August 2012

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play with your food Simple Sips A homage to summer By Karen Eigenberger Although much of this summer has felt like August already, this month marks the real countdown to the end of the season. My favorite pleasure in August is local sweet corn paired with a Char- donnay (a combination straight out of the food-and-wine-pairing textbook!). One of my favorite dishes? A corn chowder my husband whips up. He's the king of improvising, always manag- ing to throw in something we have on hand to make this soup even more deli- cious. Here is his basic recipe; be sure to throw in your own additions! Summer Sweet Corn Chowder 2 slices bacon, chopped (Nueske's Applewood smoked is the best!) 1 onion, chopped 3 Tbsp. flour 1 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and chopped In Step With Mr. Stripey Heirloom vegetables spice up the produce aisle By Michael and Jean Muckian We planted five kinds of tomatoes in our backyard garden this year and we're quite sure none of them will ripen to a solid, brilliant red. Gone for us are the Early Girls and Big Boys. Instead, we've planted Black Krim, Orange Oxheart, Lemon Boy, Chocolate Cherries and Mr. Stripey, all heirloom varieties and each with its own unique ap- pearance and nature. Heirloom vegetables and fruits have re- or fruit must be at least 80 years old and able to reproduce the same variety from its own seeds. They have delicate skins be- cause they have not been bred for ware- house storage but also have a higher nu- trient profile and should be eaten closer to when they're picked. "They also tend to be delicious because To qualify as an heirloom, the vegetable cently attracted a mainstream following among diners, cooks and canners look- ing for more flavorful strains that haven't been hybridized for mass production. They also have unique appearances and colorful names that add an element of mirth to eat- ing, according to Leah Caplan, chief food officer for Metcalfe's Market. "They look different, taste different and sometimes are smaller or have imperfec- tions," says Caplan. "But to me it's the imperfections that make them beautiful." Metcalfe's heirloom tomatoes, such as Black Krim, Green Zebra and Yellow Taxi, though the supply has dwindled due to the summer's drought. The store also sometimes car- ries various heirloom lettuces and antique apple varieties by fall. stocks several varieties of 70 BRAVA Magazine August 2012 your great-great-grandmother wouldn't have kept planting them if they hadn't been," Caplan says. As for Caplan's favorite heirloom fruits 6 c. reduced-sodium chicken broth Kernels cut from 3 ears corn (about 3 c.) 1/4 to 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream 1/2 c. loosely packed cilantro leaves (or Italian parsely, if you prefer) 2 limes, cut into wedges Freshly ground black pepper Popular add-ins in our house are chopped tomatoes, chopped avocado and shredded chicken breast! 1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, cook bacon until fat renders and meat starts to brown. Add onion, reduce heat to medium, and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and stir, about 3 minutes. 2. Add potatoes and broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to keep mixture simmering. Cook until potatoes are barely tender, about 5 minutes. and vegetables? She loves Blue Pearmain apples because of their purple-blue color and complex flavors. "It's like eating apple perfume," she says. She also appreciates Little Gem romaine lettuce because of the bright green color and the tan, squatty Long Island Cheese Pumpkin because of its rich flavor and low moisture content. I wonder if Mr. Stripey would fit into that category? Michael and Jean Muckian have covered the local food and arts scenes for over 25 and 15 years, respectively. Find them online on 3. Add chicken and corn and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and stir in cream to taste. Heat through. 4. Serve garnished with your favorite additions and pepper to taste. Serve with a crisp Chardonnay—particu- larly one with hints of buttery oak such as the Gilbert Cellars Estate Chardonnay, Verget Macon Villages Chardonnay, Moobuzz Chardonnay or Morin Bour- gogne Chitry Olympe Chardonnay. Then all that's left to do is raise a glass to summer. Cheers! Karen Eigenberger is partner at STEVE'S Wine-Beer-Spirits on Mineral Point Road. Visit

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