Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Simple Corn Soup

This is a very easy, very delicious recipe that you can tart up in many delectable ways...

4 ears corn, remove husk and silk
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1/3 cup grated potato
Sea salt to taste

Cut the kernels off the cobs and set aside.  Put the cobs (and any other appropriate veggie trimmings if you got 'em) in 5 cups water, bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.  Strain out the veggie parts and now you've made your own broth.

In a soup pot, melt the butter (or heat the oil) on medium heat.  saute onion for a minute, add potato and about a cup of the broth. Cover and simmer until soft, about 15 minutes.

Add the rest of the corn broth and half the corn kernels.  Simmer for a few minutes and then blend the soup until smooth (be careful! it's hot).  Add the remainder of the corn kernels and salt to taste.  Serves 4.

Variations:
garnish with roasted tomatillo salsa, crema or dry jack, a little lime zest & tortilla chips

garnish with diced heirloom tomatoes, julienned basil & mozzarella

garnish with parsley and serve with cheddar puffs (i'll post the recipe for those soon)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Sage Mountain Farm had gorgeous tomatillos this week and they have some of the best garlic!

a pound of tomatillos, peeled
1 small head garlic cloves, skinned
a few of your favorite chiles (or more or less to taste) - this week: padrons from Suzie's Farm
a little olive oil
1 bunch fresh cilantro (from the Schaners), chopped, including stems
1 small onion, diced small
sea salt to taste

Kid's Day at Reeger's Farm
Toss tomatillos, garlic and chiles with a little drizzle of olive oil and roast on a baking sheet under a very hot broiler until blistered and soft (5-10 minutes), stirring occasionally. Cool; transfer to blender, including juice, and blend to a course puree. Add cilantro and onion and season with salt to taste.

Makes about 4 cups - if this is too much, freeze or can some of the puree (before adding cilantro and onion) for later.

Kitchen Tip: Peeling Garlic
Pull cloves apart. Using a wide chef’s knife, cut off tough base of clove. Place the side of the knife flat against the clove, parallel with the cutting board. Very carefully – don’t cut yourself - crush (lighly if you want to keep the cloves whole, with more force if you're going to be mincing) the clove between the cutting board and the flat side of the knife. The skin now can be easily removed.

Make you own sour cream/crema/creme fraiche

This is easy to make and just requires a little thinking ahead when menu planning 

1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons buttermilk
                 
Combine cream and buttermilk well in glass jar and cover loosely.  Let stand at room temperature for about 12 hours, or until thickened.  Stir and refrigerate.  It will keep in the refrigerator for 7 days.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

My Favorite Zucchini Recipes: Calabacitas & Zucchini Quick Bread

Both of these recipes were handed down through my mom's family...

Narcissa’s Calabacitas
1 tablespoon oil
1 onion, chopped
1 pound summer squash, sliced into bite-sized pieces
3 large tomatoes, diced
5 cloves fresh garlic, pressed
2 cobs fresh corn, kernels sliced off the cob
handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
sea salt & pepper
2-3 ounces cheddar or jack cheese, grated

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, squash, and garlic and cook, stirring frequently until start to soften. Stir in corn, tomatoes, cilantro, salt and pepper to taste. Top with cheese and cover until cheese is melted. Serve with tortillas.

Serves 4-6

Zucchini Bread (or Muffins)
(Funny enough, according to Wendy Johnson's Gardening at the Dragon's Gate, this recipe is shockingly similar to the one served at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center in the early 1970s)

3 eggs
1 cup oil
1 1/2 - 2 cups evaporated cane or rapadura sugar
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour (I use unbleached all-purpose or whole wheat pastry or a mix of the two)
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp cinnamon
3 cups grated zucchini
½ cup nuts, optional (I suggest pecans or walnuts)

Beat eggs light and foamy. Mix in oil, sugar, and vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients. Add zucchini and nuts; mix until well combined.

For muffins: bake in cupcake tins at 325º for 20 minutes. Makes 24 muffins.
For bread loaf: bake in 2 greased 9x5 loaf pans at 325º for 1 hour.
Cool on rack.

Variations
Eliminate the cinnamon (or not) and add ¼ cup cocoa powder and ½ cup chocolate chips.
For a lower fat version, replace 1/3-2/3 of the oil with applesauce.