CSA Sweet Corn with Lime & Chili Butter

19 09 2012

I have to say, I think my favorite part about making this meal was the frequent and terrifying discovery of giant green corn worms, curling themselves up inside these ears of corn, only to throw themselves into my lap whilst husking.

This is the first time my CSA farm has grown corn, so it was slightly experimental. Some cobs were fine, others, worm devastation. I won’t hide the facts. I was near to tears by the end, gingerly peeling off each layer of husk, like it was a temperamental time bomb. I dislike bugs.

Cut to way too long of a time later: Corn is husked, all corn worms are sent to hell, we can then proceed. This recipe will leave your kitchen smelling amazing, and c’mon, hot buttered corn with a bright lime kick and a mellow spiciness; this is the stuff dreams are made of. I served it with some green beans sauteed with butter and fresh herbs, plus some leftover tofu. Corn is super cheap right now so stock up and get going on this recipe. You will love it.
Sweet Corn with Lime & Chili Butter
Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking: A Commonsense Guide

4-5 corn cobs
3 oz. butter
2 tbs. olive oil
3 small red chilis. seeded and finely chopped
2 tbs. lime zest
2 tbs. lime juice
2 tbs. cilantro, chopped

Remove the husks and silky threads from the corn. Wash well, then using a heavy knife, cut each cob into 1-inch. slices.

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the chili to the pan and cook for 2 minutes, then stir in the lime zest, lime juice, and 1/4 cup water. Add the corn, then cover and cook for 5-8 minutes, or until the corn is tender, shaking the pan frequently.

Season to taste with salt and pepper, then stir in the cilantro. Serve hot and with plenty of napkins.

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White Bean & Mushroom Stew

25 06 2012

When I think of joining a CSA, I think of weekly bundles, overflowing with leafy greens, plump & fragrant fruits; coming home from my day at the farm, dirt under my toenails, my hair flowing free..blahblahblah.

It was my first CSA pick-up the other day, and sad to say, my expectations were not met. Cut to the farm. It is down-pouring. Me in a tank top, sans jacket, frantically pulling up basil plants by the root, trying to get out of there as fast as possible. Then sitting in the car, wondering how I’m supposed to justify spending $600 a season, when all I have to show for it this week are 3 garlic scapes, a quart of strawberries, a dozen eggs, and some mesclun. Feed a family of 4 for a week?? More like an hour.

I understand that it’s the beginning of the season and I cannot rush the garden, but c’mon; a girl can’t survive on garlic scapes and spring mix alone.

On a more positive note, I did manage to incorporate this weeks CSA into one great dinner. Smitten Kitchen’s Leek Toasts with Blue Cheese, with my scapes added, Mediterranean salad with a lemon/feta dressing, and this lovely bean, leek and mushroom stew from the Veganomicon.

It’s earthy and creamy, pretty much a full meal on its own, but taken to a whole new level when served up with the leek toasts.

Rustic White Beans and Mushrooms
Adapted from Veganomicon

2 cups dried white beans, soaked over-night
1 small onion, peeled and sliced into quarters
1 stalk celery, cut in 2
1 small carrot, sliced in half
1 tsp. dried thyme
2 tsps. dried tarragon
1/4 cup olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, peeled & minced
1 large leek, (white and light green parts only) thinly sliced
1 lb. mushrooms (whatever kind you want. I prefer a mix of mushies like shiitake, oyster, or cremini), thinly sliced
2 tsps. salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Drain and rinse the beans and transfer them to a pot. Add 4 cups of cold water, cover, and bring to a boil. Boil for about 3 minutes. Skim off any white foam from the top. Cover the pot and lower the heat to medium; add the onion, celery, carrot, thyme, and tarragon.

Simmer for about 45 minutes, until the beans are tender. Remove the onion, carrot, and celery. Lower the heat to low and continue to simmer while preparing the remaining veggies. The beans should resemble a very thick stew, not a soup. If there’s too much liquid, leave the pot uncovered and stir occasionally.

About 10 minutes before the beans are done, places the garlic and 2 tbs. of olive oil in a cold skillet. Heat the skillet over medium heat, allowing garlic to sizzle for about 30 seconds. Add the sliced leek and saute until soft, about 1-2 minutes. Scrape the leeks into the beans. Add the remaining 2 tbs. oil to the pan, allow to warm for about 30 seconds, then add the mushrooms. Sprinkle the mushrooms lightly with 1/2 tsp. salt and saute until most of the mushroom liquid has evaporated, anywhere from 8 to 12 minutes. When most of the excess liquid is gone, add the mushrooms to the beans. Turn off the heat and season the beans with the remaining salt (or more, if desired) and freshly ground pepper. Allow the beans to stand for about 10 minutes before serving.