28 July 2012

Weekend Cooking: Review: I Love Corn by Lisa Skye

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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
I like the idea of using familiar foods combined in interesting ways and am particularly looking forward to making that quiche for my gluten-free friends.

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)
Serves 4
  • 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
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil leaves, for garnish
1. Preheat the grill to 325F

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
ISBN-13: 9781449418168
Rating: B-
Source: Review (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)


26 comments:

Carol @ Always Thyme to Cook 7/28/12, 6:50 AM  

The book sounds great and for a great cause. I made gazpacho this week, too, although I screwed up once again when I linked up the name of my post! The fresh corn gazpacho sounds delicious, I'd love the heat of the jalapeno along with the grilled corn in a cold soup.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz 7/28/12, 6:51 AM  

Doesn't that sound delicious?! And I'm intrigued with the jalapeno cornbread recipe, too.

Thank you for sharing this cookbook.

caite 7/28/12, 6:53 AM  

height of corn season here as well and I love it. In fact, it was dinner last night...just corn on the cob!
this sounds like a book made for me.

(Diane) bookchickdi 7/28/12, 7:06 AM  

We had Long Island corn last night for dinner and it was delicious. This is the perfect time to try recipes from this book; I too like using familiar ingredients in creative ways.

bermudaonion 7/28/12, 7:31 AM  

We really liked the muffins I made from that cookbook. I need to try some more of the recipes in it!

Libby 7/28/12, 7:39 AM  

I will have to keep an eye out for this one! We are surrounded by cornfields here, as well. As a bonus, most kids love corn, so these recipes should (hopefully) go over well!

Thanks for hosting :)

Sandy Nawrot 7/28/12, 8:07 AM  

Hey, I'm a farm girl so I love corn! I ate my share while I was in Indiana. There is just nothing else in life quite like Indiana sweet corn. I remember several reviews of this book...I need to put my hands on it.

Alex 7/28/12, 8:20 AM  

I am off to the Jersey shore soon where they have wonderful corn and can't to try this recipe. This books sounds ideal for me - mostly vegetarian, but not completely

Meg @ write meg! 7/28/12, 9:09 AM  

Good to know there are substitutions for hard-to-find or ethnic ingredients -- that can often be a problem for me! Especially when I'm feeling lazy and don't want to hunt for them . . . and corn is delicious!

Melanie 7/28/12, 9:18 AM  

I forgot that it's currently the height of corn season. I'm going to go see if I can find myself some fresh ones.

This sounds like a neat cookbook!

Peggy Ann 7/28/12, 10:32 AM  

I love fresh corn! So much you can do with it! Found a great salad recipe for corn and blueberries. Posted it on pinterest. Thanks for the good recipe!

Melynda 7/28/12, 12:24 PM  

I love the different books that you share, you must have a wonderful collection! Thanks for hosting the wonderful weekend collection.

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog 7/28/12, 12:25 PM  

This looks so cute! Love the simple title too, so fun!

Linda 7/28/12, 1:16 PM  

Sounds like a great cookbook for a good cause.

Tasha B. 7/28/12, 2:22 PM  

I'm actually not a huge corn fan, although what's summer without some fresh corn on the cob? Not sure I would ever be motivated to take it any farther than that, though.

Heather 7/28/12, 2:23 PM  

this sounds like a fun book. i do like my corn with tons of melting butter and a sprinkling of fresh ground pepper. Worth waiting all winter for. I have posted a foodie summary from my recent vacation to New Zealand.

Carole 7/28/12, 2:40 PM  

I love corn but wouldn't have thought of a gaspacho of it.

I have linked in a simple but scrumptious salmon pizza.

Have a nice week. You will have noticed that Food on Friday this week is on bananas - we already have an interesting collection of ideas.

Heather 7/28/12, 3:37 PM  

HI Candace, I have been trying to add my link, but it keeps disappearing. would you please add it for me.

http://www.heatherpearson.com/2012/07/weekend-cooking-eating-out-in-new.html

Thanks.

Peaceful Reader 7/28/12, 3:54 PM  

This is a perfect book for Iowans like myself! I just had sweet corn last night with butter, salt, pepper, and grated Parmesan cheese on top. Delicious.

I love that the author is giving back as well to a great organization. Double bonus.

Joy Weese Moll 7/28/12, 6:40 PM  

What a bright and happy cookbook -- very cool that it has a mission to help those who have experienced a loss. Our fresh sweet corn gets grilled, but the CSA also gives us frozen corn on cobs and I'm never too sure what to do with it. Some of these recipes would work.

Heather @girlichef.com 7/29/12, 9:18 AM  

I have this book...and I really like it! I keep meaning to do a review, but time goes by quicker than I like sometimes. One of these days... =)

Chinoiseries 7/29/12, 3:11 PM  

Thanks for sharing this lovely cookbook with us. It's pretty difficult for me to find something interesting and tasty to cook with corn. But with these recipes... I'm especially curious about the jalapeno corn muffins. I also like the fact that the proceeds of this book go to a good cause.

Becky 7/29/12, 5:52 PM  

Yum! I have to check this one out. I love corn, so I'll have to see if I can get a copy of it at my library.

Julie P. 7/29/12, 6:36 PM  

I'm not a huge corn fan but there were some fantastic recipes in this cookbook!

Debbie 7/29/12, 7:24 PM  

I have corn in my post this weekend too...although not from the same cookbook. I know I read this once, but how many cookbooks do you have?

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks 7/30/12, 10:28 PM  

Corn - a sure sign of summer!

Interesting that so many people (well-reputed cooks/chefs) contributed to the cookbook. I wonder if the author's father had a connection to corn ...

We lunched with friends a few weeks back and enjoyed this delicious salad - cubed watermelon, chunks of tomato, and corn off the cob. Tossed w/salt and a little EVOO and red wine vinegar --> unexpectedly delicious!

and, thanks for adding my post to Mr. Linky!

Thanks for stopping by. I read all comments and may respond here, via e-mail, or on your blog. I visit everyone who comments, but not necessarily right away.

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All content and photos (except where noted) copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads 2008-2014. All rights reserved.

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