Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page. For more information, see the welcome post.
It's the height of corn season here in central Pennsylvania, and although I received a review copy of I Love Corn a couple of months ago, I decided to wait until the farmers' markets were selling fresh ears before I reviewed this seasonal cookbook.
When Lisa Skye's father died in an accident while traveling abroad, she turned to her friends and family for support to get her through her grief. As a means of giving back and helping children who have lost a loved one, Skye is donating the majority of the proceeds of I Love Corn to the Dougy Center, whose mission is (in part) this:
The Dougy Center provides support in a safe place where children, teens, young adults, and their families grieving a death can share their experiences.Thus when you buy I Love Corn, you not only are treating yourself to a great collection of recipes but also are helping others get through rough times.
The 50 recipes in this slim cookbook cover every course and every meal, from breakfast to dessert. I would describe the dishes as middle to upscale, with a heavy emphasis on New World flavors. That's not to say that the recipes are difficult (they aren't) or boring (far from it). They run the range from comfort food, like warm polenta stew, to company food, such as corn-poached halibut with tomato and charred jalapeno chutney.
The four-color design with beautiful full-page photos of most of the dishes make I Love Corn a joy to look through and read as you learn all about buying, storing, preparing, and--most important--cooking corn.
The recipes were not developed by Skye but were contributed by professional chefs, caterers, and restauranteurs. Some of the names are very well know, Martha Stewart and Jean-Georges Vongerichten, for example, but most are unfamiliar to me. Each recipe is accompanied by an introduction and many include author or contributor notes with extra tips and hints.
Most cooks, no matter where they live, will have little difficulty obtaining the ingredients, expect for the usual problems of getting fresh fish in landlocked areas. Most contributors have included substitutions for ethnic ingredients, making their dishes accessible to everyone. More important, the directions, even for the fancy dishes, are broken down into easy steps, so home cooks can expect success.
I have one minor complaint, and that is the index, which is an odd mix of too complete and not complete enough. By that I mean, there were many unnecessary entries, such as the title of every cookbook written by every contributor, all which are mentioned in the short contributors' biographies. At the same time, some recipes can be found by only their title and are not also indexed by major ingredient or type of dish. This is an annoyance, however, not a deal-breaker.
To give you an idea of the types of recipes you'll find in I Love Corn, here are some of the dishes I want to try:
- Jalapeno Corn Muffins
- Roasted Corn and Goat Cheese Quiche with Brown Rice Crust
- Roasted Salmon with Corn Salad and Salsa Verde
- Corn Pudding with Bacon and Leeks
- Fresh Corn and Black Bean Salad
- Strawberry Corn Pone with Maple Caramel
Vegetarian/Vegan Alert: Vegetarians will find quite a few good recipes in I Love Corn. Even the main-dish chapter has a couple of meatless recipes. Vegans should look before they buy, but they'll find foods they can eat, such as the recipe I share here.
I hope to make the following gazpacho this weekend; maybe for Sunday dinner on the deck. I have all the ingredients, most of which were locally grown.
Fresh Corn Gazpacho
From Executive Chef Guillaume Thivet (Cadaques in Brooklyn, New York)
- 2 small ears corn, unhusked
- 1 medium-size tomato, seeded and chopped
- 3 cups tomato juice
- 1 large unpeeled cucumber, diced
- 1/2 cup finely diced white onion
- 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and minced
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil leaves, for garnish
2. Grill the ears of corn with the husks on for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the husks are burned, turning every 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the ears from the grill and let them cool.
3. Remove and discard the husks and then slice the kernels from the cobs. Measure 1 cup and set aside the rest for another use.
4. Combine all the ingredients, except the basil in a large bowl and stir until mixed together. Season with salt to taste. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
5. To serve, ladle the gazpacho into bowls and garnish with the minced basil leaves.
Author note: This recipe is great to make a day in advance, so the flavors have more time to meld together.
Buy Herbivoracious at an Indie, at Powell's, at Book Depository, or at bookstore near you. These links lead to affiliate programs
Published by Andrews McMeel, 2012
Source: Review (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)