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Puréed Corn with Cherry Tomatoes and Concord Grapes

This recipe was inspired by a photo on Instagram. It’s a bed of puréed corn that is warmed and topped with colorful cherry tomatoes and seedless Concord grapes. The original picture idea had melon balls but I could not pass up these seedless Concord grapes! Serves 8

Ingredients

6 ears fresh sweet corn

3 tablespoons melted butter

1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes

1 pint colorful cherry tomatoes

1/2 pint seedless Concord grapes or other fruit or vegetable of your choice

Extra virgin olive oil to drizzle

Aged thick balsamic vinegar

Flaked sea salt

Procedure:

  • Bring a large cooking pot of water to a boil
  • Add the corn and cover
  • Bring to a boil
  • Turn off heat and let sit 10 minutes
  • Drain and cool
  • Using a sharp knife cut the corn off the cob
  • Place corn in a food processor
  • Purée
  • Add melted butter and pepper flakes
  • Purée until completely smooth
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Serve warm. Reheat if you make this ahead and refrigerate before serving

Assemble the salads:

  • Arrange about 1/2 cup of corn on the plate. Make a shape or smear it around. Think of it as painting on a plate
  • Top with an arrangement of sliced or halved tomatoes and whole grapes
  • Drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar
  • Sprinkle with flaked sea salt

Voila!

Corn is cut off the cob and placed in a food processor

Melted butter and hot red pepper flakes are added

Purée again and season with salt and pepper if desired. I don’t think it needs salt

The corn mix is puréed to a very smooth consistency and arranged on serving plates with colorful tomatoes and grapes.

When I find the pineapple tomatillo I will add that for a sweet taste. It should be ripening in September in Michigan.

I really want to grow them in my garden. The paper like husk is beautiful and a nice addition to food presentation

The dressing is not really needed but just a few drops finishes it off. You can apply the oil and vinegar artfully to look like abstract strokes or drops of a modern painting

Below is the original photo which inspired me. TheJamLab was out to dinner here

Enjoy!

Roasted Carrot and Ginger Soup

This is a recipe I found at The Mediterranean Dish! It’s similar to pumpkin or squash soup, but for those who don’t like pumpkin or squash, it’s super! Very easy with a food processor or stick blender.

Roasted carrots get a caramelized glow


Puree the carrots with grated ginger and minced garlic, adding some of the stock.


Pureed mix is quite thick at this point 


Ground coriander and allspice ready to be added to the pot


The puree is poured into a cooking pot. Then more stock is added with the allspice, coriander and finally the half and half.


A bit of chopped parsley or mint is layered on the bowl of soup. Voila!

  • On a large baking sheet, drizzle some olive oil. Then place 4 pounds peeled whole carrots and drizzle with more olive oil. 
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper
  • Roast at 425 degrees. Turn the carrots after 20 minutes. Bake another 20-30 minutes or until carrots are browning and fork tender.
  • Cut into 1/3s and place in the food processor, scraping the oil from the baking sheet
  • Add

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

2 cups warm chicken, turkey or vegetable stock

  • Puree until silky smooth
  • Scrape into a medium saucepan
  • Add

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon ground coriander

2-3 cups stock

  • Whisk together and bring to a simmer
  • Add slowly

1-2 cups half and half 

  • I give the range of stock and half and half. If you want a stronger carrot flavor add less liquid.
  • This makes about 8 cups. 

Isn’t it pretty in my Ball canning jars! I love to store food in these containers.


Quick Thai Spicy Coconut Shrimp 


We’ve made this dish several times this year. It’s a New York Times recipe. I hope you love it too!

