Roasted Delicata Squash Chips with Sweet Chili Garlic Dipping Sauce

Oven roasted Delicata rings are sweet and crispy and create a beautiful presentation. It is the easiest of all winter squashes to prepare since you don’t have to peel it, which is most of the battle with winter squashes. It slices into perfectly sized portions and provides a terrific result with very little effort.  Continue reading

Fiddleheads Tempura with Aoli

Spring came earlier than usual this year. Fiddleheads usually appear in May, but this year they are plentiful in April—even as far north as Elmore, Vermont. The scroll-like Ostrich Fern fiddleheads are easily identified by the brown skin that clings loosely to the emerging shoots. If you pick your own, harvest only 3 per plant to prevent decimating the fern population. Fiddleheads are readily available in markets during their brief season. They have a delicate flavor sometimes described as similar to asparagus or okra, or simply as spring greens. Continue reading

Chicken Braised in Oatmeal Stout with Colcannon

Oatmeal stout adds special aromatics and hints of chocolate, coffee, and toffee, and pairs with thickly sliced mushrooms and leeks. Braising chicken with these elements produces meat that and is tender and juicy swimming in a delicately flavored sauce. Colcannon is a popular Irish dish that combines potatoes, kale, and scallions. It can be a meal by itself, but is also a wonderful companion for this braised chicken. Continue reading

Turkey Meatballs Braised in Apple Barbecue Sauce with Corn Pudding

Seek out meat from free-range turkeys to make these tender meatballs. Organic, naturally raised birds are generally available at food co-ops, independent grocers, through your local CSA, natural foods stores, and at farmers markets. I used coarsely ground turkey from Misty Knoll Farm located in New Haven Vermont. Birds grown in the open air, and allowed to forage on bugs in open pastures grow more slowly, but are more flavorful and healthier to eat. The richer texture and taste of these turkeys stands up to the spice-laden barbecue sauce. A traditional pudding of toothsome whole corn kernels and sharp cheddar balances the texture and deep flavor of these meatballs. Serve with a leafy green vegetable such as Swiss chard sautéed with garlic. Continue reading

Lamb Steaks with Cracked Peppercorns and Blueberries

These lamb steaks have a snappy coating of cracked peppercorns and a buttery sauce flavored with red wine, blueberries, rosemary, and red currant jelly. Serve these steaks with a simple and colorful assortment of roasted root vegetables. Choose a wine featuring a berry or plum flavor such as a Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz. If you prefer a malt beverage, try an American style brown ale to go with the lamb and sauce. Continue reading

Peppers Stuffed with Polenta and Ricotta, Baked with Italian Sausage, Eggplant, Summer Squash and Tomato Sauce

Sweet, creamy polenta is enriched with Bennington, Vermont’s Maplebrook Farm Whole Milk Ricotta and fills garden fresh peppers. Nestled into a mixture of summer vegetables, spicy Italian sausage, and deeply flavored marinara sauce these peppers are a treat to serve friends or family. Perhaps some crusty bread to help sop up the sauce is all you need to accompany this one-dish meal. A spicy, full-bodied Shiraz would stand up to the range of deep flavors. Schooners of American India Pale Ale would play off the spicy notes of the sausage as well as the cheesy polenta. Continue reading

Summer Potato Salad with Fresh Peas and Cheddar Cheese

The nut like texture of raw garden peas and spunky, tender mustard greens turns this ordinary dish into a refreshing seasonal offering. In northern Vermont, Farmers Markets have these ingredients available by mid-July, probably sooner where you live. There’s nothing like eating delicate vegetables when they are at their peak of flavor. This combination of flavors and textures makes me grateful to live in Vermont. This is true taste of place. Continue reading

Eggplant & Summer Squash Lasagna with Roasted Red Peppers and Black Olives

When the weather is hot we all want something that can be put together without much effort, but takes advantage of the season’s best ingredients. This recipe use some of the garden’s bounty; if you are a gardener that means, what am I going to do with all these vegetables? They’re taking over. Layered like a lasagna, but containing no pasta, it is light to suit the seasonal heat, yet still rich with fresh cheese and a sharply flavored topping. This one-dish meal pairs well with a toasty loaf of garlic bread and some mixed greens.

Try a crisp, Sauvignon Blanc. The acidity, citrus quality, and herbal tones will compliment the garlic and roasted red peppers. American Amber Ale has just the right sweetness and spice to work with the vegetables and cheeses. Continue reading

Grilled Pork Chops with Oven Roasted Tomatoes and Smoked Mozzarella, Served with Mushroom Risotto and Brocollini

Grilled Pork Chops with Oven Roasted Tomatoes and Smoked Mozzarella howtofood

Oven roasting concentrates the flavor of fresh garden tomatoes and gives them a caramelized flavor. They need a concentrated flavor to play off the earthy zing of Maplebrook Farm cherry-wood smoked mozzarella. When you unwrap this remarkable cheese you’ll smell what I’m talking about before you even taste it. The pork chops are soaked in a brine before grilling to make them retain juices, and to absorb the flavors of garlic, brown sugar and summer savory. The mushroom risotto flows onto the plate and the pork chops are served on top and is both sauce for the meat and starch for the meal. Crisp brocollini provides a textural counterpart to the other elements. Serve with Viognier or an oaky Chardonnay, if you prefer beer try a frosty, well-hopped IPA. Continue reading