Zucchini Tart with Sweet Corn, Basil and Parmesan

September 4th, 2015

zucchini Tart 1

This was such a quick and easy tart to put together.  There is not much that puff pastry can’t do to make your life easier.  It always makes a stunning presentation.  The hardest part of assembling this tart was slicing the zucchini on the mandolin.  I have an aversion to that device.  It is so sharp that it scares me.  I made my husband do the slicing.  We used both a green zucchini and a yellow zucchini, plus freshly shucked sweet corn.

IMG_0376

The flavors of garlic, butter and basil enhanced this lovely flaky creation.  Enjoy it with a salad and a glass of Rose’ wine.

I am having technical issues this week.  My Son gave me a new computer that I am still trying to get used to.  Then the lens that I always use for my photography stopped working.  I had to use my fixed close-up lens.  Hopefully I will have all of these issues settled by the time we leave on our trip.  More news next week.  Have a great weekend.

ZUCCHINI TART WITH SWEET CORN, BASIL AND PARMESAN (The Suburban Soapbox).

Ingredients

  • 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1 ear of corn, shucked and kernels removed from cob
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Roll out the puff pastry on a parchment lined baking sheet. Using a paring knife, gently score approximately 1/4 inch from the edge to create a border being careful not to cut all the way through.
  3. In a microwave safe bowl, add the butter, basil and garlic. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds or until the butter is melted. Brush half the butter mixture on the puff pastry inside the border. Arrange the zucchini on top of the butter and top with the corn. Sprinkle the parmesan over the tart and drizzle with the remaining butter. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Whisk the egg yolk with 2 tablespoons of water. Brush the border of the puff pastry with the egg wash and transfer to the oven. Bake 20-25 minutes or until the edges are puffed and golden brown. Transfer to a serving platter and serve warm or at room temperature.

Printable Recipe

Creamy Corn Chowder with Bacon

August 4th, 2014

Corn Chowder 2

 

We have dear friends from Iowa who have a log cabin in Lake Lure.  They built their cabin here after staying at our rental cottage a few years ago.  They fell in love with Lake Lure and now have their own stunning get-away retreat.  They arrived from Iowa last week with fresh picked corn from home.  You can’t get any more authentic than corn from the heartland of America.  What to do with the bounty?

Corn Chowder 1

 

Why, corn chowder of course.  We have had cool, rainy weather AGAIN!  This was the perfect summer soup.

I have a long history with sweet corn.  It was one of the crops that dotted our farmlands in Michigan when I was growing up.  As teenagers my friends and I spent time in corn fields.  I guess that makes me kind of weird.  What were we doing in corn fields you may ask?

1. It was a great place to park.  Any couple who wanted privacy could find a hide-away under the full moon, hidden next to the stalks.  Very romantic.

2. Carloads of girlfriends loved to stop the car  on the road and run to the fields and gather a few ears to eat.  We usually ended up with field corn meant for cattle.  We were once attacked by a wild pig, but darn it was fun.  We laughed and considered ourselves daring.

3. Corn fields were just a part of our environment.  Still today, I measure the height of the corn by the old adage ” The corn is as high as an elephant’s eye” and know when it is ready to pick. Growing up in corn country, you just knew.

Corn Chowder Cropt

This corn chowder is hearty with a depth of flavor.  I simmered the shorn corn cobs in the vegetable broth mixture for a while to release as much flavor as possible.  Give it a try when you have lots of corn.  It can easily be doubled.

CREAMY CORN CHOWDER WITH BACON

3 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1/4 cup flour
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
4 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
6 to 7 ears of corn, kernels removed and a few cobs saved to flavor the stock
1 1/2 cups cream, 1/2 and 1/2 or milk
Several sprigs of thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
4 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled for garnish

Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat.  Add onion, red pepper and garlic and cook until onion is soft.  Add the flour and cook 2 minutes stirring frequently to slightly brown the flour.  Add the vegetable broth and 4 of the reserved corn cobs and cook over low heat for 30 minutes, partially covered.  Remove the cobs and add the celery, carrots, potatoes and corn kernels.  Cook over low heat until potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.  Add the cream, thyme and salt and pepper to taste and cook gently for another 15 minutes.  Serves 6.

