Invited the guys over for some brunch yesterday to clean out the fridge. I had a bunch of summer produce to play with and one of my favorite things to do is trying to make random ingredients come together and cohesively work in a single meal. Here are some photos of the spread.

beer cocktail - hard cider, peaches, lemongrass, orange juice/zest, cilantro, lemongrass

saturn peaches & anchovy caramel - unripened peaches, fish sauce, poprocks, sea salt

Always wanted to try this combination. It works rather well and it finally gives me a reason for serving unripened stonefruit; it lends a texture similar to an apple. So, apple + caramel…makes sense right? The fish sauce is a traditional condiment for unripened fruits in Vietnam. I grew up with it, so it’s normal to me…

saturn peaches - used these in the previous dish. they look like peaches that have been sat on. growing in popularity and becoming readily available in supermarkets. they are relatively sweet when unripened, which is why i like them.

anchovy caramel - reduced simple syrup, vietnamese fish sauce

quick pickled fresno chilies - fresno chilies, sugarcane vinegar, arbequina olive oil, salt, sugar, cilantro, garlic

heirloom tomato salad - heirloom tomatoes, shaved cucumbers, shaved onions, arbequina olive oil, sea salt


pork shoulder - marinated in fish sauce, olive oil, rice wine, sugar, white pepper, black pepper, cilantro, garlic

sauce - arbequina olive oil, garlic, cilantro

The preferred method of cooking pork shoulder is by braising it, but it’s really good quickly fired off on the grill. It retains a lot of it’s natural pork flavor that’s muted during the braising process. The trick is a super hot grill, good caramelization, and letting the meat rest after the meat firms up slightly (the proteins should be noticeably denatured yet still pink).

black plums - you’ve gotta admit—that’s the smoothest concasse ever.

deconstructed black plum cobbler - black plum concasse, oatmeal crumble, vanilla ice cream, sea salt

I hate the term ‘deconstructed’ as I feel it’s been used to death…but that’s exactly what this is. The quenelles don’t look so great, but it’s hard when you’re trying to do it out of a 3 oz container of haagen-daz.

And that’s our summer brunch. I’m gonna try to do this more often. The bounty of summer is here and I need to seize it while I’ve still got the chance.