Here’s a picture of this year’s garden with corn in the background and next year’s garden covered with buckwheat in front of the corn. The onions have now been harvested and we had a bumper crop! Get out your onion recipes to share.
I am posting here recipes for corn cobs and one for Beet Brownies from Kathy Ellis as well as a creamed chard recipe from Paula Donahue.
Two recipes for corn cobs:
6-10 corn cobs – uncooked, without kernels
1 onion, chopped
1 leek, white part only
2 cloves garlic
1 whole clove (the sweet type, not the garlic type)
2 thyme sprigs
4 quarts cold water
Combine all ingredients in a stockpot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, skimming as needed, for 45 minutes. Taste, and if flavorful, remove from the heat and strain through a fine-mesh sieve. If a stronger flavor is preferred, continue cooking for an additional 15 to 20 minutes before straining. Makes about 4 quarts.
The note in the cookbook about this recipe: “this is the quickest and most flavorful vegetable stock around. So don’t serve corn on the cob, instead, cut the kernels off and cook them separately, then use the corn cobs as the “bones” for a stock.”
Note2: I tried this with cobs from cooked corn on the cob, and the flavor was subtle. The note with the recipe suggests that cobs from uncooked corn would have a more intense corn flavor.
Source: Mustards Grill Napa Valley Cookbook, by Cindy Pawlcyn, with Brigid Callinan. 2001. Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, California. p. 220.
Corn Cob Syrup
6 medium corn cobs, kernels scraped off for another use, cobs broken into chunks
1 ¼ cups (packed) dark brown sugar
Place the cobs and 4 cups of water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook briskly over medium-high heat for 30 to 45 minutes, until liquid is reduced to about 2 cups.
Lift the cobs out of the liquid with a slotted spoon or wire strainer and discard. Add the sugar to the saucepan and bring to boil again, stirring to make sure the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat to maintain a brisk simmer without boiling over and cook until the liquid is reduced to about 1 cup and has the consistency of maple syrup, 10 to 20 minutes (depends on the size of pan).
Use right away, or cool and store in the refrigerator. Keeps indefinitely. Makes 1 cup.
The note in the cookbook about this recipe: “Perfect for pancakes, waffles, or oatmeal, it transforms corn fritters from a vegetable side dish into a quick dessert.”
Note2: I have not tried this yet, but it sounds intriguing!
Source Smith & Hawken Gardeners’ Community Cookbook. Compiled and written by Victoria Wise. 1999. Workman Publishing Company, New York, New York. p.256.
Black Raspberry and Beet Brownies with Chocolate Sour Cream Topping
4 ounces of unsweetened chocolate
8 Tablespoons (1/4 pound) butter, room temp
4 small trimmed beets, cooked, peeled and puréed (~ ½ pound)
¾ cup black raspberry jam
2 large eggs
1 ½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1 recipe chocolate sour cream topping (optional)
Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a 13×9 inch pan.
Place the chocolate and butter in a saucepan or microwave bowl and heat until melted. Add the beets and ¼ cup of the jam and whisk to smooth. Set aside.
Crack the eggs into a large bowl, add the salt and beat until foamy. Add the sugar and vanilla, whisking until blended. Whisk in chocolate-beet mixture, add the flour and continue mixing until blended into a batter. Pour the batter into the baking pan.
Gently melt the remaining ½ cup jam without boiling (can use the microwave), and drizzle over the top of the batter. Use a knife to make a swirled pattern, lightly cutting through the batter. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Remove from oven and cool brownies before spreading topping onto the brownies (if using).
Will keep for up to 5 days if refrigerated.
Chocolate-Sour Cream Topping (optional)
5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted
1/3 cup sour cream (or yogurt)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Spread on cooled brownies immediately.
Note: These are very rich with the topping, which can be omitted.
Source Smith & Hawken Gardeners’ Community Cookbook. Compiled and written by Victoria Wise. 1999. Workman Publishing Company, New York, New York. p. 256.
CREAMED CHARD or BLETTES A LA CREME from Vogue, May 1960
This is a very everyday dish in the southern Rhone country. Just how good it is depends mainly upon how much care one takes over the cream sauce. For 1 1/2 lb.s of blettes or poiree, the chard which one sees displayed for sale in huge bundles in every market in the southern Rhone country make a cream sauce with 1 1/2 oz. of butter, 2 tablespoons of flour, 3/4 pint of milk, seasonings of salt, pepper and nutmeg and about 3 oz. of double cream.
Melt the butter; then, off the stove, stir in the flour. When it is smooth start adding the warmed milk, little by little. When the mixture looks creamy, return the saucepan to a very low heat, add the rest of the milk. Season lightly with salt, freshly milled pepper and a scrap of nutmeg. Let the sauce almost imperceptibly bubble for fifteen to twenty minutes, stirring frequently.
Now add the cream. The sauce should be very smooth, ivory coloured and no thicker than cream. You can now if you like add a tablespoon or two of finely grated Gruyere or Parmesan cheese, just as a seasoning. And if your sauce has turned lumpy, press it through a sieve.
Clean the chard, discard the hard leaf stalks and central veins, cook it in just a very little water, salt it lightly half way through the cooking. Drain it in a colander, press out excess moisture by putting a plate and weight on top. Chop it roughly.
In a gratin dish pour a little of your cream sauce. On top put the chard and cover with the rest of the sauce. The gratin dish should be quite full. Spread a few tiny knobs of butter over the surface, heat in a moderate oven, 350 degrees F., for about 20 minutes, until the sauce is just faintly golden and bubbling.
Of course, all this is a trouble to do, but it makes an excellent and not very expensive first dish for a luncheon for four people. It is one I often serve before a simple meat dish, beef, lamb or veal, which is probably already cooking in the oven before the vegetable dish goes in.