Fresh Corn Carbonara

From Epicurious It is a winner!
It’s the end of our corn season in Colorado but I had four ears left and was excited to try this recipe. I love that half of the corn kernels and corn milk and cream are puréed to make the sauce. I got wonderful thick bacon from a new stand at the farmer’s market called The Noble Hog. I added a roasted, peeled and chopped poblano Chile because we like spice. Very simple to make and delicious! I always reserve a cup of pasta water incase the sauce is too thick and I added about 1/2 c. pasta water to the finished dish.

12 ounces spaghetti or linguine
Kosher salt
3-6 slices thick-cut bacon (about 6 ounces), cut into 1/4″ strips
4 ears of corn, kernels cut off (about 3 cups), cobs reserved
1/2 cup heavy cream
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (about 2 ounces), plus more to serve
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped, divided

Cook spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente; drain.
Meanwhile, fry bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain (reserve fat). Scrape excess corn milk from cobs into a blender by firmly running the back of a chef’s knife down the sides. Add cream, half of the corn kernels, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, and 2 Tbsp. reserved bacon fat. Purée until a smooth sauce forms.
Toss hot pasta with corn sauce, 1/2 cup Parmesan, and half each of the remaining corn kernels, bacon, and basil in a large bowl.
Divide pasta among bowls and top with remaining corn kernels, bacon, and basil. Season with pepper and top with Parmesan.

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Fresh Tomato Sauce

I have an abundance of tomatoes this year because we got snow at the end of May and I was not sure my plants would survive the weather (but they did!) so I double planted! I used what I had that was ripe and needed to be used. My yield was 1.5 cups of sauce and it is the sweetest, velvety sauce ever!! I caramelized some fennel and onion to go with it tomorrow but it would be fine on it’s own. From the NY Times

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced or thinly sliced (to taste)
3 pounds ripe tomatoes, quartered if you have a food mill, peeled, seeded, and diced if you don’t
⅛ teaspoon sugar
2 sprigs of fresh basil, or 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
Salt
1 tablespoon slivered fresh basil
Freshly ground pepper

In a wide, nonstick frying pan, or in a 3-quart saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat and add the garlic. Cook, stirring, just until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, sugar, basil or thyme sprig, and salt (begin with 1/2 teaspoon and add more later), and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring often, until thick. Pulpy tomatoes like romas will usually take 20 to 30 minutes. However, if the tomatoes are very juicy, it will take longer for them to cook down. The longer you cook the sauce, the sweeter it will be. You can speed up the process by turning up the heat, but stir often so the sauce doesn’t scorch. Towards the end of cooking, stir in the slivered fresh basil and some freshly ground pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings.
If using quartered tomatoes, put through the medium blade of a food mill. If you used peeled seeded tomatoes but want a sauce with a smooth, even texture, remove the basil sprigs and discard. Pulse the sauce in a food processor fitted with the steel blade.

Laurie Colwin’s Tomato Pie

Laurie Colwin was a wonderful writer who died too young. My mother and I both loved her recipes and two cookbooks. Her tomato pie is a classic. She uses a biscuit dough which is the perfect texture for the tomato pie. I added corn off the cob because I had it and like the combination. I used a bed of fresh basil and chives from my garden and 4 chopped scallions below the layer of tomatoes. You can bake this ahead and reheat it at 350 degrees or eat right out of the oven. It gets better the next day.

2 pounds homegrown tomatoes, thinly sliced (enough for one layer in your pan), cut 1/4″ thick
2 cups flour
1 stick butter
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup milk
1½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Chopped basil, chives or scallions to taste


Make the biscuit-dough crust by blending flour, butter, baking powder and milk either by hand or in a food processor.

Roll out half the dough on a floured surface and line a 9-inch pie plate with it. This dough is thicker than a normal pie crust.

Layer the tomatoes on top, scarttering with scallions and/or herbs.

Sprinkle 1 cup of the cheddar over the tomatoes. Thin mayonnaise with lemon juice and drizzle on top, followed by remaining cheddar.

Roll out remaining dough, fit it over the filling and pinch the edges of the dough together to seal them.

Cut several steam vents in the top crust and bake the pie at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes.

Pair this with a salad and glass of wine, and you have an awesome, easy summer supper. Or you can serve it as an appetizer or a side-dish! (Good-quality chopped tomatoes from a can will do in the off-season, too.)

This is one of those dishes that tastes even better as leftovers the next day. Reheat in a 350-degree oven till the cheese is soft and gooey.

