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Posts Tagged ‘corn’

For anyone holding the September issue of Gourmet magazine, you’ve no doubt been taken in by the Vegetables A to Z index, and maybe like me you’ve been drooling over the rich bounty of recipes to help you with the expected garden delights that you’ll have at your disposal in the weeks ahead. I love the idea of sweeping through the end of the gardening season in grand fashion, drawing the curtains on Summer and ushering in the glory of Fall, cool weather cooking and warm hearty dishes. Our summer hasn’t been all that hot, really, and I’ve toyed with the desire to make a steaming pot of soup last month to ward off some cool evenings. Now September has come, and it won’t feel so odd to consider soups, a good stew or an afternoon of baking. It’s a September sort of thing.

And along with the alphabet offerings in the magazine are menu options composed entirely of one letter. Being somewhat of the orderly sort, I first drooled over the ‘C’ menu with it’s Cold Cucumber and Cubanelle Soup with Cashews and Chives, the Caramelized Chipotle Chicken, and this delight, Cheesy Creamed Corn with Cilantro.

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Corn season has begun in earnest here in Minnesota, and trucks at the markets are overloaded with cobs. It’s not at all unlikely that when I hand my bag to the kindly people behind the tables that they dole out an extra ear here and there just to whittle down the mass behind them. I’m happy to relieve them of their bounty as sweet corn is a fleeting season, and an even more fleeting taste. It’s best still rich and moist with the morning dew, it’s silk wet and sticky and the shucks thick and damp. Peel it down, cook it any way you wish, but for me, an ear slathered with real butter and sprinkled liberally with salt is the finest means to chomp through my haul. However, this recipe is really delightful as well.

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The corn is stripped from the cobs prior to cooking, then sauteed in a skillet with green onion and garlic, mixed with a little milk and cornstarch and topped with cilantro and a crumbling of queso fresco cheese. It’s pretty simple, and a cinch to pull together. The corn taste is out of this world delicious, a tiny hint of of onion kissing every bite and the rich creaminess beats anything that could come out of a can. I served it with my favorite Parmesan Grilled Zucchini and a fresh garden tomato for a light, simple and quintessential summer dinner.

Cheesy Creamed Corn with Cilantro
from Gourmet magazine, September 2009

3 T. unsalted butter
6 scallions, minced
6 ears corn, kernels cut from cobs (before cooking)
2/3 c. cream or milk (I used plain soy milk)
2 t. cornstarch
1 garlic clove, minced
2 oz queso fresco, crumbled
1/2 c. cilantro leaves

Heat butter in a wide and deep skillet and add corn. Stir to coat and cook, stirring occasionally until it’s bright yellow, about 5 minutes. Add in onions and garlic, stir well and cook for about 3-5 minutes more. Whisk milk and cornstarch together and pour into pan, stirring to combine well. Allow to simmer for about 2-3 minutes, then serve corn topped with cheese and cilantro.

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Are you a one-track mind kind of person when it comes to your salad? Does it have to be green, with cukes, tomato, a hard crouton or two and some type of dressing or it can’t possibly be a salad?

If that’s the case, then you might want to skip this post.

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While I certainly have enjoyed my share of salads this summer, resplendent with leafy field greens, dark spinach leaves and all manner of vegetable toppings and extras, I serendipitously came across the be-all to end-all of salad options recently that has thoroughly taken my mind off the standard greens and placed it smack in the middle of Salad Experimentation Land just as the peak of summer produce has me reeling with endless possibilities.

Each of these salads took about 10 minutes to put together, if even that. And every one of them simply shouted with flavor.

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Lemony Garlic White Beans

1 15-oz can great northern or cannelini beans, rinsed well
2 cloves garlic, thin sliced
2 t. fresh thyme leaves
1 t. crushed red pepper
2-3 T. fresh basil leaves, chopped
Juice of one lemon, zest of half the lemon
1/2 c. grape tomato, halved (more if desired)
Olive oil, salt and pepper

In a medium bowl, combine beans, tomato, lemon zest and basil leaves. In a small skillet, warm olive oil slowly with thyme leaves and crushed pepper. When hot and leaves are sizzling slightly, add garlic slices and cook gently until lightly browned. Stir in lemon juice, then pour over beans and stir carefully to combine. Mash some of the beans slightly and season with salt and pepper. Add more oil if too dry. Chill for an hour or two, then stir before serving. Can be eaten alone, a topping for toasted bread or a filling for an omelet.

