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September 11, 2014

Cooking Through Summer’s Bounty

I always feel like a better cook during the summer. Despite all outdoor signals that the oven should not be on, my creativity is fueled by the unbelievable amount of fresh seasonal produce available. With that in mind, I resort to simple yet flavorful dishes and techniques. With ShopRite’s local farm connection, you can find fragrant tomatoes, and my favorite, baskets of local corn in their husks right now. I can’t get enough of either this month, and with both at their peak they need relatively little done to them to shine. I thought I’d share a few ideas about corn and tomatoes and then give you a bonus link to a fabulous and hot-weather-friendly blueberry pie on my blog this week.

MNCORN2

I’ll start with corn. Some people eat very fresh corn raw; I like to cook it a bit-though not too much.  I discovered a great hack for cooking perfect corn on the cob over on Food52. It’s so simple, you’ll laugh. Corn fresh out of the pot with a pat of salted butter is near perfection at night. That said, another way I like to fancy it up at lunch or to vary dinner, is cutting it off the cobs raw and giving it a *quick saute/steam.

MN CORN

After a little cooling time, it’s primed for pretty much anything *(see bottom of post for recipe). My favorite lunch: the cooked kernals mixed with salt, pepper, whatever spices you desire,  a handful of herbs and strong crumbled cheese, underneath a fried egg, with avocado for good measure. Corn prepped this way will stay in the fridge a day or two (bring to room temp or lightly warm) and is also great on fresh lettuce salads (see lead photo)

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And now onto tomatoes: Again, a ripe raw tomato is purity in itself. Toss with olive oil, basil, salt and lemon juice and that’s all you need. But…I also love to *roast them, and it couldn’t be easier. When I have roasted cherry tomatoes around, I put them on everything. Spooned over omelets, mixed into  the above mentioned corn-herb beds. It concentrates the flavor and preserves the tomatoes longer particularly if they’ve gotten soft after a day sitting (always store at room temp!!) (*See bottom of post for recipe)

MN ROASTTOMATO

PS: Looking for a summery dessert? I highly recommend this fresh blueberry pie over on my blog!

MN BLUEPIE

Cheers to the last few days of summer.  I didn’t forget the sunscreen this time thanks to ShopRite’s convenient spray-on line. It totally saved us at the beach, is easy to spray, doesn’t leak, and works! Drop it in your bag over this Labor Day and check out the corn and tomato recipes below.

MEREDITH SUNSCREEN

 

 

SIMPLE SAUTEED FRESH CORN

Ingredients:

One ear fresh corn, husked

Butter/coconut oil/olive oil or a combination

small clove garlic, minced or grated

salt + pepper

paprika (optional)

splash (scant teaspoon) white wine, broth or water

squeeze lemon juice

Directions:

First slice the kernels off the cob. Set it laying on its side on a cutting board and using a sharp knife shave off the kernals. Alternatively, rotate the cob to stand on its end to get to all kernals. Heat a wide saute pan over medium with a lid on the side.  Set in a knob of butter, and/or a glug oil to lightly coat the bottom. When it starts to heat, add the kernels. Immediately stir around with a spatula to evenly coat. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, paprika. After just a moment, the corn should start to lose its raw edge.  Now turn the heat to lowest, add the wine or broth, and cover, about a minute. Remove from the heat, grate in the garlic (or toss in minced) and stir. It will now smell very fragrant. Squeeze over a little lemon juice, toss once and leave to cool.

 

OVEN ROASTED CHERRY TOMATOES

Ingredients:

One Large Handful Cherry Tomatos

A sprig rosemary or oregano

sea salt and cracked pepper

Scant Tablespoon olive oil

Directions:

Turn the oven to 400 and set the tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with the olive oil, salt and pepper and combine with your hands evenly to coat.  Nestle the herb sprig beneath the tomatoes and bake for about 30 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice halfway, until lightly caramelized and bubbly. Discard herb sprig. Set to cool, and scrape into a jar. Top with fresh herbs when serving.

 

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