A Fusion of Fabulous Flavors Brings Summer to a Close.

Desserts / August 30, 2018

​“You CANNOT leave before you buy some of this Mirai Corn!” Ellen blurted out while giving me a good, tight hug, her 8 hour shift at Providence Produce in Waxhaw, NC, just ending as I arrived. This statement is what real friends say when they know you cook, and that you love buying good stuff.

The corn she speaks of is indeed divine. Sweet like the earth, plump and juicy, and nearly flawless to the eye, Mirai Corn was only available from this market for 8 short days.

Ellen is a foodie (more like a food-nurturer) like me, and she carefully tends to the local produce like a mother hen. Because she expects to see my purchases beautifully plated and deliciously prepared there is no grab and go. My shopping here must be intentional.

“Of course, that’s why I’m here!” When I saw the sign they were carrying the ‘ears of gold’ I nearly missed the driveway as I made the sharp 90 degree turn onto the gravel parking lot already brimming with passionate corn-silk-seekers.“I will tag your photos. Be sure and send them to me!” She adds as she disappears into her car, cheeks exquisitely tinged with the beautiful dirt that only comes on real, local produce.

Because I’m kinda known for my photos and not just my recipes, I make sure my camera battery is charged before I even start getting my kitchen in order. ‘Mis en place’ is essential but I must ‘photographier ma nourriture quand c’est fait!’ The food deserves it.

Now, here’s why I titled the post Fusion of Flavors. There are so many different regional culinary themes in this dish. American, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern. And why not? No one owns a flavor combination. And ‘yummy’ is yummy no matter what. Knowing that this sweet corn deserved the finest preparation, I used one of my favorite recipes for Corn Pudding from Southern Living. Tee’s Corn Pudding is rich, luxurious, and puts the flavor of corn right in the spotlight. Southerner’s just get that it’s about the ingredient. And when you have something sweet it needs to be paired with something that won’t cover the sweet, just accent it. Something that also combines the best of summer without anything being too obvious.
Now for the chicken. I’ve long combined both herbs and golden raisins when making meat patties, especially rosemary — often a characteristic of Mediterranean cooking – to keep the excitement going during the meal. And when I added cream, parmigiano reggiano cheese, and a kick of garlic, I was well on my way to a meal with quite a foreign accent!

But wait. There’s more! I also had to buy the gorgeous graffiti eggplant and heirloom tomatoes they HAD for sale. When preparing them I was inspired to add some cinnamon and chili flakes, (Turkish comfort food spices!) which brought out the perfect heat and helped you taste this compote of vegetables at the top of your palate, leaving the rich umami of cream and chicken for the rest of your mouth to savor. Hot, sweet, spicy, creamy, rich. All those flavors were there in force!
By garnishing it all with fresh basil, I had added the crowning touch to a dish that wasn’t sure where it was from but was happy to cross all the culinary lines. I do know it became an ode to the entire world. Because your foodie friend(s) and fresh ingredients deserve nothing less.

Rosemary Raisin Chicken Patties With White Wine Lemon Sauce

Mirai Corn Pudding, and Turkish Spiced Graffiti Eggplant Compote

Serves 4


ROSEMARY RAISIN CHICKEN PATTIES

Ingredients:

1 lb. organic ground chicken
1 egg
3 T plain bread crumbs
2 T heavy cream
1/3 C golden raisins
1 heaping t fresh chopped rosemary
2 medium cloves of garlic finely chopped
2 heaping T finely chopped white onion
1 t kosher salt
½ t cracked black pepper
2 T butter
2 T light oil
1/3 C white wine
1 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 T heavy cream


Method:

  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Form into 6-7 large patties. Make sure meat is at room temperature before cooking. Bring a large saucepan to high heat, add the butter and oil. Sear patties about 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove. Deglaze with the white wine and the lemon juice, and let reduce by half. About 3-4 minutes. Add heavy cream, taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed, and serve over the patties.

MIRAI OR SWEET CORN PUDDING

Ingredients:

(Tee’s Corn Pudding Recipe for Southern Living – https://www.southernliving.com/recipes/tees-corn-pudding-recipe  I reduced ingredients by two-thirds and it still worked beautifully. Also cooked in casserole dish, not ramekins or custard dishes)
2 C fresh Mirai or sweet corn cooked and cut off the cob, and drained of all liquid (Can use frozen corn as well but adjust sugar as noted.)
1 T sugar (sweet Mirai corn doesn’t need sweetening!)
1 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 t baking powder
½ t salt
2 large eggs
2/3 C whipping cream
3 T salted butter, melted
Butter a small casserole dish well on bottom and up sides


Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare corn and set aside. Whisk eggs until well blended, add melted butter, and heavy cream. In another small bowl add dry ingredients. Sprinkle the dry into the egg mixture whisking until smooth. Fold in corn. Pour into baking dish and redistribute corn evenly. Bake in oven for 40 minutes. Remove with browned slightly. Serve immediately.

TURKISH SPICED GRAFFITI EGGPLANT AND HEIRLOOM TOMATO COMPOTE

Ingredients:

1 medium graffiti eggplant (I love the white dense flesh. Although any eggplant can be used.)
2 large heirloom tomatoes cut into ½” cubes
2 T finely chopped white onion
1 large clove of garlic finely chopped
1 t hot pepper flakes (more if you desire)
1 t good cinnamon (I used Ceylon cinnamon. I recommend you use a high quality cinnamon as the heat and complexity is key to this side dish.)
1-2 t kosher salt
½ t cracked black pepper
3 T light oil
Basil to garnish


Method:

  • Put cut tomato, onion, and garlic in a large bowl. Cut eggplant into ¼ inch slices, lay on a paper towel, salt generously, then cover with moist paper towel. Let sit for 10 minutes. Rinse, pat dry and cut into ½” cubes. Add to tomatoes. Add the chili pepper, salt, pepper, and cinnamon. It should be about 4 full cups of vegetables.
  • Heat a large saucepan to hot and add oil. Sauté until soft and they become a bit thick. About 8 minutes. Can serve warm or cool. Garnish with fresh basil cut chiffonade style.


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