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Lime Infused Carrots
3-4 medium carrots, scrubbed, peeled and thinly sliced (or grated if you want)
juice and zest of one lime
3-4 T. olive oil
1/2 c. crushed pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

Combine carrots, juice, zest and oil in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and stir in pepitas. Allow to chill before serving.

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Chipotle Corn and Pinto Beans
1 15-oz can pinto beans, rinsed well
3 ears of fresh sweet corn kernels
1 T. chipotle pepper with adobo (more if you like the heat)
1/2 sweet pepper, any color- minced
1 small shallot, minced
Zest and juice of one lime
1/2 c. cilantro, rough chopped
Olive oil, salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir well. Season with salt and pepper and chill for about an hour. Taste before serving and adjust seasonings if needed.

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This is just a sampling of the 101 salad options I found. The best part of it all is that the suggestions are just baselines for your imagination. That carrot recipe was an off-shoot of the original listed, and the Chipotle Corn salad didn’t have either shallot or sweet pepper in it, but I had them on hand and knew they’d be excellent. The bottom line is simple; the recipes are perfect just the way they are. They’re so easy that cooking skills aren’t even seriously required, but if you’ve got the wherewithal to spark some alternatives, add something with extra pizazz or just take it in a whole new direction, then you could spend now until the coming of winter playing with this list. What are you waiting for? It’s already August!!

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I’ve been holding out on you, but not on purpose.

I’m guilty of thinking that somehow giving you a simple recipe as a means to serve frozen corn might just bore you to death. Really, it isn’t anything superbly fancy, but right about now, as we are staring down the summertime bounty of vegetables and with fresh corn season coming quicker than a May thunderstorm, I think it’s time to share the love. Especially since I enhanced the dish with my current love- bulgur- and made it a couple thousand times better.

I don’t even know when it was that I came across this method on Kim’s blog, but I was immediately transfixed and had to try it. Which I did, and which I almost regretted because I could barely think of anything else. Now I need to share it with you.

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I simply call it Brown Butter Corn. How easy is that? You take some good butter and heat it in your pan until it’s toasty and brown, add in frozen corn and cook it until it’s tender and delicious, maybe tossing in a handful of fresh basil, or rosemary, or thyme and a seasoning of sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Pile it on your plate next to your main course and you’ve elevated your meal slightly from the humdrum to the hubba-hubba.  (wow, did I just say that?)

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Only this time, with a container of my current whole grain love all cooked and ready in the fridge, this side wasn’t just about the nutty and toasty, it was far better. Copious amounts of fresh basil really sent the flavor sky-ward. And with a perfectly cooked piece of Mahi-Mahi as an accompaniment, alongside an effusive smiling husband (and a kid-free evening), it quickly became one of those meals that sends shivers through you, making you slow down, smile more, sigh often and think “When can we have this again??”

Brown Butter Corn with Bulgur
by Kate

4 T. good quality butter
1 pkg frozen corn, shaken in a wire sieve to remove any ice or frost- NOT rinsed!
1-2 cups cooked bulgur
Fresh herb of choice- basil, rosemary and thyme all work well
Salt and fresh ground pepper

Heat butter gently in a large skillet over medium heat. When it’s darkened and smelling toasty, add corn (it will sizzle!!!) and quickly stir to combine. Allow to cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often. Add in bulgur and fresh herb, stir to combine and heat through. Season with salt and pepper.

KATE’S NOTES:
The simplicity of this dish is ridiculous. Even without the bulgur it’s delicious, and the variation of vegetables that you could use is astounding. I think of fresh summer squash, a julienne of root vegetables, diced eggplant or even a mix of greens. Sub in another grain for the bulgur- like farro, another of my current loves- or add in wild rice, red rice or a mix. I’ve loved corn and rice mixed together since I was a little girl, but there is something about the browning of the butter that makes it so much more elegant. Watch out though! The butter slips easily from ‘browned’ to ‘burned’ and once that happens, you need to throw it out and start over. ‘Burned’ butter corn, I’m thinking, isn’t all that appetizing. Heat it gently and stay close by. And by all means, DO NOT rinse the corn! The butter is scalding hot when you add the vegetable, and if there is water on it, the likelihood of bad splattering is quite high.

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Black Bean and Corn Relish by Kate

1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed well
2 c. frozen corn, thawed (or use the kernels from 2-3 fresh ears to make enough)
1 avocado, diced
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, diced
1-2 t. fresh grated lime zest
Juice of half a lime
1 T. cumin
Salt and Pepper to taste.

Mix all ingredients together in a non-reactive bowl. Chill before serving. Also tastes great on tortilla chips.

