Posts Tagged ‘produce’

Healthier-Than-A-Can Creamed Corn

September 2, 2010

Labor Day weekend signals the close of summer and the last weekend for beach trips and barbecues. Granted, some people grill all through the winter, such as nutty football tailgaters. However, Labor Day weekend is the last great barbecue weekend for the rest of us normal hot-blooded sports fans.

creamed corn

Creamed corn - the good stuff comes in a can!

Unfortunately, Labor Day weekend also heralds the start of the ragweed allergy season. Runny noses, sore throats, dizziness and sinus headaches are signs of the end of summer for me. As a result, I am holed up at home on a diet of mushy liquid-based dishes. One craving in particular was worth sharing. And so, enjoy my healthier-than-a-can version of the midwest staple.

Creamed Corn

created on the fly by Sarah Johnson

Ingredients

  • 2 ears of corn
  • ½ c milk
  • ½ T butter
  • 1 T flour
  • ¼ t salt
  • ½ t white pepper
  • ¼ c parmesan cheese
      1. Remove the silk from the corn, leaving the husks intact and wrapped around the corn.
      2. Soak the corn for at least 10 minutes, then drain before cooking.
      3. Grill or broil the corn for 15-20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes.
      4. Once the corn is cool, cut the kernels from the cob.
      5. Over medium heat, combine the milk and corn.
      6. Bring the milk to a full boil, stirring occasionally to prevent the milk from sticking.
      7. Once boiling, drop the heat to low and add the butter and flour.
      8. Blend all of the ingredients in the pot and add the salt, pepper, and cheese.
      9. Sir until combined. Mixture should be thick but still liquid.

      Variations
      These instructions call for grilling or broiling the corn which gives a great flavor but also removes the liquid. The reason creamed corn becomes so deliciously thick is due to the water in the milk evaporating. If you use fresh corn, you might need to boil the milk and corn mixture for some time to get the extra moisture out so the dish will thicken properly.

      A delicious finishing touch to creamed corn is to add more carbs! A crispy bread crumb topping is a traditional way to serve the dish. The French call it au gratin. Midwesterners would probably dump the dish if you used that term. Regardless, once the corn is done cooking in the pot, transfer it to a casserole dish so that it is about 1″ thick. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top to cover the corn and broil until the crumbs turn golden brown and crispy. This simple finishing touch also goes great on mac and cheese! Another classic which can be fancied up “au gratin”.

Surprise! It’s slimey!

August 2, 2010

okra pods

Yet another recipe inspired by what’s available at the market. Thank you to Fair Food Farmstand for providing such a great variety!

My first encounter with okra was in the form of gumbo in New Orleans. While the seafood in gumbo was good, my favorite part was the thick and slippery consistency of the stew itself. I made gumbo at home with filé powder and it was tasty, but the consistency was not satisfying. I have yet to touch that bottle of filé powder again.

Gumbo is a fun stew but it calls for a lot of seafood and can run up a grocery bill. What I – and most people – need more of is vegetables. So, upon seeing okra at the market last week, I decided to try cooking it on its own. The thick and slippery juice of the okra is a pleasant sensation which naturally contrasts its tough shell. Paired with the soft base of stewed tomatoes and some common Indian spices, this recipe finally satisfied my craving for okra. It went nicely with brown rice cooked with cloves and a cinnamon stick.

Okra Tomato Stew

found on Food Network, created by Alton Brown

Ingredients

  • ¼ pound okra
  • 1 T olive oil
  • ½ c chopped red onion
  • ½ t kosher salt
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 c diced tomato
  • 1 t ginger
  • ¼ t black pepper
  • 1 cardamom pod
  1. Wash and trim tough ends of okra, then slice lengthwise.
  2. Mince garlic and ginger.
  3. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat until shimmering.
  4. Cook onions and salt until golden, about 4 minutes.
  5. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  6. Add tomatoes and bring to a boil.
  7. Lower heat to simmer and add ginger, pepper, cardamom, and okra.
  8. Cook uncovered for 20 minutes.

1 fish, 2 fish, red fish, BLUE FISH!

September 14, 2009

I have not had the opportunity to go fishing this year, but fortunately the CSA box last week had a giant bluefish fillet! Unforunately it was raining for two days so I was unable to grill it, but I think I baked it to perfection.

Sometimes bluefish is not very fresh so the smell is strong. In those cases it is good to use a strong sauce to combat the fish smell and taste. Pesto is a good choice as is tartar sauce or some form of cream sauce. This fish was so fresh I kept things minimal and am glad that I did. It is very tasty!

fresh bluefish baked with red peppers, leeks, olive oil, salt, pepper

fresh bluefish baked with red peppers, leeks, olive oil, salt, pepper

Bluefish

created on-the-fly by Sarah Johnson

Ingredients

1 bluefish fillet
1/2 to 1 red pepper julienned
1/2 to 1 leek chopped
basil
oregano
olive oil
salt
pepper

  1. Coat the bottom of a baking pan with a bit of olive oil.
  2. Rinse the fish, keep the skin on, and place it in the baking pan.
  3. Cover fish with the red pepper, leek, and chopped herbs.
  4. Drizzle a bit of oil, salt, and pepper over the fish.
  5. Bake at 350F for 15 to 25 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish. The key is not to overcook the fish because it will become tough. Fish needs to be cooked to at least 145F according to the US FDA.

That’s it. That’s all there is to it. Almost too simple to write down, but it’s a staple bluefish recipe of mine and it just turned out so beautifully.

Variations
The fun always comes in the creative experimentation. Typically I will use this recipe with mayonnaise and lemon juice spread over the fish before the vegetables are added. It’s good with any kind of bell peppers as well as tomatoes and onions instead of leeks. The herbs and spices are, of course, open to taste preferences. Some paprika on top might be nice instead of black pepper. Have fun!