Charred Corn and Mango Salsa + Plantain Chips // A Thought For FoodWait. What? How are we already approaching the end of July? I’m pretty sure it was May yesterday. And didn’t we just have snow on the ground? Can we just slow things down a bit? Maybe there’s been a bit too much running around these last few weeks. There was the trip to the Berkshires, followed by some time in New Jersey/New York, which went directly into a couple days on the Cape. All good, fun stuff, but, at the same time, it’s all a little exhausting. Our lives slow down a bit over the next few weeks. There are plenty of projects to work on, but not as much travel. Just some Cape-time, reading, swimming, boating. Simple, quiet activities.

After all the back and forth, it was great to get into the kitchen and work on some recipes I’ve had in my head for quite a while. Corn is my summer obsession. Even more than tomatoes or asparagus or berries, I can’t get enough corn. The thing is that I really don’t like eating it on the cob and would much rather shave the kernels into a salad. The inspiration for this salsa came from my father-in-law. With my adaptation, I gave it the summer treatment by charring the corn, giving it some added flavor and texture. A good amount of spice comes from the habanero Tabasco. This stuff doesn’t just have a kick… it burns. But in a good way. It’s something to think about as your seasoning the salsa.
Charred Corn and Mango Salsa + Plantain Chips // A Thought For FoodCharred Corn and Mango Salsa + Plantain Chips // A Thought For FoodCharred Corn and Mango Salsa + Plantain Chips // A Thought For FoodCharred Corn and Mango Salsa + Plantain Chips // A Thought For Food

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Tabasco. Over the course of the year, I will be creating recipes featuring the Tabasco Family of Flavors and this is the first of those posts. All opinions expressed on my site are my own.

You can check out my recap from my trip to visiting Tabasco here and my recipes for Smokey Shrimp Burgers and a Watermelon Shrub Spritzer.
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  • July 22, 2015 - 11:08 pm

    Tieghan - This is everything I love and then some! Huge thumbs up to those plantain chips and the chard corn and that mango! YES! :)ReplyCancel

  • July 23, 2015 - 10:31 am

    Lindsey - this totally reminds me of something that my husband and i ate in costa rica. and holy moly, why did i never think of pairing mango and corn!? definitely making this asap!ReplyCancel

  • July 23, 2015 - 11:13 am

    naomi - This recipe is everything! I love it. And I hope things slow down enough for you to take a deep breathe.ReplyCancel

  • July 23, 2015 - 11:45 am

    Paula - bell'alimento - This is my kinda salsa! I’ve got the chips now pass the bowl ; ) Please and thank you of course.ReplyCancel

  • July 24, 2015 - 3:11 am

    Julianne @ Beyond Frosting - This looks like a salsa I need to make!ReplyCancel

  • July 27, 2015 - 1:13 pm

    Liren - Brian, this is a brilliant use of my favorite Tabasco flavor! There’s actually a delicious corn salsa at Trader Joe’s that I have been meaning to recreate – have you tried it? This looks even better. And paired with plantain chips is so smart. Love love love.

    Hope you have time to decompress and get the rest you deserve.ReplyCancel

  • August 4, 2015 - 11:42 am

    alison @ Ingredients Inc. - SO creative and beautiful! Pinned!ReplyCancel

  • August 22, 2015 - 10:55 am

    summer produce guide: what to eat right now (late august) | brooklyn supper - […] Corn and a Creamy Avocado Dressing // Brooklyn Supper Creamed Corn Relish // Brooklyn Supper Charred Corn and Mango Salsa // A Thought for […]ReplyCancel

  • September 2, 2015 - 7:50 am

    Chilled Plum Soup » A Thought For Food - […] like I’d covered all the bases recently with the dishes I’ve created using tomato, corn, cherries and berries. What was there left to do? I looked through the local market and saw these […]ReplyCancel

Buttery New Potatoes with Garlic and Herbs // A Thought For Food

For most of my life, I’ve made potatoes two ways: mashed or roasted. The idea of a boiled potato seemed rather uninteresting. I mean, how is it possible to impart any flavor when all you’re doing is throwing them into some hot water. Then, a few years ago, I was introduced to Syracuse salt potatoes. Even though I studied at Syracuse University for a year, I only learned about them on a business trip out there. The small new potatoes were cooked in a large pot of very salty water with the skins left on. The result is a super creamy potato.

These, of course, are not Syracuse salt potatoes… but I thought about them as I was preparing this dish. I started with a bit more salt that I normally would in my water. Just like salting pasta water, this infuses the potatoes with a lot of flavor and helps break down the starches in the potato, giving them their creamy consistency. Once done cooking, they were given some tablespoons of butter (of course), minced garlic, chopped herbs (I used a combination of what we had in our garden), and a nice amount of coarsely ground black pepper.

What made this side even more special was where the potatoes came from. While we were in the Berkshires last week, Eric and I went out to visit our friends Heather and Matt at Sparrow Arc Farm in Copake, NY. I’ve had the pleasure of hanging with them a couple of times at various events and we hit it off immediately. They were so kind to take us around their property and explain what they’re growing and their process (it’s quite the operation). We went berry picking with their kids (check out this picture of their youngest after he devoured multiple handfuls of blackberries).Before we departed, Matt handed us two large bags of new potatoes, which I’ve enjoyed serving to family and friends over the last week.

