Summer Vegetable and Burrata Salad

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I’m all about the summer ingredients, and this salad is a great way to get in on it. Use some greenmarket cherry tomatoes, corn and arugula, and alongside some rich, creamy burrata, you’ll be in heaven. I love what the fresh basil and mint do for this salad — the recipe (from Food & Wine) calls for a generous amount of both, and it adds such an awesome array of flavor to this — so much more than you’d get from just plain lettuce (even if it IS arugula). Unfortunately I couldn’t find fava beans for this, but I bet it would make it even more interesting.

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TW’s Tips

  • Buy quality fresh burrata — good grocery stores package it themselves and sell in the cheese section
  • If you’re not eating the salad in one sitting, don’t dress the whole thing so the greens stay fresh and crisp.
  • To keep your basil fresh, snip off the ends and put in a glass of water on the counter.

Enjoy!

Summer Vegetable and Burrata Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh fava beans, shelled (1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 ears of corn (preferably white), shucked and kernels cut off the cobs (3 1/2 cups)
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 4 ounces arugula (6 cups lightly packed)
  • 8 ounces mixed cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped mint
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped basil (see tip for keeping fresh)
  • 8 ounces burrata cheese

Directions

Fill a medium bowl with ice water. In a medium saucepan of salted boiling water, blanch the fava beans for 2 minutes. Drain and transfer to the ice bath to cool completely. Slip off and discard the skins.

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the corn and fava beans and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, just until the corn is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a plate and let cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, whisk the vinegar with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the arugula, tomatoes, mint, basil and the corn mixture and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat, then spoon onto plates. Scoop the burrata into pieces and gently spoon it onto the plates. Season with pepper and serve.

Cheddar Corn Chowder

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It’s been chilly and I’ve been sick, so when I finally had enough energy to leave the house yesterday, soup ingredients were in order. It’s just a short walk from my apartment to Chelsea Market–couldn’t have planned that better!–so I bundled up and set out with my purse full of tissues. There’s a great but small market called Manhattan Fruit Exchange in Chelsea Market that carries some of the best produce I’ve seen–and every kind imaginable, from 10 kinds of kale to real, legit baby corn in a husk (who knew that was an actual vegetable?)–and at great prices since they wholesale it to the Food Network (located in the same building) and tons of other restaurants in Manhattan. They also carry a great cheese selection, tons of nuts and dried fruit and good pantry staples, but don’t come here looking for much in the freezer or refrigerated case–it’s very limited. Definitely worth a trip if you’re looking for great produce.

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And since I was there, I just HAD to stop for a meat pie at Tuck Shop. This was by far my favorite bite on a recent Chelsea Market foodie tour I took with my girls Shahnaz and Anna. It’s delicious crust around perfectly seasoned beef — what could be better? Add some sriracha and you’ll be in heaven. We went to 10 different spots on the tour, so that’s saying something!

Back to the cheddar corn chowder — I chose frozen corn this time around since the fresh didn’t look great, but I can imagine that this soup with fresh, sweet corn would be even more amazing. It’s definitely getting a revisit from me to try that out. But it was a delicious success anyway — you get lots of great bacon flavor by sautéing the onions in bacon fat, and great corn flavor with some heft from the potatoes. A great meal on its own, or add some cornbread or a baguette and green salad (or meat pie) and you’re golden.

This is an Ina Garten recipe–love her stuff.

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TW’s Tips

  • Cut the recipe in half. Seriously, unless you’re cooking for 12 or want to freeze some. It makes a LOT.
  • Use homemade stock if you have it. If you don’t, learn to make it!
  • I used thin-skinned Yukon potatoes — as long as the skin isn’t thick like a russet potato, you’re good. You could even use red-skinned potatoes to give it a little more color.

Enjoy!

Cheddar Corn Chowder

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces bacon, chopped
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 6 cups chopped yellow onions (4 large onions)
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 12 cups chicken stock
  • 6 cups medium-diced white boiling potatoes, unpeeled (2 pounds)
  • 10 cups corn kernels, fresh (10 ears) or frozen (3 pounds)

Directions

In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, cook the bacon and olive oil until the bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions and butter to the fat, and cook for 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent.

Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and turmeric and cook for 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and potatoes, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. If using fresh corn, cut the kernels off the cob and blanch them for 3 minutes in boiling salted water. Drain. (If using frozen corn you can skip this step.) Add the corn to the soup, then add the half-and-half and cheddar. Cook for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is melted. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve hot with a garnish of bacon.

Cumin and Lime Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Spicy Creamed Corn

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Very often I default to a few select proteins for my meals–more often than not, it’s chicken– how boring! I’ll throw in ground beef, steak, shrimp, salmon now and then…but there are so many more options out there. I realized I needed a little variety. For instance, why no pork? Pork is delicious. This Rachael Ray recipe for cumin and lime roasted pork tenderloin gave me the inspiration I needed.

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The pork came out perfectly, still moist and tender, and with some spice and tang from the cumin and lime. The spicy corn was a great side dish — it’s got great heat from the jalapeño. I found some beautiful pork tenderloin at Costco — these came in a two-pack, with two smaller tenderloins in each package. Grocery stores often sell pretty large tenderloins and it can be hard to find smaller ones, so keep your eye out next time you go grocery shopping to see if your regular store sells them.

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TW’s Tips

  • I’m partial to fresh corn (versus frozen, which can get cardboard-y/chewy) — I found some husked ears at Costco and they were surprisingly good and fresh!
  • This does make a lot of pork — I got a little tired of eating it straight up, so I made mini sandwiches with avocado and Dijon mustard on rolls and they were delicious!
  • The corn makes a lot. Unless you’re feeding a bigger family I’d cut it in half and serve with a green vegetable as well.
  • The meat came out just perfectly medium with a little bit of pink left — perfect!
  • If you get a larger pork tenderloin you’ll have to cook it longer. These were a little over a pound each, for comparison.

Cumin and Lime Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Spicy Creamed Corn

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 lbs pork tenderloin
  • 2 limes, juice of
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • Salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves (4 cloves cracked, 2 cloves chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 (10 ounce) boxes frozen corn kernels (or kernels cut from 5 ears fresh corn)
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Directions

Preheat oven to 500°. Trim the sliver skin or connective tissue from the tenderloins using a very sharp, thin knife.

Place tenderloins on a rimmed nonstick cookie sheet; coat them with the lime juice, rubbing the juice into the meat. Drizzle olive oil over the tenderloins, just enough to coat (about 2 tablespoons). Season the meat with the cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper. Cut small slits into the meat and disperse chunks of the cracked garlic cloves into the slits.

Roast for 20 minutes; remove from oven and let rest for a few minutes, tented loosely with foil.

While the pork is cooking, preheat a skillet over med-high heat with 2 tablespoons olive oil and the butter. Add in the onions, jalapenos, bell pepper, chopped garlic, corn, salt, and pepper; cook 4-5 minutes, or until the onions are tender. Sprinkle with the flour, and continue cooking 1 minute. Whisk in the chicken stock and heavy cream; bring mixture to a simmer and then lower the heat to medium-low; cook until it is thick and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add in the parsley and cilantro; taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.

Slice the rested roasted pork; serve with spicy creamed corn.

The Perfect Corn on the Cob

I almost missed the Farmers Market today — between Target, Costco, groceries and laundry — but managed to squeak in at 1:30, score a killer parking spot and dash between stalls before 2 p.m. closing time to collect my bounty. (Okay, I didn’t dash, I walked briskly. Whatever.)

Later can be better at the Farmers Market because vendors start cutting their prices to get rid of as much as they can. But, the trade-off is that everything has been picked over by earlier shoppers.

Not to worry today — I found more amazing fruits and veggies to take home and devour, including tons of pluots, which were to die for last week, and grapefruit, which I have been eating two-to-a-sitting.

But the winner: corn on the cob. Right now, white corn is fresh, sweet and juicy, and nothing says summer like corn on the cob. I cooked it up for a perfect late lunch — straight-up, with butter and salt. Why mess with a good thing?

I love me some grilled corn, but in my humble opinion, nothing beats a simple, boiled corn on the cob. That is, as long as you cook it right. Nobody likes overcooked corn. The can’t-mess-it-up method: put the corn in a pot of water and bring to a boil. As soon as the water reaches a boil, time for three minutes, boiling uncovered. Then turn off the burner and let the corn sit in the water for 10 minutes. Remove from water and eat.

The results: super crunchy, sweet, perfectly cooked corn, in 20 minutes. Mmmm, I love you summer!