Monthly Archives: September 2010

Heirloom Tomatoes with Creamed Corn and Basil

Back in the recess of my mind, when conjuring up the basics for this blog, I figured that summer would take the cake.  You know, the endless visits to farm stands, the delicious dishes made from local foods, the interesting farmers to chat with.  And I do make endless trips to the farm stands and secretly feel sorry for those not as fortunate.  And I do make delicious dishes, but most tend to be slicing the veggies, adding perhaps some good salt and pepper, maybe cooking them quickly on the grill.  And the farmers are great, but they are in the midst of a crazy selling season and are just trying to keep their wits about them.   My mantra, especially in the summer, is “start with the best and don’t mess it up.”  While I don’t have full time foragers like Alice Waters, I do live just down the road from several of her favorite purveyors.  Living large while living local is so possible in my humble abode.

And then I saw this recipe that combined creamed corn with fresh tomatoes.  Perhaps Dante had a special level of hell for that.  But I read, I considered, I adapted, and I was convinced.  Consider this a substantial side dish, or a perfect main a bit of bread.

Corn and heirloom tomatoes from Smith Family Farms

Adapted from a recipe printed in The Week

Creamed Corn with Brie, Tomatoes, and Pine Nuts

Ingredients:

2 ears corn shucked, kernels removed

1/3 cup heavy cream

3 TBS brie, rind removed

freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted

2 large tomatoes, thickly sliced

fresh basil, sliced

Directions:

1.  Combine corn kernels and cream in a saucepan over medium heat.  Cover and cook 5 minutes.  Uncover, stir, and cook for another 5 minutes.  Stir in brie cheese and pepper and cook until sauce thickens, about 5 more minutes.

2.  For each serving, start with a tomato slice, top with 2 TBS creamed corn, top with another tomato slice and more creamed corn.  Garnish with pine nuts and basil.

Notes:

  • Be sure to get a bit of basil in each bite!
  • The original recipe called for Gorgonzola for a “funky flavor that worked well” but I didn’t want anything that would complete with the corn and tomato, hence the brie.
  • Now I’m looking for a savory main to dress with this creamed corn.

Jalapeno Hot Sauce

You know it is a cool summer when the peppers at the farm stands call out your name while those tomatoes take their sweet little time ripening.  Cool weather plus slowly ripening crops leads to crazy foodie behavior, such as making hot sauce in the summer.

This was my first go at making hot sauce, and it is certainly something I’ll do again.  It was crazy simple to do and the fresh flavors are perfect for adding a bit of kick to eggs, quesadillas, and an endless array of finger foods.

Jalapeno Hot Sauce

adapted from the totally amazing Border Cookbook by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison

Peppers and onion from Smith Family Farm

Ingredients:

8 fresh jalapenos, stemmed and cut into fourths

1 Anaheim chile, stemmed and cut into fourths

1 cup white vinegar

1/2 cup water

2 TBS pepitas, toasted

1/2 tsp cumin seeds, toasted

2 TBS diced onion

6 garlic cloves

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp dry mustard

Directions:

1.  Place all of the ingredients in a blender and puree for two minutes, until the sauce is smooth but still a little grainy.  Refrigerate the sauce for at least 8 hours.

2.  Re-blend the sauce and strain it into bottles.

Notes:

  • I used almonds because I forgot to get pepitas at my regular grocery store, and my local store still doesn’t carry them.  Grrrr.  The almonds gave it a nice texture, even after the straining.
  • Do you like those cute bottles?  About two years ago, I got the great idea to make cranberry infused vodka for a little gift for coworkers.  It didn’t turn out well at all.  Guess I need to go back and work on my vodka infusions.  Oh, what a rough life!
  • If you’re ever needing a totally reliable cookbook on Tex-Mex or border style barbecue, you just cannot go wrong with anything by the Jamisons.