Sweet Summer Sunshine in One Bite

It’s SUMMER TIME! Get ready for those hot beach days and long lazy summer nights. But, another great thing about summer is it is the best time to add more VEGETABLES into your diet and your kids won’t even complain.

Corn, also known as MAIZE, is one fun veggie that satisfies the masses.Corn can be grilled, steamed, sauteed, stir fried and a ton of others ways. It can be added to sweet and savory dishes as well as be a formidable side dish or main ingredient star. Your imagination is your only limitation when it comes to corn.

Nutrition Knows– whole grain corn is packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and rich in fiber. It also contains a decent amount of low quality protein while being relatively low in fat. A little known fact- corn being a good source of lutein and zeaxanthin, it may contribute to the maintenance of eye health. Take THAT carrots!!

History..hmmm– MAIZE is a derivative of an early American Indian word “mahiz”. It was a staple among Maya and Aztec Indians and despite the devastation imposed by European imperialists we are fortunate today that one timeless gift was preserved for mankind. Corn as we know it today is somewhat of a transmutation. Colonials utilized what we refer to as Indian Corn which is used more today as ornamental Fall decorations.                                                                                           indian corn wreath

The Andean Indians are believed to have introduced it to Central America by way of Mexico and sometime between 10,000 and 5,500 B.C. the first corn plants became hybridized and domesticated. Despite thousands of years of cultivation in the lower Americas, corn didn’t find its way to the modern day United States until around A.D.  By A.D. 60. It is said that Christopher Columbus also brought corn back to the Old World during his expedition travels. Generations of the trade industry introduced corn to the Portuguese, China, Japan, Korea, East Africa, Asia and India. Current;y the United States and China are the leads in its world production.

Food Sneaks– Its very easy to incorporate corn into most dishes, adding that unexpected “something”. Corn can be a welcomed addition to dishes such as, pasta salads, salsas (and chips!), bread mixes, stir fry combos. But, try these non-traditional sneaks like Corn pancakes or a Corn & Egg Sandwich.

Corn cake
Corn Pancakes

 

Another fun idea is Grilled Corn with a few different sweet or savory butter options like Parmesan & Herb, BBQ Chili Butter or even Orange Honey. Mix up your favorite flavor combos into whipped butter, chill to set then slather generously over freshly grilled corn on the cob.

Recipe Of The DaySweet Corn and Blueberry Trifles

Layers of sweet corn pastry cream alternate with an herb-infused blueberry compote and a buttery shortbread crumble in a summery spin on the classic trifle, developed by Yewande Komolafe for her story Summer, Concentrated. Any other berry at its peak, such as blackberries, makes a delicious substitution; try layering the ingredients into mason jars for an easy-to-transport picnic dessert.

MAKES ABOUT 12 INDIVIDUAL TRIFLES

For the Corn Pastry Cream

14 cup freeze-dried corn kernels, preferably Just Corn
1 tbsp. powdered gelatin
2 cups milk
2 ears sweet corn, husks and kernels removed and reserved
1 tsp. kosher salt
13 cup sugar
6 egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream

For the Corn Shortbread Crumble and to Assemble

14 cup flour
3 tbsp. freeze-dried corn kernels
2 tbsp. corn flour
2 tbsp. sugar
14 tsp. kosher salt
18 tsp. baking powder
14 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1″ cubes and chilled
Blueberry Compote, for serving

INSTRUCTIONS

Make the pastry cream: Pulse dried corn kernels in a mini food processor until coarsely ground; set aside. Combine gelatin and ¼ cup cold water in a bowl and let sit until softened, about 5 minutes; set aside. Combine milk with corn husks and kernels in a 4-qt saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat; remove from heat and steep 30 minutes. Remove and discard husks. Transfer milk mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Strain milk mixture, discarding solids, and return to saucepan along with the dried corn kernels, and salt. Return to a simmer over medium heat. Whisk sugar and egg yolks in a bowl. Slowly whisk ½ cup hot milk mixture into egg mixture until smooth, then transfer egg mixture to saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and add gelatin mixture, whisking until gelatin is dissolved. Strain custard through a fine strainer into a bowl, set over a larger bowl of ice water. Cover surface of custard directly with plastic wrap; refrigerate until cold.  Beat cream to soft peaks and gently fold into custard; set aside.

 Make the shortbread crumble: Heat oven to 325°. Pulse flour, corn kernels, corn flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a food processor until finely ground. Add butter and pulse into pea-size crumbles. Add egg yolk; pulse until shortbread mixture comes together. Spread on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely and break into bite-size pieces; set aside.
Assemble the trifles: Layer pastry cream and blueberry compote in small glasses or ramekins; top with shortbread crumble.
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