Cheesy Creamed Corn with Cilantro

Cheesy Creamed Corn with Cilantro
Gourmet | September 2009

1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups chopped scallions (about 3 large)
6 ears corn, kernels cut from cobs
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoons cornstarch
1 medium garlic clove
3 ounces queso fresco or mild feta, crumbled (1 1/3 cups)
1/2 cup cilantro sprigs

Heat butter in a deep 12-inch heavy skillet over medium- high heat until foam subsides, then cook scallions, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add corn and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes.

Stir together cream and cornstarch in a small bowl until thoroughly combined, then add to corn and simmer, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Transfer 1 1/2 cups corn mixture to a blender with garlic and purée until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids). Return
to skillet and cook, stirring constantly, until just heated through. Transfer corn to a large shallow serving bowl and sprinkle cheese and cilantro over top.

Radish Slaw

Radish Slaw

1-2 black Spanish radishes, scrubbed and grated
3 cups finely shredded cabbage
1 cup coarsely grated carrots
1/2 cup thinly sliced green or red onion
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley, cilantro, or mint leaves.

In a bowl toss together the radishes, the cabbage, the carrots, the onion, the lemon juice, the sugar, the oil, the herb, and salt and pepper to taste.

One-Minute Salsa

One-Minute Salsa

1/2 small serrano chile, minced
1/4 small red onion, peeled and root end removed
1 small clove garlic, minced or pressed
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 teaspoon table salt
pinch ground black pepper
2 teaspoons lime juice from 1 lime
2 small tomatoes (about 3/4 pound), ripe, each cored and cut into eighths, or one (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained

Pulse all ingredients except tomatoes in food processor until minced, about five 1-second pulses, scraping sides of bowl as necessary. Add tomatoes and pulse until roughly chopped, about two 1-second pulses.

Fresh Tomato Salsa

Fresh Tomato Salsa

1 pound vine-ripened red and/or orange tomatoes (about 3 medium)
1 fresh serrano or jalapeño chiles
1/8 medium onion (preferably white)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro sprigs
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3/4 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Quarter and seed tomatoes. Cut tomatoes into 1/4-inch dice and transfer to a bowl. Wearing rubber gloves, seed and finely chop chiles. Finely chop enough onion to measure 1/8 cup and chop cilantro. Stir chiles, onion, cilantro, and garlic into tomatoes with sugar and lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. Salsa may be made 1 hour ahead and kept at cool room temperature.

Basil or Cilantro Pesto

Basil or Cilantro Pesto

1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted (or substitute almonds or walnuts)
3 medium cloves garlic , threaded on a skewer
2 cups packed basil or cilantro leaves, rinsed thoroughly
7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch table salt
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Toast nuts in small heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until just golden and fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes.Place all ingredients except cheese(s) in bowl of food processor fitted with steel blade; process until smooth, stopping as necessary to scrape down bowl with flexible spatula. Transfer mixture to small bowl, stir in cheese(s), adjust salt, and serve over 1 pound of cooked and drained pasta.

Classic Red Tomato Salsa

Classic Red Tomato Salsa

3 large, very ripe tomatoes, cored and diced small
1/2 cup tomato juice
2 Red hot cherry peppers, seeded and minced (leave seeds in for more heat)
1 medium red onion, diced small
1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed through a garlic press
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup juice from
6 large limes
Salt

Mix all of the ingredients, including salt to taste, together in a medium bowl. Refrigerate the salsa in an airtight container to blend the flavors, at least 1 hour and up to 5 days.

Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo

2 Large ripe tomatoes, finely diced
1 Garlic clove, finely chopped
2 Red hot cherry peppers, finely diced
1/4 cup finely diced white onion
2 Tbs. chopped cilantro
Salt
Juice of 1 lime or 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

Combine the tomatoes with their juices, garlic, chiles, onion, cilantro, and 1/4 tsp. salt in a bowl. Add the lime juice and taste for salt. Let stand 20 minutes or so before serving. If you want to make it ahead of time wait until right before serving to add the cilantro.

Costa Rican Black Bean Soup

Costa Rican Black Bean Soup

For the beans:
2 c. dried black beans, washed and drained
4 cloves garlic
6 T. chopped cilantro
2 t. salt

For the soup
1/4 c. olive oil
1 clove garlic or 2 finely chopped garlic scapes
1 large onion, chopped
1 hot pepper (jalapeno, chipotle), chopped, optional
2 celery stalks, diced
2 well-packed cups chopped cilantro
1 t. salt
Black pepper and cayenne to taste

Soak the beans overnight in water to cover by 4 inches. Drain them the following day and combine in a large pot with 8 c. of fresh water, the garlic and cilantro. Bring to a boil and cook, covered for 1 _ hours, or until tender, add the salt and cook another 15 minutes until very tender. Strain and reserve all the liquid in the large pot with the beans in a separate bowl.

To finish the soup, put the oil in a large frying pan and set over medium-high heat. When hot, put in the garlic, onions, jalapeno and celery and sauté for 5 minutes. Turen the heat down slightly and sauté another 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cilantro and sauté another minute, then turn off the heat. Combine the contents of the frying pan plus 1 cup of the cooked beans and about 3 large ladles of the strained bean liquid in a blender. Blend until you have a smooth puree. Empty this puree into the pot with the remaining strained bean liquid. Add the salt, pepper and cayenne to taste. Stir to mix and taste. You can add some heavy cream at the end or simply garnish with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of cilantro. Add back in the rest of the cooked beans for a heavier soup, or save them to make tacos later. A little ham or a smoked pork hock also is a nice addition.