Tag Archives: Corn

Fresh Corn & Ripe Peaches = Two Tasty Starters

Two highly anticipated crops are finally available from the local Colorado farmers – sweet corn on the cob from Olathe and juicy, super sweet peaches from Palisade. Sure, you can enjoy both the traditional way – the corn grilled or boiled and slathered with butter, and the peach halved and eaten over the sink so the sun-ripened, sweet juices can run down your chin. But my quest here was to create something different that still made your taste buds zing. How about some Peach Daiquiris to enjoy with a delicious Corn, Jalapeno & Queso Fresco Cheese spread? The Daiquiri is super simple to make with the usual suspects: ice, fruit, sugar and rum – I like the flavor of dark rum but light works just as well. And the cheese spread offers up something refreshing and different with grilled fresh corn, buttery queso fresco cheese and spicy jalapeño.

For those who haven’t tasted queso fresco cheese, it is like the Mexican version of ricotta but with a creamy, salty tang. Made from cow’s milk, it is typically used to finish soups, tacos or enchiladas and is one of my favorite cheeses. Serve the Corn & Queso Fresco Cheese Spread with grilled bread slices, or grilled tortillas (cut into wedges after grilled) or your favorite tortillas chips.

So there you have it, two easy ways to enjoy fresh corn and peaches!
Eat well and share the love!

Peach Daiquiris with Grilled Corn, Jalapeño & Queso Fresco Cheese Spread (print recipe)
Recipe: Melissa Schenker/Foodie for Two
Prep Time: 15 minutes

Peach Daiquiris – makes about 5 cups, about 4 cocktails
5 to 6 cups ice
5 small, or 3 large peaches, pits removed and cut into quarters
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar
6 oz. (about ¾ cup) dark rum (or light rum)
Garnish: Peach slices on a skewer or toothpick

To the blender, add 3 cups of ice and finely chop. If your blender has an “ice” setting, use it to finely chop the ice.

Add the chopped peaches, 1 tablespoon of sugar, rum and 2 cups of ice. Using the “chop” or “puree” setting, blend until the ice is well chopped and ingredients are well incorporated. Taste and if needed, add more sugar or more ice if mixture is too thin.

Daiquiri’s can be made 1 to 2 hours ahead of time; keep daiquiri mixture cold in the refrigerator or freezer and re-blend before serving.  
Serve with a garnish of peach slices on a skewer or toothpick.

Grilled Corn, Jalapeño & Queso Fresco Cheese Spread – makes about 1 cup
1 corn on the cob (or if out of season, ½ cup frozen corn – defrosted)
Olive oil or vegetable oil
4 oz. queso fresco cheese (either regular or Ranchero style)
2 to 4 tablespoons milk or half & half
1 tablespoon finely diced jalapeño
Pinch of salt of pepper
Grilled bread slices, or grilled tortillas wedges or tortilla chips
2 to 3 thin slices of jalapeño
¼ teaspoon corn kernels
2 teaspoons thinly sliced green onions
Sea salt
Fresh ground pepper

Heat grill to medium. Remove the husk and silk from the corn, brush the cob with olive oil (or vegetable oil) and lightly season with salt and pepper. Place the corn cob directly on the grill and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, turning corn often, until corn has slightly softened and grill marks appear. Remove from grill and let cool. When cool, remove kernels from cob: place cob lengthwise on cutting board and using a long knife, slice kernels off one side, turn cob 90 degrees and continue.

In a medium bowl, add the cheese and break up with a fork. Add 2 tablespoon milk and mix well until cheese is smooth and mostly lump-free; add more milk if too thick. Add the corn kernels, jalapeño and pinch of salt and pepper and mix well. Garnish with a few slices of jalapeño, some corn kernels, sliced green onions and some sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

Serve with your choice of grilled or toasted bread slices, grilled tortilla wedges or your favorite tortilla chips.


Quick Lobster Ravioli with Tarragon Butter Sauce

My grocery store recently had frozen wild-caught lobster tails on sale so I bought a few for a later indulgence.  These guys are small, 4.5 to 5 ounces each, and the perfect size for a scaled-down serving. The trick that makes the ravioli “quick” is using wonton wrappers instead of homemade ravioli dough.  Along with the lobster, the filling is the typical carrots, celery and onions with some corn and tarragon. But the taste is anything but typical!  The sautéed vegetables are a wonderful compliment to the rich, sweet lobster.  And the tarragon butter sauce puts them over the edge of goodness.  For future batches, I would give the butter a few more minutes in the pan for a brown butter sauce (gives a nuttier flavor).

