Wednesday, August 18, 2010

1-2 Challenge: Corn

When I saw the giant barrel full of corn at the Northcenter Farmer's Market on Saturday, I knew this was my ingredient for this week's 1-2 Challenge - my weekly effort to make one item two ways.

I typically eat corn on the cob with just a swipe of butter. So sweet and easy. Just shuck, boil, eat, and floss.

I scooped up six ears, wondering what else I could make while staying true to my mantra: keep it simple, especially in the summer when fresh picked produce tastes so good.

At home more than dozen tomatoes dangled off the Topsy Turvy, ready for picking. Whatever recipe I would make had to include those. That's why this simple fresh corn salad recipe was simple and perfect.

I had all the ingredients on hand. Corn, boiled and cut off the cob, mixed with halved tomatoes, fresh basil, chopped red onion, and a blend of red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and evoo.

For the second recipe, I wanted to put a twist on the traditional corn on the cob with butter. Lucky for me, another Chicagoan over at The Kitchen Sink Recipes blog had the same idea. I followed her directions for smoked paprika butter, a simple recipe that calls for paprika, minced garlic, and salt mixed into a stick of butter.

The scent of smoky garlicky butter filled my kitchen. But before I tried this new concoction, I took a moment to admire the colors. I love the rainbow of summer fruits and vegetables almost as much as I love the flavors.

The corn looked like gold.

Then the butter, a pale coral with flecks of red.

All in all, an easy way to spice up an old favorite, even though I still had to floss afterwards!

Fresh Corn Salad (adapted from Cora's recipe at The Tasty Kitchen)

2 ears of corn
12 grape tomatoes, halved
1/3 of a red onion, chopped
7 leaves of fresh basil
1 T red wine vinegar
1 T strawberry vinegar (all we had)
5 T evoo
salt and pepper to taste

Boil corn for 5-7 minutes, then soak in cold water. Cut corn off the cob and mix tomatoes, onion, basil. Mix vinegars and evoo separately, then add to mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste.

+ When I make this again, and I will make this again, I will cut the vinegars and olive oil in half. The salad only needed a light coating. +

Smoked Paprika Butter (adapted from The Kitchen Sink Recipes)

1/2 stick of unsalted butter, softened
1 t papricka
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt, to taste

Just mix! Then, I scooped the mixture back into the wax paper from the butter, rolled it up, and put back in the refrigerator.

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