Corn Salad

As we head in to Labor Day Weekend (another excuse to celebrate) and approach the final weeks of fresh corn season, I present to you a very cool corn salad. So put some well-being into your weekend. It’s simple to throw together but packs plenty of wow factor! I grabbed this and adapted it from the August/September issue of Garden and Gun. The recipe hails from April McGregor of Farmer’s Daughter Pickles and Preserves, right here in our own North Carolina, Hillsborough to be exact. Shop there or forever hold your peace. Peace…that’s a great idea!

Salad Corn Salad

So here’s what you need:
6 ears corn
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 small cucumber, seeds removed, and diced
1/4 cup diced jarred roasted red peppers
2 Tbs liquid from red pepper jar
1/4 cup diced Vidalia onion
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs mayonnaise
1/2 t kosher or Himalayan salt
1/2 t fresh black pepper
1/4 cup Julianne fresh basil

And here’s what you do:
Bring large pot of water to boil.
Season pot with salt.
Add corn and blanch 2 minutes.
Remove cobs from hot water and place on paper towel 15 minutes to cool.
Remove kernels from cobs.
Combine all remaining ingredients except basil, and mix well.
Add corn kernels and stir to combine.
Chill at least an hour.
Place salad on serving platter.
Sprinkle basil on top of salad.

Saturday is Game Day!

Son and Father, Justin and Wayne Hardee (L to R), Short Stop and Manager of the 1998 LLWS! (Pictured last week in Williamsport to cheer on the 2017 Greenville team.)

It’s Game Day Saturday, 3pm ESPN. Greenville North State will play for the United States Championship, and attempt to take their talents to the Little League World Series FINALS on Sunday. Yep. That’s what I said…a shot at THE title. That’s a lot for these young boys, their coaches, and families to take in. Well hello world…here comes Greenville, NC. So wake up early, break a few eggs in the skillet, lace up your shoes, jump in, and take heart. Our Hardee Family will be gathering in Raleigh at Gray and Marc’s home to watch together. There will be memories shared of the 1998 series when my brother-in-law Wayne and my nephew Justin (happily pictured above) were on the first ever Greenville team to play in the LL World Series.

Perfect Game Day Snack!

So grab a snack or three, and a beverage of choice, and give an illegally loud Whoop Whoop for the Greenville team!

 

Lemony Chicken Orzo Soup

Sunday Soup Day! Or Any Day of the Week is Soup Day (for Me)!  This is a Software Update for Your Palate. Sleep In and Then Whip This up in a Nano Minute. Trust Me!

I made this for my nephew a few weeks ago when he was recovering from a summer case of pneumonia…cured his ills…may cure yours too!

Soup Summer Lemon Chicken Rice Soup II
1 Tbs olive oil
2 leeks, white and pale green parts, rinsed, halved lengthwise, and sliced crosswise into 1/2 inch slices
4 celery stalks, sliced crosswise
6 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup uncooked orzo
1/2 t kosher salt
1/2 t ground pepper
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 3 lemons
Breast meat of rotisserie chicken, chopped
1/2 cup fresh chopped dill

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat.
Add leeks and celery, and sauté 5 to 6 minutes, until tender.
Bring broth to a boil over medium high heat in large soup pot.
Add orzo and cook 2 minutes less than package directions.
Remove pot from heat.
Stir in cooked onion and celery, salt, pepper, lemon zest, lemon juice, chicken, and dill.
Cover pot and allow to stand 10 minutes.

Serve with lemon slice as garnish.

Hardee Party Animal Crackers

It’s F.R.I.D.A.Y ! Yippee Yah Yea Yummy!
Animal Cracker day was back in April. Oops. I missed that! But here’s something that will put a smile on the face of any child, adolescent, or adult for that matter.

In a large bowl mix together any combination of the following:
Animal crackers
Mini marshmallows, pastel colored if you can find them
Popcorn
Chocolate covered raisins
Gold fish crackers
Craisins
Pretzels

Divide among mason jars
Share with your favorite peeps.

