Even though it’s September, we still have a few weeks of the summer season left to enjoy the warm weather and get together with friends and family (safely and socially-distanced, of course) to cook and enjoy some great meals. That warm sun with the creep of fall coming in can feel great when it’s shared with friends and family. If you’re stumped for recipe ideas or are looking to try something new and exciting, we have some great options for you, all created by SUNY chefs.
We asked our chefs to put together sample summer menus, including appetizer, salad, entrée, and desert options. The full menus, which were sent in by Chef Matthew Bolton of SUNY Adirondack, which offers a robust Culinary Arts Program and a student-run full-service dining restaurant called Seasoned; and Chef David Yanisko of SUNY Cobleskill, which also offers a great Culinary Arts Program and a working farm where culinary can work in a USDA meat processing lab with farm fresh beef, chicken, and pork, as well as fish from aquaponics labs and veggies from hydroponics labs.
Ready to start getting creative in the kitchen? See below for each chef’s menus, with delicious options for a summer get together or just a regular weeknight. Let us know which recipes are your favorite!
Roasted Root Vegetables with Ginger Salsa Verde – by Chef Matthew Bolton
Yield: 4 servings
- 1 lb parsnips or celery root
- 1 lb baby carrots
- ¼ tsp coriander seeds, crushed
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 T olive oil
- 2 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 F. Line baking sheet with parchment. Peel root vegetables and cut in desired shapes.
- Whisk together coriander, ginger, garlic, oil, salt and pepper. Add the vegetables and toss to coat. Spread vegetables on baking sheets and roast until tender.
Ginger Salsa Verde
Yield: 2 ½ cups
- 2 C cilantro leaves
- 1 T capers
- 2 tsp thyme leaves
- 1 T dried marjoram
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- 1 T grated peeled fresh ginger
- ½ jalapeno, seeded and chopped
- ¼ C olive oil
- 2 tsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp grated lemon zest
- salt & pepper
- Combine cilantro, capers, thyme, marjoram, garlic, ginger, jalapeno, oil, and vinegar in food processor and pulse in short bursts. Finely chopped not puree. Stir in lemon zest and season s&p.
Grilled Peach Tartine – by Chef David Yanisko
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- Four 1”-1.5” thick slices of baguette
- Three fresh peaches sliced into eighths
- 1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese
- 2 tablespoons toasted, slivered almonds
- 2 tablespoons of buckwheat honey
Light your grill. Brush the bread slices with oil, and season to taste with salt and fresh cracked pepper. When the grill is hot, place the bread on the grill and toast both sides. Do the same with each peach slice. You are not looking to cook the peaches, just get them a bit charred. Remove the bread and peaches to a plate.
On a flat surface, spread each toasted slice of bread with 1-2 tablespoons of ricotta. Top that with 2 to 3 pieces of grilled peach, then drizzle to taste with buckwheat honey and slivered almonds. Serve immediately.
Grilled Shrimp, Peach, Serrano Salad – by Chef Matthew Bolton
Yield: 8 servings
- 1 lb ripe, firm peaches
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 lb 16/20 shrimp
- 2 serrano peppers, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- Boil water in medium pot. Score X in the bottom of peaches. Dunk each peach in water one at a time about 30 seconds, then remove with slotted spoon. Once cool gently peel off skin.
- Cut peaches in half and remove pits. Cut into wedges. Place on paper towels. Chill unless grilling immediately.
- Brush oil on the grill grates. Grill peach wedges with marks on each side. Place in a bowl.
- Grill shrimp approximately 2-3 minutes each side. Add shrimp to peaches. Add serrano’s, juice, fish sauce, s&p then toss to coat. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Fresh Tomato, Cucumber, Red Onion, and Sweet Cherry Salad – by Chef David Yanisko
- 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 cup sliced cucumber
- 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup pitted cherries, sliced in half
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
For the vinaigrette, add the red wine vinegar and mustard to a small bowl. While whisking, slowly drizzle in the olive oil to form a temporary emulsion. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Mix all prepared vegetables in a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add desired amount of vinaigrette to taste, mix thoroughly, and plate. Serve immediately.
Seared White Fish, Green Apple Strawberry Salsa, and Jasmine Rice – by Chef Matthew Bolton
Seared White Fish (6oz portions)
- Pat fish dry with a paper towel. Season on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Heat a sauté pan over high heat. When the pan is hot, add a little oil. Place the fish in the pan, skin side down. If fillets have skin, press down gently with a spatula for about 20 seconds to prevent curling.
- Lower heat to medium and let sizzle until fish is golden and caramelized around edges, about 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully flip fillets and add butter to pan. Tilt pan slightly to let the melted butter pool at one end. Use a spoon to baste the fish with the pooled butter. Continue basting until golden all over and cooked through, 45 to 90 seconds more, depending on the thickness of your fish.
Yield: 1.5 lb
- 8 oz rice
- 1 pint water
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ oz butter
- Wash rice in cold water until water runs clear.
