Sunday, September 07, 2008

late summer dinner

I've been buying corn at the farmers' market near Columbia every Thursday for the past few weeks, and have been eating it in all sorts of ways. On the cob, off the cob and roasted with potatoes, added raw to a big bowl of roasted beets with a bit of goat cheese, and in soup. Here's an easy soup that I served yesterday for dinner for a couple friends who braved the Hanna remnants and came uptown for the evening:

Corn & Potato Chowder:

5 ears corn
3 heads garlic (the little ones you get at the farmers' market)
5 red potatoes, diced
bunch basil
vegetable or chicken broth
a couple hot peppers, whole
1/2 cup white wine

Cut the kernels off of the ears of corn, scraping down the cobs to get as much of the juice as possible, and set aside in a bowl, covered in saran wrap. Fill half-way a 5-quart pot with a water/broth combination, add several of the now-naked cobs, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add a pinch of salt, some ground black pepper, a handful of basil leaves, the hot peppers, and the garlic (peeled, smashed, and coarsely chopped), and let simmer for an hour or so.

Remove the corn cobs. Add water or broth as necessary, a bouillon cube if you want, and the wine, and bring to a boil. Add the diced potatoes, lower hear, let simmer for 20 minutes. Add the corn, simmer for just a couple minutes more, serve with a bowl of torn-up basil, preferably from your garden (or windowsill garden, as the case may be).

I served this with a big bowl of beets, roasted in olive oil, with a dash of salt, pepper (black and cayenne) and several sprigs of rosemary (also from my windowsill). Also cheese and crackers, carrots and hummus.

For dessert, vanilla ice cream with peach sauce.

Peach Sauce:
Peel and slice some peaches (I had 5), put in a 2-quart sauce pan with 1/3 cup bourbon, 1/3 cup maple syrup, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 2 sprigs fresh rosemary. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 1/2 hour or so. Either serve immediately over vanilla ice cream, or cool, then reheat before serving.

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