With farm markets bursting with product and flavor, it’s time for you to join the cars at the side of the road and become a chef. After all not all chefs deal with major food companies who arrive at their back door with a week’s worth of supplies. Sure that’s fine for paper towels, but produce and meats. Nope.
You can be a modern-day chef who visits a garden or works with a farmer and makes his meals based on what’s in market or at the stands. Now’s the time to practice creativity and elevate the basic recipes as you try fresh-picked possibilities. Emails are overflowing with peach teasers as the East Coast bounty is turning the basic peach lover into a peach canner or at least one who freezes slices for smoothies. Of course, tomatoes are filling baskets and corn readies itself for new grill recipes. Here’s a simple trick: Wash, husk corn, and put it on the grill. Let it make its popping sound; turn, and repeat til kernels beg to be eaten. The sounds of summer.
What’s stopping you? The answer should be: Nothing. The produce is so fresh, brimming with an aura of jus’ picked begging for your attention. This is what a chef who markets does. Chefs, sous chefs, or even line cooks who are on a mission buy the freshest items possible. That’s how a daily menu works. Sure there are plenty of stand-bys, but daily specials thrive in a market environment. Home cooks can do it; it’s not that hard. Shop, talk to the produce stand people, and hit “Epicurious” for strategies. Time to be creative.
Here’s a simple exercise: Zebra heirloom tomatoes, small yellow potatoes, pickling cukes, corn beggin’ to be husked, and peaches of every size and variety (try the new darling donut peach). Add a protein and your bounty meal is bursting with flavor. However you dance the ingredients, they are ready for your creative tong.
Now’s the time to practice. The market waits for no one.