Farm Fresh Hudson Red Creamed Corn

I had the honor and priviledge last week of participating in House Beautiful’s 2012 Kitchen of the Year event in New York City, where I was invited to do a cooking demo. Wanting to focus on local ingredients, I decided to make a farm fresh Hudson Red Creamed Corn.

At Gigi Hudson Valley, we buy as much of the local corn harvest that Chuck Mead and Ken Migliorelli will sell to make this creamy Italian take on an American favorite. At Gigi Trattoria, it’s served in individual cast-iron crocks, arriving to the table bubbly brown and deliciously fragrant.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

6 ears fresh corn (about 4 to 5 cups kernels)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, peeled and minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium Poblano pepper, seeded and diced (optional)
2 tablespoon fresh chopped Italian parsley
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup dry white wine (optional)
2 teaspoons sugar (optional—taste a kernel of corn to see if it’s needed)
1 tablespoon flour blended with 2 tablespoons water
1 1/3 cups Ronnybrook Farm milk or half-and-half
4 ounces Hudson Red cheese, in small pieces
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Laura at the House Beautiful 2012 Kitchen of the Year event

Cut the kernels from the corncobs, then scrape the cobs with a sharp knife to get all the milk and pulp; reserve the kernels separately from the milk and pulp. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, until the onion softens, 3 or 4 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high, stir in the kernels, parsley, and thyme, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing or stirring often, until the kernels are cooked and lightly brown, about 4 minutes. Add the reserved pulp, the milk, and the white wine and sugar (if using) and cook until liquid has almost completely evaporated. Stir in the flour-water mixture, then whisk in the milk or half-and-half. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and stir in the herbs. Remove from the heat and stir in the Hudson Red cheese and chives. Serve immediately, or transfer to oven-safe crocks or ramekins, sprinkle the tops with the Parmesan, and broil under high heat until top is bubbly and browned.

Variations:

  • Substitute your favorite cheese (goat, grated manchego, taleggio or even cheddar) for the Hudson Red.
  • Spice it up with some diced jalapeno instead of smoky Poblano pepper. Add them when you sauté the corn kernels.
  • Cream it up: by pureeing 1/3 of the corn mixture in a food processor or blender and adding it back to the mix.

Leftovers: Before adding the breadcrumb topping, this dish reheats well.

Nutrition: Use milk instead of half-and-half to lower the fat. You can replace the Hudson Red cheese with 1/3 cup grated Parmesan to lend big flavor with fewer calories. Corn is rich in vitamins A and C and lutein, a potent antioxidant.

Enjoy!

-Laura

*This dish has been adapted from Hudson Valley Mediterranean.

Fresh Strawberries for the Grill

When you think of summer weekends, you think of cool cocktails, hot BBQ off the grill,  and entertaining. We at Gigi HV also like to incorporate what is fresh, at its peak, and can be had locally.  Right now strawberries are prime! You can even pick your own at Greig Farm in Red Hook. If picking isn’t your thing, come on into Gigi market and pick up a pint or two. We thought we would share a great recipe that incorporates the grill, the strawberries and a perfect meal for your next get together. Enjoy! Let us know what you think.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Strawberry BBQ Sauce

We have adapted the classic pork and applesauce combination by pairing it with strawberries for this late spring BBQ version. This strawberry balsamic glaze is the perfect sweet and sour accompaniment to pork. In the summer,substitute peaches or fresh plums for the strawberries.

Makes 4 to 6 servings
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for brushing the grill
3 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
1 garlic clove,minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives,or a combination of tarragon and chives
2 pints strawberries,cleaned,hulled,and halved
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Two 10-ounce pork tenderloins

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium to large nonstick skillet over moderate heat. Add the shallot, garlic, and chives and cook, stirring often, until the shallots are softened, about 2 minutes. Add the strawberries and sugar and cook, tossing or stirring occasionally, until the liquid evaporates to a few tablespoons, about 3 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the vinegar and simmer until thickened and syrupy, about 4 minutes. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Put half the BBQ sauce in a small bowl for brushing the pork and set aside to cool. Set the remaining sauce aside to serve with pork.

Preheat the grill to medium and brush racks lightly with oil. Rub pork tenderloins with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the pork,turning occasionally,until golden brown,about 6 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and brush the pork with some of sauce,turning and brushing occasionally,until an instant-read thermometer inserted 2 inches into center of the pork registers 145°F,about 5 minutes longer (discard any remaining sauce for brushing). Transfer the pork to a platter,cover loosely with foil,and let rest 5 minutes.

Cut the pork diagonally into ¼- inch-thick slices. Arrange the pork slices on plates and serve with the remaining reserved sauce.

Serving suggestion: The sweetness of the strawberry BBQ make this a perfect match for the slight bitterness of quickly sautéed spinach or Swiss chard. Arugula salad with some Parmesan shavings and lemony vinaigrette is a well-paired cold side.

Variations:

Substitute grilled bone-in pork chops, chicken, and duck for the pork loin.

Note: This recipe can be found in the Gigi Good Food Cookbook, Hudson Valley Mediterranean.