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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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.

Pineapple Mint Coconut Smoothie with Dates + Nutmeg

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During the summer we’re either drinking this or the Raw Cacao Smoothie. I first had something like this with coconut ice cream, and have made that at home, but the bananas and dates are a fine stand in, better even I think. If you freeze ripe bananas, those are great to add in addition to plenty of ice. This drink is mightily refreshing and spirit lifting and I think we probably make it 3-7 times a week its so darn good and easy.

Pineapple Mint Coconut Smoothie with Dates + Nutmeg
1/2 pineapple, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 banana
1 small handful of mint
1/2 can full fat coconut milk
1/2 can coconut juice
2 dates
3-4 big handfuls of ice cubes
nutmeg

Blend all of the ingredients together except the dates, nutmeg and a few mint leaves. Add the dates, and just blend so the dates are still a bit chunky. Pour into a nice cup, spoon a little coconut milk on top, sprinkle with nutmeg and add a few mint leaves.

 

Raw Cacao Smoothie with Coconut Milk Float

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We’ve been busy painting, building our garden, and playing at the ranch this weekend. And its hot. This drink is so damn good and refreshing and gives me a bit of a boost, kind of like coffee, but really, raw cacao is its own thing. I’ve been drinking some variation of this treat for years, it is both dessert and mid-day, after lunch snack and incredibly simple. I’ve recently started using coconut milk in all kinds of treats, including the obvious-curries-but also in smoothies, ice cream base, key lime pies, and in this drink it acts as both float and main ingredient. Also, the drink itself is not overly sweet. I blend everything together really well first, and then just barely blend the dates in so you get little chewy bites of date sweetness. Avocado is a great addition to this drink!

Raw Cacao Smoothie with Coconut Milk Float

1 banana
1/4 cup raw cacao
1/2 can coconut milk + a few tablespoons for the float (full fat & organic)
4 big handfuls of ice cubes
1/2 can coconut water
2 dates

Add the banana, raw cacao, coconut milk, ice cubes and coconut water to your blender and blend at high speed until consistent. Add more ice/coconut milk/coconut water depending on desired thickness.It should be a bit thick & icy, taste quite rich and a tad sweet.
Adjust to your liking, and then add the two pitted dates. Blend just for a few seconds, so the dates don’t become liquified, but get broken down into little tasty bites. Serve in a glass cup and pour a few spoonfuls of coconut milk on top, so that it starts running down into the drink. Enjoy with or without a spoon.

Patatas Bravas with Crispy Chive Tortillas

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 My friend Cameron introduced me to the idea of huevos rancheros in this style. If you go this route, you will adjust a few steps. First, you will bend the tortillas into thirds so that they fit in the muffin tins. Then place the patatas bravas and veggies in the tortillas, crack a raw egg on the veggies, sprinkle with queso fresco and chives and broil until the eggs are done to your liking.

Patatas Bravas with Crispy Chive Tortillas
2 large russet potatoes or several small fingerlings, chopped
1 ½ cups sweet cherry tomatoes, halved
2 small shallots
2 tbsp heavy cream
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp crushed red pepper
One bunch of your favorite kale, chopped
Fresh sage
Chives, chopped
Masa harina (for homemade tortillas)
Lemon
Salsa verde
Avocado
Hot sauce of your liking
Sea salt & pepper
Olive oil & butter
Backyard eggs

Method:

Mix together the masa harina with the appropriate amount of hot water and sea salt, roll into a ball, cover with a wet towel and set aside to rest. You will need a tortilla press for thin corn tortillas.
Oven 425. Drizzle the chopped potatoes with some olive oil and a grind of sea salt and pepper. Add the paprika and crushed red pepper flakes, adjusting the amount to your liking. Let the potatoes roast for about 20 minutes and then add the halved cherry tomatoes and the shallots. Let everything roast together until the potatoes are quite soft and slightly crisp. Right before the potato/tomato mix is done, take it out of the oven and stir in the heavy cream. Place back into the oven until the cream is absorbed.
Meanwhile massage some olive oil, lemon juice, and sea salt into the kale, and roast until slightly crispy.
Heat another pan. Add butter/olive oil and then throw in some chopped fresh sage and chives, crack the eggs on top of the greens and fry to your desired doneness.
Add some butter/olive oil mix to a cast iron, throw in some chopped chives and sea salt and then place the homemade tortilla in the pan. Cook until crispy on both sides.
For assembly: Start with the green onion tortillas, add a scoop of the patatas bravas, and then some of the kale. Set a fried egg on top, add a few diced pieces of avocado, salsa verde and a final drizzle of hot sauce. If you chose to use the muffin tins, follow the directions under the photographs.