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Fresh Corn Galette with Goat Cheese, Zucchini, and Thyme

I actually made this last year, right at the tail-end of summer.  You know that time when there are like 7,000 pounds of zucchini, and the corn is just perfect but it’s like the last week of corn season??

Summer corn galette with goat cheese, zucchini, & thyme...summer recipe perfection, looks fancy but is easy to make

And then I accidentally sat on it too long, and then it just seemed mean to post it in the late fall when you couldn’t get yummy fresh zucchini and corn to make it.  So I’ve been patiently sitting on this recipe for several months, waiting for summer to roll around once again.

Summer corn galette with goat cheese, zucchini, & thyme...summer recipe perfection, looks fancy but is easy to make

Nom nom nom.  It looks fancy, but it really isn’t a difficult recipe.  The only thing that’s a bit of a pain is making pie crust, but you can just buy it pre-made if you don’t want to deal with it.  Add a glass of cold white wine and you have a summer masterpiece.

Summer corn galette with goat cheese, zucchini, & thyme...summer recipe perfection, looks fancy but is easy to make

The combination of the tangy goat cheese, the fragrant herbs, sweet corn, and then mellow crunch of zucchini is sublime.  This is summer perfection. [Read more…]

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Creamy Sweet Corn & Chicken Sausage Pasta

It’s sweet corn season!!!

Creamy Sweet Corn & Sausage Pasta

I was so stoked when my CSA box this week included four ears of sweet corn.  Fresh corn is the best.  It can be a side dish, elevate even the most mundane pasta, and even become a dessert (and yes, you better believe this is happening in the near future).

creamy sweet corn & sausage pasta corn sliced

In fact, I was so excited about the first corn of the season that I actually cooked on a Saturday night.  That may not sound earth-shattering, but anyone who knows me knows that Saturday night is reserved for Chinese food.  Specifically, one of three dishes from House of Chan five minutes from my house.  I call at around 5:02, pick it up 15 minutes later, and am comfortably ensconced on my couch shortly thereafter.  So for me to choose cooking on a Saturday night is pretty major.

Creamy Sweet Corn & Sausage Pasta finished

And this pasta is totally worth it.  The sweet corn, summer squash, and onions meld with the mascarpone, Parmesan, and starchy water to make a comforting yet not heavy-feeling chunky sauce that covers the noodles and sausage for the perfect pasta marriage.  Add a little fresh basil and I’m in heaven.  The fact that it all came together in less than half an hour?  Even better. [Read more…]

Balsamic & Honey Grilled Chicken

You just can’t go wrong with a well-grilled marinated chicken breast. It is endlessly versatile—eat it fresh off the grill, re-heat with some veggies, throw it in a stir fry, make chicken salad.

Grilled Honey Balsamic Chicken

This marinade is one of perfect simplicity…the balsamic vinegar helps slightly break down the meat, allowing the spices and garlic to really soak in, and the honey to make it super moist. But none of it overwhelms.

Grilled Honey Balsamic Chicken cut

These suckers are so juicy and flavorful, but can go with just about anything! [Read more…]

Pasta with Fresh Sweet Corn Pesto

This is seriously one of the best things I’ve eaten in a while. I had such high hopes for this recipe, and am inordinately happy that I wasn’t disappointed.

Pasta with Fresh Sweet Corn Pesto

Sure, traditional pesto is made with basil, garlic, pine nuts, and parmesan, but the word basically comes from the Italian verb pestare, which just means “to pound or crush” (i.e. what you do with all these ingredients). Typically you’d make pestos with a mortar and pestle (from the same verb) but most of us are way too lazy to do that on a regular basis. Because food processors are magical.

pasta with fresh sweet corn pesto corn ears

While I’ve tried kale pestos, spinach pestos, and all kinds of different nuts in the sauce as well, this is a very different take on the traditional dish. You start with sweet, juicy fresh corn cut right off the cob. Cook some bacon and leave the drippings in the pan to start the flavor profile. Saute some minced garlic in it to release its amazing aroma. Add a dash of red pepper flakes for just a hint of bite. And finish it off in the food processor with pine nuts, fresh parmesan cheese, and olive oil to make a creamy sauce that clings to the noodles like its life depends on it.

pasta with fresh sweet corn pesto corn sliced

This dish doesn’t take long overall—the longest part is cutting the corn off the cob, which I’m pretty slow at (partly because I value my fingers). Once that part’s done, the rest moves quickly and you can have it on the table in less than half an hour. While you could use many different kinds of pasta, I think a long flat pasta like linguine or tagliatelle is best for this (though I break most of the noodles in half before cooking). [Read more…]

Creamy Charred Corn & Leek Fettuccine

Garrison Keillor (he of Prairie Home Companion notoriety) famously said, “Sex is good, but not as good as fresh, sweet corn”. Corn is one of those hallmarks of summer for me. I grew up in the middle of nowhere in Kansas, and my grandma always had a giant garden—well, somewhere between garden and field—just for corn. All the aunts and cousins would get together for a few days and pick corn, shuck it, blanch it, and cut it off the cob for preserving. But we’d always save the best ears for eating right away, rolled in butter and lightly salted. That sweet, juicy pop of kernels is synonymous with summer for me.