Buttery New Potatoes with Garlic and Herbs // A Thought For FoodButtery New Potatoes with Garlic and Herbs // A Thought For FoodButtery New Potatoes with Garlic and Herbs // A Thought For FoodView full post »

  • July 12, 2015 - 9:18 pm

    Crushing On - Chez Us - […] These potatoes […]ReplyCancel

  • July 12, 2015 - 11:11 pm

    Tieghan - I am the sam way, I either mash or roast my potatoes. I just love those way, but I am so in for trying these, they sound amazing!ReplyCancel

  • July 13, 2015 - 9:45 am

    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar - Any excuse to eat buttery potatoes..I love these. Roasted potatoes are so comforting!ReplyCancel

  • July 13, 2015 - 5:22 pm

    Sharon @ What The Fork Food Blog - These potatoes look so simple and delicious! And your pictures are STUNNING!ReplyCancel

  • July 13, 2015 - 10:56 pm

    Patricia @ Grab a Plate - These potatoes look great, and I’m sure they taste even better knowing they came from somewhere special! Love the simplicity!ReplyCancel

  • July 15, 2015 - 4:36 am
  • July 16, 2015 - 10:14 am

    Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles - I grew up with way too many boiled vegetables in my life. But this. I’d love to wrap my hands around a big bowl of these potatoes!ReplyCancel

  • July 17, 2015 - 2:17 pm

    francesca - I LOVE that your ‘taters aren’t swimming in mayo-laden soup. These look great <3ReplyCancel

  • July 19, 2015 - 3:19 pm

    Jen Schall - I had to laugh when I started reading this… I almost *never* boil potatoes either. Partly because of the lack of flavor and partly because I often mess it up. This recipe looks great, though, and looks like a good way to use up some of the herbs that have exploded in the garden.ReplyCancel

  • July 20, 2015 - 1:36 pm

    Liren - Potatoes are my weakness, and I am not picky. I’ll take them any which way – mashed, roasted, fried, frittered, and definitely boiled, especially when they are perfectly done like this! I love how you let the potatoes shine and there isn’t a ton of fuss! And by the way, that little guy with his berry messy face? How adorable!ReplyCancel

  • July 22, 2015 - 9:39 am

    bev @ bevcooks - Ooooooo so doing this this weekend! MUAH.ReplyCancel

Heirloom Tomatoes with Garlic Scape and Basil Vinaigrette // A Thought For Food

My family is in full swing with our summer reading contest. This has been going on for years, ever since my sister and I were old enough to get through a Curious George book on our own. She always took it a bit more seriously than I did and would make it through at least a half a dozen by the end of the summer, while I’d get through one or two. It wasn’t until high school that I started getting competitive with her. After my senior year of high school, my parents took us to San Francisco for a week. While there is a lot that I remember from that trip (the Ghirardelli factory, walking through the Ferry Building Marketplace, dim sum in Chinatown), the two of us spent most of that trip with a book in front of our faces.

Between college and jobs and, you know, life, we’ve calmed things down a bit over the years. I no longer compete with my sister (a much faster reader than I am, I have no doubt she’ll get through more books), but I still love this tradition. There have been recent years where I’ve only gotten through a couple. In the month of June, however, I managed to finish three. The first was a YA novel (I didn’t know this until I’d already read a couple chapters and felt like it’d be the perfect book for a teenager) called Noggin. While the writing wasn’t very challenging and the story wasn’t terribly complex, the premise was creative and it had some strong characters.  The second was The Girl on the Train, which I found to be an engrossing mystery. The last was The Dinner, which, like The Girl on the Train, is told in the first person.

I’m currently making my way through All the Light We Cannot See. I won’t go into much detail about the plot, but I will say that the writing is some of the best, maybe the best, I’ve ever read. Every sentence is loaded with detail. That’s not to say that it’s verbose. Quite the opposite, in fact. Every word adds new depth to the experience, as if you’re watching a painting or a photograph being developed before your eyes. It’s a magnificent experience and I’m trying to take my time with the book so that I can savor it.

Of course, none of this has anything to do with tomatoes. Except that they both exist in the summer. I’ve been enjoying tomatoes in a variety of forms, but my favorite preparation is as a lightly dressed salad or sliced and served on top of rye bread. For this dish, I included garlic scapes two ways: in the dressing and simply sautéed. It’s nothing revolutionary, but, hey, it works.

Heirloom Tomatoes with Garlic Scape and Basil Vinaigrette // A Thought For Food
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  • July 6, 2015 - 8:50 am

    Tieghan - Your families summer reading sounds so fun! I need to try and do more of that!