To help with the task of getting the lobster meat out of the shell, I rely on my kitchen shears.  Just turn the lobster over and cut down the sides of the thin shell.  Then you can bend the shell open to reveal the wonderfully delicious treat waiting inside.  To quickly cook the meat, I chopped it up, tossed it with melted butter and broiled it for 4 or 5 minutes.  After the vegetables are sautéed, the lobster meat is stirred in and the filling is ready – all in less than 10 minutes!

The ravioli assembly goes quickly so you’ll want to have your water boiling and the butter melting before you start. To keep it simple, I use water instead of an egg wash. Brush the entire wonton surface so the top layer sticks to it (and doesn’t burst open during boiling).  Press the edges firmly closed with either your fingers or the tines of a fork.  The ravioli can be left as whole squares, or use a cookie cutter (2¾ inch diameter) for an elegant presentation.
In my book, these lobster raviolis are a perfect treat for either lunch or a light dinner.

Eat well and share the love!

Lobster Ravioli with Tarragon Butter Sauce
Recipe: Melissa Schenker/Foodie for Two
Serves two foodies – makes 6 ravioli

Lobster Tail
Meat from 1 small lobster tail, 4.5 to 5 ounces in weight
½ tablespoon butter, melted
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely diced carrots (about 1 small)
2 tablespoons finely diced celery (about ¾ of stalk)
2 tablespoons finely diced onion (about ¼ of an onion)
1 tablespoon frozen corn, chopped into smaller pieces
3 to 4 fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
Pinch of kosher salt and fresh-cracked pepper
Ravioli and Sauce
1 tablespoon flour (for dusting cutting board)
12 wonton wrappers
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 to 5 fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
Garnish: Sea Salt, Fresh-cracked pepper

Lobster:  Turn broiler to high, add ½ tablespoon butter to oven-proof dish and put in oven to melt. 

Using kitchen shears (or a sharp paring knife), turn the lobster over and cut along the edges of the thin shell and pull it back to expose the meat.  With both hands, grasp the sides of the lobster (fingers underneath, on the hard part of the shell) and bend out to break the sides and free the meat: if needed, gently cut away any connected meat on the sides.  Pull out the piece of meat, rinse well and remove any tamale (green) or remaining shell; pat dry with a paper towel. 

Roughly chop the lobster meat, add to the oven-proof dish and toss with the melted butter. Place under broiler (about 8 inches from element) and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until meat is white and no longer opaque.

Vegetables/Filling:  Heat a medium skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Add the carrots, celery, tarragon and a pinch of salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often.  Add the onions and corn and continue cooking, stirring often, for 3 or 4 more minutes until onions are translucent and vegetables are soft.  Turn off the heat and add the cooked lobster meat.  Stir to combine and transfer to a bowl; let cool slightly.Reserve the skillet to make the butter sauce.

Ravioli and Butter Sauce:  Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil.  Dust your cutting board with some flour and set up your assembly line: a ramekin filled halfway with water and pastry brush, a cookie cutter (2 ¾ inch diameter), the bowl of filling with a tablespoon measuring spoon, and the wonton wrappers (keep them covered with a damp paper towel).

When the water has come to a boil, return the skillet used for the filling to medium-low heat and add the butter and chopped tarragon.

Lay out 6 wonton wrappers on the cutting board, 2 rows of 3 wrappers, and brush the entire surface of the bottom (3) wontons with a light coat of water.  On the bottom row, place 1 tablespoon of the filling in the middle of each wonton.  Cover with the top wonton wrapper and gently press it on, making sure it’s well-sealed without any air trapped inside. Cut out a round shape using the cookie cutter; use your fingers or fork tines to firm press edges together. 

Add the ravioli to the boiling water and let cook for 3 minutes.  While the ravioli are cooking, increase the butter to medium-high heat and swirl pan often.  Transfer the cooked ravioli to plates and pour the butter sauce over them.    Garnish with sea salt and fresh-cracked pepper.

A visit to Phoenix earlier this month to celebrate Mom’s 70th Birthday:
Picture below: Mom after a great steak dinner on her birthday day (isn’t she beautiful?!)

Picture below: Mom and I at her dinner party buffet with family and friends (my job was the food; that’s a Brandy Old Fashioned in my hand, post kitchen duty!)
With Love, Happy Birthday to Mom!!