Fresh Corn Polenta with Eggplant Sauce ~ ElephantEats.com

Before I get to the recipe, I just wanted to share some news. As of today, we are officially homeowners! I know I mentioned the house in a past post, but our closing was today. Also, this weekend we did the walk-through and Nate FINALLY saw the house for the first time. Ridiculous, I know. He says he just really doesn’t care what our house looks like. I’d like to think it’s that, plus that fact that he trusts my judgement.

 First Time Homeowners!

Anyway, I’m happy to report that he really liked the house, especially the front porch. We’re going to be doing major renovations and I’ll try to share some pics along the way. I don’t want to show you guys the “before” pics til we have “after” pics because it really doesn’t look like much. Also, the layout is going to completely change.

Also, I don’t share many pictures of my adorable kitty L.C. on the blog (there was her hatred of halloween costumes, and her attempt to photobomb my food pic, and her wearing her christmas best), mainly because I feel like once I get started it would be hard not to share a ton- she is by far the most photographed subject in our apartment. Anyway, I thought this picture was just too funny not to show you. 

So a while back, I took this picture of L.C. while Nate was squishing her head with his chin, and when I showed it to him he said she looked like Teddy Roosevelt. I could not imagine what on earth he was talking about until I searched pics of Roosevelt and found this one. There is an uncanny resemblance! Right?!

 Teddy Roosevelt Cat

Ok, so moving along. I wanted to share this recipe with you guys before summer, and the season’s yummy corn, is no longer around. I pinned this last summer because I thought the idea of making a polenta out of fresh corn instead of cornmeal just sounded really intriguing. I would never have thought of it. 

Fresh Corn Polenta with Eggplant Sauce ~ ElephantEats.com

Anyway I finally got around to making it. I invited my friend Erica over and she seemed to really like it, although she did put a lot of hot sauce on it. I think I just undersalted it a bit. Anyway, it was delicious and rich, but not exactly what I was imagining. I totally think you should give it a try though. The combo of the creamy polenta and chunky eggplant topping was really good.

I slightly altered the amounts in the recipe. My main adjustment was to cut back on the water added before cooking it down. As you can see from my pics, I couldn’t get it to thicken up to the consistency it should have been because I didn’t have the patience to sit and stir it for another hour. In my directions below I say not to add any liquid back, in order to fix this problem. Definitely give it a try before summer’s over!

Fresh Corn Polenta with Eggplant Sauce ~ ElephantEats.com

Sweet Corn Polenta with Eggplant Sauce
Serves 4
A creamy polenta made from fresh corn instead of dried goods!
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Eggplant Sauce
  1. 1/3 cups vegetable oil
  2. 1 medium eggplant, cut into 3/4-inch dice
  3. 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  4. 1/4 cup dry white wine
  5. 1 cup chopped peeled tomatoes (fresh or canned) (I used canned)
  6. 6 1/2 tablespoons water
  7. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  8. 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  9. 1 tablespoon chopped oregano
Polenta
  1. 6 ears of corn
  2. Water
  3. 3 tablespoons butter, diced
  4. 7 ounces feta, crumbled
  5. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  6. Black pepper
Eggplant Sauce
  1. Heat up the oil in a large saucepan and fry the eggplant on medium heat for about 15 minutes, or until nicely brown. Drain off as much oil as you can and discard it -- the safest way to do this is to scoop out the eggplant to a plate using a slotted spoon, then pour off the oil into a bowl before added the eggplant back in. You can save the oil for another use.
  2. Add the tomato paste to the pan and stir with the eggplant. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the wine and cook for 1 minute. Add the chopped tomatoes, water, salt, sugar and oregano and cook for a further 5 minutes to get a deep-flavored sauce. Set aside; warm it up when needed.
Polenta
  1. Remove the leaves and "silk" from each ear of corn, then chop off the pointed top and stalk. Use a sharp knife or corn stripping tool to shave off the kernels -- either stand each ear upright on its base and shave downward, or lay each ear on its side on a cutting board to slice off the kernels. You want to have 1 1/4 pounds kernels.
  2. Place the kernels in a medium saucepan and barely cover them with the water. Cook for 12 minutes on a low simmer. Use a slotted spoon to lift the kernels from the water and into a food processor; reserve the cooking liquid. Process them for quite a few minutes, to break as much of the kernel case as possible. Add some of the cooking liquid if the mixture becomes too dry to process. Now return the corn paste to the pan and cook, while stirring, on low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the mixture thickens to mashed potato consistency, adding more cooking liquid if you like a thinner polenta. (If you have a lot of liquid left in the pan, it can take a while to cook down the polenta, and it will sputter.
  3. Fold in the butter, the feta, salt and some pepper and optionally cook for a further 2 minutes. Taste and add more salt if needed.
Adapted from (slightly) Yotam Ottolenghi @ Food 52
http://www.elephanteats.com/

Corn Pancake with Blackberry Sauce

As I believe I’ve told you before, Nate likes to send me links to recipes he would like me to make, usually from the NYTimes, since he reads that with breakfast every morning.

