Category: corn


After conceiving of this dish it took a couple of attempts to finally achieve success. In my first effort some of the crepes were too thick and weren’t usable. Additionally, I only used pepperjack cheese which made the dish too dense. And finally, the veloute sauce didn’t turn out the way I had imagined.

So, tonight it was back to the drawing board for a second try that I’m happy to report turned out much better. I made sure that all of the crepes were thinner by using less batter for each. I mixed the pepperjack cheese with some ricotta to lighten the stuffing mixture. And, I tweaked the veloute sauce. For those who are unfamiliar with a veloute, it is similar to a béchamel with the exception that stock (traditionally meat stock), takes the place of milk. But my experiment involved a housemade vegetarian corn stock and puree. (See below for details).

Savory cornmeal crepes stuffed with pepperjack and ricotta cheeses baked and served napped with corn veloute sauce Chez Edouard
Stir fry of summer squash and onions

Vanilla ice cream with peaches and blackberries

Corn Veloute Chez Edouard
Cut the kernels from two fresh ears of corn and place in a large saucepan. Add the corn cobs (yes the cobs) and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Allow to cool. Remove the cobs and discard. Strain the remaining ingredients reserving the stock and the corn kernels. Place the corn in a blender with about half the stock and puree until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve and reserve the rather loose puree.

Meanwhile, melt two tablespoons of butter in a saucepan. Add two tablespoons of flour and whisk until the mixture is foamy. Take great care NOT to allow the flour to color. You want to create what is known as a blonde roux. Slowly add the reserved corn stock whisking over low heat until thickened to the consistency of heavy cream. Just before serving, stir in the loose puree and heat through. Add a pinch of salt but do NOT add pepper (which can overpower the delicate flavor of this sauce).

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Bread and Butter Pickles Chez Edouard

Bread and Butter Pickles Chez Edouard

So what does this photo have to do with tonight’s menu? Nothing really. But yesterday I made these jars of bread and butter pickles and this morning I felt inclined to take a photo. Next fall and winter, I’ll be enjoying these as well as the dill pickles that I have been preserving along the course of the summer thus far. I’m anxious to make relish next weekend.

But on to tonight’s menu. On a hot summer day, a soup is probably the last thing most folks would think of cooking for dinner, but the abundance of fresh produce makes this a particularly wonderful time to combine the vegetables on hand with some fresh water, simmer until the flavors marry, and serve with a cornmeal muffin and a side salad. Simple, direct, and of the moment.

Summer vegetable soup of tomatoes, squash, onions, garlic, corn, new potatoes, and green beans garnished with finely diced banana peppers
Cornbread muffins
Garden salad with creamy dill dressing

A perfect peach

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The highlight of tonight’s menu is a recipe I devised based on a couple of others. Beautiful corn, green beans, and cherry tomatoes were available at the farmers’ market, and I was inspired to create a chilled salad as an accompaniment to the grilled fish. It’s simple and relatively quick, and must be made in advance. The dressing for the salad has no oil–it’s simply rice vinegar, sugar, and a pinch of salt with some minced red onion. A chiffonade of basil is tossed in just before serving. Light, refreshing, delicious, attractive. The vegetarians among us may be tempted to feast on the salad alone!

Pan-grilled Atlantic cod basted with barbeque sauce
Chilled corn-green bean-cherry tomato salad
Boiled new potatoes
Yeast roll Chez Edouard

Sugar cookies

Sometimes old favorites such as standard meat-and-potatoes fare simply need a brightening…a fresh approach…a swift kick in the pants. And it doesn’t have to be difficult. Here, the meatloaf gets a new treatment which the addition of orzo pasta, fresh tomatoes, and black olives as components of the loaf. Green beans are accented with fresh dill. Creamed corn gets a flavor boost from the addition of chili powder, cumin, and diced onions and red peppers. And leftover mashed potatoes are transformed into crispy oven-fried cakes. Just a few simple changes helps elevate the ordinary and/or expected into something altogether different.

The potatoes are probably not the potato “pancakes” with which you might be familiar. Most recipes call for mashed potatoes mixed with flour and eggs that are pan-fried in oil. In this case, cold mashed potatoes are simply formed into patties, dipped in egg white, and dredged in seasoned bread crumbs. Place these in the fridge for a few minutes to set the breading, then place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and “fry” in a hot oven, turning halfway through the cooking. The result is a wonderfully crispy exterior with a creamy interior not unlike tater tots. Do not try to accomplish this in a skillet on top of the stove folks. It won’t work!

I have some golden rules about corn that I will share in an upcoming post but for now, suffice it to say the first of those is to use the freshest ears you can possibly lay your hands on.

Meatloaf of ground beef mixed with cooked orzo, fresh tomatoes, black olives, onions, red peppers and fresh basil
Romano beans glazed with butter and fresh dill
Spicy creamed corn
Oven-fried potato cakes
Yeast roll

Housemade blueberry ice cream and sugar cookies

A Southern Menu

Inspired by a roadtrip to Charleston and Savannah several years ago, tonight’s menu features a different treatment of traditional meatloaf. While the basic recipe is essentially the same as most others, the difference relies on the fact that the loaf must be made in advance and chilled overnight until firm. Then, thick slices are heated and charred on an outdoor grill or stovetop grill pan. (If possible, I recommend the outdoor grill which helps impart a more smoky flavor and adds another layer of depth to the dish.) At the restaurant the slices were served with the standard gravy. In my variation, I have used a basting of barbeque sauce instead. The accompanying corn and asparagus salad is a staple at The Lady and Sons–Paula Deen’s restaurant in Savannah. And once again, while the meatloaf and salad take a bit of prep time, the beauty is that both MUST be made ahead of time, (ditto the dessert tartlets)–so there is little to do right before the meal.

Char-grilled meatloaf slices basted with barbeque sauce
Chilled corn and asparagus salad
Garlic mashed potatoes
Southern biscuit muffins

Lemon curd tartlet in a cookie crumb shell with a dollop of whipped cream

Monday’s Menu

This is somewhat of a “repeat” of an entrée that I proposed last December. However, there are some changes, since I alwaysnfiddle with a recipe over and over again! The difference tonight is the addition of fresh, locally-grown corn in the soup…something that can’t be accomplished in the American South during the cold months, but there’s still fresh corn from a nearby farm available here. Since the temperature  in Northern Virginia hardly made it past the mid-60’s degree mark today, this seemed like a good night for “soup and salad.” Maybe I’m getting ahead of things, but I happen to like soup no matter the season!

Cauliflower soup with corn, potatoes, onions, garlic, and cheddar cheese, with fresh dill, ground mustard and celery seeds, finished with buttermilk
Side salad of lettuces with red wine vinaigrette
Cornbread muffins

Cookies (again)

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