Posts tagged corn
Sunday, September 4, 2011

preserving summer corn

in bags, ready to freeze

As we head into fall, I am both excited and bummed out. Fall means sweaters and hot cider; it means hot soups and comforting stews; it means my apartment doesn’t overheat when I go to bake a pie. But fall also means no more summer tomatoes, goodbye stone fruit, so long summer corn.

If you’re anything like me, you love sweet corn in the summer. It’s great for soups, salads, and just on the cob. I’ve even made corn ice cream last year. And while there is always corn available in the freezer section of our supermarket, I have found, in the past, that it tastes totally bland. I can’t taste the summer sweetness, no matter how generous a knob of butter I apply.

preserving summer corn

Last summer, I took a few ears of corn, cut off the kernels, and froze them in a small Ziploc bag. And then forgot about the bag completely. Sometime in January, while cleaning out my freezer in preparation for Andrew’s move-in, I found the bag of corn in the back. I warmed it in the pan with a bit of butter and salt and had the most amazing dinner treat that night. This year, I’m freezing 20 ears of corn to last me through the fall and early winter. It’s really all that my small apartment freezer will allow, but if you have more space, or another refrigerator/freezer going on in your household, consider preserving more.

I put the kernels in small bags, so each portion is contained, squeeze out extra air, and freeze. The sandwich size bags fit about 3 ears of corn. That should be enough as a side dish for two people. Of course, you can scale up more, should you need to.

Some people parboil their corn for 1 minute before freezing – it should slow down the conversion of sugar. I’ve been cutting and freezing without any problems in the past. If you want to parboil, go ahead – just cook corn for 1 minute before plunging it into an ice bath to stop the cooking process.

Here’s to summer memories in a few months!

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

corn with feta, cilantro, and lime

corn with feta, cilantro, and lime

Quick, quick, make haste! Rush to the market this weekend and grab some corn – there’s still some left! We’ve a few precious summer weekends left and then, it’s autumn. Sundresses will be replaced by sweaters; sandals – by boots. I’ve been eying some corduroy pants and scarves. I’m going to learn how to wear scarves in that carefree, insouciant manner that suggests that I have style. My iced tea will yield to hot cider and piping hot coffee. There will be lots of soup coming out of the Sassy Radish kitchen, so get ready. I’ve got plans, people, and I mean to see them through.

At the market, things will change as well. Berries will make way for apples, pumpkin and squash. There will be some late harvest tomatoes and, eventually, root vegetables. And I’m excited for it all, but I know, for a fact, that there are a few summer dishes I am going to miss. But this corn – this corn I could eat every day.

husking

The best thing about eating around the seasons is that you learn how to properly miss a specific food. You savor it better, celebrate each time you spy it at the farmer’s market, run back home with your loot and lay it out on your kitchen counter. I make an exception for tomatoes. If they were in season year round, I would be in heaven. Part of the reason you don’t see many tomato recipes around here, is because they almost never make it into a cooked dish. I devour them whole, sprinkled with a little bit of salt, eaten with a rustic piece of bread.

But today is not about tomatoes – it’s about corn. Sweet, warm corn sauteed in a bit of cream, and tossed with some feta, cilantro, and mint, and then brightened with lime juice. It’s really, unbelievably good, and is delightfully unfussy. Which is sort of the best thing about produce at the peak of season. You need to do so little to make it shine.

12 ears of corn

When I served this at one of the suppers on Sunday, we had a few visitors over: Andrew’s younger brother and friend from Chicago. Andrew’s friend, after chewing a few forkfuls, proudly declared that this was the best corn he ever had, and then reached for a second helping! And he’s from the midwest – where people know their corn. Frankly, I also thought it was pretty good. So good in fact, that it might be my favorite summer way to eat corn, outside the traditional on-the-cob method.

feta, cilantro

I’m hoping to make it again this weekend as a sort of a last hurrah to summer and to corn. Were I not completely and hopelessly in love with fall and its bounty, I would be sad, but I am excited in anticipation of what the next season will bring. I’ve made a list of things I want to make – a list that far exceeds the number of days in the season itself, but that’s a rather high quality problem to have. I’ve a few more summer meals coming my way, and I will savor each and every bite.

sauteeing the corn

Continue reading corn with feta, cilantro, and lime.

Friday, August 13, 2010

couscous, corn, and mushroom salad

couscous salad with corn and mushrooms

Last week was a bit of a whirlwind, and I’m still recovering. Darting between work and blog events and friends’ birthdays can sure be exhausting. I’m dreaming of a beach chair with an umbrella drink and hours upon hours of reading. Alas, a vacation is but a few months away, so I must comfort myself with periodic lazy weekends in Brooklyn! Brooklyn, you complete me!

