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One of the features of summer in Maryland is the sheer abundance coming from our fields, gardens and orchards. A very common sight these days is to check out someone's herb garden, and discover basil plants going hog wild. So Chef JP of Corks, the classic question is: what can we do with all that basil?
The summertime avalanche of fresh food is hitting us right in the chops these days, and one of the most awaited items are at their peak. I'm talking about fresh, sweet Maryland peaches, and any trip to the market will reveal abundance and variety. Look for peaches with a well defined cleft, good color and aroma.
One idea of Jerry's is to cut a peach in half, de-stone it, and then wrap it in prosciutto, then grill it. Here is a delicious breakfast recipe.
Earlier this summer Al and his girlfriend spent several days in the seaside village of Camden, Maine, where they stayed at the Hartstone Inn. As luck would have it, not only was this a superb inn, but one of the owners is a superb chef. Al invited Chef Michael Salmon to be a guest on "Radio Kitchen," and give us the Down East take on summer eating in Maryland.
An avalanche of fresh produce is hitting us squarely these days, and shopping at the grocery store or the farmers markets is pure hedonistic pleasure. High up on everybody's list of welcome seasonal foods is sweet corn, that delicious emblem of all that's right with summertime. We are blessed to have an over-abundance of locally grown corn here in Maryland, and Chef JP of Cork Restaurant has proven there's more than one way to shuck an ear of Silver King.
Original Recipes by Chef Jerry Pelligrino
Corks’ Corn Salsa
Last week we talked about chilling things down a bit with cold soups. This week, we'll keep the thermostat on low and discuss something even more lively. If you'll be doing any entertaining this summer, you should be prepared to get something cold and tasty into your guests, and that ought to include some hot weather cocktails. Here are some great ideas Jerry came up with.
Strawberry Rhubarb Manhattan
4 oz. Bourbon
4 Strawberries, hulls removed and cut into quarters
½ oz. Rhubarb Simple Syrup Simple
A squeeze of lime juice
Given the abundance of food that is available to us during the summer, it makes a lot of sense to see how much diversity we can work into our menus. One item that can easily disappear from the summer table is soup. Customarily, we have our soups piping hot, better to ward off the chill of winter. But we can very easily put that chill into the soup and come up with recipes that refresh us during the hot months.
Sooner or later, whether it's during a Caribbean vacation or a City Fair, you're going to come across a stand selling Jamaican Jerk food. Putting aside the obvious bad jokes, a dish like Jerk Chicken can be a real eye opener. We decided to look into this very old approach to seasoning and see what we could find out. And first of all, we realized that Jamaican Jerk recipes are not for the timid palates of the world.
If you don't have your grill set up yet, you still have a few days left before you'll be facing misdemeanor charges from the Food Police. Grilling on the 4th of July is about as American as it gets, and our very own Grill Master Jerry Pellegrino of Corks Restaurant gives us some fantastic tips.
Rhubarb is a funny kind of vegetable. Although it is famously bitter, it is almost always used in desserts. The bottom part of the plant is a lot like scarlet celery, the top, like a fern. And oh yes, the top part is poisonous, so they say. Many people confess that early bad experiences with rhubarb kept them away from it.
Last week Al told you about a marvelous little restaurant he found on the Caribbean island of St.