Tomato Poached Cod with Chile Garlic Oil and Herbs

From Alison Roman in the NY Times Cooking section. This is a wonderful way to cook fish and so simple.I happened to have lots of cherry tomatoes from my garden so happy to use them! The toasted garlic Chile oil adds a great contrast as do the fresh herbs and lime.

¼ cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 small shallot, thinly sliced into rings
1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1 pound small, sweet tomatoes, halved
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
1 ¼ pounds fluke, halibut or cod, cut into 4 equal pieces
1 cup cilantro, tender leaves and stems
½ cup mint, tender leaves and stems
Limes, halved, for serving

Heat olive oil in a large skillet (use one with a lid) over medium-high heat. Add garlic and shallots and cook, swirling the skillet constantly until they are starting to toast and turn light golden brown, 2 minutes or so. Add red-pepper flakes and swirl to toast for a few seconds. Remove from heat and transfer all to a small bowl. Put 1 T. of he Chile oil in skillet.
Add tomatoes to the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, until they burst and start to become saucy and jammy, 5 to 8 minutes. Add fish sauce (if using) and 1 1/2 cups water, swirling to release any of the bits stuck on the bottom of the skillet.
Cook until the sauce is slightly thickened but still nice and brothy, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Season the fish with salt and pepper and gently lay the pieces in the brothy tomatoes. Cover the skillet and cook until the fish is opaque and just cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes (slightly longer for a thicker piece of fish, like halibut).

To serve, transfer fish and brothy tomatoes to a large shallow bowl (or divide among four bowls). Drizzle with reserved bowl of chile oil, more olive oil and the crispy shallots and garlic. Top with cilantro and mint, and serve with limes for squeezing over the top. Serve with tortillas, toast or rice, if you like.

Lemony Farro Orzo Pasta Salad with Goat Cheese and Mint

This pasta salad is by far the most delicious pasta salad I have ever made! From the NY Times. I love all of the different flavors and textures-especially the apricots and sliced almonds. It makes enough for a crowd or to share with neighbors.

Kosher salt
1 cup farro
2 bay leaves
1 pound orzo
¾ cup diced dried apricots
¾ cup thinly sliced red onion
¾ cup thinly sliced celery
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¾ cup sliced almonds
2 cups baby spinach leaves (2 ounces)
1 cup crumbled fresh goat cheese (4 ounces)
½ cup torn mint leaves
½ cup coarsely chopped parsley leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE DRESSING:
2 large lemons
½ teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more as needed
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more to taste
⅔ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add farro and bay leaves and let simmer for 15 minutes. Add orzo to the pot and continue to simmer until farro and pasta are cooked through but still al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes longer.
While farro is cooking, prepare the dressing: Finely grate zest from the lemons, and place zest in a large bowl. Squeeze juice from 1 1/2 lemons and add to zest along with salt, pepper and red-pepper flakes, whisking to combine. Gradually whisk in oil. Taste and add more salt or lemon juice from the other lemon half, or both, if needed.
Drain farro-pasta mixture, discarding bay leaves. Add to bowl with dressing and toss well. Stir in apricots. Let farro and pasta cool, soaking up the dressing. This can be done up to 1 day in advance. Store in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before proceeding.
In a small bowl, combine onions, celery, 3 tablespoons lemon juice and a large pinch of salt. Let sit while the pasta cools, at least 20 minutes.
Just before serving, add onion mixture and almonds to the bowl with the farro and pasta and toss well. Gently fold in spinach, goat cheese, mint and parsley. Taste and add more lemon, red-pepper flakes or salt if needed.
Drizzle with olive oil and freshly ground black pepper before serving.

Savory Leek, Corn, Swiss chard and Gruyere Clafouti

From the wonderful Melissa Clark of the NY Times-this is a delicious brunch, lunch or light dinner recipe. It’s a cross between a pancake batter poured over sautéed vegetables and a crustless quiche. Very easy to make. Plan on eating it hot out of the oven or warm.

