens, etc. Cooking over fire is my favorite kind of cooking, it is kind of an extreme event, intense, damn hot, a bit dangerous and the results are so smoky, charred and delicious. Anyway, I came home to my garden just taking off. Everything was quadrupled in size, the sunflowers ten feet tall, lemon balm bushy and bright green, potatoes, kale and parsley all lush and ready to harvest. So, in an effort to recreate cooking over a fire (we can’t have open fire here) I cooked the whole meal on the grill. I’m not sure why I haven’t done this all summer, but it keeps the house cooler and delivers far tastier food. This meal was a pop of green, spicy and fresh and melt in your mouth good.

Grilled Top Sirloin with with Roasted Greens, Shishito Peppers, Fingerling Potatoes + Chimichurri

Chimichurri
2 cups or 1 big bunch fresh parsley
1/2 cup fresh oregano
2 tbsp lemon juice
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp red pepper flakes-or more for extra spice
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground red pepper

Combine ingredients and blend until almost smooth, or food process, or you can chop everything very finely and mix. Squeeze a bit of extra lemon juice on top of the finished chimichurri.

Top Sirloin + Veggies
2 lb grass-fed beef top sirloin seasoned with salt+pepper, olive oil, a drizzle of balsamic–at room temperature
10 or so fingerling potatoes, halved
Big bunch of kale, roughly chopped
1 bunch fresh sage
1 lb shishito peppers
2 heads romaine lettuce
salt + pepper
Lemon juice
Olive oil + butter

Heat your grill to high. Place the potatoes in a small skillet, sprinkle with oil, salt+pepper, place the kale in another skillet, sprinkling with lemon juice, oil, salt+pepper. Put the skillets on the grill, close the top and cook for a few minutes, opening occasionally to stir. Turn the heat down a bit and continue to cook with the grill lid down. After about 5-8 minutes add the fresh sage to the potato skillet.
When the potatoes + kale have started to crisp, place the kale in the same skillet with the potatoes and add a tablespoon of butter to the now empty skillet. Throw the shishito peppers in, season with lemon, salt+pepper.
Let everything cook down until nicely browned + blackened.
Place the romaine directly on the grill and cook for a few minutes on each side, until just softened and charred.
Make room for the steak and place it on the grill at high heat, cooking for about 3-5 minutes on each side depending how thick the cut is. Make sure to grill the fatty part of the sirloin as well.
Finally, serve everything together, spooning chimichurri on each component, and sprinkling with fresh parsley + oregano.

Braised Lamb Riblets, Grilled Summer Squash, Apricots + Chard

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We found riblets at the farmer’s market. Only a tiny package was left, with these tiny riblets.  We ate them slowly, carefully, little delicacies in our fingers. The sweetness from the peach, crispiness from the braised, then blackened fat, and bitterness from the greens. It’s also a nice thing to grind your own spices in a mortar & pestle. You can switch up the ingredients in this recipe all you want, adding, replacing, changing the spices. The dish is super versatile, but the best part is when the braised ribs get caramelized in a skillet.

Braised Lamb Riblets, Grilled Summer Squash, Apricots + Chard
1 lb pastured lamb riblets
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp red chili flakes
Sea salt
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch ginger, chopped
Handful of fresh thyme
2 cups water or beef broth
1 tbsp butter
5 summer squashes, cut lengthwise
Huge handful chard, chopped
3 sprigs rosemary
Lemon juice
5 apricots, halved & quartered
Handful of cilantro

Bring the riblets to room temperature.
Add the pepper, coriander, cumin, chili flakes and sea salt to a dry skillet over medium heat. Toast until fragrant, 2-3 minutes and then grind in a mortar & pestle. Rub the spices into the riblets, place in a covered bowl, and let sit in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
Heat the oven to 325*.
Place the butter to a dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the onions to the skillet, cover and saute for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, but now browned. Add the ginger and garlic, saute for a few minutes, then add the thyme, broth or water, and the riblets.
Bring to a gentle simmer, then place the dutch oven, covered, in the oven and braise for about 2 hours, until the meat is tender.
About 15 minutes before serving, heat the grill, and cook the summer squash.
Remove the riblets from the braise, and cut them into individual ribs, reserving the braising liquid for roasting future vegetables.
Heat a skillet, add some olive oil or butter to the pan, and add the chard and rosemary. Season the greens with lemon juice & sea salt, and then throw the apricots in the with greens. Cover the skillet, turn the heat down and allow to cook for a few minutes until the greens and apricots are slightly wilted & cooked down.
In the meantime, heat another skillet, add a little oil or butter, and sear the ribs until the fat starts to caramelize on all sides.
Serve the riblets with the chard, squash, and apricots, sprinkle with cilantro and a grind of salt & pepper.
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