Tag Archives: corn

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from Epicurious
from Epicurious

It finally happened.  After months of mind numbing cold, the sun finally came out.  In fact, I was running errands outside the office this afternoon and I actually got hot!  I rolled down the windows of my car and let the preSpring air whip my hair into a knotted mess.  It was glorious.

And that's when it got me thinking... thinking about the upcoming Spring/Summer season and all the glorious produce we are going to have.  For the new friends here, I live smack in the middle of the farmlands of Northern California.  There are large and small farms all up and down the highways and just about everybody has a small vegetable garden or at least a tomato plant or two.  You name it, we grow it: cherries, peaches, corn, strawberries, nectarines, avocados, greens, herbs, garlic, onions, beans, and so much more!

So I've been dreaming.  Dreaming about all the sun-soaked fruits and veggies I'm going to eat so very, very soon.  And that's where this recipe from Epicurious comes in.

This salad recipe contains so many of my favorite California flavors: creamy avocados (yum), crunchy romaine (yum x 2), delicate corn (yum!), smoky chipotle (yummy!!) and puckery lime (YUMMY!!!).   I don't know why they named it Romaine, Grilled Avocado, and Smoky Corn Salad with Chipotle Caesar Dressing.  What a mouthful of a name!  They should have simply called it NorCal In A Bowl.

You may be thinking "grilled avocado?!" but try it!  Avocados have so much natural fat, they grill quite well and that little bit of char adds an interesting layer of flavor.  While you're at it, grill up some corn.  Then mix together parmesean, garlic, oil, lime juice, chipotles in adobo and a pinch of salt & pepper to form the dressing.  Toss that all together with some romaine and you will have one delicious salad that will make your taste buds oh so happy. (click here for the full recipe)

The only important thing on my checklist this weekend is to get outside and let the sun shine on my face.  Sunscreen...I need to find my sunscreen!

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Corn.  Butter.  Herbs. Spices.  Could a recipe be any more simple than that?  Ok, there is a touch more to the process but not much.

Last weekend I was preparing some plump, fresh corn on the cob (just boil the water & when you smell corn it's ready) when I started craving... something spicy.  I do have a special place in my heart for chile spiked corn.  But as most of you know, I have an even bigger space in my heart for butter.  So I did what anyone would do, I combined the two.  Double the love!  Oh, and I had a tiny bit of cilantro leftover from salsa-making so I added that to the mix too.  Triple the love!

More specifically, I let 1 cube of butter come to room temperature inside my mini food processor.  I sprinkled in a scant pinch of smoked Serrano powder (this stuff is seriously hot but definitely addictive), a tiny pinch of salt (because the butter was already salted), a couple grinds from the pepper mill and about 1/4 cup of loosely packed cilantro leaves.  After a couple pulses on the food processor I had this:

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I slathered my herbed & spiced compound butter onto the hot corn and as my brother would say, "Boy howdy!".  I didn't even bother to tell everyone else what was on the corn.   I let them blindly chomp into the buttery goodness and then I basked in the chorus of "Mmmmms!"  and "Yuuuuummmms!"

I usually lean towards the Mexican side of flavors but the possibilities with compound butters are virtually endless.  Someday I might try these variations:

  • Fresh basil, a dash of balsamic vinegar, a sprinkle of grated Parmesan & garlic powder
  • Fresh parsley, saute'd onions & garlic and the zest of half a lemon
  • Fresh dill, a teensy sprinkle of Old Bay Seafood Seasoning and a little squirt of lemon juice
  • I have to stop... my mouth is watering!

And you don't have to limit your use of compound butter to corn.  Compound butters are great on steaks, french bread, sandwiches, chicken, popcorn... anywhere you would normally spread a little buttery-love.  If you have extra you can roll it up in waxed paper and save it for a later day.  It can store in the fridge for about 1 week or the freezer for a couple months.  About 5 minutes of effort for a BIG flavor payoff.  Make some today, you wont regret it!

I'm hoping to catch up on some art projects this weekend. I'm taking the Brave Girl Art School course from Melody Ross.  So far it is so much fun and I know it will just get better and better.  I  hope you are doing something fun this weekend, see you back here next week!