Recipes: corn scones, soup, brulée

  • Updated: August 7, 2013 - 2:35 PM

Take advantage of sweet corn’s brief appearance at markets.

Photo: Bill Hogan • Chicago Tribune,

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Corn Buttermilk Scones

Serves 6.

Note: If you don’t have buttermilk, use 1 cup milk with 1 tablespoon lemon juice mixed in. These are terrific as the base for raspberry or blueberry shortcakes with plenty of whipped cream. Add shredded Cheddar cheese and chopped jalapeños, and they’re great with a bowl of corn soup.

• 2 c. all-purpose flour

• 1/2 c. cornmeal

• 2 tsp. baking powder

• 1 tsp. salt

6 tbsp. (3/4 stick) butter, chilled and cut into small cubes

• 1 ear fresh sweet corn, husk removed

• 1 c. nonfat buttermilk (see Note)

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Cut butter into dry ingredients using 2 forks or a pastry blender until butter is evenly distributed and mixture resembles gravel.

Using a sharp knife, carefully cut kernels off the ear of corn. Add kernels and buttermilk to dry ingredients and stir until just combined — mixture will be a little sticky.

Turn out dough onto a floured surface, sprinkling some flour on top. Gently knead for a few seconds, then gather dough up into a ball. Press down to an even 1-inch thickness and, using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 3½-inch squares and then in half to form triangles. Transfer scones to prepared baking sheet and bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Variation: Add 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese and 1 to 2 finely chopped jalapeños with the corn kernels.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 335 Sodium 700 mg

Fat 13 g Saturated fat 8 g Carbohydrates 48 g

Calcium 148 mg

Protein 7 g Cholesterol 32 mg Dietary fiber 2 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 3 bread/starch, 2 ½ fat.

Hearty Corn and Black Bean Soup

Serves 8 to 12.

Note: This is great when the weather turns chilly later — or rainy now. Pair it with the corn scones or a nice crusty baguette.

• 2 large onions, chopped

• 1 lb. bacon, chopped

• 2 lb. dried black beans

• 12 1/2 c. chicken broth

1 to 2 bottles light-tasting beer, or use 2 to 4 c. water with additional chicken broth

6 ears fresh sweet corn, husks removed

• Juice and zest of 2 limes

• 6 ribs celery, chopped

• 3 green bell peppers, chopped

• 2 red bell peppers, chopped

• 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped

• 3 jalapeños, finely chopped

• 6 garlic cloves, pressed or minced

• 2 tsp. cumin

• 1 tsp. salt

• 1 tsp. pepper

Toppings: Cheddar cheese, sour cream, crumbled cooked bacon

Directions

In a large, heavy pot, cook onions and bacon over medium heat, stirring until bacon is cooked but not crispy. Add black beans, chicken broth and beer and heat to boiling. Once mixture comes to a boil, stir it once, cover it with a lid, and remove from heat. Allow to sit for 1 hour. Return mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour, stirring frequently.

Using a sharp knife, carefully cut kernels off the ears of corn. Add kernels to pot along with lime juice and zest, celery, peppers, jalapeño, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper. Continue to simmer for another 20 minutes, until beans and all vegetables are tender and soup is quite thick. Serve hot, topped with Cheddar cheese, sour cream, and/or crumbled bacon.

Nutrition information per each of 12 servings:

Calories 650 Sodium 1,380 mg

Fat 34 g Saturated fat 13 g Carbohydrates 63 g

Calcium 95 mg

Protein 25 g Cholesterol 37 mg Dietary fiber 20 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 4 bread/starch, 2 medium-fat meat, 5 fat.

Sweet Corn Crème BrulÉe

Serves 6.

Note: This Midwest twist on a French classic showcases the luscious, creamy nature of corn. Steeping the cobs and kernels in the cream imparts their distinct, delicate flavor.

• 8 egg yolks

• 3/4 c. sugar, divided

• 2 c. heavy cream, divided

• 2 to 3 ears fresh sweet corn, husks removed

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a bowl, combine egg yolks and 1/4 cup sugar, whisking until the mixture becomes thick and pale yellow. Add about half of the heavy cream, whisking until incorporated and smooth.

Using a sharp knife, carefully cut kernels off the ears of corn, placing them in a large saucepan. Once ears are completely stripped of kernels, chop cobs into 2- to 3-inch lengths and add them to the pot along with 1/4 cup sugar and remaining heavy cream.

Heat corn liquid mixture just to a simmer, stirring occasionally; do not let it boil. Remove from heat, and allow to steep for 30 minutes. Once mixture has steeped, pour it through a fine mesh strainer into a clean saucepan; discard kernels and cob pieces. Heat mixture over medium just to a simmer once again.

Remove from heat. Slowly drizzle hot cream mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Pour into 6 ramekins or custard cups, and arrange in a large pan. Carefully add water to the large pan, filling to about halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake until custard is set but wiggles in the middle — about 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool to room temperature, then chill for at least 2 hours. When ready to serve, sprinkle 2 to 3 teaspoons sugar evenly over each custard. Use a small, handheld kitchen torch to melt sugar, or place custards under the broiler for a few minutes.

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