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Posts Tagged ‘corn’

Elote Loco

Corn Cob

August in New York City = so much great stuff at the farmer’s market. I’m particularly excited about corn – bushels and bushels of sweet, snappy, corn!

All you need to make corn delicious is salt, pepper and, if you’re normal and not me, butter, right? Sure. But two summers ago the Red Hook Ball Field vendors opened my eyes/mouth to something even more awesome that permanently changed my puritanical ways.

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coleslaw

Coleslaw is one of those dishes that evaded my understanding for a long time. A pile of shredded cabbage drenched (sopping, in fact) in mayonnaise, flavorless, textureless, and mushy? Mm, sign me up. No wait, keep that as far away from me as possible. No, I don’t want it on the side of my sandwich, or my fried chicken, or anywhere in my immediate or not-so-immediate vicinity.

I’ve increasingly been suspecting, though, that not all coleslaws are created equal, and that coleslaw can, in fact, be not only palatable, but delicious — crispy, refreshing, bursting with flavor. I’ve been seeing it on a lot of sandwiches lately, in its not so mayonnaisy, greasy form. And so, recently, I have decided to give coleslaw a second chance. And it has been revelatory. (more…)

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corn muffins

There are certain packaged foods that are simply the Platonic ideal of their kind, never to be bested by homemade versions: Oreos, Heinz ketchup, and Coca-Cola being my top three. Is the taste of these foodstuffs so perfectly irreplaceable because they are actually perfectly formulated? Or is it just that we are so used to those flavors that nothing else will quite do? If I had grown up eating Newman-O’s and Hunt’s ketchup, and drinking Pepsi, would I now be just as insistent on those brands as the apotheosis of sandwich cookies, tomato-based condiments, and corn-syrupy carbonated beverages?

I have one more to add to the list, but this one I feel guilty about: JIFFY Corn Muffin Mix. I felt way more guilty about it until my recent realization that EVERYONE loves Jiffy, or at least everyone who wasn’t born and/or raised in the South (and here, “everyone” mostly means my Gossip-Girl-dinner-party-club and Deb at Smitten Kitchen, which is a large and varied enough sample size for me).

Still, while I have no need for homemade Oreos, ketchup (Heinz or otherwise), or Coke, I would actually like to make cornbread from scratch. I’ve made it a couple times in the last year, always with recipes from Southern cookbooks and always in a cast-iron skillet. And it always came out great, but as an entirely different species of cornbread than I am used to — crunchy on the outside, very bready, and extremely savory. What I want is soft, cakey, and sweet. There, I said it. All Southerners can now crucify me. (more…)

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Southwestern Quinoa

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Quinoa is back, baby. I hadn’t cooked it in a few months, as I had made myself a little sick of it by making the curried quinoa recipe I wrote about back in September. But I recently cleaned up the shelf where I store my bulk grains and moved some of the ones I hadn’t used in a while up to the front to encourage me to cook with them.

Encouraged I was, but also stymied. The curry dish had been my first real quinoa success, and while I still wasn’t ready to eat any more of it, I didn’t have any other ideas. So I turned to our good friend the internet and began scouring for ideas. In addition to discovering the existence of a quinoa-focused cookbook called Quinoa the Supergrain, I found a number of recipes focused around tomatoes and black beans.

I decided to take this idea and run with it, making a few additions and changes of my own…

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Notice that the name of this post is not “Pasta with End of Summer Vegetables,” but rather “End of Summer Vegetables, with Pasta.” That’s because the emphasis here is on the veggies — the beautiful beautiful veggies that herald the end of summer, and the end of fresh vibrantly colored vegetables so delightful and delicious that they can, and should, be eaten raw.

Which is exactly what is happening here. I was feeling a little pooped one night, and was just going to make pasta. But I had all these vegetables in the fridge, and as much as I like the idea of just a big plate of pasta, the vegetables in the fridge won out. But I didn’t want to have to expend too much more energy — or dirty too many more pots and pans — for the sake of the vegetables. I had a bunch of jewel-like cherry tomatoes, a couple ears of corn, and a few spring onions. Normally, I would probably eat the tomatoes raw, but cook the other two, probably sautéing them. But I tasted the corn, and it was just so delicious on its own, I decided to make the leap, and serve all the vegetables raw. (more…)

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As Claire pointed out to me yesterday, we’ve been on a pretty salad-focused kick here at Food Junta, a lot of said salads involving tomatoes, corn, warming, or some combination thereof. But this salad was so good, I had to share it. Repetitiveness be damned.

Though I’m pretty sure this is a common-ish dish out there in the world, this particular salad was totally unplanned and just a result of what I happened to have kicking around in my kitchen. I had had the corn in my crisper for a little too long (6 days or so) and needed to do something with it, I usually have a red onion or two around for salads, and I had the sungolds around because I love sungolds.

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I love potato salad, but not that gross, mayonnaise-laden stuff that typically passes for potato salad around these parts (the U.S. being these parts). Sometimes that mayonnaise-y stuff can be really good, but more often than not, it’s basically disgusting. Tastes disgusting, looks disgusting, IS disgusting, as Coolio might say.

Enter in the vinegar-based potato salad. It’s still the same basic idea (boiled new potatoes), but with none of the weight of the mayo. This particular version is an entirely farmers’ market inspired creation. I knew I was making dinner with a friend that night, I knew that I didn’t want it to be a labor-intensive ordeal. I saw a pint of teeny tiny new potatoes — smaller than I’d ever seen them before — and felt the need to buy them. Which led me to the idea of potato salad. But this potato salad was going to be the star of the show, not an accompaniment. So it needed more. (more…)

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