Printable Recipe

Warm Avocado and Corn Salad

July 13th, 2014

Avocado and Corn Dish 6 H

 

I have been missing in action for a while I know.  The family is here for a two week visit and we have been spending our time on the water, at the park and activities in Asheville.  We have been doing a lot of cooking but I have been too distracted to take pictures.  Last night my DIL Kristen made a Southwestern feast with chicken and bean tacos, guacamole, Mexican rice and this warm avocado and corn salad.

Avocado and Corn Salad 4CV

 

Friends of our kids are here with their three children for a few days.  Christobal is a well known wedding photographer and took the above picture for me.  We were working with incandescent lighting but his impressive camera compensated well.

Avocado and Corn Dish 3C

 

Kristen used fresh sweet corn, ripe avocados, green onions and cilantro in this refreshing warm salad.  It was delicious with the tacos.  I am entering this salad in the Food 52 avocado recipe contest that is going on right now.  You may want to go to their site for some very interesting avocado recipes.

Avocado and Corn Dish 5C

 

Enjoy!

WARM AVOCADO AND CORN SALAD

5 ears of corn, kernels removed from cob
3 to 4 green onions, chopped, white and green parts separated
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice of 1 lime
2 large avocados, cubed
Optional additions; 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled, smoked paprika, or pickled red onions

Heat butter and olive oil in skillet.  Add corn kernels and white parts of the green onions and cook for about 7 minutes.  Add cilantro and salt and pepper to taste.  Add the juice of the lime and remove from heat.  Add the cubed avocados.  Transfer to a serving bowl, sprinkle with the green parts of the green onion and serve.  This is especially good with the addition of crumbled crisp bacon.

Printable recipe

 

Sunday Brunch Part 1 – Corn Cakes

May 20th, 2009

Last Summer, after months of renovating our Lake Lure cottage, we hosted a brunch for friends and the people who helped us with all of our improvements. These people had also become our friends. You can’t spend every day with people without coming to know them and feeling an attachment to their lives. We wanted to do something to thank them for all of their hard work and a late morning brunch seemed like a fun and relaxing way to accomplish this. I enjoyed doing it so much that I decided that inviting friends to brunch should become a regular occasion and I have come up with a menu and a plan that will make it easy for anyone to host a Sunday brunch without a lot of last minute preparation. I hope you will follow along with me.

My first offering is corn cakes. This is something a little different than the expected pancakes and they have the advantage of tasting fresh even after reheating, so you can cook them the day before your brunch and then rewarm them in the oven right before serving. You can eat them slathered with syrup and cut with a fork or pick them up and eat them like corn muffins. I enjoyed making these because I got to use the griddle pan on my stove for the first time.

I adapted this recipe from Gourmet and it is so versatile that you can add anything that appeals to you. I fixed the basic recipe but you can add sauteed green peppers, onions, jalapenos, chives or jack cheese. You can serve the cakes with maple syrup or honey butter.

CORN CAKES

1 cup cornmeal
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons snipped chives
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup buttermilk plus additional to thin batter if neccesary
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus additional for brushing the griddle
1 cup fresh or frozen corn, cooked, drained, and patted dry

In a bowl whisk together the cornmeal, the baking soda, the salt and the chives. Add the egg, 1 cup of the buttermilk, and 2 tablespoons of the butter and whisk the batter until it is smooth. Stir in the corn and let the batter stand for 10 minutes. The batter should be the consistency of thick pancake batter; if it is too thick, thin it with the additional buttermilk. Heat a griddle over moderate heat until it is hot, brush it lightly with some of the additional butter, and drop the batter by heaping tablespoons onto the griddle. Cook the cakes for 1 minute, or until the undersides are golden, turn them, and cook them for 1 minute more, or until the undersides are golden. Transfer the cakes to a heated platter and make more cakes with the remaining batter in the same manner, brushing the griddle lightly with some of the additional butter before cooking each batch. The cakes may be made 1 day in advance and kept covered and chilled. Reheat the cakes in a baking dish, covered tightly with foil, in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Makes about 16 corn cakes.

Printable recipe

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.