¾ cup whole milk
¾ cup crème fraîche
4 large eggs
2 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill leaves
¾ teaspoon kosher salt, more as needed
½ teaspoon ground black pepper, more as needed
1 cup coarsely grated Gruyère or Cheddar (about 4 ounces)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large or 3 small leeks (white and light green parts), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 cups corn kernels (from 2 to 3 ears, or frozen and thawed)
1 large garlic clove, grated on a Microplane or minced
1 large bunch Swiss chard, stems removed, leaves coarsely chopped (8 cups)
¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Fresh lemon juice, for serving
Red pepper flakes, for serving
Flaky salt, for serving

Heat oven to 375 degrees. In large bowl, whisk together milk, crème fraîche, eggs, flour, parsley, dill, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper until smooth. Whisk in 3/4 cup Gruyère.
Heat olive oil in a 9-inch oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and sauté until they are soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Stir in corn, garlic and a pinch of salt; cook until garlic is fragrant and corn is tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add chard leaves a handful at a time, and cook until they are wilted and tender, about 4 minutes. Season the mixture with 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper.
Pour crème fraîche mixture over the corn and chard mixture, and then sprinkle the remaining Gruyère and the Parmigiano on top. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until custard is lightly set, about 40 minutes. Serve topped with a sprinkling of lemon juice and a pinch of red pepper flakes.

Citrusy Brisket with Spring Lettuces

From Melissa Clark of the NY Times. Very light and vibrant with citrus flavor.

1 (3 1/2- to 4-pound) beef brisket
2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 teaspoons finely grated garlic (from about 5 large cloves)
1 tablespoon chopped thyme leaves
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary leaves
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
2 large white onions, halved and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
½ teaspoon finely grated orange zest
Juice from 2 lemons
Juice from 2 oranges
1 cup dry white wine
FOR THE SALAD:
1 garlic clove, finely grated or minced
½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to taste
4 cups spring lettuces or baby spinach
2 cups sliced endive (from 2 to 3 endives)
1 small head radicchio, sliced (about 2 cups)
1 cup mixed soft herbs (leaves and tender stems), such as dill, basil or tarragon
Season the brisket all over with salt and pepper, then rub the meat with 2 teaspoons grated garlic, thyme and rosemary. Place brisket in a large bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
When you are ready to cook the brisket, heat the oven to 325 degrees.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 6 1/2-quart Dutch oven over medium-high. Sear the brisket in the oil until browned on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer meat to a plate.
Add remaining 4 tablespoons oil and onions to pot, and sauté until lightly browned on the edges and very tender, about 8 minutes. Return brisket and any juices to the pot with the onions.
Place lemon and orange zests in a small bowl and reserve. Measure out 2 tablespoons lemon juice and reserve for the salad dressing. Pour remaining lemon juice, orange juice and wine over the brisket, then add enough water to come halfway up the sides of the meat (about 1 cup). Bring liquid to a simmer over high heat.
Cover pot, transfer to the oven, and cook for 1 1/2 hours. Turn the meat over in the pot and stir in remaining 2 teaspoons garlic. Cover pot and continue to cook until the meat shreds easily with a fork, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours longer.
Uncover pot, stir in the reserved lemon and orange zests, and continue to cook, uncovered, 15 minutes more.
Just before serving, prepare the salad: In a large bowl, whisk together reserved 2 tablespoons lemon juice, garlic and salt. Let it sit for 1 minute, then whisk in oil. Toss with greens, endive, radicchio and herbs. Taste and add more salt or olive oil, if needed.
Slice meat and serve, with pan juices spooned over and some of the salad piled on top. Serve the rest of the salad in a bowl on the side.

Rancho Gordo Marcella Beans

I discovered Rancho Gordo beans in San Francisco at the Ferry Building and have loved them for years. I had not tried the Marcella bean (named after Marcella Hazen) as it was her favorite bean in Italy. They are now grown in Napa and could not be better. You can order them online at Rancho Gordo or sometimes I find them in Whole Foods.The variety of beans that they sell is amazing!

This is a non recipe-ad libbed with what I had on hand and it could not have been better.
Soak Marcella beans overnight after rinsing.
Sauté onion, carrot, celery in olive oil in pot until soft, add a beautiful ham hock and cook a few more minutes. Add beans and their soaking water and cover by two inches of liquid. Add a bay leaf or two. Slowly simmer until soft-they will practically melt in your mouth. I cooked mine for over an hour and kept them in the bean broth. Season with salt and pepper when soft. Serve with any greens, shaved parmesan and extra virgin olive oil.

Asian Meal

This is a fairly easy menu to put together as long as you have prepped your ingredients. The fried rice recipe and the spicy cabbage recipe both come from the NY Times.

