Gail Simmons’ Secrets to Easy-Breezy Summer Cooking

|
June 7, 2018
Summer cooking
Photo Credit: Johnny Miller

By Beth Lipton

We always want to cook crowd-pleasing, chef-worthy food, easily and effortlessly—but especially in the summer. #Goals, right?

So we turned to one of our favorite experts: Gail Simmons. The Top Chef judge shared two of her fave summer dishes from her cookbook Bringing It Home (below) and chatted with us about what makes them special, and how to make them yours, stress-free.

“In the summertime, you want to be out in the sunshine, spending time with your family, not sweating over a hot stove,” Simmons tells Clean Plates. “Especially for summer entertaining, keeping it simple is important.”

One way to do this is to look at recipes with a fresh eye. “Be more loose with your recipes,” she says. “Not the technique per se, but with the ingredients. Most cooks are either really improvisational or really by-the-recipe. Learning to be a really good home cook and learning to be the least stressed in your cooking is to be somewhere in the middle. Look at a recipe and then make simple ingredient exchanges. Making a filet of fish and cooking a hangar steak is the same technique, so it’s freeing to be able to look at a recipe and look beyond the exact ingredient list.

“Use basic recipes that you can alter in 5 different ways,” she adds. “Do them your way. Don’t be afraid to stray from the path.”

Here are two of hers, with an inside look at how she elevated them. Make them as is, or add your own spin.

Bumbleberry Buckwheat Pancakes with Cinnamon Cream

Gail says: “The batter in these pancakes is really simple, fun and easy. It’s great for kids but sophisticated enough to make for adults. It has lots of lemon zest, and buckwheat flour, which is really hearty and healthful, and gives a really nutty flavor to the pancakes. “The bumbleberries are key,” she adds. “It’s…

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Bumbleberry Buckwheat Pancakes with Cinnamon Cream

Summer Vegetable Salad with Charred Lime Vinaigrette

Gail says: “It’s an everything salad, and it’s interchangeable—you don’t have to be fussy about it. There’s no lettuce, so it keeps really well; it doesn’t get soggy, so you can take it on a picnic. And you can add other vegetables, or swap some—it would be great with asparagus, or fennel. You could even…

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Summer Vegetable Salad with Charred Lime Vinaigrette
BIO: Beth Lipton is a contributing editor at Clean Plates.

Good food brings people together. So do good emails.

Good food
brings
people together.
So do
good emails.

  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden

Popular Stories

What our editors love right now

Good food brings people together.
So do good emails.

  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden