Tag Archives: corn

Summer Veg (grilled creamed corn and mixed roasted veggies)

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The story of my life:  I’m not sure what I’ve been up to, but I’m sure I’ve been busy.  Part of me actually does like being busy, having a sense of purpose and achievement.  But another part of me hates the part of me that over-glorifies being busy.  I love writing down and subsequently crossing things off a long to-do list, but I hate feeling trapped by the list, not actually caring about the doneness of the things on the list.  Who cares if I bleach the shower curtain?  Or if I put away that load of laundry? It’s just as clean sitting in a pile as it is crammed in a drawer.  Sometimes I’d just rather sit very still and try not to think.

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That being said, I do hate seeing a garden-grown vegetable go to waste, and summer is my time of excess.  I buy too many ears of corn at the market; the extra zucchini and eggplant in the garden look ignored and miffed in the August sun.  But I’ve found yet more ways to cope with my feelings of ineptitude (“I can’t believe I didn’t make eggplant parmesan with homemade tomato sauce on Friday night instead of pizza!” …Um, no.) and my overflowing crisper/garden.  Case in point: Luisa’s roasted vegetables, which make me feel virtuous.  Peppers! Carrots! Zucchinis! Throw it all in- together.  And that’s the brilliance.  But really, the brilliance is that the dish is amazing up front, but then a generous scoop is fantastic in a pan with a couple of eggs for breakfast, they’re delicious cold as a salad topping, and it’s easily and tastily reheated.   Check out her post here for the jist of it, or see below for my preferred ratio/mix of veggies.

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The second recipe I have to share with you is one for grilled creamed corn.  Do not underestimate how good this corn is, or how much fresh sweet corn a grown person can eat once it’s conveniently removed from the cob.  I’ve made this with 4 ears and we both stand over the pan, scraping up the very ends;  with 5 ears there is a small dish of leftovers that I try to nab for lunch before N does.  It’s a perfect accompaniment to anything grilled, as you grill the ears for 8-10 minutes while it’s heating up on high; then put your meat on, and let the corn rest while the main event is cooking.  About 15 minutes before your other grilled goods are ready to be eaten, slice the corn off the cobs and 5 minutes in the pan delivers a slightly spicy, tangy creamed corn with a hint of charred summer goodness.  It’s like sunshine in a pan.  With carbs.  And dairy. Win-win.

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My preferred method for cutting corn off the cob:  balance the ears on a small upside-down bowl that’s placed inside of a larger flat-bottomed bowl or baking pan (picture here is an 8×8 pan).  You elevate the corn so you can cut all the way down the length of the ear without hitting the side of the dish with your knife blade, but you still catch almost all of your corn nibs! Another great idea: use a bundt pan if you’ve got one.  You’re welcome.

Grilled Creamed Corn
Originally posted in summer 2010; updated and with new pictures

Serves 2-3

5 ears fresh sweet corn
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour (I use a generic glutenfree AP mix)
2/3 cup whole milk
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. aleppo pepper flakes (or red pepper flakes)
1/8 tsp. cayenne

Shuck the corn and soak for at least 5 minutes, up to 1 hour.  Heat your grill to high.  Place the corn on the grill with the length of the slats, so the corn nestles in between the grill slats.  Grill for 2-3 minutes until the bottom is partially charred and then turn the cob about a quarter of the way; repeat on all sides of the corn, which takes approximately 8-10 minutes, but be sure to keep an eye on it and turn when needed.  Remove from grill and allow to cool.  Once cool enough to handle, cut the corn from the cobs.  Melt the butter in a large skillet on medium heat; whisk in the flour and allow to cook for about 1 minutes, stirring constantly.  Increase the heat to medium high and slowly pour in the milk and buttermilk, whisking constantly to form a roux.  Once the milk is all in and there are no clumps, stir in the corn, salt, and spices.  Simmer for approximately 5 minutes on medium high heat, stirring almost constantly, crushing some of the corn against the bottom or the sides of the pan with a heavy spoon.  Serve warm.  Excellent reheated as well.

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Summer Veggie Confetti (or, Mixed Roasted Vegetables for Summer)
Serves 2-6, depending on how much you like your veg

Directly from Luisa at The Wednesday Chef, though I like a slightly different ratio of summery veggies, as follows:

1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic  (I use 1 tsp fermented garlic paste)
1 medium tomato
4-6 carrots
1 medium potato
2 small zucchini or summer squash (I like one yellow and one green)
1 small eggplant
1 bell pepper- any color (Luisa calls for red or yellow, but I actually really like a green pepper, or a mix of red and green)
2-3 T. olive oil
1/2 tsp. kosher or crunchy salt (less if using table salt)1 tsp. dried herb/spice blend- I like an equal mix of dried basil, sage, thyme, and red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Quarter the onion, then slice thinly.  Mince or crush the garlic.  Dice the remainder of the vegetables into 1/2 inch to 1 inch pieces, not letting any one piece get to be much bigger an an inch.  Toss veggies in a 9×13 baking pan, drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt and herbs, and carefully mix to combine (careful not to crush the tomatoes too much).  Roast for 40-50 minutes, stirring twice- once after about 25 minutes, and again 10-15 minutes later.  Gorge. Feel virtuous for eating so many veggies. Repeat.

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Filed under 30 min. or less, Clean Eating, Gluten-Free, Side dishes, Summer, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Barley, corn, and roasted red pepper salad

The combination of red pepper and corn equals summer to me. Something about the smooth versus crisp, yellow versus red, sweet and warm versus cool and starchy makes me nostalgic for grilled hamburgers, fire pits, late nights out in the yard and Sunday afternoon lazy get-togethers.

I had barley in my pantry and a hankering for summer, and this is what Google led me to. (Yes, I was inspired by a pregnancy website, but I am not at all pregnant!)  I left out the tomatoes- they’ll have to wait until August.  This will be even better with fresh sweet corn off the cob!

My favorite part of this recipe is the versatility. I scooped it up and inhaled it warm off the stove, picked at it while it was cooling on the counter, and ate it like unashamedly by the bowlful straight out of the fridge.  Warm or cool, this salad is an easy crowd-pleaser.

Barley, corn, and roasted red pepper salad
adapted from What to Expect

Serves 4

*If you’re short on time, you can skip toasting the barley, but the toasting process does really add to the flavor and texture of the dish. Don’t skip if you can help it.

1 medium red bell pepper
1 c. pearl barley
2-1/2 c. chicken broth
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup sliced scallions or diced onion
2 Tbsp lime or lemon juice

First, roast the bell pepper.  Using fire-proof tongs or a long kitchen fork, place bell pepper over a gas flame, or place in an baking dish under a high broiler, and turn until blackened on all sides. Enclose in paper bag or in a covered bowl; let stand 10 minutes. Peel, seed, and dice.

While cooling and prepping the red pepper, toast the barley in a large skillet for about 10 minutes on medium-high, shaking the pan often. Add broth to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook 30 minutes or until broth is almost absorbed and barley is tender. Add in oil, diced onion and corn kernels; stir and sautee for 10 minutes.

Once onion is translucent and corn is cooked, fold in the diced red pepper and remove from heat. Allow to cool for 10 minutes at room temperature, then toss with lime or lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve warm, at room temperature, or cool.

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Filed under Clean Eating, Side dishes, Spring, Summer, Vegetarian

grilled creamed corn

With summer beginning to tie up its loose ends, harvest-time is upon us. Now is the time for laboring in the fields (or farmer’s markets), gathering up every morsel the summer has provided before winter sets in.

This creamed corn recipe is a perfect accoutrement for any grilled meat or veggie meal. You set the corn on the grill right as you turn it on, when the grill is blazing on high to warm up. Rotate it a few times every few minutes, and take the slightly blackened cobs inside to whip together a creamed corn while the burgers are simmering.

Simple, filling, good. My favorite kind of late-summer dish.

Grilled (or roasted) creamed corn
adapted from Macaroni & Cheesecake

4 ears corn, shucked
1 T butter
1 T flour
3/4 c whole milk (can use skim milk but it won’t be as rich)
2 T fat free or reduced fat cream cheese
kosher salt and fresh black pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper

To Grill Corn:
Turn grill on to high. Arrange the corn on the oiled grate and grill, turning occasionally, until the kernels are golden-brown and softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Cut the corn from the cobs.

For the Creamed Corn:
Heat a large skillet on the grill or on your stovetop (medium-high). Melt the butter and whisk in the flour to make a roux. Gradually whisk in the milk and cream cheese and cook, whisking constantly, until smooth and thick, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the corn kernels; season with S&P and the cayenne and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Note: I “mush” the corn a bit with my heavy wooden spoon, which I think adds to the creaminess and simulates the consistency of canned creamed corn a little bit.

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Filed under Summer, Vegetables

Comfort food: Polenta

My inner Paula Dean really shone through while I was spontaneously whipping this up. Half-and-half, butter, bacon… plus corn grits and corn? Maybe in a former life I grew up in Virginia.

My only “scientific” recipe tip: use a 3:1 ratio for the amount of boiling water to grits. You can always add more liquid, like I did with the milk, but shock those grits with boiling water first!

Baked polenta with bacon and corn
Inspired by my intense craving for comfort food

1-1/2 c. water
salt
1/2 c. polenta (corn grits)
1/3 c. milk
3 T. half-and-half
2-4 slices of thick-cut bacon
1/2 cup whole kernal corn
black pepper
2 T. butter
1/2 c. cheese
fresh Parmesan to finish

Grease a 8×8 casserole and set the oven to 425. Put the water and salt on high heat. Slice bacon into 1/2 inch pieces and fry; add corn to pan and fry in grease.

Once water is boiling, add the polenta. Stir well and let boil for 3-4 minutes; add milk and half-and-half and keep at a  simmer on medium heat. Stir polenta frequently to avoid burning on the bottom. Add in butter and black pepper before adding bacon and corn (below).

Once bacon and corn are browning, add to the polenta pan and stir well. Pour the polenta mixture into the casserole. Top with cheese and bake for 20 minutes, or until cheese is brown and bubbly. Serve with a light dusting of freshly-shredded parmesan on top.

Deeelicious.

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Filed under Side dishes, Winter