Starting right about this time every year, our dinners become an endless string of meals based on corn and tomatoes. The season is so fleeting that I feel an urgency to make all those dishes that you just can't make any other time. Like Caprese salad, that's a dish only worth making when tomatoes are acidy ripe. And if you are going to make a soup based on corn, it had better be some good corn, so now's the time.
We've had our share of corn-on-the-cob, corn-off-the-cob, corn salads and corn soups . I've made both Crema de Elote (Creamy mexican corn soup) and Corn chowder.
The chowder is a meal in a bowl from Jasper White, a chef from the northeast who really knows his chowders. He wrote a whole book on them. This is his recipe for a classic Corn chowder It has all usual ingredients that you'd expect in a chowder: corn, potatoes, red pepper, onion and bacon. And I promise, it will turn out just like you want corn chowder to taste. You don't need to add all the cream to a recipe like this, I never do. Sometimes I use half n half, somtimes milk, just be careful not to boil it.
Also recently, I have tried two of the corn saute recipes from the current issue of Fine Cooking. One is Corn sauteed with red potatoes, onion, bell pepper and BACON (on the back cover), and the other is Corn, onion, zucchini saute with cumin and coriander. For both dishes, I think the slow-sauteed sweet onion is what makes them especially good. I guess they really don't look like much, not with my photography skills anyway. But both corn sautees are really tasty. I can't share the recipes for these though, since they're in the current issue. We did the zucchini one with some grilled trout, stuffed with lemon slices and herbs. That was kind of novel for us.
And then there's tomatoes. We've been having Caprese salad and Bruschetta, just plain old tomatoes sliced and salted, and tomatoes "my mom's way," sliced with onion and oil, no vinegar. This night I made a cherry tomato salad with fresh mozz. Nichols Farm at the Evanston Farmers Market, offers mix and match of cherry tomatoes. So I can pick a few pear shaped, some cherry and globe ones, sweet 100's and all kinds of others, in every color imaginable, to make an interesting salad. I made a basil oil to drizzle over this, plus I splashed a little balsamic.