CSA Week 6
Raquel Sweet Corn
Asian Delite Eggplant
Ailsa Craig Sweet Onions
New Red Fire Head Lettuce
El Jefe Hot Peppers
Notes from the Farm
I'm not sure what it is about corn, but I love it, and I'm not alone...
I mean, sugar is sugar, there's no escaping that... I don't believe anyone who says they don't have a sweet tooth... don't like marshmallow? fine, I get it... but sugar, everyone loves sugar on some core primal survival level... and love of corn sugar... that's real.
Corn sugar unlocks something... when the corn is perfect, when it's cooked perfectly, when it doesn't matter if there is a thousand people screaming or you're sitting alone... in some way, somehow, it hits just like a gong, showing a split second view of the center of the universe... and just like that, it's gone again. We've all had the perfect bite, I see it in the eyes of the people coming into the stand... they're looking to capture that moment again, that perfect time-stopping moment of joy... and it's hard to get to that place, but there's always hope, the next ear will be perfect, addicted to the chase.
It's a well worn path... people have been pie-holing corn for about 9000 years, that's close to 320 generations of humanity... there's nothing to be ashamed about... it's just good. I mean, I'm not convinced corn is all that good for you, but I don't care... it's sugar, grass grown sugar, and it works... and really, joy can be hard to come by sometimes, it's so super easy to get bogged down in all of this life stuff.
And joy doesn't have to be complicated...
if you want to be free, be free...
if you know what I mean.
1 head green cabbage (about 2 1/2 pounds), outer leaves removed, halved, cored, and thinly sliced
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon coarse salt
In a medium saucepan, combine cabbage, vinegar, salt, and 1 1/4 cups water. Cover, and cook over medium, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is tender, 30 to 35 minutes (if bottom of pan starts to brown, add 1/4 cup more water). To store, refrigerate up to 2 weeks.
4 ears corn, husks removed
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 cups freshly grated queso fresco or cotija (both available at hannafords)
Lime wedges, for serving
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add corn and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain.
Place a thick wooden skewer or dowel lengthwise up through base of each ear of corn. Working with one ear at a time, spread 1 tablespoon mayonnaise over kernels. Using a spoon, sprinkle 1/2 cup queso fresco over mayonnaise. Season with cayenne pepper and serve with lime wedges.
Chilled Corn Soup with Corn Custard
4 ears corn, shucked
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup minced white onion
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Minced or snipped chives
1 recipe Corn Custard, (optional), for serving
Remove kernels from 3 corncobs, then scrape milk from those cobs into a bowl with kernels (you should have about 3 1/2 cups kernels); set aside. Combine scraped cobs and 5 cups water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 8 minutes.
Add remaining whole ear corn; simmer 2 minutes more. Strain liquid, discarding cobs and setting aside whole ear. (You should have 4 cups corn broth.) Cut kernels off whole ear and refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to serve.
Return saucepan to medium heat; add butter. When melted and foam subsides, add onion, season with salt, and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in broth and reserved corn kernels and cob milk from bowl. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, until corn is tender and sweet, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool 10 minutes.
Working in batches, transfer mixture to a blender (a high-speed one, such as Vitamix, works best) and purée until very smooth, 2 to 3 minutes a batch (remove center cap from lid and cover opening with a clean kitchen towel, which allows steam to escape). If desired, strain through a fine-mesh sieve for the silkiest texture. Let cool 15 minutes, then refrigerate in an airtight container until very cold, at least 4 hours and up to 3 days.
When ready to serve, ladle soup into bowls containing corn custard; garnish with chives and reserved chilled corn kernels.
Unsalted butter, softened, for ramekins or bowls
3/4 cup whole milk
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 large eggs plus 1 large yolk
6 tablespoons corn kernels (from 1 cob)
Preheat oven to 300°F. Butter six ramekins; place in a baking dish large enough to hold all of them. In a small saucepan, bring milk and cream to a simmer. In a heatproof bowl, whisk together eggs and yolk; season with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Gradually whisk hot liquid into egg mixture. Divide mixture evenly among prepared ramekins. Add 1 tablespoon corn kernels to each ramekin.
Place baking dish on oven rack and add boiling water until it comes halfway up sides of ramekins. Bake until custards are just set along edges but still wobbly in centers, about 30 minutes. Remove ramekins to a wire rack; let cool 15 minutes, then refrigerate, covered, at least 6 hours and up to 2 days.
When ready to serve, run a paring knife around edges of each custard, then dip bottoms into a bowl of hot water to loosen, about 30 seconds; invert into serving bowls.
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