Speaking of the NYTimes, we just sent in our submission to be in their wedding announcements and/or their Vows section, so cross your fingers!!! That would be totally cool if we got in, but I’m trying not to get my hopes up.

Corn Pancake with Blackberry Sauce

The Atlantic did some analytics to see what type of people get into the NYTimes announcements most and they came up with:

  • Growing up in Greenwich, Conn. (or a similar moneyed neighborhood) makes you 21 times more likely than the average American to get in
  • Ivy league educations are 100 times more likely
  • Congressional staffers are 75 times more likely
  • Same-sex couples are 74 times more likely
  • Investment banker are 87 times more likely
  • Lawyers at snazzy firms are 974 times more likely (what?! why??)
Corn Pancake with Blackberry Sauce

If you’re wondering what that neon object on the bottom of the photo is, I was totally wearing the tie-dye shirt I made in high school that I now wear as pajamas.

We have one Ivy League education going for us (go Quakers!), but that’s about as far as our qualifications go. I work in finance, but I’m not an investment banker, so I doubt that would work in our favor.

But what I do think we have going for us is two winning smiles and one really big beard! 

Am i right??

It’s too bad I can’t bribe the NY Times with breakfast foods, because if I could, this recipe would surely be a winner. They should know, after all, since they published it.

Corn Pancake with Blackberry Sauce

I made this yummy breakfast for Nate while we were visiting his mom last weekend (hence the nice lighting and granite counter in the photos). Make it now while fresh corn is still in the grocery store!

Puffy Corn Pancake with Blackberry Sauce

From The New York Times

Print this recipe!

Serves 4

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup fine cornmeal
5 large eggs
1/3 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons honey
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup fresh corn kernels (from 1 to 2 ears)
2 cups fresh blackberries
3 tablespoons sugar.

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place the butter in the bottom of a 2-quart gratin dish. Place in the oven and cook until butter begins to bubble, 5 to 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together flour and cornmeal. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry. Whisk in honey, salt and pepper. Stir in the corn. Remove dish from the oven and pour in the batter evenly. Return to the oven and bake until the pancake rises and is dark brown around the edges, 20 to 25 minutes. The center of the pancake should also be golden brown.

While the pancake cooks, make the sauce: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine blackberries and sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook until berries are soft and syrupy. Remove from heat and serve warm, spooned over pancake in the gratin dish.

Corn and tomato salad with basil

I apologize again for the lack of blog posts. I think this past week was the first time I went an entire week without posting and while it took some stress off of me, I was sad to break my post-at-least-once-per-week streak. Oh well, hopefully things will slow down after the wedding and gvive me more time to devote to this little blog. But on to the recipe…

Before the summer’s bounty of sweet, juicy corn and bright flavorful tomatoes is gone, you MUST make this.

It’s also a good way to use up some of the basil that’s taking over your herb garden. If that’s the case, I’m really jealous…I want a garden so badly.

I would create an indoor herb garden but my cat would eat everything I grew and then probably throw it up all over my living room. Does anyone have a solution for growing things indoors when there are cats around? One of my friends suggested maybe hanging the herbs in containers on the wall. That could definitely work, I’m just trying to figure out what type of containers I could use. Also, my apartment walls don’t take screws very well, only nails, so it’d have to be lightweight. I dunno if it’s worth the effort.

Corn and tomato salad with basil

Aaaanyway…the original recipe I based this from also added mozzarella and scallions to the dish, but I don’t like scallions and I really wanted this to be a nice fresh, low-cal side dish. I thought the cheese was unecessary since I’d be serving protein with it anyway.

It resulted in the most delicious, juicy, fresh summer salad you could imagine. I LOVE basil. Honestly, I think I could sprinkle a shoe with basil and it would taste summery, although this probably tastes a bit better than that. Nate and I couldn’t stop raving about this simple little dish.

Make this alongside some fish or chicken for your next meal!

