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Corn Dutch Baby

This Wine & Dine Wednesday brings a savory fresh corn right off the cob Dutch baby. I have written in the past about making a sweet version of this with blueberries and syrup. The corn has been crazy good and plentiful this Hudson Valley stay so I thought, why not? I studded it with a few spoonful dollops of a soft cheese right when it came out of the oven to make it even more savory, but is not necessary as it is pretty darn tasty just as it is. Sauté the corn after you take it off the cob in butter with a good deal of salt so it is nicely seasoned.

A black cast iron pan/skillet from 8 to 12 inches is best, but I have also make one in a non-stick pan and it worked swell. Turn on the oven to heat up to a hot 425 degrees while you mix up this batter. In a good sized bowl add a half of a cup of flour, half of a cup of whole milk, 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and an 1/8 of a teaspoon of salt. Mix all together. Don’t worry, fine if a tad lumpy. Set aside.

Then add 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter to the pan/skillet which is on the stovetop on medium high heat. Let the butter melt being sure it is covering the entire interior surface of the bottom of the skillet. Then add the mixture to that. Working quickly, scatter the fresh sautéed corn to the mixture. It is now ready to go into the now quite hot oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Check at 15 and if it not inflated and brown edged, cook a bit longer. It is the prettiest, puffiest darn thing right when it comes out of the oven (which makes it soufflé like) but will deflated quite quickly (which makes it pancake like) while still so yummy looking. Cut in half or quarters and serve immediately. Enjoy!



 

 

Dungeness Crab, Corn & White Cheddar Frittata

We are spending an extra day out on the island this week as yesterday was filled with filming a segment for an upcoming King 5 Evening show. More on that later… The weather has just been exceptional this past week, so a lazy day with all the French doors open is in the cards. Mister Sive has been battling a nasty Summer cold he is getting over, so I see a day filled with reading, naps, and eating! We had guests on Sunday for supper and I made Dungeness crab and corn risotto. We had leftover crab and corn so I thought a frittata would be a fun, filling way to start the day. Frittatas can really be made with a million different combinations of things. I find some sort of cheese always is a welcome addition, and we had some white cheddar on hand.

Use a good sized pan/skillet that can go into the oven and in a perfect world is non-stick. Whisk 6 eggs in a bowl after you have added a splash of milk, and a good amount of salt & pepper. On low heat add the egg mixture to a well buttered pan/skillet. Let it cook away until the edges look like they are beginning to set. The middle will still be super uncooked. Add your fillings. Scatter about evenly so each bite you get a bit of everything. Then transfer pan/skillet to the oven under the broiler on high. You want to make sure you have oven mitts or potholders as the handle will get crazy hot. Stay with this the entire time as you will want to turn the pan/skillet as you go as some spots will cook faster than others so just turn as needed. It will puff up and get nice and golden brown. All done! This works great as breakfast with toasted baguette or for lunch or dinner with a green salad and a glass of rosé.



 

 

Corn & Shrimp Risotto

Wine & Dine Wednesday is a dish I made last week-end. Last year we had the best corn of the season in May, that we bought at the local grocery store in Chatham. Crazy, I know, but it really was the best we had last Summer. So when I saw a huge stack of it again this year at the same time & place, I jumped at the chance to buy a bunch of ears. And by golly, pretty darn amazing again. We are off with a bang! So good in fact that I bought another round the next week (just the other day) and made risotto with it, along with roasted shrimp. I used 4 cobs, boiling it first, then TPS took all the corn off the cob for me while I stirred away at the pot of Arborio rice. I find making risotto one of the most relaxing things. Something about the chopping, stirring and more stirring. I really wanted this to be corn laden, so the 4 cobs of corn to the 2 cups of rice was a good ratio. It was super corny, just what I was going for. I had first titled this ‘Shrimp & Corn Risotto’ but swapped it around as corn really gets the top billing in this. Ted had made stock the day before so fresh chicken/vegetable stock made it even tastier. If you have homemade stock, lovely. Boxed stock is grand too, as it is what I use most times if we don’t have stock in the freezer.

I like to cook the shrimp first in a hot 400 degree oven (I know, very surprising) so they are cooked and set aside waiting and you don’t have to take your eye off of stirring the risotto. Plus, once you toss them into the rice, they heat up a bit. Just scatter the shrimp onto a baking sheet, slather with extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper, and a bit of finely diced garlic. Mix around. Add to oven, turning then after 5 minutes. Keep an eye on the lot, because depending on their size, you might only need to cook them for 7 to 10 minutes total. Test one. Better to have slightly underdone as they will continue to cook after you take them out and put on a plate to rest. But it is satisfying to know they are complete so you don’t have to worry about the shrimp at the last minute when the risotto starts coming together.

Heat up the 8 cups of stock to not quite a boil, then turn down the heat a bit, but the stock should remain hot thru the entire risotto cooking process.

Next, and here is where I like to use a good sized Le Creuset pot for cooking the risotto in, add a liberal dose of butter and cook a diced onion and shallot till they are not quite brown. Then add a good amount of olive oil to that, along with 2 cups of Arborio rice. Coat the rice with the butter and oil mixture, and sauté for a minute or two to cook thru, but don’t brown the rice. All of the above is done over medium heat, but stove tops vary greatly, so adjust accordingly. 

