Mouthwatering summer flavors

Local chefs share their favorite recipes, perfect for the dog days of summer.

Summer is quickly coming to an end, but there’s still plenty of time to enjoy the seasonal meals that come with it. LOCAL Life reached out to local chefs, communities and restaurants to get the scoop on some of their favorite summer dishes.

Beef it up 

After a long day of summer fun, enjoy the evening with a beef stroganoff dish. Slow braising the meat will create a more tender, memorable flavor and take this traditional dish to a gourmet level. Executive chef Jared McElroy at Hampton Hall shared this recipe that’s sure to have everyone going back for seconds.

Key ingredient: Cremini mushrooms

The difference in mushrooms is simply their age. The cremini variety is the middle child of the white button and portobello. Compared to white mushrooms, they have a darker color, a better flavor, and a firmer texture, which is why they’re great to use in liquids such as soups and pasta.

Hampton HallBeef Short Rib Stroganoff


2 pounds beef short rib, boneless

1 yellow onion, diced largely

1 carrot, peeled and diced largely

2 stalks celery, diced largely

2 quarts beef broth

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 1/2 pounds cremini mushrooms, sliced

1 quart heavy cream

1/4 cup sour cream

1 quart beef broth, reserved from short ribs

Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

1 pound fettuccine pasta, cooked

1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

Directions [1] Heat oven to 300 degrees and cut rib meat into 1 inch by 1 inch cubes. Season with salt and pepper. [2] Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet on high heat and sear the beef cubes on all sides. Once meat is cooked, remove from pan and add onions, carrot, and celery and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Add beef broth and bring to a simmer. [3] Transfer the beef to an oven-safe casserole dish and pour the mirepoix and beef broth over the beef. The liquid should cover 3/4 of the meat. Cover the dish with foil and set in the oven on the center rack and allow to simmer for 2 hours or until the beef is tender. [4] For the stroganoff sauce, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet. Add the mushrooms and saute until tender. Remove half of the cooked mushroom and hold for plating. [5] Strain the liquid off of the braised short ribs and add that to the skillet with the mushrooms and bring to a boil. Allow to cook until the liquid is reduced to about 1 cup. [6] Add the heavy cream and again bring to a simmer and allow to reduce by half. Pour the sauce into a blender along with the sour cream and season with salt and pepper. [7] Add the braised beef and sauteed mushrooms to the stroganoff sauce in a pan and bring to a simmer. Add the cooked pasta and toss to coat in the sauce. [8] Divide the pasta, beef, and mushroom mixture and garnish with a sprinkle of chopped parsley. 

Slice & dice 

Chef Pascal Vignau at Vineyard shared this refreshing salad, which would be great to cook on the grill at your next barbecue. It pairs well as a side for a pork steak with an apple vinegar glaze. 

Key ingredient: Green tomatoes 

Green tomatoes are much more tart and acidic than red ones, but they’re also much firmer and less juicy. This makes them perfect for frying and baking —no mushy mess at the end. 

VineyardGrilled Green Tomato Salad

Ingredients (Serves 4)

4 large green tomatoes

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1/2 bunch scallion, minced

1/2 cup smoked almonds, crushed

Sea salt, to taste

Directions [1] Wash the tomatoes, remove the cores, and slice about 3/4 inch thick. Place on a sheet tray. Lightly sprinkle with sea salt and half of the olive oil. [2] In a cast iron pan at high heat or over a barbecue grill, place the tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes on each side or until brown. Remove while still slightly firm. [3] Place on a serving platter and add remaining olive oil. Drizzle the vinegar and add minced scallion and crushed almonds. [4] Serve at room temperature over your favorite lettuce. 

Feelin’ crabby 

The perfect mixture of refreshing avocado, sweet pineapple, and savory crab, this recipe from Salty Dog Cafe is the perfect appetizer to serve and enjoy at your next summer gathering. The recipe makes two large servings. 

Key ingredient: Cilantro 

Essential in Mexican and Middle Eastern dishes, cilantro comes from the coriander plant and is described to have a fresh lemony and peppery taste. Although to some, it has a soapy taste. This is due to a natural chemical, which not everyone can detect. 

Salty Dog CafeCrab Guacamole


8 ripened avocados

2 red onions

4 fresh jalapeno peppers

2 medium red tomatoes

2 bunches cilantro

2 limes

1 pinch salt

1 fresh pineapple

1 bag tortilla chips

8 ounces lump crab meat


[1] To prepare the guacamole, cut avocados in half around the center core. Remove the seed from the avocado and scoop the meat into a mixing bowl using a spoon. [2] Finely dice one red onion, one tomato, and two jalapenos. De-stem one bunch of cilantro leaves and finely chop. [3] Add the chopped ingredients to the avocado meat and mix thoroughly using your hands. [4] Add juice from one lime and salt to taste. [5] To prepare the pineapple salsa, remove skin from pineapple and cut around the center core. Dice into 1/2 inch squares. [6] Dice one red onion, one tomato, and two jalapenos. De-stem one bunch of cilantro leaves and finely chop. [7] Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. [8] To assemble, add guacamole to a serving dish. Top with crab meat and pineapple salsa. Squeeze juice from 1/2 lime over the top. Cut remaining 1/2 lime into sections to be used as a garnish. [9] Place serving dishes on a large plate and surround with tortilla chips.

Farm to table

Using ingredients from its Waterfall Farm community garden, this recipe from Spring Island is truly homegrown. Nothing like a plate full of veggies to keep your meals fresh and fulfilling.

Key ingredient: White truffle oil 

Although it’s not made with actual truffles, white truffle oil still brings that potent flavor. It’s made with a flavor compound found in white truffles, which can have a mushroomy or earthy aroma. A drop should do ya! 

Spring IslandCaramelized Turnips with Napa Cabbage, Miso Truffle Butter and Cilantro


1 baby turnip, cleaned and sliced

1 cup Napa cabbage, chopped

1 teaspoon white miso paste

1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon cold whole butter, diced

1 teaspoon white truffle oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions [1] Start by heating a nonstick saute pan over medium-high heat. Add extra virgin olive oil and turnips, cooking for approximately 2-3 minutes until they become caramelized on both sides. [2] Add Napa cabbage, rice wine vinegar, and miso paste and stir until evenly coated. Continue cooking for an additional 2 minutes until cabbage becomes tender. [3] Remove from heat and add whole butter cubes, truffle oil and cilantro. Stir until evenly coated and season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

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