Does Your Corn Need a Shave?

I made chicken corn chowder for dinner the other day.  This is the best way I’ve found to shave corn off the cob, without ending up with corn kernels scattered all over my counter tops and floor.  You know what I’m talking about.

Place a small bowl upside down inside a larger bowl.  Trim off the tip of the cob so you have a flat surface for it to stand on.  Then, shave away.

And, voila!  All the corn kernels end up neatly inside the bowl.

Also, don’t forget to extract the “milk” or pulp from the cob after all the kernels are cut off.  Use the back of your knife and run if along the cob, pressing hard.  All the left over bits left on the cob will come off clean as a whistle.

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Corn and Black Bean Guacamole

This guacamole is an amazing way to stretch your avocado budget.  I can’t believe I bought them for $2 a piece!!  Fortunately,  I have an avocado tree in my backyard now.  Unfortunately, they’re only the size of golf balls right now.  I’ll have to wait for them to ripen so my avocado budget can balance out a bit.

I could seriously have eaten the whole bowl of this guacamole.  The flavors of sweet corn, tangy lime and fresh tomato and cilantro are a reminder of why I love summer recipes. YUM!

Corn and Black Bean Guacamole

2 avocados

1 ear of corn, boiled and cut off the cob

½ can (8 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed

1 tomato, diced

2 tbsp cilantro, chopped

1 lime

1 tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

2 tsp hot sauce

Put avocado in a bowl and smash with a fork.  Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl.  Cover and chill for one hour for flavors to marry.  Enjoy with tortilla chips.

Red Corn…………Yes I said RED Corn!

Yes, this is a real edible ear of corn.  I was surprised when I saw red corn for the first time.  For the last 35 years of my life I’ve only eaten yellow or white corn.  This red corn really rocked my normal corn-eating world!

I wanted to make some kind of fancy recipe with it, but I stopped myself.  I really just wanted to taste the true flavor of this oddly-colored corn.  I simply boiled it and rolled it on my stick of butter with some salt.  The difference in taste is very subtle.  It’s a bit more woodsy and creamier than regular corn.  To be honest, in a blind taste test I don’t think I could pick out the red corn.

Where was this corn on the 4th of July?!  I could have made a really cool looking corn salad to match the holiday colors.  I guess I’ll have to wait til next year.

Here is a better picture of the corn with a truer color.  I had the midday sun in the kitchen and it threw off the hue.

Sweet Corn Casserole

This dish is Exhibit A for why I want a set of double ovens.  It’s not often that I would need it, but on a very important cooking day like Thanksgiving, it would have come in very handy.

Because our lovely turkey was in the oven along with five side dishes, we had that thing packed to the gills.  I had no place to put this casserole in the oven except on the bottom rack, closest to the fire…….do you get where I’m going yet?

Yes, although the top is a beautiful golden brown, the bottom of this casserole was charred to a lovely black!  What’s Thanksgiving without a few mishaps in the kitchen?!

Luckily we were able to spoon pieces out, while avoiding the bottom.  This was otherwise a successful dish.  The creaminess and sweet taste of the corn and corn muffin mix was a great complement to the other savory items on the table.

Sweet Corn Casserole

1 can yellow whole corn with juice

1 can yellow creamed style corn

1 box Jiffy brand corn muffin mix

3 eggs slightly beaten

16 oz. sour cream

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

1 medium onion, chopped

paprika

In a medium bowl, mix together the two cans of corn, muffin mix, eggs, sour cream and cheese.  Sauté the chopped onion in oil until translucent, then add to the corn mixture.

Pour into a 9×13 glass dish sprayed with cooking spray, and bake for 35-45 minutes at 350 degrees, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.  Sprinkle with more of the grated cheddar cheese and sprinkle just a bit of paprika for color as well.

Chicken Corn Chowder

One of my favorite vegetables is corn and my favorite type of soup is chowder.  This chicken corn chowder definitely brings together the best of both worlds.

I will take a chowder over chicken noodle soup any day of the week.  I like the stick-to-your-ribs kind of chowders and stews.  I think the cold weather really brings that out in me.

The chowder provides a wonderful balance of sweet and savory, smoothness and crunch.  It is definitely a hearty soup and a bowl of this is enough for a meal.

I took this picture the day after I made the chowder, so it had thickened quite a bit.  It was easily remedied with some extra chicken broth, but I like my chowder a bit chunky.  Some chowders can be very high in fat and calories, so I used fat free half-and-half instead of heavy cream and you wouldn’t even know it.  What’s better than guilt-free chowder?

Chicken Corn Chowder

4 tbsp butter

4 tbsp olive oil

1 small onion, diced

2 carrots, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

½ cup all-purpose flour

3 cans sweet corn, drained

3 cups chicken broth

2 potatoes, diced

2 cups chicken breast, cooked, diced

2 cups fat free half-and-half

pinch grated nutmeg

salt and pepper

Melt butter and olive oil in large pot.  Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes.  Add flour and stir to make a roux.  Cook until roux is lightly browned; set aside.  Combine corn and chicken in another pot and bring to a boil. Pour the broth and corn (a little at a time) into the roux and whisk so it doesn’t create lumps.  Return pot to the heat and bring to a boil.  Add potatoes and chicken.  Mixture should be very thick.  Pour the half-and-half into the corn mixture.  Add nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.  Cook until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.