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Summertime Cooking Trends

August 26, 2009 Le Cordon Bleu Minneapolis/St. Paul 0 Comments

Summertime brings warm weather and blue skies. The kids are out of school and Americans hit the road for their annual family vacations. And with summer finally here Minnesota chefs will be creating new menus and new delights using fresh ingredients and cooking techniques tailor made for a summer afternoon.

If you look forward to Minnesota cooking in the summertime then enjoy our list of summertime cooking trends that will keep you smiling as walk barefoot in the sun.

Fresh Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables
With our local mega supermarkets providing fresh fruits and veggies in the dead of winter, we’ve gotten used to have fresh produce whenever we want it. But nothing compares to those first local crops of berries, melons, and tomatoes. The colors are brighter. The flavor is stronger. Nothing against growers in Chile, but we’ll take produce from our local farmers any day.

Grilling and Barbequing
True barbeque fanatics will knock the snow off the grill or smoker to get the foods they crave all year round. Most of us, however, wait until the long days of summer to put on the aprons, grab the grill tools and head out to the back deck. The smoky, sweet flavor of burgers, steaks, and ribs fresh from the grill is a taste worth waiting for.

Picnics
The company picnic. The school picnic. The family reunion. Summer provides many excuses to bundle up your favorite picnic foods and a gallon of iced tea and head out to the park. Fried chicken, hot dogs, finger sandwiches, and fruit make for quick packing and fun eating.

Eating Out/Road Trips
When the summer sun hits us, we seem to have a need to hit the road. Weekend road trips, evening drives, and family vacations get us out on the highway and off to our favorite destinations. Homogenized fast food places seem to be the rule for eating venues, but don’t let their big flashy signs fool you. There are still plenty of locally owned restaurants serving quality home cooked meals along the road side to give each trip a unique food experience.

Cold Salads
A cup of soup and a sandwich may work well between October and May, but summertime is the time for your favorite cold salads. Potato and macaroni salad, vegetable medleys, three-bean salad, even the venerable garden salad can be a light and flavorful side for any entrée. And don’t forget cold soups like gazpacho or melon soup.

This article is presented by Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Minneapolis/St. Paul. Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Minneapolis/St. Paul offers Le Cordon Bleu culinary education classes and culinary training programs in Minneapolis, Minnesota. To learn more about the class offerings, please visit Chefs.edu/Minneapolis-St-Paul for more information.

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