Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Summer's End and Lunch with a Friend

It was the tail end of September when a friend rang to say she was stopping by to get a few things.  She was leaving for Europe for a few months, so naturally I offered to make lunch - just listing a few ingredients over a text to gauge the reaction.  Shrimp, corn, tomatoes, feta, roasted, charred - still unsure about what to make.  The past month has been overdosed with the last of late summer's produce and although the weather has been looking gray, in somewhat of a "terrible twos" manner I still find myself refusing to make "autumn" food.  A fear of bringing the end of fall sooner than it intends to get here, if you will.  So instead, at least for now, it's being mentally kept at bay - keeping it a quiet influence and a slow-moving undercurrent of what is really going on in kitchen.  Knowing well that an occasional brisk look in the direction of the small jars of Saigon cinnamon, star anise, and cardamom in September would turn into contemplative stares by mid October and will become a "replenishment urgently needed" sigh by the beginning of November.  Until the last of the farm fresh produce disappears and the feeling of warm sand between the toes by the lake becomes a distant memory, an occasional resurfacing of seasonal childhood should be encouraged.  Because food and a good laugh with a friend may have to be one of the best reasons to be ever so slightly rebellious against nature.

Corn, two ways with Roasted Shrimp
 (c) Annabella's Kitchen.  All rights reserved.

Serves 2

1/2 lb peeled and deveined shrimp
coase sea salt / pepper / adobo / cumin / touch of dried chipotle chili
juce of half a lime
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Toss all ingredients, let sit for 10 minutes.  Spread in one layer on a cookie sheet.  Bake for 5-10 minutes - depending on size of shrimp.

Corn Base
about 3 ears of fresh corn
small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
adobo / salt / pepper 
butter / olive oil
Sautee onion and garlic in butter and olive oil.  Season.  Add corn.  Sautee until tender.  Divide in half.

Corn Puree
smoked paprika
chipotle chile powder
Puree corn mixture adding cream and seasoning until blended well.  Put through a sieve.  Place into a sauce pan over low heat, add butter, mix until melted.  Keep warm.

Corn Salad
halved cherry tomatoes, handful
cumin, to taste
juice of half a lime
feta cheese, handful
cilantro, to taste
Continue to sautee remaining corn mixture until the onions are slightly caramelized.  Add tomatoes, season with cumin and sautee until tomatoes are warmed through.  Squeeze half a lime over the mixture.  Remove from heat, crumble feta over, stir in cilantro.  Plate all components together and serve.


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