Cooking 4 Dummies: Five-Step Corn Soup

While there are plenty of things to gripe about Jersey (its cops, its Housewives), the corn grown in the Garden State is not among our complaints. Gift-wrapped in lime-hued husks, the elegantly slender ears are piled like firewood on Buzby Farm's table at Headhouse. It’s an embarrassment of wealth, actually, so the farmers a favor and take some off their hands. The husks reveal orderly columns of plump, silvery kernels so juicy and sweet they’re remarkable eaten raw. We snack on stray kernels like chips while we make our annual pot of Jersey corn soup. We Tweeted the recipe in real time yesterday and have transcribed it here for your viewing pleasure. The frothy puree is the essence of summer distilled in a bowl; it only takes five steps and doesn’t need to cook all day. Use the very freshest corn and milk you can get. Vegetarians, just swap out the bacon fat for butter. Vegans, cook something else.

Makes 8 cups
8 ears of Jersey white corn
2 tbsp. bacon fat
1 clove garlic, chopped
½ red onion, chopped
½ hot chili pepper, sliced
½ gallon milk
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
Salt and pepper to taste

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1. Chop and sauté the garlic, onion and chili in bacon fat. Add 1 bay leaf and cook 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, remove kernels from 8 ears of corn with a sharp knife. Reserve kernels and cobs.
3. Add kernels to onion-garlic-chili mix and sauté 10 minutes. In another pot, add cobs, milk, other bay leaf and cinnamon stick and simmer 30 minutes. Season corn mix and cob stock with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Remove cobs and from pot and add stock to corn mix. Simmer 10 minutes.
5. Remove bay leaves and cinnamon stick, and remove soup from heat. Once cool, puree soup in small batches till frothy and smooth. Strain through a fine sieve if desired and serve garnished with roasted tomatillo salsa (see recipe above).

Photo: blogalicious

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