salad mise

Well, dear readers, last week I got to check out the BlogHer conference in New York, and it was mere minutes away from my office – bonus! The impetus was seeing good friends in town, particularly the lovely Alice Currah, of Savory Sweet Life, who crashed at my place for the weekend and ate some of my homemade mango sorbet! I finally met Kamran, an old twitter friend (amazing what the interwebs has done for us, isn’t it?), in person. And I also got to met Ree, of the incredible Pioneer Woman, and Elise of the encyclopedic Simple Recipes, at the amazing party that Ree, Elise, and Jaden (of the spicy Steamy Kitchen) threw on the roof of the Peninsula Hotel. It was good to see some old friends there: Lisa, Deb, Marc, and Jennie. And meet some new ones whose blogs I’ve been reading for so long. Sadly, I missed saying hi to a few folks as well. Sometimes, it seems, we forget about face time, given how much time we spend online: working, playing, maintaining our lives. In person, face-to-face is so much nicer, I think. While Twitter and Facebook and blogs have been instrumental in building beautiful communities and bringing people together, there’s nothing like saying hello to them and shaking their hand, or hugging them because you feel like you’ve been reading them for so long, you’ve known them forever.

israeli whole wheat couscous button mushrooms!

Martha's Circle Blogger Soiree

On the heels of the conference, the lovely folks at Martha Stewart Circle (see the turquoise circle on the side of this site? That’s them!) threw the most beautiful party for bloggers, with a private tour of the building for their charter members. I was elated to finally meet Mark Ganem, who looks after MC members, after we exchanged a flurry of emails, as well as other folks who work for MSLO (thanks, Amie, for sheparding me through). I finally got to meet Aran, the voice behind one of my favorite blogs, http://cannelle-vanille.blogspot.com/, and Matt Armendariz and Adam Pearson of Matt Bites.

sauteeing mushrooms & onions

We were sent home with a gift bag full of Martha’s publications: Living, Everyday Food, Bride, and Whole Living, and I spent a good portion of the past Sunday curled up in a chair leafing through the complete stack. I remember getting a subscription to Martha Stewart Living at fourteen (along with Gourmet (sob!) and Bon Appetit! I devoured each new issue immediately upon its arrival. I think my parents were relieved I wasn’t reading magazines like YM or Seventeen, but by and large they were puzzled by my addiction. I clipped a whole bunch of recipes, but this one here – really caught my eye. I was contemplating cooking a Sunday supper, when I saw: Israeli couscous, fresh corn, sauteed mushrooms – sold! It sounded simple and fresh – summer embodied.

avocado

I loved the recipe, but made a few tweaks: upping the corn to three ears from two (because there’s no such thing as too much corn, don’t you agree?); and sauteing the mushrooms with the onions (because caramelized onions make everything, and I mean, everything better!); and throwing in some cilantro (because when you ask me to complete a sentence: “Corn, black beans, lime, jalapeno, and…”, I want to shout out “Cilantro!”) I realize all too well that to many folks cilantro tastes like soap, so if you’re one of those people, by all means do leave it out, but I think it works rather nicely here. Also, the recipe didn’t call for whole wheat couscous, but I wanted to try it and loved its hearty bite.

cooking the corn and the scallion whites

Perhaps the weekend following this one, I will whisk Andrew (my plus one has a name!) and myself to Prospect Park, armed with some Arnold Palmers, ripe tomatoes, olives and this salad. We might sit under a tree and read, and snack, and read some more. We might even nap. Summer is passing us by, and I don’t want to waste single moment soaking it in. It’s not quite a beach vacation, but I think it’ll do just fine.

mixing with the corn

couscous salad with corn and mushrooms

Oh Wait, there’s more!! Bonus! Lookie here, I made a wee bit video with the folks at Yahoo! Shine while at the BlogHer conference. I was egged on by Alice – she thinks I do well on camera, but I can’t quite bring myself to watch it. You be the judge!

Continue reading couscous, corn, and mushroom salad.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

chilled corn and cucumber soup

fresh corn and cucumber soup

One of the best things about summer is that it’s full of produce so good, it’s almost a shame to cook it. Every time I buy berries or fruit I wince at the thought of transforming them into something other than their natural state. Sure, I love pies and crumbles and jams as much as the next fruit junkie, but in this season, fresh and raw are sometimes best. Of course, it doesn’t stop me from baking and cooking fruit, I just always have second thoughts about it. And yes, pies and crumbles just don’t taste the same when the fruit is not in season or is frozen. I did however, manage to pull together a fresh corn soup that keeps the freshness of corn intact, while allowing you to do something different with it.

fresh corn and cucumber soup

This soup is many things: fresh, raw, refreshing in the muggy heat of summer, vegetarian and vegan friendly, and best of all – a cinch to make in the kitchen. You could make this late at night after getting home from a grueling day at work and it will take you no more than 15 minutes! In the time it might take you to order a pizza, you could make this soup. Without even approaching your stove and making your already-hot apartment or house even hotter. Are you intrigued?

Other than the slight messiness of cutting the kernels off the cob, this is fun and easy. Yes, you need a blender or a food processor for this, perhaps the soup’s only drawback. But all in all, this is a pretty energy-efficient soup if you think about it. With all the talk as of late of reducing your carbon footprint and with energy costs sky-high, you help the environment by not using the stove and thereby leave a few extra dollars in your pocket to treat yourself to a summer margarita – which, if the soup fails to take the edge off after the long day at work, the margarita surely will.

fresh corn and cucumber soup

Continue reading chilled corn and cucumber soup.