Now the liquids begin. Add one cup of white wine to the mixture. I like to use a white that we will be serving with the meal. Stir rice till the wine is absorbed. The depth of flavor the wine adds to the finished product is really noticeable. Now the waiting hot stock takes center stage. Add one cup of stock to the mixture, stirring till the stock is fully absorbed. What holds many folks back about making risotto is there is a good amount of stirring involved. A constant stir is not necessary, but pretty close. This is where the white wine you opened comes in quite nicely. Sipping a little white wine during the risotto making process is a personal favorite–it is my break from stirring. Continue adding the hot stock one cup at a time, and the rice will become creamier as you go, as it releases the natural starches. Add the 7th cup of stock. At this point, you will be about 20 to 25 minutes into the rice cooking process. You are almost there. Now add the corn that you took off of the cob. Stir. Add a cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Stir. Turn off the heat. Add most of the cooked shrimp, holding back a few to adorn the top of the bowls you are about to serve. Add your last cup of stock. Stir. Add a dusting of salt & fresh ground black pepper. Stir. Put on the lid. Let sit for 5 minutes, have another sip of your white wine, as we are almost done.

Once that 5 minutes has passed, give it one last stir, adding a bit more stock so it is nice and creamy. In a bowl add the risotto mixture, then add a few pieces of the shrimp to the top of each bowl and finally a few sprinkles of the grated Parmesan. A bit of work, but that will all fade away when you have your first bite.



 

 

Kale Caesar with Fresh Corn & Cornbread Croutons

This salad is corn-centric, as the corn in the Hudson Valley at the moment is pretty off the charts tasty.  If you can get your hands on some fresh corn, give this a try.  The cornbread croutons bumps up the flavor of the season even more.  The fresh made Caesar dressing pulls it all together.  Here we go!

Boil a pot of water and cook 2 to 3 ears of corn.  Once done, pull out and set aside to cool.  Then cut the kernels off the cob over a bowl.  Let sit until ready to assemble.  Turn oven to 400, I know, very surprising. Let it heat up.  You can certainly make cornbread or muffins, but I found some stellar ones at the grocery store so those were used.  Carefully cut them into good sized cubes.  Put on a baking sheet, sprinkle with extra virgin olive oil and a good amount of pepper.  Put in the oven for 10 minutes, then take out and turn them, then bake in the oven for another 10.  Once done, take out to cool.

Now on to the dressing.  A food processor or blender is best for this.  Roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic, add to the mixer.  Then a heaping tablespoon of Dijon mustard. Juice 2 good sized lemons and add that juice.  Chop up 2 anchovies and add to the mix along with the yolk of a room temp egg and liberal pinches of salt & pepper. Almost there.  Pulse it all.  Now, with the machine running slowly pour in a half of a cup of the best extra virgin olive oil you can get your hands on.  Lastly add a third to half of a cup of finely grated Pecorino Romano and pulse one last time.  You have now made one very tasty Caesar dressing!

Tear up as much kale as you would like in a big bowl, being careful not to add any of the tough spine of the kale.  Sprinkle in the corn, a little more grated Pecorino, then spoon over the dressing, adding as much or as little as you like.  Top with the cornbread croutons.  Serve.  I like to offer more dressing in a small bowl that guests can add if they like their salad super dressed.  It is a taste of Summer in a salad.  Enjoy, enjoy.  Mister Sive grilled barbecued chicken that worked great with this salad.  Truly, just about any main dish like steak or fish would be yummy with this too. 



 

 

Crazy for Corn

20120828-062944.jpg This time of year, we are having corn every chance we can. Growing up in the Midwest, and playing tennis on courts where the corn fields were right next to them, corn holds a special place in my heart. Whether it be boiled, cooked on the grill, or taken off the cob and sautéed with sweet butter and a few pinches of salt–it just speaks to me of Summer and all the good stuff that brings. As the season winds down, we are savoring each and every kernel. Cheers to the simple, humble and oh so tasty ear of corn in whatever form you like cooking it best!



 

 

Arugula Salad with Corn & Cherries

20120712-055649.jpg One of the fun aspects of writing this daily blog, is folks recommend other people to me who write blogs that they think I should read or meet. I was not a big blog reader before I started writing mine a little over a year ago, but have really enjoyed perusing more and more. I love a mixture of blogs–design, food, art, lifestyle–and will share with you in the coming months some of my favorites. The above salad combination was from a post by the talented interior designer in San Francisco, Grant K. Gibson. He writes a lovely blog about the things that inspire him at www.grantkgibson.blogspot.com. He also is an exceptional photographer, whose work will be showing up shortly on the walls at Watson Kennedy any day now. More on that once it arrives. Now onto that fab salad.

20120712-061417.jpg I have made this salad 3 times, each time doing a little something different. The first time I did it with the baked chèvre as Grant had shown. I also made it for a large dinner party and instead crumbled feta into the salad in place of the goat cheese and it rocked, as well. The feta was just an easier option since it was such a large salad for a big group. We have also had it without any cheese added, and it is sublime. That is what I love about recipes, that you can add or delete and still make something wonderful. This is super easy, and could not be tastier and representative of Summer.

Take the corn off of the cob after you have boiled it and it has cooled. Pit or slice cherries, you just don’t want the pit involved. Make a simple vinaigrette of 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard, 1/4 of a cup of balsamic vinegar, 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of both salt and pepper and whisk all together. Combine the corn and cherries with the arugula and dress with the balsamic vinaigrette. You will be very happy you made this salad. Try any of the cheese options or not. Enjoy!