Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 10 March 2011 Contents WHAT'S COOKING
Page 12 | 10 March, 2011
Corn, cucumbers, courgettes and
carrots -- seasonal treats that
add colour, vitality and variety to
Corn -- or sweetcorn -- should be
purchased as fresh as possible
and used as soon as possible
to enjoy its unique flavour and
tenderness. As corn ages, it loses
its goodness and it becomes
starchy and tasteless.
Fresh, raw, juicy sweetcorn
kernels are delicious in salads.
Choose cobs with grassy-green,
tender husks. The silk should be
dry but not brittle.
Store the unhusked cobs of
sweetcorn in a plastic bag in the
Evidence of cultivated corn dates
back over 5000 years. Scientists
believe that corn originated in
Peru and was cultivated over the
generations by selecting plants
that grew the greatest number of
kernels on a single ear.
Cucumbers have been cultivated
for at least 3000 years. They
originated in the foothills of the
Himalayas and eventually found
their way to Egypt and were
subsequently highly valued by the
Romans and Greeks.
Cool cucumbers are delicious in
side dishes with Indian curries.
They also make an excellent salad
combined with diced watermelon,
chopped mint and a little red
onion. Or diagonally cut into thick
slices and pan-fried in butter.
Courgettes originated in the
Mediterranean where they were
popular long before they became
a staple in Western cuisine.
Courgettes are called zucchini in
Italy and Australia.
If you grow your own then you will
usually have enough of the prolific
courgettes to pick while they are
still tiny and have their flowers
attached. The latter are great
stuffed with ricotta, herbs and
garlic, given a light dipping in a
thin batter then deep-fried.
Carrots are native to Afghanistan
and early varieties were purple. It
wasn't until the 17th century that
the orange carrot was developed
in the Netherlands. Carrots grow
most of the year round and this is
the time to plant carrot seed for
your early winter crop.
If purchasing, choose medium-
sized, smooth-skinned, brightly
coloured carrots. Large, thick
carrots tend to be tough and have
The Four Cs
About 8 corn husks -- the leaves
that directly cover the corn kernels
-- are required to hold the batter.
Use paper cases if the husks are
1 cup each: fresh whole kernel corn,
grated courgette, shredded tasty
1 cup flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
salt and white pepper to taste
½ cup canola oil
2 teaspoons sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Choose 8 corn husks that are free
from blemishes. Trim the ends if
Wash well and place in a bowl.
Pour boiling water over to soften.
Drain and pat dry. Tear lengthwise
into 4cm-wide strips.
Preheat the oven to 190°C.
Lightly grease 8-9 holes of a
muffin pan or pans.
Place 2 or 3 strips of corn
husk in each muffin hole at
right angles to each other,
crossing them at the base so the
husks cover most of the sides of
Combine the corn, courgette and
cheese in a large bowl. Sift in the
flour, baking powder, salt and
pepper and mix.
Make a well in the centre.
Lightly beat the oil, sugar and
eggs. Pour into the well and stir
just enough to moisten the dry
Fill each lined muffin hole with the
mixture. Dust with the paprika.
Bake for about 20 minutes, until
cooked and golden.
Serve warm or at room
Freeze if required and reheat in
Makes 8-9 muffins.
Corn and courgette muffins in husks
juice 1 large orange
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons each: olive oil, lemon
juice, chopped coriander
1 teaspoon each: ground cumin,
salt and black pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne pepper
Peel the carrots. Diagonally slice
into 5mm-thick ovals. Place in a
medium sized saucepan.
Reserve a tablespoon of the
orange juice. Pour the remainder
over the carrots. Add enough
water to just cover. Simmer on low
heat for about 2-3 minutes or until
crisp tender. Drain and cool.
Whisk together the reserved
orange juice, garlic, olive oil,
lemon juice, chopped coriander,
cumin, honey, salt, pepper and
cayenne in a small mixing bowl.
Mix the cold carrots with the
dressing and refrigerate until
ready to serve.
3 cups water
Salad: 3 medium-
½ cup sour cream
2 tablespoons of
1 teaspoon of
chopped dill or
salt and freshly
pepper to taste
Dissolve the salt in the water.
Peel the cucumbers and thinly
slice. Layer in a medium-sized
bowl. Add enough brine to just
cover the cucumbers.
Chill for at least 30 minutes.
Drain and rinse in clear water.
Drain again and pat dry. Place in a
Blend the sour cream, vinegar,
sugar and dill or fennel. Fold into
the cucumbers. Season.
Cucumbers in sour
8 slices wholemeal sandwich bread
1 cup whole kernel corn
1 medium courgette, sliced
1 small red pepper (capsicum,)
1 cup shredded tasty Cheddar
1½ cups milk
½ teaspoon chilli flakes
salt and freshly ground black
pepper to taste
Trim the crusts from the bread.
Cover the base and sides of a
lightly greased 22cm square
Spread the corn evenly over the
Arrange the courgette slices over
the top then the red pepper.
Sprinkle with the cheese.
Lightly beat the eggs, milk and
seasonings together. Pour over
Cover and refrigerate for 2-4
hours to allow the bread to absorb
the liquid and the flavours to
Preheat the oven to 190°C.
Bake until lightly browned and
puffed, about 30 minutes.
Great served with a crisp green
Vegetarian summer strata
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