Saturday, September 14, 2013

CORN ON THE COB GRILLED WITH FRESH HERBS

Corn on the cob on the grill.  A great way to enjoy summer sweet corn!  This corn was as fresh as it could be.  I bought it just a few hours after it was picked, and at a really sweet price too, 4 for $1.00. I often grill corn.  I love eating it hot, crunchy and slightly charred, but with kernels that are still juicy and sweet below their crispy coat. The best way to grill corn is to wrap it in aluminum foil, and I have been cooking it this way for more years than I can count. I never considered improving on the taste, not until I came across a picture on the Food Network of corn grilled in foil but with lots of herbs added in for extra taste.  Well, go figure. I grow herbs and I have a clear view of my little herb garden from where the grill is set up.  Yet, never once did I consider adding some of those herbs I stare at when I'm grilling to the corn cooking in front of me. OK, thank you Food Network for kicking my brain into gear. 
So pick some rosemary, some thyme, some lemon thyme... 






Don't forget the basil...
Place the corn on a piece of foil and add the herbs...

Yes, go ahead add a little lemon if you like, definitely add the garlic, then drizzle some olive oil on top...
Then add a little butter and some salt and pepper. Wrap the the foil over the corn and form a tight seal.  Wrap in the same manner with another layer of foil.  You'll have a nice sturdy packet, ready for the grill...
Grill on both sides, tear up the foil and pull out the corn.  Bite into it and taste the hints of each herb used.  A fantastic departure from ordinary grilled corn.  Simple, fast, delicious!
  






































Friday, September 6, 2013

BROCCOLI, MUSHROOM AND POTATO SOUP

Creamy but without the addition of cream, this healthful soup is made with a base of potatoes.  Buttery tasting Yukon gold, my favorite. Mushrooms add a woodsy, earthy flavor, and the broccoli contributes green notes.  Some broth, some herbs, a little grated cheese, and in about half an hour soup's on! A delicious soup, a "make you happy" kind of soup.  

I pureed the ingredients until they reached a smooth consistency. Leaving them chunky would have been good too, but maybe next time.  This time I was in the mood for smooth textures. Too many sharp edges in my hurried life lately. It occurred to me that unconsciously, I must have been yearning for a bowl of nourishing soup.  Warm, comforting soup to smooth life's sharp edges. That's why I had to pick up the mushrooms and broccoli at the grocer's. I chopped, sauteed and boiled, breathed in the aroma of the broth, and anticipated my first serving of hot, thick, smooth soup.  Warm, comforting soup, my nostrum for stress. Good to know there's plenty left over for tomorrow. 
Eat this soup when it's really hot. That's when the flavors are at their best. And crunch on some crackers when you're between spoonfuls. Slurping is optional.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
5 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
2 heads of broccoli, cut into florets (about  pounds)
1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste
½ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 bay leaf
8 sprigs parsley
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
For the garnish, to be prepared when the soup is cooking:
Save a few sliced mushrooms and some broccoli florets, have some chives on hand.  Prepare the garnish while the soup is cooking.
The mushrooms should be sauteed and the broccoli can be boiled, but it needs to be blanched so that it can retain its green color.


Directions:
In a large pot heat the olive oil with the butter.  Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic, broccoli, mushrooms and potatoes.  Stir and cook for another 5 minutes.
Add the broth, water, salt, and pepper, bay leaf, parsley, thyme and vegetable broth.
Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Using an immersion blender puree the soup. 
Stir in half the cheese and mix well. Serve garnished with chopped chives, sliced mushrooms, tiny broccoli florets and the rest of the grated cheese.
I am sending this post to "Souper Sundays" at Kahakai Kitchen. Each Sunday, Deb, the tireless hostess of Souper Sundays, features a roundup of posts about soup, sandwiches and more. See you there!