Sunday, July 3, 2011

Still My Favorite Way to Cook Corn...

Corn was on sale $1.50 per 6-pack last time I ordered groceries, so I had no choice but to order lots of corn. I was originally thinking of doing a "creamed" corn with basil (which I mentioned, among other things, in this post), but then the first issue of Lucky Peach arrived at my door, and as David Chang wrote about ramen I remembered how awesome it was making his ramen broth, and then I remembered how I had ramen broth in the freezer... and remembered the dish for which I had made it... and I instantly knew (well, instantly once all that remembering was done) what I had to make with my giant pile of corn: Roasted Sweet Summer Corn with Miso Butter, Bacon, and Roasted Onions.When I made this dish for the first time, I noted "This is one of those recipes that is incredibly quick and easy... once you spend 12 hours making Ramen Broth and an hour or two caramelizing - Oh! Sorry, David Chang: 'roasting' - onions..." (I'm still baffled as to what David Chang thinks "roasting" means, but whatever...) This time I was able to take advantage of that fact. I had both the ramen broth and the "roasted"/caramelized onions in the freezer, and this dish came together in no time (plus, with scallions as the only item I had to buy after deciding what to do with my corn...).
The big bowl contains corn from 18 ears... I didn't measure it (or anything else) for this recipe, because I only make myself follow directions the first time I make a cookbook dish. Two thirds of the bacon was from my stash of homemade bacon (from the end bits that didn't slice up as lovely as the middle part...), which I think definitely contributed to the overall awesomeness of the dish. I bumped up the quantities on miso butter and caramelized onions, too, since I knew I had more than 4 cups of kernels...
God, I love fresh corn... Anyway, the bacon goes into the pan first and cooks until relatively crispy.
The bacon is removed from the pan. There was just over a tablespoon of bacon fat left, so I didn't bother draining it out and just used that in place of the oil the recipe calls for. You're supposed to cook the corn over high heat here, which I did... but I knew from last time that you aren't going to end up with any caramelization that way. Thus, I broke out my blow torch.
This was a really good idea. Aside from adding a pleasing aesthetic component, it also contributed a nice charred flavor... After the blow-torching, the rest of the ingredients (other than the scallions) go in. The dish cooks for a bit, letting the miso butter and ramen broth glaze the corn and spread all the yummy goodness throughout the pan. So good. The scallions are incorporated just before serving.That pork you see in the picture is from a perfectly-cooked pork loin roast. I brined the pork overnight using the pork brine recipe from Ad Hoc at Home (minus the rosemary, since I didn't have any on hand), then cooked it sous vide (vacuum-sealed with a couple tablespoons of lard, just in case) at 140°F for a little over 6 hours. I seared it off in a pan to get a nice crust before slicing.
As you may have noticed, I love cooking sous vide. Despite the joys of perfect ricotta, 48-hour skirt steaks, and absurdly tender and juicy 2-hour chicken breasts, I think pork loin is perhaps my favorite thing to cook this way. This lean cut of meat comes out tender and juicy, cooked to perfection, every time. No fussing around with thermometers or overcooking the outer pork while waiting for the interior to come up to temperature. I can't even tell you how happy I am that I have leftovers of this meal waiting in the fridge to be my dinner... Yay, summer!

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