Posts tagged ‘corn’

March 7, 2012

Corn and Egg Flower Soup

My mom used to make this corn and egg flower soup for me when I was growing up. It would show up on the dinner table on hectic evenings and when someone was feeling under the weather. Although I loved it, I never tried making this soup. But then, a chilly day drew out the memory of sweet-savory corn and egg soup from the far reaches of my mind. I had to have it. As a child, I never knew the simplicity of the soup. All I knew was that it was tasty and warm, and made me feel like I was snuggling with my favorite blanket.

I have recollections of my mom over a hot stove, stirring creamed corn into simmering chicken broth. Then, she would add chopped ham and occasionally some peas. Lastly, she would turn off the heat and mix in some lightly beaten eggs. With a few gentle, swift strokes, the eggs would turn into beautiful flower petals. Really, this recipe is Betty-Crocker simple, but it yields very satisfying results. My mom used to garnish the soup with chopped scallions and white pepper, but I leave out the onions because the kids don’t like it. However, those scallions would have brightened up the picture some.

S asked me last night: “How come you’ve never made this before?”

Just to be clear, this beats the socks off the bland egg drop soup you find at virtually every Chinese-American restaurant.

Corn and Egg Flower Soup

Ingredients

6 cups chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium

2 cans cream-style corn

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp sesame oil

2 tsp Chinese rice wine or dry sherry (optional)

salt and black or white pepper, to taste

3/4 cup deli-style ham, thinly sliced

3 – 4 TB cornstarch, dissolved in 1/4 cup water (more cornstarch makes for a thicker soup)

3 eggs, lightly beaten (or you could just use the egg whites)

3 green onions, finely chopped for garnish

Method:

1. Bring chicken stock to a boil. Stir in creamed corn and simmer for another 3 minutes.

2. Stir in the ham, sugar, sesame oil, rice wine or sherry and salt and pepper. Return to a simmer for another couple of minutes, bringing it back to a boil.

3. Stir the cornstarch-water mixture until well mixed and then pour into the boiling soup. Stir soup until it thickens. Turn off heat.

4. Pour the lightly beaten eggs into the soup and stir gently but quickly until they form thin shreds.

5. Garnish with scallions.

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November 17, 2011

White Bean Chili

I have a soft spot for this recipe. My friend, S, first made this for my family shortly after I had given birth to C. At the time, I was sleep deprived, failing at the transition to having two kids, and so mentally and physically exhausted that I couldn’t bear the thought of cooking. Thanks to the awesome moms in my neighborhood, I had dinners brought to me three times a week for a month.

I distinctly remember the evening S brought over this white bean chili. Everyone was starving, cranky and desperate for comfort and sustenance. In walked S with a big steaming pot of chili. I swear she had a halo over her. And she had an assortment of toppings for the chili: crushed tortilla chips, tomatoes, sour cream, cheese, etc. It was satisfying in all the right ways, and super fun for my daughter who got to piece together her own meal. That same week, I asked S for the recipe and I have been making it ever since. Sometimes, I add cumin-rubbed, grilled chicken; other times, I opt for cumin-spiced, grilled shrimp. In either case, it’s always a hit with the family. If you’re in a pinch, you could easily chop up some store-bought rotisserie chicken.

This recipe is very, very simple, and takes hardly any time to cook. The kids have a blast scooping chili with their chips and tailoring the toppings to their liking. When I packed it for S’s lunch this morning, I put all the condiments in a separate container, so she could create the perfect combination at school.

White Bean Chili

1 TB vegetable oil
2 medium onions, chopped (1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 – 4 cups chicken broth
2 TB chopped fresh cilantro or 1/2 tsp ground coriander
2 TB lime juice
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
1/4 tsp red pepper sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1 bag frozen whole kernel corn
3 cans (15-16 ounces each) white beans, drained (any variety will do — cannellini, Great Northern, white navy, etc.)

2 cups chopped cooked chicken (I just toss some olive oil, cumin, and salt on some breasts and throw them on the grill.)

Heat oil in 4-quart Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook onions and garlic in oil, stirring occasionally, until onions are tender. Stir in remaining ingredients except chicken. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered 20 minutes. Stir in chicken; simmer until hot.

Garnish with shredded cheese, crushed tortilla chips, chopped green onions, diced tomatoes, chopped fresh cilantro, sliced avocado, or sour cream.

October 10, 2011

Flank Steak and Corn & Tomato Salad

S loves flank steak. As in, she eats three servings of it when I make it. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that I craved beef like a lioness when I was pregnant with her. Before my pregnancy, I had gone nearly eight years without eating red meat. But all of a sudden, I had dreams about spaghetti and meatballs, In-N-Out burgers and filet mignons. I gave in to all my urges, which only got worse when I was breastfeeding, and never looked back.

When I opened the fridge this morning, I saw that we had some flank steak left over from last night—but no sides. I needed a side of vegetables, and I needed it quick. There’s a corn and tomato salad that Siena likes as much as flank steak, but I didn’t have any fresh corn. I did, however, have some frozen organic corn. So, I tore into the bag, cut up some cherry tomatoes and strips of basil, and mixed it all together. Note: I used the corn completely frozen. I figured it would thaw and be nice and chilly for lunch. Lastly, I dressed it with a balsamic vinaigrette—one part vinegar to three parts olive oil. S’s eyes lit up when she saw her lunch. That’s my girl.

By the way, Epicurious has the easiest and tastiest recipe for grilled flank steak with rosemary. You can’t mess it up. I usually marinade the flank in the morning and grill it at dinnertime. If you’re on a gluten-free diet, just use tamari instead of soy sauce. Your kids and dinner guests will rave. I promise.

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