8 quick ways with...
by Chris Halpin
Corn is real comfort food for me, when it sits beside a mound of mashed potatoes, butter melting and a generous amount of salt and pepper – the whole world just melts away. Here are some other corn comfort foods that top my list. Frozen Corn Made Fresh Frozen corn can have a funny taste to it, but this can be dealt with and it is easy. In a colander place 2 c. frozen corn, rinse under running warm water until it has thawed, about 2 minutes. Place the corn in a microwavable bowl and cover with cool water, add 1 t. salt and 1 t. sugar, mix to dissolve. Let this stand for at least 10 minute and up to 1 hour. Drain, cover with a plate and heat in the microwave for 1 minute, stir and do a minute more. Drain and serve. Serves 4.
Grilled Corn on the Cob I find that a lot of people think that fresh corn has to be cooked for a long time. In fact, not true. Grilled corn on the cob in the summer is heavenly and so simple. In your hand place about 1 t. of canola oil and coat a peeled corn on the cob, repeat this 3 more times. Place them onto a hot grill and turn every 2 minutes, until the corn is evenly scorched. Makes 4 cobs.
Roasted Corn Salsa I love salsas of all kinds. This one is bright and fresh. Place a skillet over high heat and allow the pan to get very hot before adding 1 c. frozen corn and allow this to scorch. (For this to work properly, the pan must have no oil, be very hot and the corn must be fully frozen.) Once the corn has browned and smells like popcorn, remove from heat. Dice 3 roma tomatoes and blot dry. Rough chop 1/2 c. black beans. Add all 3 into a bowl with 1 t. salt, 1 t. sumac and 1/2 t. ground cumin, 1/4 c. lime juice, 1/2 jalapeño, minced, 1 clove of garlic, minced, 1 shallot, diced. Mix well and serve with chips or over any grilled fish. Makes 3 cups.
Spicy Cornbread This is not a sweet cornbread. It is a lovely accompaniment to stews or soups. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. In a bowl, put 2 c. cornmeal, 1/2 c. flour, 1 t. baking powder, 1/2 t. baking soda, 1 T. chile powder, mix well and set aside. In another bowl, put 1 egg and whisk in 2 T. oil, then beat in 2 c. buttermilk. Stir in the dry mixture, but don’t over-mix. Spoon into 12 lightly greased muffin cups. Bake in the oven until fluffy and golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Makes 12.
Corn and Bacon Chowder This is a soup that is so quick and satisfying, on its own, but try adding any kind of shellfish and make it your own. In a large pot over medium heat, put 1/2 c. diced smoky bacon and 1 T. olive oil, sauté until the bacon is starting to get crispy, then add 1 large red onion, diced, 1/2 t. each, nutmeg, tarragon and black pepper and sauté 2 more minutes. Add 4 c. vegetable stock, 1 large potato, peeled and grated, 2 c. corn, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer. Add salt to taste and simmer until the potatoes start to thicken the soup and are tender, about 10 minutes. Add 1/2 c. cream and adjust the salt just before serving. Ladle into 4 bowls and garnish with a little chopped parsley. Serves 4.
CITYPALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2018
The Flavour of Calgary's Food Scene since 1993 - The Wine & Beer Issue