Sweet Corn Panna Cotta

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity for us. First “Sweet Corn Spectacular” came out, then there was Convergence, and then a lot of very hard work getting a book off to the printer, while gearing up for the release of Spandex Simplified: Fitness & Bodybuilding to come out (August 23!).

Amidst all of that has been doing promotion for Sweet Corn Spectacular – a whole new thing for me, working with an outside publisher and actually having a dedicated minion to arrange such things! I taught a cooking class, gave a few interviews (Like for this article that came out in the Star Tribune this morning!), and even did a live cooking demo on local NBC affiliate, Kare 11, this past Saturday. I think it went pretty well – and they definitely seemed to enjoy my Sweet Corn Panna Cotta!

So, today I’m sharing that recipe here! This is an incredibly quick and easy recipe to make, and one that’s sure to please. Even just the aroma of the corn steeping in the milk/cream mixture… oh, it smells amazing!

You can ladle the liquid into a serving dish or fancy glass to set, or you can grease a dessert bowl or ramekin to allow you to unmold the panna cotta, as shown in these pictures. Whichever way you choose to serve it, this is a great way to have fun with seasonal sweet corn!

Enjoy!


On the set at Kare 11

Sweet Corn Panna Cotta
From “Sweet Corn Spectacular

Serves 4

1 ½ teaspoons unflavored gelatin powder
3 tablespoons cold water
2-3 ears fresh sweet corn, husks removed
¾ cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup sour cream

Optional toppings: Glazed Nuts, Candied Bacon, or Blueberry Sauce (recipes for these in “Sweet Corn Spectacular“.)

Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water in a small bowl and let soak for 5 minutes.

Using a sharp knife, carefully cut kernels off the ears of corn. Add kernels to a food processor or blender along with the milk. Process until corn is rendered into small pieces. Pour into a saucepan along with heavy cream. Heat corn and liquid mixture just to a simmer, stirring occasionally; do not let it boil. Remove from heat, and allow to steep for 10 minutes.

Once mixture has steeped, pour it through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean saucepan; discard kernel pulp. Add sugar, and heat mixture over medium just to a simmer once again, stirring to dissolve sugar. Meanwhile, microwave the gelatin on high for about 15 seconds or until melted.

Once the milk mixture has come to a simmer, remove it from the heat. Whisk in the gelatin until fully incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Add sour cream, whisking until fully incorporated and smooth. Pour into 4 ramekins or custard cups. Chill for at least 2 hours, until set.

Top with Glazed Nuts, Candied Bacon, or Blueberry Sauce, if desired.



Click to view my Kare 11 appearance

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

Roasted Corn and Potato Salad

Today’s recipe is one of my favourite, go-to recipes from my latest cookbook, “Sweet Corn Spectacular“.

When I created this recipe, I intended it to be a roasted take on a traditional — cold !— potato salad. But as soon as the dressing was tossed on the hot potato salad, we couldn’t help ourselves: we were picking at it long before it had a chance to cool. Oh, it was amazing — I actually preferred it hot, rather than its later, chilled incarnation!

This is my ideal vision of a non-creamy potato salad (for creamy, nothing beats my “Grandma’s Potato Salad“!). It has the perfect combination of textures. The sweetness of the roasted corn plays well with the salty, smokiness of the bacon…

… and the dressing is to DIE for! Creating this recipe sent me on a several-week-long cider vinaigrette bender. I had to put this on everything, and found myself making salads just as an excuse to consume more of it!

So, yeah… just an all-around amazing potato salad.

Enjoy!

Roasted Corn and Potato Salad Recipe
From “Sweet Corn Spectacular

Serves 4–6

1 pound bacon, chopped
3 pounds red potatoes, cut into X- to 1-inch chunks
salt and pepper
3–4 ears grilled fresh sweet corn
4 ribs celery, sliced (about 2 cups)
1 medium red onion, chopped
1–2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
½ cup olive oil
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook bacon until crispy; use a slotted spoon to remove bacon from pan and set it aside. Toss potato chunks with bacon drippings. Spread onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil; season with salt and pepper. Roast until fork tender, about 30 to 35 minutes.

While potatoes are roasting, use a sharp knife to carefully cut kernels off the ears of corn. In a large bowl, toss kernels, celery, red onion, green onions, and cooked bacon. Set aside. Whisk together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, mustard, garlic, and ½ teaspoon pepper until emulsified. Season with salt to taste.

When potatoes are ready, mix them into the large bowl of vegetables. Pour vinaigrette over top, tossing to coat. Serve immediately, allow to cool slightly and serve warm, or chill for later service.

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

Breakfast Corn Muffins Recipe

I’m on a “blog an amazing recipe suitable for a weekend brunch every Friday” kick recently, and do I EVER have a treat for you today: These are my breakfast corn muffins, from my latest cookbook, “Sweet Corn Spectacular“!

