Summer Corn Chowder

I found a recipe for corn chowder and it was amazing – I added in a few things that the recipe didn’t call for that I think made it extra delicious! It’s the perfect excuse to hit the farmers market or road side stand and load up on fresh corn. It makes for a light dinner or a great starter or side dish.

This recipe could totally be vegan/vegetarian by leaving out the bacon, butter (use olive oil) and cream.

Ingredients:

6 large ears of sweet corn – shucked and silks removed

2 slices of thick cut bacon

3 tablespoons of butter

1 large diced onion

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 cup diced celery

1 medium red potato cut into half inch cubes

1 tsp marjoram

1/4 cup heavy cream

pinch of cayenne pepper

pinch of paprika

Sour cream for garnish

 

Directions:

– Cut the kernels of corn off the cob. Using the back of the knife, scrape the cobs for the corn “milk”. Set both aside.

– In a heavy pot, boil corn cobs with 6 cups of water and 1 tsp of salt. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Discard the cobs and reserve the liquid.

– Dice bacon and throw into a large pot. Saute until crispy. Add butter, onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent. Reduce the heat, add celery and sprinkle with salt. Once veggies are soft, add the potato, marjoram, cayenne and paprika. Add corn stock. Bring to a boil then cover and lower the heat for 20-30 minutes. Add almost all of the corn (reserve about a cup) and simmer for 10 more minutes.

– I used a food processor for this next part, but a blender would work too – just be sure to cover it so you don’t get hot liquid all over the place! Pour the cooked mixture into the blender / processor and blend until smooth. Add blended puree back to the pot and add the remaining unpureed corn and milk to the mix. Season with salt and pepper and heat the additional corn through (about 5 minutes). Serve with a dollop of sour cream!

 

 

 

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Interesting Enchiladas

I think *no jinx* I might be through the morning sickness business. I say this because over the last week I’ve stopped being totally repulsed by food and even, dare I say, started to get hungry for things besides turkey sandwiches on Hawaiian rolls. That said, I got a huge hankering for sweet potatoes…and black beans. A quick trip to my Pinterest “YUM” page and I found a recipe for sweet potato and black bean enchiladas. I added the ingredients to my grocery list and headed out the door.

While I was mixing, I started getting second thoughts. Who they hell thought sweet potatoes belonged in enchiladas?? But I was already knee deep in the recipe and thought we could have quesadillas if it turned out as wrong as it sounded.

To my, and PW’s surprise, they were DELICIOUS! I put my own spin on the recipe by adding some frozen corn – a yummy addition if I do say so myself. I love how easy this is since most of the ingredients will last for a few weeks in the fridge and pantry making it a “go to” meal since it won’t require a trip to the store for fresh stuff. Also, I think it would freeze nicely AND would be a  nice gift recipe – you know, when someone has a baby, is sick or just needs some home cooked food!

Ingredients:

Small corn tortillas at room temperature (so they break less)

1 large sweet potato

1 can of black beans – I like Bush’s

1 small jar of salsa – I used Newman’s Own

1 can of red enchilada sauce – I used Hatch

1 small bag of frozen corn

Mexican shreded cheese

Salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Peel and cube the sweet potato into bite sized pieces. Put into steamer basket and cook until soft – about 15 minutes.

3. Drain can of black beans and pour into a large bowl. Add cooked sweet potato and about 3/4 of the jar of salsa. Mix in about half the bag of frozen corn. Add several good shakes of salt and a little pepper. Stir until combined.

4. Using a greased baking dish – take tortilla, spoon in mixture, roll and place seam side down in dish. Don’t panic if they break or spill, just squish them together. Repeat, lining them up side by side until the dish is full.

5. Pour can of sauce over the top of the tortillas so that it’s evenly distributed. Cover top completely with cheese.

6. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the top is getting crispy. Serve with a big dallop of sour cream.

 

*this is where a picture would be…but since I thought they were going to be crappy, I didn’t take one! Oh well, use your imagination 😉

 

 

Pinterest in Action

I found these lovely little appetizers on Pinterest and made them last weekend for a dinner party. The picture doesn’t show the final product, which was drizzled in olive oil and balsamic reduction, but it does the little beauties justice. In addition to adorable, they are delicious! Little basil leaves wrapped around mozzarella balls and grape tomatoes…bite sized caprese salad!

Oh, and I made the cake plate – more on that in a later post 😉

 

Butternut Squash Ravioli

Ok, so I’m into butternut squash right now. It’s just so easy. And tasty and I can buy it at the farmers market and it’s almost impossible to get a bad squash…in other words, I heart butternut squash.

I came up with this recipe after seeing a magazine cover and almost drooling on myself while waiting to check out at the grocery store. I make a rule not to buy stuff like that at the grocery because I think it’s over priced (but then I never buy it at all so really, I save a lot this way). So I took a mental picture and decided to try it out. And the results? Delicious!

And yes, CO, this does count as a recipe because you have to roast the squash.

Ingredients:

1 butternut squash (duh)

1 box of pre-made cheese ravioli (like Bertoli and they are usually in a cold case near the deli)

Fresh spinach

Olive oil

Butter

Salt and pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400.

Slice the squash long ways making two halves. Scoop out the seeds and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Put the squash, insides facing up, on a foil lined try into the oven. Roast for about 40 minutes. Really, it’s hard to let it go too long and it’s better than not enough time. It should be fork tender when ready.

Cook ravioli according to the instructions. When done, place in a tablespoon of butter in a sauce pan and add ravioli to saute. Add in spoonfuls of the cooked squash and stir gently. Add in the basil leaves (diced) and let all the flavors blend together (about 3 minutes). Plate and serve!

The beauty of this dish is that the final product looks way fancier than it has any right to given the amount of effort that goes into the dish. This would be great for a dinner party, especially when there are vegetarian guests.

Butternut Squash Soup

Mmmmhhh….

I love this because it’s so simple. And because it’s a great fall dish!

Ingredients:

1 large butternut squash (or precut squash works well too)

1 large yellow onion

1/2-1 tsp Thyme – preferably fresh but dried is ok

1/2-1 tsp Sage – ditto

Chicken stock

2 tablespoons butter

Salt and pepper

Directions:

Peel, seed and cube the squash into 1 inch(ish) chunks.

Dice onion and saute in butter. Add sage and thyme. Then add in cubed squash and lightly cook adding salt and pepper to taste. Add chicken stock and cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes or until the squash is fork tender.

Transfer mixture to a food processor. Cover food processor with a towel before blending. Again add salt to taste. Ladle in to bowls and serve as an appetizer, soup course or the main meal. I think it would be delicious with fresh bacon crumbles and a blue cheese salad on the side!