In a medium bowl combine:

2 tablespoons red curry paste

2-4 tablespoons fish sauce

1/4 cup sambal

1/4 cup sweet chili sauce

2 pounds medium raw, deveined, shelled shrimp

  • Place a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat until hot. 
  • Add

3 tablespoons light sesame oil

  • Heat just until smoking.
  • Add the shrimp mixture and sauté 2 minutes.
  • Add

1 cup scallions

2 cups steamed broccoli pieces

  • Cover and simmer for 3 minutes until heated through.
  • Stir in

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1-14 ounce can coconut milk

  • Simmer 3 minutes or until cooked through
  • Add 

1 bunch cilantro, chopped coursely

  • Serve over brown rice

Three Bean Salads

This cold marinated salad became popular in the 1960’s and was commonly served at picnics, BBQs and as a side salad. I’ve adapted the original recipe by using fresh rather than canned green beans and yellow wax beans. I’ve also cut the sugar way back and used no added salt canned kidney beans and garbanzo beans.
Here is the green, yellow and kidney bean salad.

This is another version made with sugar snap peas, dark red kidney beans and garbanzo beans! Everything else is the same as the above 3 bean salad.

Snap peas are peas with an edible pod. The pod and peas are very tender and sweet and easier to prepare than peas. All you have to do is break off the stem end and in one continuous motion, tear off the string from one side of the pod. Voila!



Beans are trimmed and cut in thirds

Beans have been blanched for a minute and then rinsed with cold water and tossed with ice

Diced green pepper and onion 


Recipe:

5 cups yellow and wax beans, approximately, trimmed, cut in thirds and blanched for 1 minute and quickly cooled

1- 15 oz can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 green pepper, diced

1/2 cup onion, diced

  • Marinade: Whisk together in a large bowl:

1/3 cup sunflower oil or other vegetable oil, not olive oil

1/3 cup white vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon sugar

  • Add the prepared vegetables to the marinade.
  • Mix well.
  • Pour into a container with a tight fitting lid.
  • Refrigerate overnight.
  • Invert the container a few times every so often to distribute the marinade.

The other recipe is made the same, except instead of the green and yellow beans, use:

3 cups sugar snap peas, approximately, strings removed and blanched 1 minute and quickly cooled

1-15 ounce can garbanzo beans

Christmas Tree Napkin Folding Video

  
Here is an easy and very effective fun napkin fold for the holidays! Any color napkin works! 

No Bake Nutella Bites

photo 3

Whoever made Nutella is a genius, it’s one of the most delicious chocolaty spreads I’ve ever had and I’ve been eating it since I was a kid.  I remember before this became the popular food to eat, my Dad brought a jar back from Europe and we would spread it all over our croissants for breakfast. He was a bit of a health freak, so I inhaled it before he could change his mind and realize we were eating dessert for breakfast. These little desserts are like tiny bites of Nutella heaven. They make a great breakfast, snack, or dessert. Hope you enjoy!

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Cool Blue Serving Pieces!

Treasures on Townsend in Midland, MI and the Saginaw Antique Warehouse on Tittabawassee in Saginaw, MI are gold mines! Today I found very practical items I will definitely use often!

From the Saginaw Antique Warehouse, a huge Saxony platter with plenty of  white  to regally present any food and a bit of blue trim to keep me happy!

From the Saginaw Antique Warehouse, a huge Saxony platter with plenty of white to regally present any food and a bit of blue trim to keep me happy!

Also from the Saginaw Antique Warehouse, a German creamer, so pretty with a raised pattern and delicate blue painting. I'll use this to serve hot milk with coffee or true Michigan maple syrup with waffles!

Also from the Saginaw Antique Warehouse, a German creamer, so pretty with a raised pattern and delicate blue painting. I’ll use this to serve hot milk with coffee or true Michigan maple syrup with waffles!

Treasures on Townsend has a basement filled with 50% off items! This swirly blue glass bowl is just my style and will be perfect for cold salads!

Treasures on Townsend has a basement filled with 50% off items! This swirly blue glass bowl is just my style and will be perfect for cold salads!

Though not for serving food, I love the Flow Blue pattern added to our collection today, displayed close to the ceiling around our dining room.

Though not for serving food, I love the Flow Blue pattern added to our collection today, displayed close to the ceiling around our dining room.