Entries Tagged as 'corn'

WaPo Wednesday- Grilled Chicken and Corn Chowder

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This week’s WaPo Wednesday recipe comes at the perfect time of year. Summer’s produce is still going strong, and this soup highlights corn, peppers and onions by enhancing their flavors on the grill. Basil infuses into the soup, and serves as a fresh garnish. But, for now, a bit of a chill has crept into the air. It’s cloudy and occasionally raining, and that always puts me in the mood for soup.

My soup, adapted from this recipe from The Washington Post, gets a boost of homey comfort by adding shredded cheese. Feel free to leave the cheese out if you like, as the soup is plenty hearty without it.

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Grilled Chicken and Corn Chowder

serves 8-10

Ingredients

  • 2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2-3 ears corn
  • 1 large onion, red or yellow, peeled and sliced into 3/4 inch thick slices.
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 8 cups good chicken stock, low-sodium preferably
  • 3 medium potatoes, yukon gold or russet, peeled and diced into 1/2 to 3/4 inch pieces*
  • large handful fresh basil leaves (about 1 cup loosely packed), chiffonaded
  • olive oil or vegetable oil to coat vegetables and chicken
  • 1 teaspoon dry thyme (you can substitute 2 teaspoons fresh thyme)
  • kosher salt
  • pepper
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup shredded cheese, such as cheddar or Monterey Jack
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    Directions

    Coat chicken, corn, onions and peppers with about 2 tablespoon2 of oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sprinkle thyme over chicken. Grill chicken to cook thoroughly. Great grill marks are a plus for taste and presentation. Grill vegetables on all sides to develop grill marks and a bit of a char, cooking all the way through. Try to keep onions intact when flipping. For the peppers, find the hottest spot on your grill and char until the skin is blackened all the way around. 

    Place the peppers in a sealable bag to that they may steam for 8-10 minutes. This will allow you to easily peel off the skin.

    While the peppers steam, heat chicken stock and potatoes until they come to a gentle boil. Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes.

    Dice chicken, remove kernels from corn cob, dice onions and dice skinned peppers. Place chicken, corn, peppers and onions in pot. Add half of the fresh basil.

    Simmer with lid slightly cracked open for another 10 minutes.

    Add cream and continue to simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Do not bring to a boil after adding cream. This could “break” the soup.

    Add cheese and stir until melted through.

    Add salt and pepper to taste.

    Server garnished with fresh basil. 

    *you can dice the potatoes ahead of time-up to 4 hours. Place diced potatoes in water and cover. This prevents them from browning.

    The Wrap-Up

    This recipe takes a bit of time and effort due to grilling, but the resulting depth of flavor is well worth the effort. I liked the combination of flavors and textures, with the crunchy corn, and velvety potatoes. Now, if you don’t have an outdoor grill, you can char the peppers in the oven under the broiler, and use a grill pan to get grill marks and develop flavor.

    I think what I’ll enjoy most about this soup is taking it out of the freezer in the winter, and tasting summer’s goodness.

    Sources- I must admit (hides head in shame) that this week I did not get to any farmers markets (calms shaky hands) so all of my ingredients came from the (gasp) grocery store. And actually, t’was not bad, I have to admit!

    Corn Fritters With Corriander Cream and Basil Oil

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    Corn, glorious corn. It’s a good thing that it only comes around once a year because my cholesterol has to be up a few ticks what with all the butter that I love to slather on the kernels. After making these corn fritters, I’m out until I get to Toigo’s stand in Del Ray on Saturday.

    I may get the shakes and hallucinate from the withdrawal. I’ll just have to white-knuckle it until I belly up to the corn crate. “Please sir, must have corn. Must have corn”.

    God, I’m pathetic.

    Anyhoo, in between wiping the butter schmear from my glistening cheeks, I like to think of more ways to prepare corn than Bubba knows how to cook shrimp. And so, here you go. Corn fritters. After a bit of googling, I put together this recipe which has a hint of lemon from coriander, and a bit of smoke from cumin. For garnish, I made a simple basil oil for sopping and sour cream for topping.

