Summer weather is here! to celebrate, we checked in with Executive Chef Sean Blomgren to get his favorite methods of grilling (and drinking) to enjoy (and beat) the summer heat.
I just got a Japanese-style grill that I have been using almost daily. It is compact and perfect for cooking for 2 people. It lends itself to cooking on skewers and I have been skewering almost everything! We typically get a whole chicken and some fresh, local produce from the market. It’s fun to break down the chicken into different parts and cook on their own skewers. It really accentuates the different flavors and textures of each part. Mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, and Shishito peppers are all awesome accompaniments.
Anything bubbly is perfect for a long afternoon. The main thing you're looking for in a summer time beverage is a combination of high acid and low alcohol. More acid means that the beverage goes perfectly with the fatty foods you want to throw on the grill (think margaritas with carnitas tacos). Low alcohol means you can drink more cold drinks over a longer day at the grill. I love sour beers personally. The crisp acidity pairs perfectly with grilled meats and watermelon. The Trillium Fated Farmer is incredibly good but hard to find outside of Massachusetts, but the Sierra Nevada Otra Vez and Dogfish Head Seaquench Ale are available almost everywhere that you can drink all day.
For wine, rose is always right, there's never a sunny afternoon or grilled meat that doesn't pair perfectly with rose. Right now I'm all about the Inconnu "Lalalu" Rose of Mourvedre and the Scribe "Energy Free" Rose of Pinot Noir. As previously stated bubbles are perfect for wine just like beer and a Pet Nat is killer with fatty, spicy skewer. La Grange Tiphaine Nouveau Nez is a Petillant Naturel of Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley (we also carry it) and then the Onward Wines Malvasia Bianca is a killer American pet nat.
Most of my family is pretty musical, so our cookouts seem to turn into late-night sing-alongs. One of my uncles will pull out a guitar and serenade the group, with the rest of us eventually joining in. It is a great way to wind down after a long day in the sun.
Thanks for reading, looking forward to more great summer weather and the delicious ways to enjoy it!
- Sean Blomgren
Executive Chef, Stowe Mountain Lodge