It’s chilly in the mornings, Grandmother Summer is here, the time between high summer and early autumn. Tomatoes, potatoes, beets, onions, squashes, and pears to figs — I trust eating …
It’s chilly in the mornings, Grandmother Summer is here, the time between high summer and early autumn. Tomatoes, potatoes, beets, onions, squashes, and pears to figs — I trust eating locally with the seasons; there’s a rhythm and satisfaction to cooking with produce at its peak.
Our farmers have my deepest regards.
It’s difficult to imagine, but the culture surrounding our farms didn’t exist 25 years ago.
Yes, maybe earlier in the last century, but not when I arrived in 1994. It took dedicated people to create what we have, both visionaries and worker bees. With all my heart — from local grain, fruit, dairy, meat, honey, produce and cider — thank you!
Help preserve our vibrant farm scene by cooking local year round. This is the work I’m passionate about. I want you to feel confident with a gnarly celeriac root and have five different approaches to preparing beets.
In my world, quick and easy on a budget is only possible when you commit to cooking skills. You wouldn’t expect to play the piano without practice and lessons, so why would cooking be different? The solution isn’t to dumb down the culinary arts, it’s setting a higher standard.
Extraordinary cooks can always make something delicious out of nothing. They scan what they have, dig out their tricks and techniques and, with seamless magic, set to work.
They don’t need fancy ingredients or equipment, because it’s all about the approach, not the price.
They do easy on a budget with sleight of hand; meaning they add the extra touches that will elevate the ordinary to the next level.
If you know an extraordinary cook, stay close. Ask them to teach you. I promise you won’t regret it.
A must for seasonal cooking and a changing menu are sauces. Think how you can vary a red sauce, or a pesto. Cream sauces are essential — dairy, tahini or coconut based. Sauces bring food together and we often understand the ethnic origin of a meal in its sauce. There are Asian dipping sauces, salsas, and the list goes on. If you want to keep meals delicious on a budget, invest in your sauce capacities.
Tomato Sauces: fresh, grilled, roasted
Ancho Chili Sauce
Aromatic White Sauce
Yogurt Tahini Sauce
Despite what we’re led to believe, mayonnaise is a quick and simple sauce to make in the food processor, and homemade is superior to store bought.
Once you’ve perfected the basic recipe, then a universe of variations arises. Be sure to whip up some apple and horseradish mayo. Yes, you read me right, it’s called sauce Suédoise — try it with Swedish meatballs.
Add to a food processor: 2 egg yolks, ½ teaspoon sea salt, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. With the machine running, slowly pour, in a thin stream, ¾ to 1 cup of good quality salad oil (I use walnut or avocado oil.) It will thicken as you add the oil. Store in the refrigerator and use within 4 days.
Makes 1 cup
I leave you with a recipe for Danish-style remoulade. It’s a versatile mayonnaise based sauce with many applications, from open-faced sandwiches to crudites. Enjoy!
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon brown spicy mustard
½ teaspoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon sea salt
⅛ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
¼ teaspoon anchovy fish sauce
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish sauce
½ cup salad oil (I use avocado oil, don’t use olive oil.)
1 tablespoon dehydrated onion flakes
2 tablespoons minced dill pickles
2 tablespoons minced parsley
2 tablespoons sour cream
Assemble and prep ingredients.
Add base ingredients to a food processor. Slowly, with the machine running, pour the oil in a thin steady stream.
Add the additional ingredients and pulse briefly.
Store in the fridge for ½ hour to hydrate the onions and meld the flavors.
Use or keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.
(Sidonie Maroon is the culinary educator at The Food Co-op; abluedotkitchen.com. Follow Sidonie on The Food Co-op’s Facebook group Cooking with the Co-op. Find more recipes at www.foodcoop.coop/blog/late-summer-sauces.)
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