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    Corn Fritters

    makes 8-10 fritters

    Ingredients

    • Corn cut from 2 large cobs
    • 1/2 small red bell pepper
    • 1/2 small green bell pepper
    • 1/2 small onion
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 1 cup all purpose flour
    • 1 egg, slightly beaten
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
    • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
    • several grinds freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 tablespoon oil for sauteing, plus more for frying*
    • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

    Directions

    Rough chop the onion, bell peppers and garlic. Place in a food processor and pulse until chopped fine. Wipe food processor out and add a handful of basil leaves. Using the pour spout, turn on the machine and add about 1/3 cup olive oil to make basil oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Process again briefly.

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    Heat a non-stick skillet over medium high heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Sautee chopped onions, peppers and garlic for 5 minutes. Add butter and corn kernels. Continue to sautee for an additional 4-5 minutes, or until the corn begins to take on color and caramelize. Set the mixture aside and allow to cool.

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    In a mixing bowl, add the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, coriander, cumin and nutmeg. Add egg and water. Stir with a wooden spoon until incorporated. Add sauteed corn, onion, bell peppers and garlic.

    Using a heavy skillet, add 1/2 inch of oil for frying. Turn heat on medium-high and heat until the oil begins to shimmer. Drop corn fritter batter (about 2 tablespoons per fritter) into the heated oil, allowing for 1 inch between them. Fry fritters on each side for 3-4 minutes, until browned.

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    Remove fritters to paper towels and allow excess oil to drain.

    Serve with basil oil and sour cream, topped with a pinch of coriander.

    *I used vegetable oil for frying, but you can use any oil with a high smoke point.

    Heirloom Tomato, Fried Goat Chevre, Caramelized Corn And Basil Chiffonade

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    Did I sort- of- kind- of -complain that the price of tomatoes at J&W Valley View Farm had increased to $3 a pound? Really? Silly me. OK–here goes the hyperbole and superlatives. The heirloom tomatoes I bought last Sunday at the West End Alexandria Farmers Market were perhaps the best tomatoes I’ve ever tasted. That includes the big, beefy “Jersey” tomatoes I grew up eating in Philadelphia. This– this tomato is what I will miss long after summer has relinquished it’s nurturing heat and daylight to the cool, crisp twilights of fall. The taste was simply sublime. The tomatoes were meaty, with minimal pulp. A little sprinkle of kosher salt, and these puppies were summery heaven on a plate. I can’t wait  to buy more-and wish every tomato I purchased from J&W was an heirloom. It’s going to be a hard act to follow.

    Speaking of tough acts to follow, I stuck with J&W’s white corn upon my last visit to the West End Alexandria market because the prior batch that I bought was sweet, fresh and bursting with milky juice. This week’s corn did not disappoint. Per usual, I stripped the husk and silk off of one ear as soon as I got home, gave the ear a quick wash and took a bite to taste how fresh and sweet it was. It’s hard to wait until I get home sometimes, but I think it would be oh, somewhat off-putting if I did this at the market! Not to waste, I prepare my “test ear “to eat right away-nuked, grilled, sauteed or poached in water with a bit of milk.

    Of course, this dish could not be complete without a good goat cheese-chevre. For this, I go to Tom the cheese guy who sells Apple Tree Goat Dairy cheese. The tangy flavor and creamy texture of this cheese is wonderful, and perfect for combining with summer vegetables and herbs.

    ~

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    For this dish, I began by sauteing the kernels from one ear of corn in a non-stick pan with a pat of butter. Once the kernels were cooked through and slightly caramelized, I set them aside in a bowl.

    While the corn was sauteing, I prepared each plate by slicing the tomatoes rather thick, about 3/4 inch. I topped each tomato slice with a pinch of kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, then drizzled with my best olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

    Next, I heated the same non-stick skillet over medium high heat. I added about 1/3 inch of olive oil. While the oil came up to temperature (the oil is hot enough when it starts to shimmer), I prepared the goat cheese disks by rolling pieces like a hamburger and flattening (your cheese log may be round already and if it is, then skip this step) into a disk 1/2 inch thick. Each disk was lightly coated with flour. Then ,I dipped each piece into a beaten egg, and coated each one thoroughly with bread crumbs seasoned with salt and pepper.

