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.

Grilling Like a Pro

During the summer months our 2-inch thick marinated Rib-eye steaks fly out of the meat cases at Gigi Market. But we always get the question, “It’s so thick, how do I cook it to doneness without charring the outside?”

Here are some step-by-step directions to have you grilling like a pro!

For a gas grill:

1)    The grill should be about 6 inches from the heat source. Place one side of the grill on high, leave other on the lowest temperature, or even completely off. Have a spray bottle of water handy to extinguish any flare up that might char the meat.
2)    Season meat with salt and pepper and place on hot portion of the grill. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until nicely seared; turn 90 degrees and cook another 1 to 2 minutes.
3)    Move the meat to the other side of the grill, close the cover and allow it to slowly cook, about 8 to 12 minutes to desired doneness.
4)    When it is undercooked it will feel spongy and soft; it will barely spring back when pressed lightly with a finger in the center. The meat will get firmer and springier the more it cooks.

If using a meat thermometer:

125-130 F = rare
130-135 F = medium rare
140-145 F = medium
155-160 F = well

Remove the steak from the grill and place on a cutting board and loosely tented with foil; let “rest” for 5 to 10 minutes. Slice steak across the grain to desired thickness.

Note: The same procedure can be used with a charcoal grill, just make sure all coals are to one side of the grill so that you have a cool side to finish cooking the steak without burning.

And, voila! 

You’ll notice a delicious, fresh marinade on my meat, here’s the recipe for that as well!

GIgi Marinade

(Makes approximately 3 cups)

2 small bunches of fresh sage (about 2 ounces)
1 large bunch fresh Italian parsley (about 3 ounces)
3 large sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves striped from stems; stems discarded
4 large garlic cloves, crushed
3 to 4 cups extra-virgin olive oil

In the work bowl of a food processor or blender, pulse together sage, parsley, rosemary, garlic, and ½ cup of the olive oil. With motor running, pour remaining oil in a thin stream through the feed tube. When combined, but herbs still visible, transfer to a storage container. Store refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Happy grilling!

-Laura