Summer Corn With Basil & Garlic Aioli

I’ve always loved Elote, aka Mexican street corn. It is smothered in a messy mix of ingredients that tastes exactly how I would imagine the corn in Heaven to taste. Traditionally it is rolled in butter and mayonnaise, then crumbled cotija cheese, chili powder, and a squeeze of lime. I decided to make my own little version of it this morning by making an aioli with the basil and garlic I had from my CSA bag this week, plus Parmesan cheese and paprika. It was amazing. AMAZING. I made it early this morning with the intention of bringing it as part of my lunch to work today, but after tasting a little bite, I ate the whole thing (at 9AM) standing over the sink in my kitchen as to not make a mess. WORTH IT.

Ingredients: (serves 5)
5 corn on the cob
1/4 cup fresh basil
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 garlic clove
Black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, plus for for topping
Smoked paprika, for topping

In a food processor, or with an immersion blender, mix together the basil, olive oil, mayo, lemon juice, garlic, pepper, and Parmesan cheese until smooth. You can keep the corn whole or cut them in half, whichever you prefer. Brush the corn with olive oil and cook in a pan over medium heat, turning every minute or so to cook the sides evenly, about 7 minutes total. You can also cook the corn on the grill of course, I just don’t have a backyard here in NY and think it’s prooobably illegal to put a grill on my fire escape! To serve, brush the corn with the aioli then top with grated parmesan cheese and paprika. Eat with lots of napkins!

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Summer Corn Leek & Tomato Galette

I make a variation of this galette a lot in the summer, as it is one of my favorite flavor combinations – fresh summer corn and tomatoes! I posted a version of it last summer using dandelion greens, which you can find here. I like to add corn meal to the crust because it gives it a nice texture and flavor, and I usually make a double batch of the dough so I can freeze half and make a galette on demand another night! Goat cheese is what I usually add on top, though I’m sure feta would be delicious ….or maybe even some torn burrata when it comes out of the oven?! Man I wish I thought of that earlier, that will definitely be an experiment for next time.

Galette Crust: (this crust is for 2 medium galettes, as I like to freeze half for future use)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup corn meal
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, chopped into cubes
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 cup ice water
1 egg, for brushing
1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper

Filling: (this filling is for 1 galette)
2 ears of corn, cut off the cob
1/2 shallot, chopped
1 leek, sliced
2 garlic clove, roasted whole
2 small heirloom tomatoes, sliced
4 oz garlic & herb goat cheese (can usually find at grocery store)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fresh torn basil for topping

Start by making the galette crust. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, corn meal, salt, and pepper. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, or use your hands. If using your hands, you simply want to roll the butter chunks between your fingers with the flour until it resembles the texture of small peas. In a separate small bowl, stir together the yogurt, lemon juice, and water. Add this to the flour/butter mixture and mix with your fingers until a dough forms. Shape into two disk (if you plan to save/freeze half like I did) then wrap in plastic wrap, and place in the fridge for at least an hour.

When the dough is almost done vacationing in the fridge, start getting the fillings ready. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, wrap the garlic cloves in aluminum foil and roast in the oven until soft, about 15 minutes. Next, sauté the corn for about 5 minutes with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. Don’t overcook it though because it will continue to cook later in the oven and you don’t want it to get chewy. Set aside. Add the leeks and chopped shallot to the pan and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.

To assemble, roll the dough out on a floured surface. I like to do this on a sheet of parchment paper so that I can lift it right onto the baking sheet after. It is OK if it’s not a perfect circle, I say the more rustic it looks the better! Leaving about an inch boarder around the edges, spread on the corn, then sprinkle around the roasted garlic chunks, followed by the leeks/shallots, the sliced tomatoes, then the goat cheese crumbles. Fold in the edges, then place the galette (with the parchment) on a baking sheet. Cook in oven for 30-45 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the filling looks happy. It won’t smile at you, but you’ll know it’s happy.

Let cool for 5 minutes, throw on some fresh torn basil, then dig in!

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Peach & Plum Caprese With Balsamic Glaze

A traditional caprese with tomato and mozzarella is great and all, but why not switch it up a little! I made this one with plums, peaches, and a balsamic glaze. You can find balsamic glaze at any major grocery store, or you can make it yourself using balsamic vinegar and sugar! I didn’t have enough vinegar to make my own batch this time, so opted for store-bought. But here is the usual recipe I follow when making my own!

Ingredients:
2 plums, cut into half slices
2 peaches, cut into half slices
8 oz mozzarella cheese, cut into half slices
Fresh basil leaves, kept whole
Balsamic glaze
Salt and pepper, to taste

Simply arrange the slices one by one – peach, basil, mozzarella, plum… and so on. Drizzle with the balsamic glaze, then a pinch of salt and fresh cracked pepper.

