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SUMMER CORN CHOWDER
A traditional chowder has a base of rich & comforting béchamel that creates a very thick & warming base to construct a winter soup usually featuring seafood (clam) or corn. This version is much lighter for a cooler summer-time evening yet has all the flavor and appeal without the heaviness. Also, it is important to use red potato for this recipe as the waxiness allows the potato to hold its’ shape even when fully cooked. Corn & potato pair wonderfully with Truffle and so I have enhanced the flavors here with Hepp’s Black Truffle Salt; use kosher salt if you do not have any truffle salt on hand, and season gradually! Pair this soup with fresh salad & garlic bread and sit out on the patio to enjoy as the sun goes down.
1 medium Candy Onion
2 – 3 Peppers, any variety, about 12- 14 ounces
2 large ears of Corn, kernels removed
1 Tablespoon chopped Garlic, about 2 large cloves
1 ½ pounds Red Potato, about 4 medium
4 Cups Water
1 Cup Cream
1 – 2 Tablespoons Hepp’s Black Truffle Salt
3 Tablespoons Grapeseed Oil
Dice onion & peppers into ¼ inch pieces. Chop potato into ¼ inch cubes and set aside. Heat oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over high heat until shimmering and then ad the onion and pepper as well as corn kernels. Stir well and continue to cook for 2 – 3 minutes. The corn sugars will begin to be released from the corn and there should be little golden edges on the onion but no more color—you do not want the vegetable to start getting too brown and sticking as this will detract from the brightness of the final result. At this time add the garlic and stir until fragrant. Pour in water and then diced potatoes before bringing to a simmer for 15 – 20 minutes, depending on size of potato. When potato is cooked, add the cream and simmer for another 5 minutes. Season with truffle salt to taste (you will need a good bit of salt!) Garnish with sliced fresh Jalapeño to serve.
A classic from Southern France, Ratatouille has many variations yet always relies on the Summer bounty of tomato, eggplant & squash. Also in the mix you can find sweet onions & peppers, and pungent garlic as well as herbs that you may have on hand, such as basil, oregano & thyme. I utilized a tomato sauce cooked with seasonings such as these herbs as well as red wine for a rich flavor. If you have heirloom tomatoes on hand, dice these up and as they cook down will create the sauce—just remember to add the garlic & herbs beforehand. Mostly served as a side dish, you can employ this as a main course dish with the addition of rice or pasta to complete the meal.
2 Tablespoon Blended Oil
1 medium Candy Onion
2 Carmen Peppers
2 medium Zucchini or Squash
1 medium Eggplant
2 Cups Heirloom Tomato Sauce or 1 large Heirloom Tomato + 1 crushed garlic clove & 2 teaspoons mixed dried herbs
Heat oil over medium flame in a large saucepan. Dice onion into inch size pieces and add to saucepan, stirring to coat evenly with oil. Whilst onion cooks, dice up zucchini into ¾ inch pieces and then add it to the pan, stirring once again. Peel (or not, or stripe-peel) eggplant and then chop into ¾ inch cubes and add to the pan, stirring to combine evenly – you want the eggplant to get on the bottom of the pan to sear some edges and develop flavor. Cook for a couple of minutes – pan should not be too hot that vegetables begin to stick. When eggplant has some color and the mixture is releasing aroma, pour in the heirloom tomato sauce. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 8 minutes or so. Vegetables will be tender but not overly soft when ready. Season to taste with salt and pepper to serve.