CSA Week Five: Roasted Corn Salsa and Chowder
August 5, 2012 § 8 Comments
the first eggplants – ratatouille time!
It was one of those weeks work-wise, and we had some fun too that took us out of the house at mealtime. There is not much I like better than fresh summer corn on the cob, yet somehow we managed to still have neglected ears all boiled and foil-wrapped in the fridge waiting for some love at the end of the week.
Thank goodness for this recipe (see also this recipe) and a cast iron skillet. I adapted things a little bit to avoid turning on the broiler and to fit what I had pepper-wise. This recipe also didn’t call for fresh cilantro, which is good because my first sowing of seedlings totally evaporated into thin air and my second sowing of seedlings is still cilantro-babies.
(Pan) Roasted Corn Salsa
adapted from Marisa McClellan’s
3 half-pints plus a little extra
- four ears of corn, or about 1.5 cups of kernels
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes – I halved or quartered all my ripe Sungold cherry tomatoes from the garden and a couple miscellaneous Tumbling Tigers and New Yorkers
- 1/2 cup chopped white onion
- 1 diced jalapeño*
- 3/4 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp chili flakes
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp coriander seeds, ground or crushed
- 3/4 cup cider vinegar
- 2 T lime juice
- 1/3 cup sugar (or less, to taste*)
I had already boiled my corn, but you could start from raw. Stand the cobs up on a cutting board or in a shallow pan, with a corn cob holder on the top end if you have it. Cut the kernels from the cobs with a sharp knife – serrated worked well for me. Roast them in a dry skillet for a few minutes, stirring only every couple of minutes, until the kernels are browned on a few sides. Then you just mix in all the rest of the ingredients (in another pan, not your cast iron skillet), bring to a simmer for 10 minutes, and water bath process for 15 minutes with 1/2 inch headspace.
The salsa turned out beautiful and tangy. *It was too sweet for my taste so I would reduce the sugar next time, and it wasn’t super spicy but my little pepper plant had only put out the one jalapeño so far. Huevos rancheros!
And then our next box came and we got more corn. And I was too tired after a long day at work to fire up the grill. And then my work schedule got even worse, so those new ears sat on the counter… and sat… and sat… until they were looking a little dry and shrively. Oh, the shame. I figured I could at least try to plump up those kernels again, even if they would never be as good as they once were. Maybe I’ll boil them…
Roasted Corn and Shrimp Chowder
adapted from Mark Bittman
six to eight servings
- six ears of corn, plus I pulled out the four leftover cobs I had in the freezer from the salsa
- 4 T butter, oil, or a mix
- 1/2 an onion
- 4 T flour
- 1 pint cream
- about 2 tsp Cajun spice mix – purchased, or make your own with help from everyone’s favorite New-Englander-turned-Southerner – bam!
- 1 pound uncooked shrimp, peeled – optional
Cut the kernels off and roast them as above. Meanwhile, cover the cobs with water in a large stockpot and bring it to a boil. Boil for about thirty minutes, then let it sit until you are ready to make the rest of the soup. Sweat the onions in the butter in a large pot until they are soft. Add the flour and stir constantly for a few minutes to take the raw edge off, then add the cream and the corncob stock minus the cobs (I had about six cups but use however much you have, you can always adjust later). Add the Cajun spice mix – I used about 2 tsp of mine, but taste as you go to get the right spiciness and saltiness. Bring the soup to a boil, and add the roasted corn kernels, stirring to make sure the flour is fully dissolved. The soup will thicken a bit, and it will boil up easily because of the cream. Bring it back down to a simmer and let it simmer for as little as 10 minutes or as long as you want to get it to the thickness you like – this is where you can let some of the water boil off if your stock was thin, but mine worked just fine as is. Add the shrimp just before serving and cook just until pink.
This New Orleans variation on a classic corn chowder was right up our alleys (Lester is a Southern gentleman, after all, but New England is home now) and made up for neglected corn. I am sure it would be extra amazing with fresh ears, or even frozen. And yes you can make it healthier and even vegetarian or vegan by nixing the shrimp and the cream but sometimes when it’s summer produce season you have to celebrate.
What do you do with past-its-prime corn?