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African Millet Salad with Corn and Peppers
from The New Whole Grains Cookbook by Robin Asbell

3 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, julienned
2 T. chopped garlic
2 T. minced ginger
1 T. paprika
1 t. black pepper
1/8 t. ground allspice
1/8 t. cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 c. millet
1 t. salt
1/4 c. lemon juice
1 T. brown sugar
1 8-oz can extra crunchy corn
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
1 roma tomato, chopped
1/4 c. parsley, chopped
1/4 c. roasted peanuts, chopped

In a 2-qt saucepan with a tight fitting lid, heat 1 T. of oil and saute onion until golden. Add garlic and ginger and cook for one minutes, then add paprika, black pepper, allspice, and cayenne and cook for one minute more. Wash millet quickly and drain; add to pan and stir, coating grains and cooking until hot to the touch. Add water and salt and bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer on low for 20 minutes before checking for doneness**. When all liquid is absorbed and grain is tender, cover and remove from heat, allowing to steam for 10 minutes. Scrape millet into bowl and cover, then let cool. Whisk remaining oil with lemon juice and brown sugar in a small bowl. Stir corn, bell pepper, tomato and parsley in with the millet, then drizzle dressing over and stir to coat. Serve topped with peanuts.
KATE’S NOTES:
I used cilantro in place of parsley as I had it on hand; a red bell pepper instead of a green (don’t care for green) and frozen corn instead of canned.

**Despite following the cooking instructions faithfully, the grain, I felt, came out to be a little chewier than I expected and being unfamiliar with it, I contacted the cookbook author to ask her opinion on the texture. Her response was that millet can often be confounding in that way, and the amount of water listed in the recipe can sometimes be less than needed and other times it’s just enough. She feels this is simply one aspect of the grain’s natural humidity level, and can be adjusted during the final cooking stages. Once the grain has absorbed all the water, she suggested to quickly stir and remove a few pieces to test for tenderness, and if it is still firm and chewy to add in a little more water- 1/4 to 1/2 cup- quickly bring the temperature back to boiling, then reduce and simmer again for another 10 minutes.

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Jambalaya

2 T. vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 bell peppers (1 green, 1 red), chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 links smoked sausage, diced
3 links andouille sausage, diced
2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1 ½ c. long grain rice
1 ½ c. tomato sauce, or puree
3 1/2 c. water
2 c. frozen whole kernel corn

Heat oil in large dutch oven or heavy pot with lid. Add the onions, and the green pepper. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes, stirring often. Add in the red and jalapeno pepper and sauté for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add in the garlic and cook until fragrant. Reduce heat to medium low, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a separate pan, brown the andouille and smoked sausage. Drain off any accumulated fat and add in chicken. Sear and cook until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat. Meat can be slightly underdone at this point; it will cook further with the rice and vegetable mix. Add rice to pepper/onion mixture and stir to coat with oil. Cook, stirring frequently until rice browns slightly, about 5-7 minutes. Add in tomato product and stir to coat. Pour in water, corn and meats, stir to combine. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 20-25 minutes, or until liquid is gone and rice is cooked

RECIPE NOTES: Feel free to sub any kind of sausage you wish; chorizo would be good in this. I used smoked turkey sausage, along with the andouille and it was very nice. I use uncooked andouille and removed the casings, browning and breaking the meat up in the skillet.

If shrimp is your thing, toss those in as well. Skip the corn if you don’t care for it, or add in some legumes if you want. A 15-oz can of black beans is a nice addition. They can be stirred in at the end and allowed to gently warm.

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Summer Garden Tortellini

From Gourmet magazine, August 2007
1# cheese filled tortellini
1 clove garlic, minced
3 oz thinly sliced prosciutto
2 ½ c. corn kernels
1 red pepper, cored and diced**
2-3 large tomatoes, peeled and diced
2-4 T. cooked wheat berries** (optional, I thought they would add to the healthy oomph)
½ c. shredded spinach**
¼ c. chopped basil
Salt and pepper

Cook tortellini according to package directions. Drain and reserve about ½ c. pasta cooking water. Saute pepper over medium heat in 2 T. of butter until soft, add prosciutto, garlic and corn and cook 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Combine with tomatoes in large bowl and add cooked, drained tortellini, wheatberries, spinach and basil. Stir gently to combine, adding some pasta water if needed. Add in shredded parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe Notes: The items with the two stars (**) are items I added to the recipe myself. I know very few people who keep cooked wheatberries on hand; they are not an essential to this recipe so don’t worry about them. The spinach was a really tasty addition, and the pepper is a favorite of mine- hardly any vegetable dish gets made in my house without a pretty colored pepper.

