Tuesday, November 15, 2011
creamed corn two ways/warm corn and tomato salad with sesame oil and soy sauce
It's still pretty warm here in New York. Yesterday it was like 65 degrees, and as I sat outside in a blazer at lunch and read my book, and I could almost imagine it being a cooler June day! But alas, it is November, and the holidays are rapidly approaching, and beautiful fresh summer corn is a distant memory....
But I am still going to talk about it. Three different recipes for it, no less.
Two I picked up at the farmer's market, and the third is a Thomas Keller recipe I found online. All three are delicious showcases for the sweetest yellow corn summer sunshine can buy. Wow, I hate the prospect of a nasty cold winter and no yummy vegetables for months to come. Way to go blog, depressing me like that...
Anyway, first we have the Thomas Keller recipe for sweet creamed corn. If you avoid his finicky little touches like swishing the kernels around in a big bowl of water to get rid of the corn silk, it's also pretty easy for an Ad Hoc at Home recipe.
All you have to do is saute your corn in a little melted butter in a large skillet over medium heat with lime juice for about 15 minutes. Then you add some cream, lime zest and cayenne pepper, stir it around and cook for another 6-8 minutes. To finish, add some minced chives, and salt to taste. I didn't have chives, so I used some finely chopped scallions instead. Then, because it goes so nicely with lime, I sprinkled some minced cilantro on top.
I was really impressed with this dish. It was sweet and creamy and bright and light and rich and delicious all at the same time. I had actually never eaten creamed corn before, because my mom doesn't like it, and I was totally envisioning something gloppy and nasty-heavy, like a bad side at Boston Market that has been sitting in steam table all day. Let me assure you, this is nothing of the sort. It's a lovely alternative to plain corn on the cob that really surprised me. If this is what creamed corn can be, consider me converted.
The second recipe is a somewhat similar, if more traditional and straightforward take on creamed corn. Since my first attempt at a creamed corn dish was such an eye opener, I wanted to do something that was more straight up and traditional. This simple creamed corn with shallots was also delicious, but it seemed kind of plain following the singing citrus notes of the Keller dish. If you are skeptical about changing things up at all, this is a very solid creamed corn dish, but I'd probably go with the fun lime zesty recipe if I had to choose just one.
Creamy Corn and Shallots
Grow NYC's Greenmarket Recipe Series
recipe from Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America's Farmer's Markets by Deborah Madison
6 ears freshly picked sweet corn
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 shallots, finely diced
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
¼ cup cream
1 tbsp chopped parsley, torn bsil leaves or chopped dill (I chose dill, which was a nice change of pace)
Shuck the corn and remove the kernels with a sharp knife, cutting no more than two thirds of the way. Reverse your knife and force out the scrapings, keeping them separate from the kernels.
Melt the butter in a wide nonstick skillet. Add the shallots and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat, season with pepper and stir in the herbs.
This second recipe, I realize now that I am looking at it again, was totally missing a crucial element-- as I can see now, the original recipe (which Mark Bittman included as one of the top 25 recipes from his Minimalist Column), starts with a base of chili grilled corn. I just cooked the corn quickly in the skillet as my first step though, and was none the wiser, so I've adjusted the recipe to reflect that.
Corn Salad with Soy & Tomatoes
Grow NYC's Greenmarket Recipe Series
Recipe from Mark Bittman featured in The New York Times
Yield 4 servings
6 ears of corn, shucked, cut off the cob, and cooked in a hot skillet (or use this recipe as a starter)
4-5 scallions, trimmed and cut diagonally into 2 inch lengths
2 tbsp corn oil
4 medium tomatoes, cored and quartered lengthwise into wedges
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp soy sauce, more to taste
2 tsp sesame oil, more to taste
salt and freshly ground black pepper
chipped chives, parsley or cilantro for garnish
While corn is still in skillet, but with heat off, stir in scallions and let sit for a minute, stirring occasionally. Remove to a bowl.
Wipe skillet with a paper towel, add oil and turn eat to high. When oil is almost smoking, ass tomatoes. Cook, undisturbed, until they are nicely browned and slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Turn, sprinkle with sugar and cook for another 2 minutes. Turn, sprinkle with sugar and cook for another 2 minutes.
Combine tomatoes with corn in bowl and drizzle with any pan juices. Sprinkle with soy sauce and sesame oil. Cool to room temperature, then taste and adjust seasonings with soy sauce, sesame oil, salt or pepper as needed. Garnish as you like (cilantro is highly recommended), and serve.