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    The easiest way to do this traditional breading is to set out three shallow bowls (pie pans work really well) with the flour, beaten egg, and seasoned bread crumbs. Arrange the bowls so that the nearest one to the skillet is the last one used for dipping, which is the bread crumbs.

    I transfered the bread crumb-coated chevre to the hot oil and cooked on each side until nicely browned. The chevre disks were then transfered to a paper towel to drain the excess oil.

    One piece of fried chevre was placed atop each tomato. I plated the corn on an Asian spoon aside the tomato for presentation and garnished the dish with the chiffonade of basil.

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    The corn is tossed over the tomato and cheese prior to eating (kind of fun to do!) so you can get a taste of everything in one bite. Like this;

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    Cheddar Corn Chowder Redux

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    With this recipe, The Houndstooth Gourmet hits a bit of a milestone. For the first time in the blog’s almost 1 year history, I’m repeating a seasonal recipe because it is one of my all time favorites; cheddar corn chowder.

    This recipe is adapted from The Barefoot Contessa’s recipe, with a couple minor tweaks and adjustments. A little more poatoto here, a dash of thyme there, and a handful of Gruyere make it my own. This recipe feeds a lot of people, so be sure to use a large pot to begin with and know that it freezes beautifully, so you will be able to enjoy this summer’s corn well past summer.

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    Like cooking with wine, make sure that you only use corn that would be delicious right off of the cob. When cutting your corn off the cob, be careful not to cut too close to the kernal’s attachment to the cob, as it can be quite tough and woody.

    Cheddar Corn Chowder

    Ingredients

    • 6-7 strips thick-cut bacon
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 2 large onions, finely diced
    • 1/2 cup flour
    • 1 tablespoon turmeric
    • 12 cups chicken stock
    • pinch red pepper flakes
    • 2-2 1/2 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled and diced into 3/4″ piece
    • 10 ears corn, kernels removed from cob
    • 2 cups half and half
    • 1 1/2 lb. cheddar cheese
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 1/3 lb. Gruyere cheese, grated

    Directions

    In a heavy bottom large pot (preferably, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add bacon and fry until crisp. Remove bacon to drain on paper towel.

    Add onions to skill and cook until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add flour and turmeric. Cook for 2-3 minutes.

    Add chicken stock, red pepper flakes and potatoes. Bring to a simmer and cover. Cook for 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.

    Add corn and half and half. Cook for an additional 10 minutes.

    Add cheddar cheese.

    Salt and pepper to taste.

    Serve garnished with crumbled bacon and Gruyere.

    Corn On My Doorstep

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    They say good fences make good neighbors. Well, I say good neighbors give you a dozen ears of bi-color corn fresh from the fields of Amish country, PA. That’s what I found on my doorstep this morning, after my neighbors across the street dropped it off. They love to visit the Amish region of Pennsylvania, just across the Maryland border. Last year, they became hooked on the field-fresh corn that they could get when they visited. They brought it home by the crate full!

    I have been fortunate enough to be the benefactor of their generousity when they haul a bunch of ears home. As I did last year, I make a large batch of cheddar corn chowder (it’s veeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrry good-check it out!), and share some with my neighbors as way of saying “thank you”. And this batch of corn came just in time to rescue me from the rather horrid, bland and starchy corn I picked up from the market last Friday. It’s firm, crisp, sweet and juicy. Just heavenly to nibble on for breakfast.

    Does anyone else’s butter look like this during the summer? It can’t be just me! I like to cook an ear (I nuked mine this morning) and while it’s good and hot, I sit it on top of a stick of butter and let it get the butter melted. Then I roll it around, slathering each kernal. A pinch of kosher salt, and it’s time for eating. We all enjoyed it!

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    So, where are you finding this year’s best corn? Do share!