They’re less a “cupcake without icing” muffin, and more of a “entire breakfast in the palm of your hand” kind of muffin – especially with the sausage version – and a great way to make use of the fresh sweet corn that is popping up at farmers markets everywhere. Because corn is such a versatile ingredient, the possibilities for these muffins are endless. (See below for a few suggestions to get you started!)

Not only are these great fresh out of the oven, they make a great make-ahead breakfast for eating on the go for the rest of the week. Enjoy!

Breakfast Corn Muffins
Makes about 12 muffins

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons honey
2 large eggs
2/3 cup milk
2 ears fresh sweet corn, husks removed

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare muffin pan with cupcake liners or grease well.

Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt, stirring until well combined. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together butter, sugar, and honey until light and fluffy. Add eggs and milk, stirring carefully until well incorporated. Mix in the dry ingredients, stirring just until combined. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut kernels off the ears of corn. Stir corn into batter, just until distributed.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin pan. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, until a knife or toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Variations:

• Blueberry: Add 1 cup fresh blueberries along with the corn kernels.

• Peanut Butter and Banana: Decrease sugar to ½ cup. Add ½ cup peanut butter when beating the butter and sugar mixture and 1 chopped banana with the corn kernels.

• Jalapeño, Bacon, and Cheese: Decrease sugar to ¼ cup. Add 1 finely chopped jalapeño, 6 crumbled slices crispy bacon, and 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese along with the corn kernels.

• Sausage: Decrease sugar to ¼ cup. Add 1 cup crumbled or sliced cooked breakfast sausage, ¼ cup finely chopped onion, and 1 cup shredded cheese along with the corn kernels.

• Sour Cream and Onion: Decrease sugar to ⅓ cup and milk to ¼ cup. Add ½ cup sour cream with the milk and eggs. Add ½ cup finely sliced green onions with the corn kernels. This combination is also tasty with bacon!

Corn Relish – Sweet Corn Spectacular!

My third cookbook – Sweet Corn Spectacular – came out yesterday, and I’m so excited: it marks a couple firsts for me!

It was my first “published through a regular publisher” book, so that was an adventure for Mega Type A, self-publisher-to-the-bone me. I’m happy to report that Minnesota Historical Society Press has been nothing but awesome so deal with, and never made me feel smothered, hindered, or compromised in any way. Those have always been some of my biggest aversions to traditional publishing, so it was all a happy surprise!

It’s also my first cookbook that is NOT dessert oriented!

After my recent reality show adventure, I’ve been more aware than ever that there is this weird “if you bake, you probably don’t know how to cook” stigma. I’ve always cooked like I bake – and vice versa – so that’s always been a bizarre mindset to me. How nice that I get to follow it up with a book that is predominantly savory in nature! (Yes, there is a whole chapter dedicated to desserts, because… really.)

Yes, in Sweet Corn Spectacular, I was able to run free and create recipes using whatever techniques I felt like. There’s some cooking, roasting, grilling… a bit of baking, some brewing AND some canning! Yay, diversity!

Today I’m sharing the recipe that may just end up being the most popular in the whole book, and it’s a canning recipe: Corn Relish.

I left a big jar of this relish at a friend’s house as a welcome home gift. It didn’t take long for her to message me a thank-you, saying, “It’s delicious.” When I let her know that we had plenty in case she ever wanted more, she surprised me with her follow up:

“I will take as much of this corn business as you’re willing to give me. I want to pour it in a kiddie pool and lounge around in it.”

I think she liked it. Five quarts may not be enough: double the recipe and share the joy – it makes a great gift, or contribution to a backyard BBQ party. It’s also a great way to stretch the life of summer’s fresh produce… and my husband puts this on EVERYTHING. In his words, this relish “adds a delicious sweet crunch to ANYTHING”.

Enjoy!

Corn Relish, from “Sweet Corn Spectacular”
Makes about 5 quarts

24 ears fresh sweet corn, husks removed
4 large green bell peppers, chopped
2 large onions, chopped
2–3 large tomatoes, chopped
4–5 ribs celery, chopped
2 jalapeños, chopped, ribs and seeds removed if desired
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup salt
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 tablespoon celery seed
2 teaspoons dry mustard
5 cups vinegar

Use a sharp knife to remove kernels from the cobs, place kernels in a large pot. Add peppers, onions, tomatoes, celery, and jalapeños.

In a medium bowl, mix together sugar, salt, turmeric, celery seed, and dry mustard. Add mixture to the pot, and stir well before adding the vinegar.

Heat to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 40 minutes.

Ladle into hot, sterilized canning jars. Affix sterilized lids and rims, and process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. (Add 5 minutes for altitudes above 1,000 feet; add 10 minutes for altitudes over 6,000 feet.) Allow to cool overnight.

Check all lids for a proper seal: they should have sucked down into a vacuum seal as the jars cooled. Store properly sealed jars for later use; refrigerate any that did not seal for use in the coming weeks.