Thursday, September 22, 2011

My Poor Neglected Blog

Sorry for not updating in a long time, but my kitchen has been in various states of unusability as a major overhaul occurred. Cabinets ripped out, floor tiled, new sink, faucets, light fixtures, tile backsplash begun. Paint to follow when all else is finished. Phew!

Today's Commentary

I heard at a certain online community that someone @ Food Network demoed a recipe for something called "Flat Pasta with Creamy Corn." Here's the original:

6 ears corn on the cob, husked
2 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 pound pancetta or lean, center-cut bacon, finely chopped
1 Fresno chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped or 1/2 small sweet red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped thyme
1 small red onion, very finely chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup shelled fava beans (when available - remove from pod, parboil 5 minutes in shell) or defrosted shelled edamame or lima beans
1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken stock
3 tablespoons butter
1 pound egg tagliatelle, Del Verde brand or other wide-cut pasta
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano, for topping
Yields: 4 servings

Into a large bowl, scrape corn off the cobs as well as the cobs themselves for their sweet, starchy juices. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Add EVOO to the hot skillet and add pancetta or bacon. Cook to render fat and crisp, 3-4 minutes. Add corn and juices, and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, and cook corn 3-4 minutes. Add peppers, onions and garlic; stir 5 minutes more. Add fava, edamame or lima beans and deglaze pan with wine or stock. Stir in butter and reduce heat to low. Salt boiling water and cook pasta to al dente. Add 1 cup starchy cooking water to the creamy corn succotash. Drain pasta, toss with corn and parsley, top with cheese.

First of all, doesn't this seem a tad...moribund? Corn AND beans AND pasta all together just sounds so heavy. I'm all for the fresh corn and beans and suspect that this combination may possibly blend the correct amino acids to create a complete protein -- although I'm not positive on that), but I'd more likely use canned black or chili beans.

Here is the Hakuna Fritatta Improved Version.

Warm Corn and Bean Salad with Ham

4 ears of corn, kernels scraped into a bowl
¼ pound sliced ham or Canadian bacon, julienned
1 small yellow onion, chopped
3 or 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 Serrano chiles, seeded and finely chopped
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
pinch of dried thyme leaves
1 14 ounce can of black or chili beans, rinsed and drained
8 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup dry white wine or chicken stock
5 Tbs butter, divided
olive oil
bag of baby spinach leaves or Romain-based salad mix
Parmesan cheese
handful of Italian parsley, chopped

Heat 1 Tbs olive oil and butter in a cast iron pan over medium heat. Add onions and saute for a minute or two and then stir in the garlic and chiles. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to saute until onions are transparent, about 5 minutes. Add ham and continue to saute mixture until the meat is heated through and begins to stick to the pan. Deglaze the pan with the wine or chicken stock, scraping up any stuck bits. Add the corn along with any collected juices and drained beans and butter. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until the liquids are reduced by half.

To serve, place salad mix on serving dishes and top with a ladle of corn mixture. Top with tomatoes, scallions and shaved cheese.

Variation for the carbohydrate-addicted:

Okay, if you hate the green, don't use it. Instead, cook 8 ounces of whole wheat penne rigate until al dente. Omit the beans but otherwise, simply stir the corn mixture into the pasta, adding some reserved pasta water in case it seems dry.

Not moribund enough, you say? Go ahead and put the beans back in and stir 4 ounces of goat cheese into the hot pasta.

Other possibilities:

Instead of just dumping in the scraped corn kernels, grill the whole husked cobs either on an outdoor grill or inside on a grill pan until nicely charred. Allow cobs to cool so that you can touch them, then scrape the kernels and continue as above.

You could add all sorts of substitutions and additions with this. For example, peas and caramelized mushrooms. Substitute shredded roasted chicken or browned Italian-style turkey sausage for the ham.


Did some checking and according to this page, a grain combined with a legume should form a complete protein.