Two-Corn and Edamame Salad

Serves 6 to 8.

Note: When taking this on a picnic or to a potluck, make the lemon vinaigrette in a jar with a tightfitting lid, and transport it separately. Toss it all together shortly before serving. Choclo corn (also called “choclo desgranado”) is sold frozen in large bags at Latino grocery stores. Trader Joe’s sells Giant Peruvian Inca Corn as a salted and roasted snack — kind of like toasted and salted corn nuts. From JeanMarie Brownson.

• 1 c. frozen choclo corn, or drained, canned hominy (see Note), optional

• 1 c. frozen shelled edamame or small lima beans, thawed

• 2 c. fresh sweet corn kernels, from about 4 small ears

Lemon vinaigrette:

• 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar

• 1 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar

• 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

• 1/4 c. vegetable oil

• 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

• 1 tbsp. lemon oil or grated rind from 1/2 lemon

• 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

• 2 c. (1 pint) cherry or grape tomatoes of assorted colors, halved

• 1/4 c. chopped fresh chives

• 1/4 c. chopped fresh basil leaves

• 1/2 c. broken tortilla chips or toasted, salted Peruvian corn, optional for garnish (see Note)

Directions

To prepare corn: Heat a large saucepan of salted water to boiling. Add choclo corn. Return water to boil, then simmer until corn is nearly tender, about 5 minutes. Add edamame and return water to boil; simmer until the edamame is nearly tender, about 4 minutes. Add sweet corn kernels and simmer 1 minute. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking.

To assemble salad: In a large bowl, whisk together vinegars, lemon juice, oils, mustard, salt and pepper. Add the drained corn and edamame. Stir in tomatoes. Let stand, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Stir in chives and basil. Serve garnished with chips or Peruvian corn for crunch.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 161 Fat 12 g Sodium 169 mg

Carbohydrates 12 g Saturated fat 1 g Total sugars 3 g

Protein 4 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 3 g

 

Sweet Corn and Chive Polenta

Serves 6.

Note: Look for instant polenta in the imported foods aisle of large supermarkets, or order it online. This polenta is delicious reheated — just stir in a little butter if it seems dry, and also cold with sliced juicy tomatoes and chopped arugula for a summertime lunch. From JeanMarie Brownson.

• 1/4 c. butter

• 1 small sweet onion, such as Vidalia, finely chopped

• 3 c. fresh sweet corn kernels, from 5 to 6 small ears corn

• 4 c. chicken broth

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• 1 c. instant polenta

• Freshly ground black pepper

• Chopped fresh chives

• Small pearls of fresh mozzarella, optional

• Crispy Cornbread Croutons, optional (see below)

Directions

Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until golden brown and soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in half of the corn kernels, and set aside. Purée the remaining corn kernels in a blender or food processor until very smooth.

Heat broth and salt in large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat to a simmer. Whisking constantly, add the polenta in a slow, steady stream until the mixture is smooth. Reduce heat to very low. Cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until the mixture is thick and creamy, about 5 minutes. (Use a splatter guard to prevent getting splashed with hot polenta.)

Stir corn purée into the polenta. Cook and stir on low for 2 minutes. Stir in onion-corn mixture, and simmer a few minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with plenty of chives. Top with mozzarella and/or cornbread croutons if desired.

To make Crispy Cornbread Croutons: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut 8 ounces (about 4 large baked squares) into 1/2-inch pieces. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until edges are golden brown, about 10 minutes. Cool completely. Store wrapped in foil for a day or so.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 235 Fat 9 g Sodium 254 mg

Carbohydrates 34 g Saturated fat 5 g Total sugars 3 g

Protein 6 g Cholesterol 20 mg Dietary fiber 4 g

 

Whiskey-Brined Pork Chops With Tomato-Plum Relish

Serves 6.

Note: From JeanMarie Brownson.

Brine:

• 1/4 c. whiskey

• 1/4 c. kosher salt

• 1/4 c. dark brown sugar

• 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

• 6 bone-in center-cut rib chops, each 1 1/2 to 2 in. thick, total about 4 lb.

Tomato-plum relish:

• 1 lime

• 2 or 3 medium-size red skinned plums, halved, pitted

• 1/2 c. very finely chopped red onion

• 2 or 3 c. assorted colors small cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

• 1/2 to 1 whole small serrano chile, seeded, minced

• 1 tbsp. chopped fresh mint

• 1 tbsp. chopped fresh basil

• 1/2 tsp. sugar

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• Oil for high-heat cooking, such as grapeseed, safflower or sunflower

• Sweet corn and chive polenta, see recipe

Directions

To make the brine: Put whiskey, kosher salt, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce into a large bowl. Stir in 3 cups water until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Add the pork chops, so they are completely submerged. Cover and refrigerate, turning chops once or twice, 1 to 4 hours. Remove chops from brine; pat dry, and refrigerate up to 1 day.

To make the tomato-plum relish: Grate about 1/4 teaspoon of the lime rind into a bowl. Squeeze the lime, and add 1 tablespoon juice to the bowl. Very thinly slice the plum halves and add to the bowl. Place the onion in a sieve or colander, and rinse it under running water and shake it dry. Add to the bowl. Stir in the tomatoes, chile, mint, basil, sugar and salt. Let stand at room temperature.

Let chops stand at room temperature while setting up the grill. Prepare a charcoal grill, and let coals burn until they are covered with gray ash. Or, preheat a gas grill until medium-hot.

Lightly oil chops, then place them on the grill directly over the heat. Cook covered for 3 minutes. Flip and cook the second side 2 minutes. Move chops to the side of the grill with no heat. Cover the grill, and cook until chops are nearly firm to the touch, usually 5 to 8 more minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted away from the bone should register 140 degrees. Remove chops to a platter, tent with foil and let stand a few minutes.

Serve chops topped with the tomato-plum relish accompanied by the sweet corn polenta.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 324 Fat 15 g Sodium 700 mg

Carbohydrates 7 g Saturated fat 4 g Total sugars 5 g

Protein 39 g Cholesterol 119 mg Dietary fiber 1 g