If I were to describe this week's share in one word it would be: corn. Like, a serious amount of the stuff. I'm certainly not complaining though since sweet corn season is so short that we should all gorge ourselves while we can since the fresh ear's counterpart in the frozen food aisle just can't compare.
The kitchen we have to work with out here is tiny, to say the least, so pretty much everything is going on the grill. According to Grill Master/Guru Steve Raichlen, only Midwesterners grill their corn with the husk on and he would say that the rest of the country takes the husk off with good reason. Grilling corn sans husk means you're getting delicious grill flavor in the corn itself ... instead of in the husk.
So far we've had grilled corn with homemade mayo and grilled corn with just butter, salt and pepper. Later this week we're looking forward to corn and tomatillo salsa made in the same style as the salsa from last week but with different ingredients to go with steak fajitas (this will be a recurring theme I'm sure) with grilled onions and sweet peppers.
If you've never grilled onions, I would highly recommend it - they're smoky and deliciously amazing. Grady runs a toothpicks through the onion lengthwise and then slices in between so that the rings are held together by the pick. He the lays them on the grill away from direct heat or on very low heat for just a few minutes each side. I'll try to add pictures of the process the next time we do it.
With fresh tomatoes you can make salsa, as we did last week, or make Italian salsa aka bruschetta. Chop a few perfectly ripe tomatoes and toss in a bowl with some salt. Tear or chop a handful of basil leaves and toss with the tomatoes. Finally, drizzle olive oil on a few pieces of crusty bread and toast in a skillet over medium-low heat. You could also pour a generous amount of oil into the pan and add a crushed garlic clove - this will result in very oily, very addicting crisp breads. When the bread is browned a crispy, top with tomato mixture and serve. This is a great, quick appetizer that requires a few simple ingredients and very little heat.
Our last two meals this week have used very little from this week's share but feature other local produce rather prominently. First we had bratwurst with a side of kale and grilled corn, a cup of potato and leek soup, and homemade sauerkraut (from Montalbano cabbages, post about that here). I'm still learning what to do with leeks but we brought an enormous one home and we already had potatoes and it was in the upper 60's so soup is what happened. Chop the white and light green part of the leek and saute it on medium heat in a whole bunch of butter until it's soft. Add potatoes and water/milk/stock and salt. Bring to a boil then simmer until potatoes are soft. Mash/puree/leave whole and serve.
The second meal was pub-style burgers with lots of veggies. Once again, grilled corn and kale plus quick-sauteed zucchini. The burger was topped with caramelized onions (low heat with lots of butter in a skillet) and special pub sauce as developed by the food geniuses in America's Test Kitchen. I am personally opposed to sharing published recipes on the internet so I will have to tease you by saying this sauce is revolutionary and you should find it at the library or pay to get access to it online. It involves 3 cloves of garlic, some Worcestershire sauce and mayonnaise.
We're haven't quite decided what we'll be doing with our little eggplant - probably roasting. This is one of those vegetables that just doesn't inspire me yet. I love moussaka but it's a significant amount of work and is usually a main dish and I haven't personally experimented much beyond that, I'm sorry to say. Rachel's recipe from the newsletter looks great so we may give that a try. We'll let you know what we do this week but we'd love for you to share any recipes or inspirations you may have in the comments - we will certainly benefit from it!
And finally, just to let you in on a bit of the beauty we are currently enjoying I give you: My Morning Cup of Coffee.
See you back in Illinois next week!
~ Courtney and Grady