Creamy Charred Corn & Leek Fettuccine

With my surgery happening in the middle of the summer (and all the preparation that came before it), I feel like I’ve kind of missed out on summer, particularly the glut of zucchini, tomatoes, and corn that usually accompany the hot months. Right before I left for Colorado a couple weeks ago, I realized that the entire summer has passed by and I hadn’t made a single dish with fresh sweet corn. Which is totally unacceptable. So this is like the last hurrah of summer!

creamy charred corn & leek fettuccine corn kernels2

This is actually an adaptation of two different pasta recipes I’d pinned, this one from A Cozy Kitchen, and this one from Pinch of Yum. Each featured charred sweet corn as the primary ingredient, but one focused more on fresh fennel, tarragon, and clams (which I don’t eat) while the other had chipotle and cilantro (which are definitely not my style) but a sauce process I liked. This recipe has some elements of each, but I made several changes as well.

Creamy Charred Corn & Leek Fettuccine close

First, I added leeks as the flavor base for the sauce.  I actually wanted to use shallots opposite the corn, but the store was out so I let the leek pinch-hit. They have a great, subtle flavor when sauteed and then partially pureed. I didn’t have fresh tarragon, but used dried instead. I added the charred corn to the sauce (and would recommend lightly pureeing) as well as just tossing the whole, charred corn kernels with the pasta.

creamy charred corn & leek fettuccine corn raw

As you might imagine, it features a lot of this.

creamy charred corn & leek fettuccine leek garlic

And some of this. [Read more…]

Maple & Citrus Grilled Salmon

I’ll be honest. I was really scared to try grilling fish on my electric grill.

Don’t get me wrong, the grill has been awesome so far (it’s this Char-Broil one in case you’re wondering—I had trouble getting good recommendations). My chicken has been super moist and juicy, veggies have been great (except the grilled romaine, which we won’t speak of ever again), and my hamburgers were juicy and held together really well. But both times I’ve tried to grill steak, it’s been tough and chewy. So I was understandably scared about fish.

maple citrus salmon grilled

See, I luuurrrrve fish. Particularly more “fishy” fish (as my co-worker Lucy would say) like salmon. But dry fish? Blech. I want moist, flaky fish. I’ve tried making salmon in the oven in the past but haven’t had a ton of success getting it to the right consistency. But this grilled salmon was a REVELATION.

Maple Citrus Salmon

My mom and I made this a couple days after my surgery, so simplicity was key. I was mostly useless, and cooking in someone else’s kitchen is always hard so we wanted to keep it easy on her. I found this delicious-sounding marinade/glaze on Pinterest and, since I had all the ingredients on-hand, decided it was the perfect thing to try.

We were both so shocked by how good it was, how perfect the consistency was, and just how easy the recipe was. I was really sad that we only had two tiny fillets, because I would have DESTROYED, like, an entire salmon if it’d been available. Mmmmm, salmon. [Read more…]

Grilled Eggplant with Goat Cheese, Balsamic, & Pine Nuts

I have a confession. I’ve never really loved eggplant. I don’t hate it, but I never choose it. I find it kind of squishy and a little bitter and mostly underwhelming. I will never order eggplant parmesan, and I find baba ganoush just plain weird.

I feel like they’re going to take away my Italo-phile card…

grilled balsamic eggplant finished

The great thing about this dish is that it’s super simple, but seems fancy, like you took a lot of time with it. And anything that has goat cheese, balsamic, and pine nuts is okay by me!

grilled balsamic eggplant finished2

I won’t say that this dish totally changed my mind on eggplant or anything, but I really enjoyed it and it was cool to try preparing a new vegetable (which has been a theme lately, stay tuned for my kohlrabi efforts). [Read more…]

Oat Brown Sugar Strawberry Shortcake…and Happy Birthday ‘Merica!

Happy 4th of July! Here in Atlanta, everyone will be swimming…and by swimming, I mean trying to avoid floating away in a flash flood, not hanging out poolside. I will hopefully be avoiding the worst of the rain down on the Gulf Coast, but we’ll see how that goes.

Oh, yeah, back to ‘Merica. You know, apple pie tends to get all the glory when it comes to “American desserts”. But for my money, nothing is more American than strawberry shortcake.

brown sugar oat strawberry shortcake finished

brown sugar oat strawberry shortcake strawberries

First of all, it’s got the colors working in its favor. I mean, just look at it. And it’s got the sweet/cold/creamy combination that apple pie just can’t match. There’s no question that my go-to summer dessert is strawberry shortcake. This one’s a little different, though.

brown sugar oat strawberry shortcake baked

And what makes it different is the oat flour. I happened across this recipe on A Cozy Kitchen and was immediately intrigued. The oat and brown sugar combo definitely sounded up my alley. I’d also never used oat flour, so I was curious about how it differed. It was kind of amazing actually, because it added this whole new, cool texture to the shortcakes. They were moist and fluffy when they shouldn’t have been (I mean, look how thin I accidentally cut them). They were moist and fluffy the next day, which everyone knows is death to biscuits. So I totally recommend going the extra mile and making the oat flour. It’s so easy, it’s not even an extra mile, really. Not even an extra kilometer. Extra few feet…?
[Read more…]

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