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Smoked Salmon Corn Chowder
from ‘The 12 Best Foods Cookbook’ by Dana Jacobi

4 small red potatoes, scrubbed and diced
1 T. canola oil
1 small red onion (or two shallots) peeled and minced
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 green (or red) pepper, cored and diced
1 14-oz can creamed corn
1/2 c. frozen corn kernels (i used corn cut from two fresh cobs)
1 c. fat free lo-sodium chicken broth (i used way more, like almost a quart)
2 t. fresh thyme leaves, minced; or 1/2 t. dried thyme
Pinch cayenne pepper
4 oz smoked salmon, flaked
Salt and pepper

Place potato in medium saucepan and bring to boil; simmer until just fork tender. Drain, and set potato aside. In stockpot, heat oil, then saute onion until tender. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds or until fragrant, then add pepper and cook until crisp tender (or to taste- you may like it softer). Add in creamed corn, corn kernels, thyme, broth and cayenne and bring to a boil. Add in potato and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off heat, stir in salmon, season with S&P and serve.

Roasted Red Pepper Butter

1 c. room temp butter
7-oz jar roasted red pepper, drained and finely minced
2 t. milk
1 T. fresh chives, minced
1 T. fresh parsley, minced
1/4. c. fresh grated parmesan or asiago cheese
Salt and Pepper

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and beat with a hand mixer until smooth and fluffy. Can be shaped into a log and chilled, or stored in a plastic container.

Hint: with the peppers, the finer you mince, the prettier and more spreadable the butter will be. I used a knife on mine but next time will use a food processor or chopper to get them even finer.

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Calabacitas con Crema

From Tasting Spoons blog
Source: Rick Bayless, restaurateur, from his book Authentic Mexican
Servings: 8
1 lb zucchini — (about four small)
1 1/2 cups corn kernels, fresh if possible
1/2 whole onion — thinly sliced
2/3 cup heavy cream (or use fat-free half and half) – optional
1 whole poblano pepper — roasted, seeded, peeled and cut in thin strips
1 tsp salt
1 Tb butter
1 Tb vegetable oil — or vegetable oil
1. Chop the zucchini in large chunks (about 3/4 inch to 1 inch) and set aside. Prepare onions ahead and set aside. Grill the poblano chile directly on a gas flame, cool, remove skin, then cut into small strips.

2. Using a very large skillet, heat butter and oil until very hot. Add zucchini and toss until tender. Remove the zucchini from the pan with a slotted spoon, allowing it to drain well. In the remaining oil and butter, fry the onion slices until soft and sweet, then add the corn and pepper slices. Add the zucchini and cream and cook until nice and hot. Taste for salt and pepper and serve.

Recipe Notes: I recommend some fresh squeezed lime juice and perhaps a shake or two of chili powder just for notching up the flavor. Sour cream was my ‘crema’ of choice today and it was delicious. I did not use onion and didn’t miss it; it’s not my fave so please, if it’s yours, put it in. I used two poblano peppers, two ears of corn and three zucchini for this.

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Tonight I made a Poblano Corn Relish from the October ’06 Food and Wine mag. It was pretty simple; in a non-stick skillet over high heat sear without stirring thin strips of one poblano pepper until slightly charred (use no oil) then add a small amount of oil and one minced shallot. Saute for 5 minutes, add two cloves minced garlic and saute 3 minutes. Add in one cup of frozen corn and cook through, about 3-5 minutes. Remove to a bowl, stir in the juice of half a lemon, a tablespoon of fresh cilantro and salt and pepper to taste. Top with fresh cilantro when serving. The recipe also called for one avocado cut into chunks to be stirred in with the juice. I was guilty of using all the avocado in the guacamole earlier this week!

When I cook Tilapia, I dredge it in seasoned cornmeal and pan sear it over high heat in just a tiny amount of oil, cooking it nearly all the way through before flipping it over. This gives it a nice crunchy exterior. I served it with the simplest of veggie side dishes, Spicy Stir Fry Carrots with Peanuts from the Sara Moulton Cooks at Home cookbook.

For the carrots, you’ll need peanut oil,  one 10-oz bag of shredded/matchstick carrots, 1/2 c. finely chopped peanuts and one teaspoon red pepper flakes. Heat oil over high heat in large saute pan (enough to coat the pan), add carrots and stir to coat with oil. Stir fry (toss constantly) for about 2 minutes, add the peanuts and the pepper flakes and stir fry about 2-3 minutes more (maybe slighty longer if you use matchsticks). Easy. Done. Delicious. And it sure makes a pretty plate, doesn’t it??

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