Corn, Corn, Corn, Corn…Corn, Corn, Corn, Corn…

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Life with The Wonder Horse continues to be fraught with many thrills and chills.  Last week it was (we think) a badly stubbed toe and accompanying temporary yet frightening lameness.  This week, it’s either a reaction to wearing his protective neoprene boots for too long due to a miscommunication OR it’s sore legs from stomping flies and or running around like a loon after he exercised some poor judgment and removed his fly mask overnight.  It’s obviously one of those times when, as we say in the south, it never rains but it pours. Roy is hanging along for the ride with the Roller Coaster that is Horse Ownership.  The one thing I can say for sure about having a horse is that I never find myself sitting around, bored, and thinking that my life lacks Drama and Excitement.  Roy is the best possible sport about all of it, too.

Meanwhile, it’s late July in New England, and the corn – despite the dreadful weather of the earlier summer – is starting to arrive in cartloads at every market and farm stand.  This enables me to engage in the Time-Honored Approach to Worry:  Distraction Through Cooking.  What we have now are the season’s best tomatoes, the early corn, peaches, and blueberries.   So this week, in lieu of an entertaining story, I’m going to share my favorite High Summer recipes.  YMMV, but these are all in my Permanent Record.

Corn and Peach Bisque
6 ears corn
1 onion, diced
2 good cloves garlic, minced
3 large ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and chopped (peel these like tomatoes, cut an x in the skin and blanch in boiling water)
6 C chicken stock
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 C heavy cream

Strip the kernels off of the ears of corn, and put both the kernels and the cobs in a large stewpot. Put the onion, garlic, peaches, stock, and cayenne in the pot and bring to a boil.  Turn down to a fast simmer and cook, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes.  Cool, then run through a blender to puree. Stir in whipping cream and serve warm.

Tomato and Basil Soup
2 T olive oil
3 medium carrots, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
Generous palm-ful of fresh thyme
2 T minced garlic
1 bay leaf
3 pounds of fresh tomatoes, peeled (cut an x in the skin and blanch in boiling water to peel)
1¾ C chicken stock
big bunch chopped fresh basil
½ C heavy cream

Heat olive oil in heavy pot over medium heat.  Add chopped vegetables and saute until they soften.  Throw in thyme, garlic, bay leaf, tomatoes, and stock;  simmer until tomatoes fall apart.  Add chopped basil.  Working in batches, puree soup in blender.  Mix in cream and season with salt and pepper.  Warm in cleaned pot and serve hot, sprinkled with more chopped basil and tomatoes.

Cucumber and Avocado Soup
1 large hothouse cucumber, peeled and diced
2½C buttermilk
1 avocado, pitted peeled
4 T chopped red onion
2 T chopped fresh basil
½ C seeded chopped tomato
2 t fresh lime juice
4 T plain nonfat yogurt

Combine cucumber and buttermilk in blender. Chop 1/4 of avocado; set aside for topping. Cut remaining avocado into chunks. Add avocado to blender; then add 2 tablespoons red onion and 1 tablespoon basil. Blend until very smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Cover; refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour. Mix remaining 1/4 avocado with remaining onion and basil, tomato, and lime juice in bowl. Serve soup cold, topped with a tablespoon of yogurt and a spoonful of the tomato-avocado topping

Corn Bisque
4 T butter
2 C chopped red or sweet yellow onions
1 large carrot, diced
1 large stalk celery, diced
kernels stripped from 7 or 8 ears of corn (about 7 cups)
1 T fresh rosemary, chopped
dash of cayenne pepper
6 cups chicken stock
1 C half-and-half
1 red bell pepper, chopped

Melt 3 T butter in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, carrot and celery and sauté until the onions begin to become translucent. Add 5 cups of corn, the rosemary and cayenne, and sauté until fragrant. Add stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered until vegetables are tender and liquid is slightly reduced, about 30 minutes.

While the soup is cooking, melt remaining 1 T butter in heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper and sauté until almost tender.

Purée soup in blender. Return soup to pot. Mix in half and half, remaining corn, and the sauteed pepper. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

huey01

Into every life, some horse-generated excitement should fall…like hailstones.

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About Lori Holder-Webb

I'm a Southern Woman by birth and a Texan Woman by upbringing...and yet I find myself living in New England and married to a New York City boy. Up here we use the same currency as we do at home, and I don't need to travel with a passport, but the commonalities pretty much end there. The language is different, the jokes are different, the people are different, and the weather and terrain sure are different too. I moved away from Texas in 2002, and ever since then, I've been the stranger in the strange land... I've had some questions about the name of the blog - if you were not alive, or living abroad or under a rock, or in grad school during the late 1980s, Oldsmobile attempted to shuck its stodgy image with a series of commercials intended to bring brand appeal to the younger generation: this car, they said, is not your father's Oldsmobile. If you have a morbid curiosity, hit YouTube for William Shatner Oldsmobile...it will take you right there.

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