Monday, June 28, 2010

monday meal planning

This week, I'm advising you to do the following: go get yourself a couple ears of corn. It's the mascot of summer produce which means it is so in season. And when you're buying produce at the peak of its season, you know what it's going to taste like? The way it's supposed to. And when corn tastes more like corn, we're in a really good place.
I realize that for the most of you, corn tastes best when it's simply steamed or grilled and rubbed down with plenty of butter and a sprinkling of salt (or like this). And listen, I'm not disagreeing. Not one bit. But I urge you to try using corn as an ingredient in a few different dishes this week. The sugary sweet burst of the kernels play beautifully in a number of unintimidating, approachable variations.

First up? A corn salad. It's unavoidable, really. I've said it before and I'll say it again: basil is one of corn's greatest pals. Once the corn in removed from the cob, a chiffonade of fresh basil, a squeeze of fresh lime juice, a drizzle of olive oil, and some salt and pepper and you could stop right there. Of course I love to add a bit of finely diced red onion but feel free to add some chopped red bell pepper or diced avocado, too. Leftover corn salad can then easily re-appear on a quesadilla: add some canned black beans (drained and rinsed) to the corn salad then spoon on to a tortilla with a bit of your favorite shredded cheese, slide it into a pan or in the oven or onto the grill to warm through and dinner is served.

I recently watched my boy Chuck make a creamed corn recipe(don't roll your eyes just yet) that could not have been simpler: corn, cream, and a bit of butter. With a spoonful of that as a bed, I'd nestle in a piece of pan seared cod, and serve a campari tomato and basil salad alongside. No one would scoff at that plate. NO ONE.

Ok. Sufficiently drooling.

Make one or all of these corn-centric recipes this week: the variation in flavors will undoubtedly keep you interested.
Image above courtesy of Serious Eats

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