    Love this salad, heirlooms are the best of the best! :)ReplyCancel

  • July 6, 2015 - 11:04 am

    Nik@ABrownTable - Haha, sibling competition, reading books on a trip! I think I’ve experienced that on family trips too,they make for good memories and conversations at family tables later on. Damn, a garlic scape vinaigrette sounds so good especially in tomato season. Lovely work, Brian!ReplyCancel

  • July 6, 2015 - 5:10 pm

    Liren - I love how you have kept up this tradition! I come from a family of readers, too, but we never threw down the gauntlet in this way – love the friendly competition. If anything, it’s a wonderful way to discover good books. I’m adding All the Light We Can Not See to my reading list, thank you for sharing this find!

    And like books, there’s nothing better in the summer than tomatoes. This is simple and gorgeous.ReplyCancel

  • July 6, 2015 - 7:58 pm

    Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence - Such a fun tradition. I have fond memories of summer reading back in NJ. Sometimes at my Aunt’s beach house, sometimes curled up on the couch in our living room (a room seldom used). I’ve been trying to read more books recently. Just started Game of Thrones, so I’ll be in this series for a while. Perhaps I’ll take a break to read All the Light We Cannot See. I would definitely take a break to have a bite of this salad. Looks so good :)!ReplyCancel

  • July 6, 2015 - 8:27 pm

    Carrie @Frugal Foodie Mama - This looks amazing! Like a sophisticated take on a caprese salad…. minus the mozzarella. 😉ReplyCancel

  • July 6, 2015 - 9:32 pm

    Julie @ Willow Bird Baking - This looks delicious! My summer reading right now is The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin. Very good so far!ReplyCancel

  • July 6, 2015 - 11:29 pm

    Nutmeg Nanny - I’ve been reading so much this summer too. I won’t mention which books because usually summer reading = trashy reading :) This tomato salad looks perfect for summer. I had myself a HUGE tomato and burrata salad for lunch that would tasted great with this garlic scape vinaigrette…yum!ReplyCancel

  • July 7, 2015 - 7:00 am

    Gina | Running to the Kitchen - There is nothing quite as delicious as simply dressed tomatoes in the summer. I’ve had heirloom cherry tomatoes, burrata and cucumber salads for 3 nights in a row now :)ReplyCancel

  • July 7, 2015 - 7:26 am

    Joanne - I LOVED The Dinner and All The Light We Cannot See. My brother was never much of a reader so summer reading contests just weren’t happening…it was so stressful for my mom to just get him to read the required reading for school every year!

    This dish is everything i want to be eating all summer long. Throw in some burrata and crusty bread and I’d call it dinner!ReplyCancel

  • July 7, 2015 - 9:31 am

    Cookin Canuck - Love the idea of the summer reading contest! And now I’m putting All the Light I Cannot See on my reading list. What a beautiful salad for summertime…perfect in its simplicity.ReplyCancel

  • July 7, 2015 - 9:36 am

    Stacey | Kitchen Serendipity - Great summer reading and a perfect summer salad!ReplyCancel

  • July 7, 2015 - 5:33 pm

    Meredith in sock monkey slippers - This is so divine looking! I want to dive in and lick the bowl clean! Thanks for the book thoughts – looks like I’m hitting up my kindle soon.ReplyCancel

  • July 8, 2015 - 3:09 am

    Thalia @ butter and brioche - Love love love this salad. SO perfect and fresh – ideal for Summer.ReplyCancel

  • July 8, 2015 - 5:13 am

    Sylvie - Simple is best when it comes to summer tomatoes and this salad is a perfect example of that.ReplyCancel

  • July 8, 2015 - 11:04 am

    Raquel @ My California Roots - I love how the most simple salads can be the most delicious. This looks like it truly celebrates the best of summer – ripe heirloom tomatoes. :)ReplyCancel

  • July 9, 2015 - 2:59 am

    Hannah - Hi!
    I would love to try this dish, though I’m not sure where I would buy garlic scapes from. What would you suggest if you can’t get your hands on the scapes?

  • July 10, 2015 - 4:52 pm

    sue|theviewfromgreatisland - The simplicity of this is just stunning!ReplyCancel

  • July 11, 2015 - 5:56 pm

    MissLilly - I love tomato in any shape or form, and now that it’s summer is a perfect excuse to add them everywhere. Love eating bread with tomato like in your recipe, it can also be the perfect side for any meat or fishReplyCancel

  • July 12, 2015 - 12:40 pm

    8 Food Blog Links We Love | VOX RECIPES - […] Peak-season heirloom tomatoes get a spicy, herby pesto made with basil and garlic scapes. (A Thought for Food) […]ReplyCancel

  • July 12, 2015 - 7:47 pm

    Jennifer - Garlic scape season is my most favorite time of year! This recipe looks delish. I usually use my scapes to make pesto but I’ll have to try out your dish :)ReplyCancel

  • July 14, 2015 - 2:19 pm

    Paula - bell'alimento - What a super cool tradition. I’ve got Girl on a Train in my que and hello these heirloom tomatoes are swoonworthy!ReplyCancel

  • September 2, 2015 - 12:02 am

    Chilled Plum Soup » A Thought For Food - […] but I felt like I’d covered all my bases recently with the dishes I’ve created using tomato, corn, cherries and berries. What was there left to do? I looked through the local market and saw […]ReplyCancel