Saturday, August 20, 2005

good eatin'

Another food-dominated post here. (I have been knitting and reading too, but nothing significant to report. And writing-wise, I haven't written anything since I did the little vignettes for the Observer City Guide. My brain is a little fried right now with my maternal worries about Ian starting kindergarten. Is he worried? Nope, of course not! But I'm getting some wicked insomnia.)

First off, the star of the show with a recipe: The best corn on the cob I have ever tasted!
Ami sent me the recommendation and the recipe and I am singing her praises to the stars for sharing this one. I know, fresh corn tastes pretty darn good just boiled, but this is corn that has gone to heaven. Salty, sour, spicy and a rush of sweet corn flavor underneath.

Here is Ami's recipe so you too can join the corn in flavor heaven:

4 ears fresh corn

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

1 1/4 cups crumbled Cotija cheese (I substitute pecorino, but any salty, crumbly cheese will do)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup mayonnaise

Chile powder for sprinkling (I recommend Chipotle since it brings out the smokiness of the grilled corn)

2 limes, cut into wedges

1. Start grill. Peel back husks from corn, leaving them attached at the ends and twisting them to make handles. Strip the silks. Brush each cob with olive oil and season with salt. Arrange cobs on the grill with the husks dangling over the sides so they won't burn. Grill, turning occasionally, until lightly charred all over, about 20 minutes.

2. Spread the cheese on a medium plate and the cilantro on another. When the corn is done, slather (my favorite verb in the whole recipe) the cobs with mayonnaise and then roll them first in the cheese then in the cilantro. Sprinkle liberally with chile powder and serve with lime wedges and lots of napkins.

The only thing I have to add is this piece of advice: make extra. You won't want to stop after one ear of corn.

The other memorable eating this week was done with the wonderful women of the "Reading and Eating" Book Group. We read Ideas of Heaven and loved it. It was about time that we read a book that was worthy. The food was loosely derived from the many different settings for the stories and once again, a three-course feast!

I made a pseudo-sorrel (spinach with lots of lemon) chilled soup. (Notice the nasturtium garnishing the plate of cheese and crackers to the rear--Marilyn is an elegant host!)

Then came the plate of great bounty: (clockwise from top) Sarah's amazing tomato pie, Italian bread, Meg's Antipasto salad, Marilyn's grilled Tilapia with horseradish cream sauce, and another amazing Marilyn salad.
Desert was a comforting baked custard that Diane brought accompanied by strawberries.

We haven't decided what book we will read next. Sarah is reading the first few chapters of a book by an Irish woman writer (can't remember the name off-hand) to see if it is worthy. This may be our book selection method now since we suffered through a number of stinkers that we approached cold. If some bold reader can report back on the first few chapters and decide whether they seem worthy of group attention, hopefully the number of books we enjoy reading will go up and the stinkers will go down.

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