Spicy Sesame Noodles

“It’s just another manic Monday; I wish it was Sunday, ‘Cause that’s my fun day
My I don’t have to run day. It’s just another manic Monday.”
Well said Bangles! Click the link and listen to that fun tune from 1986.
Well we’re going to make this a Meatless Manic Monday. Let’s Go Sesame or Go Home!Starch Sesame Noodles II

Here’s the ingredient list:
6 oz uncooked soba noodles
2 t dark sesame oil
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 Tbs creamy peanut butter
6 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, minced
4 t soy sauce
1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeds removed, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 t red pepper flakes
1 Tbs sesame seeds

And here’s the how to make it magic:
Cook noodles according to package directions.
Drain.
Place noodles in large bowl and toss with oil.
Whisk broth and peanut butter in medium bowl until blended. (May not look smooth.)
Stir in onions, red pepper, soy sauce, jalapeño pepper, garlic and red pepper flakes.
Pour mixture over noodles.
Toss to coat.
Cover and let stand 30 minutes.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving.
Garnish with green onion curls.

Asparagus, English Pea, and Edamame Delight

Happy Saturday. This is the best little surprise mixture ever. Seriously people! Perfect for a quick and lazy weekend veggie delight! The Don is out in the rain and soaring heat swinging at that little white golf ball; and I’m hanging out inside in the cool breeze of my kitchen just testing recipes to share with you. This turned out to be a special delight on the tongue. Canning tomatoes tomorrow! See you next week.

Vegetable Asparagus, Pea, Edamame
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbs finely grated Parmesan
3 Tbs fresh lemon juice
2 t Kosher salt
1 t fresh ground black pepper
2 bunches fresh asparagus, ends trimmed
2 cups frozen English peas, thawed
2 cups frozen, shelled edamame, thawed
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

In medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, Parmesan, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
Cook asparagus in saucepan with an inch of boiling water 4 minutes.
Transfer to ice bath to stop cooking process and cool for 2 minutes.
Transfer to paper towels to dry.
Combine vegetable oil and shallot in small saucepan over medium heat.
Cook shallots 8 to 10 minutes, stirring often, until crisp and brown.
Transfer to paper towels to drain oil.
Combine cooked asparagus, thawed peas and edamame in large bowl.
Pour dressing over vegetables and toss to coat.
Transfer vegetable mixture to serving platter.
Top with shallots and bacon.

Serves 8 to 10.

May prepare vegetables and dressing 1 day ahead.
Cover separately and refrigerate.

Adapted from Epicurious Fresh, Summer Favorites, 2017.

Freezing Fresh Corn

The very best thing on earth after the corn season is over is fresh Silver Queen sweet corn during the winter. So I’m going to teach you the easy peasy way to stock your freezer. I use it all fall and winter in soups, stews, and as a side starch for dinner.  I froze 2 bushels this past weekend, which made 30 quart bags. So to break it down for the less ambitious, 42 ears of corn will make 8 quart sized bags, just half filled, so that they lay flat to freeze. Yummy…So, step by step, here you go.

Freezing Corn I

Bring large pot of water to boil. Drop ears of corn in. Blanch 2 1/2 minutes.

Freezing Corn II

Using tongs, transfer cooked ears of corn to ice bath for 3 minutes to stop cooking process and cool corn. (Make an ice bath by filling sink partially with cold water, and adding ice.)

Freezing Corn III

Remove ears of corn from ice bath and place on kitchen towels to dry for 10 minutes.

Freezing Corn IV

Remove kernels from cob. I find this easiest to stand an ear on the raised part of a bundt pan, letting the kernels collect in the pan.

Freezing Corn V

I use quart size freezer bags to freeze. I fill each bag about half way, so that I can then press all air out of bags and lay them flat to freeze.

PostScript…you have about 3 weeks left here in ENC to secure your Silver Queen corn and get it frozen! Post to the PostScript…It took me one hour to process 42 ears of corn and get it in the freezer. I used 2 pots of boiling water and each held 8 ears of corn at a time.