So I finally had my hours of chicken stock simmering come to fruition with udon noodles for lunch yesterday…
I found “fresh” (fresh meaning not dried, but in vacuum sealed packages at Costco, so not like, fresh out of a Japanese chef’s kitchen fresh, more like Bertolli pasta that you find in the refrigerated section of the grocery store fresh) udon noodles a while back, and snapped them up, because dried udon is never as pillowy and slippery as “fresh.” They aren’t bad at all, actually, and I think I will get them again next time I head out on one of my bulk warehouse store runs. I took some of my chicken stock that had simmered down enough to make it gelatinous when cold – precisely what I was going for – and brought it to a boil, added some soy sauce, grated some fresh ginger into it, and some chopped scallion greens, and added the noodles. I cooked them until they were heated through, and voila! Lunch! Yesterday was a Thursday, and I am not typically home on a Thursday with my stove and pans and fresh scallions at my disposal, but I had forgotten to bring a wayward router that needed to be sent back to work with me yesterday, so I ran home (I live close to work, which is quite lovely) to pick it up and made myself lunch. I repeated the process this morning and brought my concoction with me to reheat today, and it was delightful. There is still plenty of stock to make wonton soup this weekend. Perhaps Sunday. Not tomorrow though, because tomorrow I will be enjoying the really crappy and rainy weather with my friends the Allman Brothers, tailgating and concert going at an outdoor venue. All day. In the rain. Zoinks. I don’t remember the last time I tailgated all day at a concert under the best of circumstances, and tomorrow, at the ripe old age of 30, I will be tailgating for an Allman Brothers concert. In the rain. All day. But I’ll have chicken wings! And that means I will blog about the food adventure. Oh sweet, I just checked the weather. You know what Sunday is supposed to be like? Gorgeous and 80. I don’t have plans to tailgate on Sunday. Just Saturday. Awesome.
Anywho, the udon was delightful, and would be even more so with the addition of some shredded chicken perhaps, or some bok choy or cabbage or the like. That would be dinner worthy.
Next up, vegetables for dinner, but first, these…
How stunning are they? I want to wallpaper my house with pictures of these beauties. All my favorite colors right there in food form. Gorgeous. They were going to be halved and dressed with tomato vinaigrette to accompany the corn fritters for dinner.
I went back to the well that is Local Flavors by Deborah Madison for the corn fritters recipe. These are fritters in that they have egg and flour in them, but they are not excessively battery-in fact, they are really mostly corn. Very little batter at all. Just enough to barely keep them together when fried, and enough to give them just a hint of comfort food. They have a ton of fresh herbiness and cheese finishes it off. Very satisfying while not being overly filling or fried feeling…
These were tasty, and I didn’t miss a traditional protein at all. They were also really really pretty to look at. Because the tomatoes were heirloom and not bright red, it wasn’t quite as colorful as I had pictured, since the tomatoes didn’t stand out on top of the corn, but I wouldn’t trade the heirlooms for anything, and I could have added some greens to make the colors pop easily. This would be great for brunch or lunch, and they could be served as a side if you needed to have a meat to complete the meal. Shrimp would be great with this. I loved the herbs here. They looked great and were really tasty. I used dill and parsley. You could swap the dill out for basil or something else if you wanted, but I adore dill, and I love it with corn, so I went with that. And now, because its Friday, and because I think it would be nice, and because, ultimately, I think people would like it, and I am nothing if not a people pleaser, I am going to include the actual recipe for Corn Fritters with Tomato Shallot Vinaigrette. Without further ado…
Adapted from Local Flavors by Deborah Madison
3-4 cups of corn kernels (from 4-6 ears of corn)
4 scallions – whites and about an inch of greens, finely chopped
2 tbls chopped dill
¼ cup chopped parsley
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese (aged is even better!)
1/3 to ½ cup all purpose flour
Salt and pepper to taste
Butter or oil (or a combination of the two) for pan frying
Cut the kernels off enough ears of corn to get three to four cups. (The book was more specific. It said to cut the top of the kernels off six ears of corn to get three cups. It also said to then go back over the cobs with the back of your knife to scrape out the “milk.” I recently sharpened my knife, and there was no cutting off of just the tops of the kernels. My knife went to town and I ended up with whole kernels in there, which was fine by me, but it meant I needed less than six ears of corn to get the requisite three cups-I needed four to get four cups-but it also meant that the milk came with the kernels, so there was no need to scrape. I am not sure what Deborah would say to this, but I think it worked out just fine. The additional corn is why the egg and flour amounts are not right on. I am trying with these recipes people, just work with me at the beginning here.) Add the scallions, herbs, cheese, salt and pepper to the corn. Beat two eggs together, and add them to the corn mixture. If it still seems too dry (but mind you, we are not looking for a liqudy mixture at all, we just want all the corn to be coated with egg) beat another egg and add that to the mixture as well. Start with 1/3 cup of the flour and add that to the mixture. If the batter absorbs the flour easily, and looks like it could handle more, add a bit more, until the batter holds together when scooped.
Add a couple of tablespoons of butter, and enough oil to reach about 1/4 inch depth to a frying pan. The goal is not to deep fry, but these won’t give off any fat of their own, and we need enough oil/butter so they don’t stick. Heat the frying pan over medium high heat, and then add about a half cup of the mixture to the frying pan and press down a bit to make a pancake shape. I used my 10″ pan and was able to fry two at a time. Fry for two or three minutes on the first side, until the fritter is able to be flipped easily, and then flip and fry the other side. Both sides should be brown and caramelized. I made four fritters and saved the rest of the batter to use this weekend.
Meanwhile, in another frying pan, I melted a pat of butter and a bit of olive oil over medium heat. I added one small shallot that I had minced, and let it soften, then added about a 1/4 cup of sherry vinegar. Balsamic would work as well. I let that reduce for a minute or two, added one more small pat of butter, and poured it over the tomatoes and some shredded basil to wilt them a little bit.
I dressed the fritters with the warm tomato dressing and poured a lovely glass of gruner veltliner, and dinner was served…
PS: WordPress spell check is bananas. It was trying to tell me that yesterday was spelled incorrectly, because in all the places that “yesterday” was written, it refused to acknowledge that a “y” was there, and didn’t know the word “esterday.” It does this a lot. But the words gruner veltliner? Didn’t flinch. And they might actually be spelled wrong! Like I said, bananas.