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Come out and pay me a visit. I'm at the Union Square Green Market every Wednesday from 11am-2pm and every Friday at Chelsea Market from 12pm-4pm. I'll also be at the New Amsterdam Market on Sunday August 22nd. If you're out the New Jersey way you might wanna pay the Tenafly Farmers' Market a Visit. Every Sunday from 10am-2pm in Tenafly, NJ. They have all of the flavor the farmers bring plus local artists, performers and chef demos. It's great market doing cool things, definitely worth checking out. A Grate Asset I find this little tool to be a big help in my kitchen. I end up using it almost everyday. Networkin' If you want more, you can follow me on facebook and twittertoo. Ideas for Your Zucchini For quick tips on how to process zucchini and an interesting idea for preserving it check out the blog.
You may have seen me . . On June 29th I was on the Food Network show Chopped. I was happy to see they painted me in a good light. It was a great experience, and despite a little TV editing, my competitors were very nice people and great cooks. We all put up a good fight.
*** I'm not giving away the outcome for those you who haven't caught it yet. ***
Four Corn and Seven Ears Ago ...
My father brought forth, upon this countenance, a new notion . . . and a smile . . . in the form of corn on the cob - OK, I'll stop being corny now . . . hah. But seriously folks. Corn . . . I don't know if I've ever come across someone who doesn't care for the stuff. I usually find a person's grudge against a specific ingredient to be a result of being force fed a terrible version of it as a child, but corn is kinda hard to screw up. Moreover, it's something that's easy to love as a kid and so we hold the ritual of summer corn close to our hearts.
There are a few things to know to guarantee a better ear. They all revolve around one fact: corn starts to transform its tasty sugars into not-so-tasty starches immediately after being separated from the stalk. So the goal is to get corn as soon as possible after harvest and stop that conversion asap via cooking and then, ideally, devouring. To do this follow a few simple guidelines:
Get your corn from a great source- try to find a farmer's market where the corn comes from close by. Great corn doesn't like long journeys and local farmers will less likely opt for overly sweet varieties built for veggie tourism and instead go for strains with true corn flavor.
Discern the better pieces- Look for full snug husks, fresh sticky silk, plump about-to-burst kernels and most importantly, a stem that looks freshly cut or broken, not dry and withered.
Buy it as close to the time of consumption as possible- Don't buy corn on Monday for a dinner on Thursday. If you have to do so to get your good corn, blanch it quickly that day and reheat it later for consumption. It'll retain much more of its flavor.
Now you have the right piece of corn. Let's try a super simple but different idea of what to do with it. I find sour cherries to be a great compliment to corn in a savory combination, if you can't come by sour cherries regular ones will get the job done just fine.
Corn and Sour Cherry Salad 3 ears of corn, husks and silk removed 1 pt. sour cherries, cleaned, pitted and halved 2 Shallots, sliced thinly (or a small red onion) Juice and zest of two limes 1 tsp Sriracha (aka rooster sauce, put more if you like some kick) 3 tbsps chopped cilantro 1/4 tsp of fish sauce (optional)
1. Blanch your corn in unsalted boiling water for 2 minutes. (Salt can make the kernel skins tough) Rinse well with cold water to stop the cooking process 2. Securing the corn on a flat surface, use a knife to remove the kernels 3. In a bowl combine the corn with the remaining ingredients. Season well with salt and . . . that's it, enjoy it.
This is a great little salad. It would be great in a lettuce wrap with ground chicken or pork mixed in. Try it toppled over grilled fish. It could even be yummy tossed with cold rice noodles, but for me it goes down easy with beer and tortilla chips. I'd love to hear if anybody out there gives this recipe a try.
Keep cookin' out there and happy belated 4th of July.