2. Combine all ingredients in a heavy pot. Bring to boil. Stir. Cover and cook over very low heat. (Long- and medium-grain: 15-20 minutes)
3. Test rice for doneness. Cook 2-4 minutes more if necessary.
4. Turn rice out into a hotel pan. Fluff with fork or slotted spoon to let steam escape.
Green Apple Basil and Strawberry Salsa (V/GF)
Yield: 3 cups
- 1 green apple, cored and diced
- 1 C cherry tomatoes, ¼ cut
- 1 C hulled ¼ cut strawberries
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 T acid (lemon juice, cider vinegar, tarragon vinegar or wine vinegar)
- 3 T olive oil
- 1 T chopped fresh basil
- Prep all ingredients. Add together and toss gently. Season to taste with s&p (salt & pepper).
Grilled Herb Marinated Swordfish and Summer Vegetables – by Chef David Yanisko
- Four 6 oz portions of swordfish
- 3 tablespoons of fresh herbs, such as parsley, tarragon, chive, etc.
- 1 bunch thick asparagus, bottoms removed
- 2 each zucchini, thickly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced in half and seeded
- 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced in half and seeded
- Olive oil
Turn on your grill and get it hot. Pat dry each portion of swordfish and season with salt and freshly cracked pepper. Mix the chopped herbs with 4 tablespoons of olive oil and coat the fish on all sides with this.
Lightly coat all vegetables with olive oil and season to taste with salt and freshly cracked pepper.
Once the grill is hot, starting with the zucchini and bell peppers, arrange on the grill, turning when necessary. Once the zucchini and peppers have started, place the asparagus on the grill and then the fish.
Turn the vegetables at least once to cook evenly and to get some attractive chargrill marks. The same should be done with the fish, maybe 5 minutes per side. Swordfish will firm up as it cooks. A better way to tell doneness is with a thermometer. The fish should be removed from the grill at an internal temperature of 130°F.
Let the fish rest on a plate while the grilled vegetables are divided between your plates. Add the grilled swordfish, and drizzle some olive oil on the fish to finish. Serve immediately.
Flourless Dark Chocolate Torte Berry Coulis – by Chef Matthew Bolton
Yield: 11×9 pan (or silicone molds of choice)
- 1 cup water
- ¾ cup sugar
- 5 oz butter
- 1.25 lb dark chocolate of choice
- 6 eggs
- Melt butter & chocolate. Boil water & sugar together until dissolved then combine with butter & chocolate. Whisk until smooth.
- Once mixture is body temp, add eggs one at a time until fully incorporated.
- Pan spray the pan or mold & fill with mix. Cook in a water bath at 350 F until set approximately 20-30 minutes
Yield: 11 oz
- 7 oz summer berries
- 3 ½ oz sugar
- 1 ½ oz water, (8 tsp)
- ½ oz lemon juice, (3 tsp)
- ¾ oz Kirsch, or other fruit brandy or liqueur, optional (4 tsp)
- Make a syrup of the sugar and water, boil to 220 F. Mix the fruit into the syrup. Simmer until soft. Add liqueur and boil again.
- Purée the fruit in a blender or food processor and pass through a fine sieve or chinois. Cool.
Fresh Corn Pudding – by Chef David Yanisko
**Adapted from “Deep Run Roots” from Vivian Howard, via Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street**
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter, cut into 8 pieces, plus more for ramekins
- 135 grams (½ cup plus 2 tablespoons) white sugar, divided, plus more for ramekins
- 4 teaspoons grated lemon zest, divided
- 65 grams (½ cup) all-purpose flour
- 2 cups corn kernels
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/8 teaspoon table salt
- 2 large eggs, separated, plus 2 large egg whites, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Heat the oven to 400°F with a rack in the middle position. Generously butter six 6-ounce ramekins. Sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon sugar and turn to coat, then tap out the excess. Place the ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet, set aside.
In a small bowl combine 27 grams (2 tablespoons) white sugar with 1 teaspoon of lemon zest. Using your fingers, work them together, then set aside.
In a large saucepan, whisk together the flour and 54 grams (¼ cup) of white sugar. In a blender, combine the corn, cream and salt, then puree just until smooth, about 15 seconds. Whisk the puree into the flour mixture, then set the pan over medium and cook, stirring constantly with a silicone spatula, until the mixture reaches a boil and forms a thick, shiny paste, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat, then stir in the butter 2 tablespoons at a time until fully incorporated. Transfer to a large bowl and cool to room temperature, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the egg yolks, the remaining 3 teaspoons zest and the vanilla.
In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium-high until light and foamy. With the mixer running, slowly add the remaining 54 grams (¼ cup) white sugar, then continue to whip until the whites hold soft peaks when the whisk is lifted, 1 to 2 minutes; do not overwhip.
Using a silicone spatula, fold about a quarter of the whites into the corn mixture until just a few streaks remain. Gently fold in the remaining whites, taking care not to deflate them.
Divide the mixtures evenly among the prepared ramekins. Run the tip of your thumb along the inside edge of each ramekin to create a small channel; this gives the soufflés better rise. Sprinkle with the lemon sugar, dividing it evenly.
Bake until golden brown and well risen, 20 to 22 minutes; they should jiggle slightly when the baking sheet is gently shaken. Do not open the oven door during baking. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack. Dust the soufflés with powdered sugar (if using) and serve right away.