Zucchini pancakes with fried corn & sungolds, for when summer continues to linger…

Zucchini Pancake with Roasted Corn, Sungolds

A rainbow of happy vegetables!

I was getting ready to post about a fantastic braised shortrib pie that I made on a recent rainy day when suddenly the weather here in Portland did a swift about-face. While braising beef sounded good a week ago when it was blustery and cold, the sun is now blazing and we’re enjoying 80 degree weather with only more blue skies on the horizon.

So I decided instead to revisit a recipe that I made a month or so ago, when I was too swamped with summer’s craziness to edit the pictures, let alone write a post about it. And since I’ve still seen plenty of pretty produce in the markets, there’s time left to fit this in before the cold is upon us!

This dish came about because my friends at Gourmandistan posted their zucchini pancake recipe (accompanied by their recipe for a fried corn relish) and it all sounded too good to pass up. My parents had just handed off several zucchini and summer squash from their garden and I’m a sucker for anything with fresh corn so Michelle and Steve’s post was a basically a double whammy of perfectly timed temptation.

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A new pickle will perk up old summer favorites

Pork Tacos w. Pickled Corn

Pork Tacos w. Pickled Corn

These three things are not much of a surprise to anyone who knows me: I love corn, pickled anything (except herring) and culinary magazines. So when I came across a recipe for pickled corn in the latest issue of Bon Appetit, I waited…oh, like two hours before making it.

Seriously. Two hours, no lie. The magazine arrived that afternoon, I leafed through it while basking in the sun and then it was time to start cooking.

My husband and I had decided to make tacos for dinner and I had two beautiful fresh ears of corn that I wanted to use up. I almost just shucked them and added them to the pot of beans but then I gave in and made this instead. It seemed too serendipitous to resist the temptation.

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Messy, awesome & delicious: scenes from a crawfish boil

Portland Crawfish Boil

Crawfish Boil in St. Johns

If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you’re probably familiar with that bridge in the background. It’s the St Johns bridge in Portland, OR and it means I’m cooking at my friend DB’s house.

These pictures were all taken at his Fourth of July crawfish boil. Being a bit crazy, he shipped 45# of live crawfish from Louisiana. Then, worried he would run short on food, he bought an additional 10# of Oregon crawfish. I had no idea we even had local crawfish!

Each batch was cooked in a flavorful broth of seasonings, onions, garlic and lemons. Potatoes were thrown in first and then the crawfish were added. Once they were bright red and cooked through, the heat was turned off, corn and andouille sausages were added and the mixture sat for 20 minutes to allow all of the flavors to permeate.

Then the pot was dumped out on a newspaper-covered table for guests to enjoy.

And enjoy, we did. When I left, completely stuffed full of great food, he was on batch number four, with another 10-12# of live crawfish still remaining!

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Summer succotash & impromptu dance parties

Summer Succotash (a la April Bloomfield)

Summer Succotash (a la April Bloomfield)

My friend DB and I try to cook together as often as possible — switching off Saturdays so we each get a reprieve from traveling (we live on opposite ends of town). Cooking at his house is always a very different experience than cooking at my own.

I’m courteous with my neighbors, but we certainly aren’t close, and on my weekends to host our cook-fests, it’s almost always just the two of us. DB, on the other hand, seems to know everyone within a two-mile radius of his place, and they know they are welcome to stop by and visit whenever he’s home.

At his house, I’ve become accustomed to having a crowd of hungry, sweaty and slightly intoxicated softball players show up (his housemate plays in a league) or perhaps just random neighbors who heard tales of homemade pizza being made. In the beginning, I was a little awkward, as I rarely saw the same person twice. But now there’s a group of people that I feel comfortable with, and the conversation flows as easily as the beer does.

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Corn & Sausage Griddle Cakes: A Match Made in Hog Heaven

Sausage Stuffed Corn Cakes

Sausage Stuffed Corn Cakes

I love corn. There is literally not one thing I have eaten with corn in it that I haven’t liked. Besides just being served on the cob (which is one of my all-time favorite things to eat in the summer), corn is so versatile it can make an appearance in almost anything. I love sweet corn pudding, corn spoonbread and cornmeal in my waffles. I’ve used it to make a sauce for pasta (which turned out delicious, by the way). Heck, I’ve even eaten corn added into desserts like panna cottas and ice cream.

When I discovered arepas (Latin American corn cakes) ten years ago, it was love at first bite. So when I stumbled across these sausage stuffed corn griddle cakes in an old issue of Bon Appetit, I instantly added it to my “must make” pile of recipes. They seemed to be exactly what I love about arepas (crispy outside, soft inside) with the bonus addition of sausage, which was intriguing.

After all, added sausage can never be a bad thing, right?

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Was it Worth it: Are mini corn muffins bite-sized bliss?

Buttermilk Corn Muffins

Mini Buttermilk Corn Muffins

  • The Source: Bon Appetit July 2010
  • The Menu: Mini Buttermilk Corn Muffins (to accompany a lovely beef stew)
  • Ingredient Swap: I detest dill so I used minced green onions in its place. I also used frozen corn instead of fresh.
  • The Background: These muffins happened about a week ago, mainly because I happened to have a ton of buttermilk in my fridge. This recipe hardly made a dent in it, but at least it helped a little. It was also a recipe that has been kicking around in my binder for a few years so it seemed like a good time to *finally* make them! Continue reading