The Asian roast pork tenderloin is from a previous blog of mine I think I would cut the pork tenderloin into larger pieces than in this picture-more like the ones on my original recipe.
Fried Rice
3 tablespoons neutral oil, like canola or grapeseed
1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, cored and roughly chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely minced
1 tablespoon minced garlic, or to taste
1 cup peas (defrost if frozen)
1 tablespoon minced ginger, or to taste
3 to 4 cups cooked white rice, cooled
2 eggs, lightly beaten
¼ cup Shaoxing wine, or water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
½ cup minced cilantro or scallions

Put 1 tablespoon of the oil in a wok or a large skillet, and turn heat to high. When it begins to shimmer, add onion, pepper and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, 5 to 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove vegetables to a bowl.
Drain peas if necessary, and add them to skillet; cook, shaking pan, for about a minute, or until hot. Remove them to the bowl.
Put remaining oil in the skillet, followed by garlic and ginger. When the mixture is fragrant, about 15 seconds later, add the rice, breaking up clumps with a spoon as you go along and tossing it with oil. When the rice is well coated, make a well in the center and break the eggs into it. Scramble these, then stir into the rice.
Return vegetables to the skillet and stir to integrate. Add wine or water and cook, stirring, for approximately 1 minute. Add soy sauce and sesame oil, then taste and add salt and pepper if necessary. Turn off heat, stir in the cilantro and serve.

Spicy Cabbage
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons minced ginger
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 star anise, broken in half
2 teaspoons soy sauce (more to taste)
2 tablespoons Shao Hsing rice wine or dry sherry
2 tablespoons peanut or canola oil
1 small cabbage, 1 to 1 1/2 pounds, quartered, cored and cut crosswise into 1/8-inch shreds
1 medium carrot, cut into julienne
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons minced chives, Chinese chives or cilantro

Combine the garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes and star anise in a small bowl. Combine the soy sauce and wine or sherry in another small bowl.
Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or a 12-inch skillet over high heat until a drop of water evaporates within a second or two when added to the pan. Swirl in the oil by adding it to the sides of the pan and tilting it back and forth. Add the garlic, ginger, pepper flakes and star anise. Stir-fry for a few seconds, just until fragrant, then add the cabbage and carrots. Stir-fry for one to two minutes until the cabbage begins to wilt, then add the salt and wine/soy sauce mixture. Cover and cook over high heat for one minute until just wilted. Uncover and stir-fry for another 30 seconds, then stir in the chives or cilantro and remove from the heat. The cabbage should be crisp-tender. Serve with rice or noodles.
Tip
Advance preparation: This is a last minute stir-fry, but you can have all the ingredients prepped and ready to go several hours ahead of cooking.

Broccoli Pizza

From one of my favorite blogs, Smitten Kitchen. I love the garlic white sauce with the broccoli! I used different cheeses as that is what I had and it was delicious! I often buy Whole Foods pizza dough which is delicious!

Garlic White Sauce
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large or 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
Freshly ground black pepper

Olive oil for pan and fingertips
1 recipe pizza dough
3/4 pound broccoli or baby broccoli
Zest and juice from 1/2 a lemon
2 ounces coarsely grated provolone
4 ounces mozzarella, torn into small clumps
1/2 cup finely grated pecorino romano (or parmesan)
Salt and red pepper flakes, to taste
Heat your oven to 500°F with a rack in the center.
Make sauce: Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir in flour, whisking until smooth. Add milk a splash at a time, mixing each addition until it is completely smooth before adding more milk. Add garlic, salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Cook, stirring, while mixture comes to a simmer and becomes thick enough to coat a spoon, about 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.

Prepare broccoli: Peel the stems of your broccoli with a vegetable peeler first so that they cook evenly, and cut the rest into large chunks. Pour about 1-inch puddle of salted water into a large sauté pan and bring to a boil. Add broccoli and cover with a lid and boil/steam for 2 minutes. Rinse under cold water to stop cooking, drain well and pat dry on a towel, wringing out as much extra liquid as possible. Chop into small (roughly 1/2- to 1-inch) bits and toss broccoli with lemon zest, lemon juice and pecorino, then salt and red pepper flakes to taste.

Assemble pizza: Brush either 1 13×18-inch rimmed half-sheet pan or 2 9×13-inch quarter-sheet pans  with olive oil. Divide your dough as needed (I made 3 oblong pizzas in my 13×18-inch) and use oiled fingertips to pull, stretch, nudge and press the dough across the bottom of the pan. The dough will be thin and imperfect; just try to get it even and if holes form, just pinch them together. No matter how bad it looks, it’s going to bake up just fine, thin and crisp.

Give the white sauce a little stir and spread it evenly over the pizzas, almost completely to the edge. Sprinkle pizzas with provolone and mozzarella. Scatter broccoli mixture on top.

Bake for 13 to 16 minutes, until the pizzas are brown at the edges. For better browning on top, you can run the finished pizzas under the broiler for 1 minute. Cut into wedges, squares or strips and dig in.