I can’t believe we’re more than six months into the pandemic. I hope you and your families remain safe, healthy, and, most importantly, sane. With all the demands on my time (not), I still can’t get it together to write blog posts.
Earlier in the month, we made So-Good Miso Corn. At our house, corn is usually served on the cob. Microwave and serve. Summer sweet corn stands on its own. We prefer it plain (no butter). It can’t get any simpler. However, this recipe provided an excuse to dress it up a little bit.
The kernels are cut off the cob and sautéed in oil to char a bit. Then, you add butter and miso, adding a depth of flavor plus some umami. Some spices (za’atar, cayenne, and some fresh scallion) finish things off. We truly enjoyed this twist on corn with dinner. It wasn’t even that much more effort than plain microwaved corn, and so delicious! I served the corn alongside that other star of late summer dining, a tomato tart for a perfect meal.
This week, I embraced Salted-Chocolate Hot Fudge Sundaes. There’s almost a full pound of chocolate involved with this recipe. I’ll be honest, though I hope we can still be friends… I am not a chocoholic, and I don’t love ice cream. On the ice cream front, I do love ice cream outing especially if a top-down convertible ride is involved in reaching the destination. That’s leftover from childhood, but fortunately, Howard shares enthusiasm. Of course, the pandemic summer of 2020 has limited those options. Further insight on my ice cream philosophy: my preferred flavors reflect my view of ice cream as a vehicle for pieces (such as chocolate chips, heath bars, chopped up brownies or other such add-ins). Plain ice cream flavors are better served as the foundation for hot fudge. This is a long-winded way to say that I was probably going to like these sundaes.
The first step is making the salted-chocolate bits. You melt bittersweet chocolate, stir in some fleur de sel, then spread it into a thin layer to harden back up in the freezer. You might think “why not just chop of the chocolate and use that?” Non-chocoholic that I am, I will tell you that it’s worth the extra step. Just as salted caramel is a worthwhile enhancement to dulce de leche, the salt in the chocolate bits makes a difference.
Next you chop more chocolate and add cream, sugar, and corn syrup to make the simplest hot fudge I’ve ever made. Simple and so delicious. Before you’re ready to compose your sundaes, you also need to toast some slivered almonds. And, of course, you need to select your ice cream flavors. This recipe suggests vanilla and coffee ice creams. We have at least a dozen pints in the freezer (yes, really), none of them plain, so I picked the Ben & Jerry’s Coffee Toffee Crunch as the closest to coffee or vanilla and one that wouldn’t clash with the other sundae ingredients. (Note that most of the ice cream in the freezer is for Howard, not me…)
No one really needs instructions to make a sundae, but I really like how Dorie’s recipe sprinkles chocolate bits and almonds underneath the first layer of ice cream. Then it’s standard assembly: ice cream, hot fudge, more chocolate bits and almonds, followed by a second layer of ice cream, hot fudge and bits and nuts. Pretty decadent, but also quite wonderful. The heath bars in the ice cream weren’t shabby either, though I’ll admit that they might have pushed things over the top. We were both quite happy with this dessert!
So, I highly recommend you try both of these recipes. You can find them in Dorie Greenspan’s Everyday Dorie. The corn is on page 216 and the sundaes on page 297. Corn is almost out of season, so be sure to try that one soon. If you’re curious what other people thought of these recipes, you can find reviews from my Cook the Book Friday friends here for the corn and here for the sundaes.
Be safe! XO
Though the journey through My Paris Kitchen is over, my on-line cooking friends and I are continuing our virtual cook-along with Dorie Greenspan’s Everyday Dorie. Published in October 2018, we’ve been dipping our toes in monthly. In September, we’ll expand our efforts and report on two recipes each month.
This week’s selection aligns perfectly with the season – corn season, that is! Fresh-Off-the-Cob Corn Chowder showcases the sweet corn my household looks forward to all year long. This chowder tastes indulgent and yet, it is reasonably healthy.
The genius of this recipe is to cook half the vegetables in broth until tender and then puree them to make the base. It’s perfectly creamy, without any cream. The other half of the vegetables are sautéed in the fat remaining from cooking a few slices of bacon (OK, maybe not so healthy) and added to the puree. I didn’t even think the bacon was key to enjoying the soup, so it could easily be omitted. The only truly fussy part (which wasn’t a big deal) was fishing out half the potatoes before pureeing.
To reinforce the summer theme, I garnished each bowl with some quartered cherry tomatoes.
I am thrilled to discover this wonderful soup. It’s worth heating up the kitchen.