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Simple Summer Veggie Bowl

In the summer I crave fresh meals a lot – crisp veggies, fresh herbs, all the good stuff. In the winter on the other hand, I crave anything hot and filled with carbs and melted cheese. I figure it must all balance out between seasons, right?! Anyway, here is one of go-to summer dinners. Packed with vegetables, soft boiled eggs, crispy polenta, and yummy cucumber yogurt to tie it all together.

Ingredients:
1 Persian cucumber, chopped
1 cup Greek yogurt
String beans, blanched
1 cup cauliflower, cut into smaller pieces
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
Cherry tomatoes
1/2 ripe avocado
Sriracha
1 egg
Pre-cooked polenta, sliced
Olive oil
Fresh Lemon
Black pepper
Maldon (flake) salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a baking sheet, toss the cauliflower in turmeric and olive oil. Also add the tomatoes. Roast for about 20 minutes or until tomatoes softened and burst, and cauliflower is roasted well.

In the meantime blanch the string beans in salted boiling water for 2 minute, then placing in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. I used the same water to boil my egg – bring back to a boil and gently add your egg, let cook for 5 minutes (6 min max) then also place in the ice water.

Next, add a little olive oil to a pan and cook the polenta slices until crisp, about 3 minutes each side. Also sauté the kale with some olive oil for at about 5 minutes. Lastly, mix together the cucumber and Greek yogurt.

To assemble, just place everything in a bowl… and as my grandmother always says – “chow baby!”

Summer Pea & Prosciutto Risotto

Risotto! One of the easiest most delicious things to make. It wasn’t until recently that I tried making it, as I was under the impression it was a hard thing to make, but turns out it is incredibly easy! There are minimal steps, you just need a little patience while the rice takes its time to absorb all that delicious liquid. Though I find sipping a big glass of wine is a great way to help the time pass while you wait!

Ingredients:
3 ounces prosciutto, chopped
1 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup arborio rice
1/4 cup dry white wine
28 ounces chicken stock
1 cup fresh peas
1 cup shredded zucchini, moisture squeezed out
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, optional
Good pinch red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a heavy bottomed pot, add the chopped prosciutto and a tiny drizzle of olive oil. Cook until crispy then remove and set aside. In the same pot, sauté the garlic and shallots for a few minutes then add the rice, followed by the wine, and simmer for about 3 minutes. In the meantime bring the chicken stock to a boil in a separate pot then turn off the heat. Add enough of the hot stock to the rice in order to just cover it, and stir until the rice has absorbed the liquid. This will take about 5-7 mins. Pour in more stock and repeat the process until the rice has absorbed all of the stock and is creamy and el dente, about 25 minutes total. While the rice cooks, sauté the peas in a pan with some olive oil for about 5 minutes then set aside. When the rice is ready, add the cooked peas, zucchini, prosciutto, lemon juice, fresh parsley, Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. You can also add a touch of butter if you want to get a little crazy! A poached egg on top is always lovely as well…

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Caramelized Onion & Cauliflower Quiche

I always forget how incredibly easy it is to make a quiche! Plus it’s a great way to use up any leftover veggies and cheeses you have around. So, when on Saturday night I remembered that I had a frozen pie crust from Whole Foods, and a excess amount of eggs, I knew that quiche was my dinner destiny. (I just re-read that sentence and am now realizing I might not be the coolest 29 year old out there haha) Anyway! I’ve never put cauliflower in quiche before but I actually liked it a lot! I think a creamy goat cheese would be great with this as well if you want to swap the Parmesan cheese for something else…

Ingredients:
1 pie crust, frozen or homemade
1 small cauliflower head, chopped and steamed (about 1 cup)
1 large garlic clove, roasted
1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
5-6 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup half & half, or cream
Good pinch red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and cook the pie crust for about 10-15 minutes or until slightly golden. If you have them, you’ll want to use pie weights so that it doesn’t puff up. Or if you’re like me and keep meaning to buy pie weights but always forget to, then you can just prick holes in the bottom of the pie to let the heat escape, and simply push down any dough that puffs up. In the meantime, also roast the garlic in the oven. I just wrap mine in some aluminum foil and place it in there for about 15-20 mins. While those are cooking, saute the red onion with some olive oil until soft and caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes toward the end. In a large bowl beat the eggs and add the cream, salt and pepper.

Spread the caramelized onions and chunks of roasted garlic on the bottom of the pie shell, next add the cauliflower, then the Parmesan cheese. Lastly, pour over the eggs. Bake for 25-30 mins or until the eggs are set and the crust is golden brown.