Corn and tomato salad with basil

Oh and I almost forgot to mention, you NEED this tool in your kitchen if you don’t already have it:

Kuhn Rikon Corn Zipper

http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/kuhn-rikon-corn-zipper/

I used to think this was stupid because you could just use a knife to strip all the kernels off. But after making a lot of corn recipes this summer and having the kernels fly all over the kitchen (I know you know what im talking about), I sucked it up and bought one. Actually I used a gift certificate so I didn’t even feel guilty about it.

Anyway, this could be one of my all-time greatest kitchen purchases. Seriously. It makes it SO much quicker, neater, and easier to de-kernel your cobs!

Fresh Corn and Tomato Salad with Basil

Adapted from the Food Network

Print this recipe!

makes about 5 cups

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 ears fresh corn, husked (about 4 cups corn kernels)
2 cups red or orange grape tomatoes, halved
1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves, chopped

Whisk the vinegar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the oil, starting with a few drops and then adding the rest in a steady stream, to make a smooth dressing.

Shear off the corn kernels with a sharp knife over a bowl. Toss in the tomatoes. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss to coat. Cover and let set for 15 minutes or up to 2 hours (even good immediately!). Before serving stir in basil.

I’ve had this recipe sitting in my blog drafts for a while now. But now that it’s September, and corn season is almost over, I figured I’d better get my butt in gear!

This, my friends, is one of the tastiest ways I’ve ever enjoyed corn. Now, I will say that I love a good ear of corn in the summer, and when it’s really good I like it simply steamed or grilled with a tad of butter and some salt. I almost hate to cut it off the cob and mix it with stuff, because then you can’t taste the delicious, sweet corn flavor.

Therefore my advice to you is to only make this when you happen to cook up some corn, nibble on it a bit, and find that it’s sub-par. This will prevent any bouts of ”corn guilt.” So if you happen to have corn that’s starchy and bland, then this recipe will turn your corn disappointments around. Or, if you happen to live in a corn field and have ample corn at your disposal, then this will suit you as well.

Either way, you should definitely find a way to make this before September ends. It’s creamy, tangy, rich, fresh, and delicious and you will not be sorry…even if you happen to use the last of your good corn.


Roasted Corn with Lime, Parmesan and Chili
From food52(You can print this recipe from the food52 site :))

Serves 2

Ingredients:

3 medium ears corn
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon mayonnaise, at room temperature
1 tablespoon sour cream, at room temperature
¼ cup milk, at room temperature
Juice of 1 large lime, plus wedges for serving
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
Generous pinch of cayenne

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Shuck the corn and cut the kernels from the cobs, tossing them in a bowl with the olive oil and plenty of salt and pepper.

Spread the kernels evenly on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, scraping and turning over the kernels once or twice, until they’re tender and lightly caramelized.

Put the corn back into the bowl and stir in the mayonnaise, sour cream, milk, lime juice, Parmesan and cayenne. Taste and adjust any of the flavorings, including salt and pepper, if necessary. (If the corn is at all sticky, just add some more milk.)

Serve immediately, with lime wedges, while still warm.

Nate loves corn bread. Who doesn’t.

Unfortunately for my waistline, I love all bread. But I do find cornbread to be one of the tastier varieties.

There are so many different types, though. I used to think I preferred the slightly sweet ones to the savory ones, but this recipe changed my mind.

Nate, his brother, and I headed down to his mom’s house in PA for 4th of July weekend. And as is required for this patriotic holiday, we had ourselves a barbecue. I thought this cornbread sounded like a perfect accompaniment to our grillings.

The result was cheesy, slightly sweet, salty, spicy and amazing. Lucky for me, Nate’s mom owns a really old cast iron skillet, but this could easily be made in an 8 inch square baking pan.

Please do yourself a favor and make this ASAP. You will thank me.


Cheddar Jalapeno Cornbread

Taken from  Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys 

Print this recipe!

Serves 6-8

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup corn kernels (frozen, fresh, or left over from a cooked cob)- I used frozen that I got to room temp in microwave
2 tablespoons chopped pickled jalapeños (optional, but highly recommended!)

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cayenne. Blend in the milk, eggs, and butter. Fold in the cheese, corn, and the jalapeños, if using.

3. Scoop into a well-seasoned 10-inch cast-iron skillet or a buttered 8-inch square baking pan and smooth over the top. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Note: Do not overbake or the corn bread will be dry. Cut into wedges or squares and serve hot.