“Creamed” Corn

The secret to this recipe is to simmer the corn cobs in the evaporated milk.  This infuses the whole dish with a great, fresh corn flavor.  You’ll love it!

Olive oil

½ onion, peeled and minced

½ red pepper, minced

4-6 ears of corn (2+ cups?), cooked and kernels removed

4 corn cobs, with the cooked kernals removed

¼ cup evaporated skim milk

salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a large saucepan or skillet, over a medium heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil, and the onion and red pepper.  Sauté for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked through.
  2. Add the milk, and bring to a simmer.
  3. Add the corn cobs, with the kernals already romoved, to the milk mixture.  Add as many as will fit in the pan.  They may not all fit.  Cover, and simmer over a low heat for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove the cobs and discard.
  5. Add the corn kernals, and simmer until the corn is warmed through, approximately 2-3 minutes.
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper

Makes 4 servings

 

Last Week

Making pancakes (not from a mix!) with Jaelene

In case you missed my Facebook postings last week (how could that be possible?), here’s what I was up to: I spent the week teaching about cooking, healthy food alternatives, budgeting, and more, for students at The Care Center in Holyoke.  We did this at Amherst College, as a part of Reader to Reader’s mentoring program.  It’s my second year doing it.  And I can’t wait for next year.

The young women at The Care Center are either mothers, or are pregnant. All of them had dropped out of school, and are now getting their GEDs or high school diplomas.  And even better, over 75% of them will go on to two and four year colleges.  It’s an impressive school, with impressive, motivated students.

Of the zillions of thoughts and memories that stand out from last week, three of them have stayed with me:

  1. A guy who was not involved with The Care Center or Reader to Reader, asked why I was doing this.  After all, he said, eating healthy costs a lot, and these girls don’t have much money. His implication was that a healthy diet meant only buying organic foods from Whole Foods.  I completely disagreed.  I believe getting more fruits and vegetables into a diet is crucial, even of they aren’t organic.  And roasting a chicken, even if it isn’t (wasn’t?) a free-ranger, organic, and fluent in two languages, is still healthier than a ¼ pounder, with or without cheese.  In other words, there’s more than just one way to improve your diet.  And it doesn’t have to break the bank, either.  The important thing is to make the changes where you can.
  2. One of the students, Jaelene, said at the end of the week that she usually eats lots of food from McDonald’s.  And that she usually feels gross, and then hungry.  And after eating my/our healthy food all week, she didn’t feel gross, and wasn’t hungry for the whole day.  I just LOVED hearing that.  One reason is because that tied the beginning of the week to the end of the week.  I started by showing them a ¼ pounder with cheese, large fries, and a drink.  $6.73, with tax.  During our week, they ate twice per day.  Fresh fruit.  Eggs.  Roasted chickens.  Sloppy Joes.  Shrimp and chicken Alfredo (healthy version!). Fresh lemonade every day.  And more.  The cost, per person per day, was $6.64.  All of that food, for 9¢ LESS than a meal at McDonald’s that left her feeling gross and hungry.  It speaks for itself.
  3. After being on the campus at Amherst College for the week, more than a few of the girls were saying that they could picture themselves in college.  And they’d never felt that way before.  That left me uncharacteristically speechless.
  4. Okay.  I lied.  I have a fourth thought.  I wish everyone could feel as thrilled as I’m feeling.  It’s just amazing.

Light (and great tasting!) Alfredo Sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil

8 oz evaporated skim milk

1 bulb of garlic, peeled and finely chopped or put through a garlic press

¼ cup parmesan cheese

½ cup ricotta cheese

  1. In a saucepan, over a medium heat, add the olive oil, and then the garlic.  Sautee for 20 seconds, but don’t let it burn.
  2. Add in the evaporated milk, and bring it to a simmer.
  3. Whisk in the ricotta and parmesan cheeses.  Return the sauce to a simmer.  Adjust the flavor with salt and pepper. Add more cheese, if desired.
  4. Serve over linguine, or other pasta

Makes four servings

NOTE: You can also add cooked chicken and or shrimp to the sauce.

Fresh Peach Sauce

This goes well with, well, everything.

 

2 cups fresh peaches, diced, peeled  and pitted  (approximately 5 peaches)

½ cup sugar (use lesser amount if peaches are very sweet)

1 ¼ teaspoons corn starch

1 dash ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

  1. In a saucepan, add all of the ingredients except the vanilla.
  2. Bring to a gentle boil, and simmer for 1-2 minutes, or until the mixture is thickened, and the peaches are cooked through.
  3. Remove from the heat; stir in extract.

Serve warm or cold.

Makes approximately 2 cups

Notes:

  • You can substitute Amaretto (or another favorite liqueur) for the vanilla.  You can add it before or after cooking.
  • There are at least three ways to peel a peach:
  1. With a peeler
  2. With a paring knife
  3. If the peaches are not very ripe, place them in boiling water for 1 minute, and then immediately put them in ice water until they’ve cooled

Lithuanian Lightning Cake

(from Ernest Dzendolet)

1/4 cup butter

2 large eggs

milk

1 cup flour

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 400˚. Grease (butter or spray) and flour an 8 inch or 9 inch cake pan.

  1. Sift together the flour, sugar, and baking powder.
  2. Melt the butter. Lightly beat the eggs, and add the butter. Add enough milk to this mixture so it totals one cup in volume.
  3. Add butter mixture to dry ingredients and combine until well mixed. Mix in the vanilla.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a cake tester (toothpick) comes out dry from the center  of the cake.

Makes one, single layer cake.

Serving suggestions:

  • frost the cake with your favorite chocolate icing
  • sprinkle confectioner’s sugar over the top
  • serve with a sauce, such as peach, raspberry, lemon curd, etc.
  • serve with freshly whipped cream