Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Two for Tuesday: Summer Favorites

It is summer!

(yes, brilliant statements like that is what keeps my reader membership soaring.)

Anyway, I have two of my all time favorite summer recipes to share:

Quick and Perfect Corn on the Cob  and  Strawberry Cream Pie

Now, you might think corn on the cob doesn't need a recipe per say, but keep reading.

Quick and Perfect Corn on the Cob

I was at Meijer two years ago in July. There in the produce section next to the end cap bin of fresh sweet corn was.....THE CORN WHISPERER.  He wasn't a Meijer employee; he was just a sweet elderly gentleman that really liked corn. He seemed to be spending his afternoon hanging out by the sweet corn chatting with shoppers about....corn.

The Corn Whisperer showed me how to pick out an ear of corn without pulling down the husk. (You pinch the leaves between the top of the corn ear and where the silk comes out. If there's a lot of soft, squishy silk there, then not enough kernels were properly pollinated. If you feel the silk is fairly lean up there, then the ear is full of plump, juicy kernels.)

But, said The Corn Whisperer, don't peel the leaves back to check. (Nevermind the pretty and highly misleading photo. My camera is gone, so I can't take my own pictures. But I felt like a picture, even a misleading one, was still desperately needed.)

Of course, said The Corn Whisperer, you should buy your corn on the day you are planning on cooking it. The fresher your corn is, the better.

When you are ready to cook your corn.....do NOT husk it. Got that? You leave the husk on the corn, the way Nature intended it to be.

You place your corn ears in the microwave, husk and all. You might have to do just a few ears at a time. (Don't try to stack a dozen ears in your microwave.) I have five in my family, so I put in five...but really I should only be cooking three or four at a time. Depending on your microwave and on how crispy or how tender you want your corn, you microwave on high for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per ear of corn. 

I like this method, because it doesn't involve a big pot of boiling water adding heat and humidity to my kitchen.

I also like this method, because the corn comes out perfect EVERY TIME.

Let your corn cool for a few minutes, then husk. Be careful, the corn is still very hot. You might want to use a dishtowel to hold the ear with. The beauty of this is that the silk just falls away from the corn.

Serve. Butter and season as desired.

Every summer meal is more like summer with fresh, hot, corn on the cob.

And, the most perfect summer meal calls for the most perfect summer dessert, which happens to be:

Strawberry Cream Pie

WARNING: This pie needs several hours in the freezer before it can be served. Be sure to fix it well in advance of when you need it. The day before or the morning of works perfectly!

Ingredients:

  • 1 (18 ounce) jar strawberry preserves (I used Smuckers)
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 cups diced, fresh strawberries (see directions)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 (16 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed, plus additional for garnish if desired
  • 2 (8 or 9-inch) prepared graham cracker pie crusts (or homemade crusts)

 Directions:

  1.  Rinse and hull several strawberries. (I think I typically use about 2/3rds of a plastic produce container.) 
  2. Place the strawberries, a few at a time, in a food processor. Pulse just enough to have tiny pieces of strawberries, but don't puree them. Keep doing this until you have 1 and 1/2 cups.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the strawberry preserves, the strawberry pieces, the sweetened condensed milk, and the lemon juice.
  4. Fold in the whipped topping.
  5. Spoon into two prepared crusts.
  6. Freeze for at least 4-6 hours.
  7. Take out of freezer 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving. Top with additional whipped cream or fresh strawberry slices if desired.
Be prepared to have a new favorite summer dessert!




1 comment:

WigSimply said...

I'm definitely trying the corn thing next time!