Corn - Related Content

Corn Chowder

Monday, September 25th 2023 6:00 am


Ingredients:
4 T  butter
1 whole onion, chopped
3 slices bacon, cut Into pieces
3 whole bell peppers, finely diced (green, red, yellow, or orange)
5 ears corn, kernels, sliced off cob OR about 4 Cups of corn kernels
1/4 C flour
3 C. vegetable or chicken stock or broth
2 C half-and-half
1 C (heaping) Grated Monterey Jack
1 C (heaping) Pepper Jack
1/3 C sliced green onions


Directions:
In a large pot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Cook onions for a couple of minutes. Add bacon and cook for another minute or so, then add diced bell peppers and cook for a couple of minutes. Finally, add corn and cook for a minute.

Sprinkle flour evenly over the top and stir to combine. Pour in broth and stir well. Allow this to thicken for 3 or 4 minutes, then reduce heat to low.  Add empty corn cobs, if using.  Stir in half-and-half, then cover and allow to simmer/thicken for 15 minutes or so.

Stir in cheeses and green onions. When cheese is melted and the soup is hot, check seasonings. Add salt and pepper as needed and serve immediately.

Food Waste Note:  
If you use fresh whole ear corn, don't throw out the cobs. You can add them to your chowder after you add the broth or make stock from spent cobs.  To make corn stock: Place cobs in a large stockpot and add water to cover the cobs by an inch or two. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 1 hour. Add more water, if needed as it cooks down. Remove cobs and discard them. Divide and transfer the liquid to freezer-safe containers and freeze for up to 1 year. Use in place of water, chicken stock or vegetable stock in soups and stews.  Onion skins, carrot peels, mushrooms and celery scraps can also be added.

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Story: 
This Corn Chowder recipe from the Pioneer Woman is great for fall.  Corn fields are prominent in the Upper Midwest.  Did you know that less than 7% of US corn gets to our tables as fresh or frozen corn and cornmeal?  4% is processed into high-fructose corn syrup.  The rest is "dent" or field corn which becomes ethanol and feed for beef cattle, pigs and chickens.  
It makes me wonder how the upcoming US Farm Bill will support creation, food and farmers, no matter what they grow.  

Pope Francis makes clear in Laudato Si that care for one another and care for the Earth are intimately connected.  He notes that we are not faced “with two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather one complex crisis that is both social and environmental.”  The Farm Bill speaks to both.   Rewritten and voted on by Congress every 5 years, it can support the dignity of all people, especially those in poverty and can offer safeguards for preserving Creation.


Over 76% of this nearly 1 trillion spending bill supports nutrition programs like WIC (Women, Infants & Children) and SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) for low-income people and some of the bill addresses world hunger..  The Farm Bill is on the agenda in Congress now. Many other aspects of the bill regulate the safe use of soil, water, fertilizer and conservation methods to make farms healthy for the Earth.
To add your voice to this issue, Midwestern Franciscan Justice Promoters, including FSPA, encourage you to explore this link through Action Network and to advocate for A Just Farm Bill.

Grilled Corn Salad:  Ensalada de Elote Asado

Tuesday, September 19th 2023 9:00 am

Ingredients:
6 ears of corn
10 scallions
5 T olive oil plus more for brushing grill
1 1/2 pounds cherry tomatoes
1 tsp kosher or coarse sea salt or more to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 C fresh mint, chopped
1/4 C fresh chives, chopped
2 T red wine vinegar

Directions:
1.    Pre-heat the grill to medium, or set a grill pan over medium heat. Once hot, brush with oil.
2.    Cook the corn for about 20 minutes, flipping with tongs every once in a while. Also, cook the scallions for about 10 minutes, flipping occasionally as well. Remove both from the heat when charred, cooked and softened. Set aside.
3.    Heat 5 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the tomatoes, salt and pepper, and cook for 6 to 7 minutes until charred and softened. Remove from the heat, making sure to reserve the oil and tomato juices as well.
4.    Shave the corn kernels off the cobs and place in salad bowl. Cut white and light green parts of the scallions into 1-inch pieces and add to the bowl. Add the mint, chives, vinegar, and the reserved oil and juices from the tomatoes. Mix well. Incorporate the tomatoes. Gently toss and serve.

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Story:  
Hispanic Heritage Month started on September 15.  It honors the culture we call Hispanic, but what do we mean by the word?  When we hear "hispanic", we usually think "south of the US border", people who speak Spanish, immigrants from Central and South America.  Long before the Spanish brought language, Christianity, livestock, rice and wheat, corn (or maize) was one of the staple grains of the western hemisphere.  She/Corn was respected member of the family for native people like the Oneida and the Zapotecan in Mexico.

The recipe for "Grilled Corn Salad" pictured above from includes other flavors of the Western hemisphere like tomatoes, peppers, and onions once found in the wild.  Pati Jinich's recipe was inspired by a pre- Hispanic Zapotecan woman named Abigail Mendoza.  A cook, restaurateur and teacher,  Abigail describes how she “feels her ancestors present” when she cooks. 

Pati Jinich of "Pati's Mexican Table" on PBS interviewed Abigail on the episode called "Queen in the Land of Gods" on Amazon with ads) Learn more about this amazing cook who honors how her ancestors prepared food before the Spanish conquest.  

Interestingly,  Pati Jinich, now a famous Mexican cook and food historian, has an MA in Latin American Studies and is a former political analyst focused on US-Mexico relations at the Inter-American Dialogue.  She has made exploring and sharing Mexico's cuisine her life's work.

Purple Stuffed Bell Peppers

Sunday, August 6th 2023 6:00 am


Ingredients:
4 – 6 purple peppers (or other color), halved lengthwise as on the poles, seeds and membranes removed
2 cloves garlic, minced finely
2 C fresh corn kernels (from 3 large ears of corn)
1 C cooked faro
1/3 C grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 C minced green onion
1 tsp fresh thyme
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground pepper

Instructions: 
In a large pot, heat a few inches of water to boiling.  Submerge the prepared peppers and blanch in the boiling water for about 10 minutes.  Remove with a tongs and set upside down on a towel to drain while you prepare the filling.              Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease an oven proof dish or pan.
Warm the butter in a skillet on medium heat.  Add the minced garlic and saute briefly.  Add the corn kernels and saute another minute, until almost warmed through and coated with butter.  Set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, thoroughly mix the cooked corn, faro, ricotta, 1/3 C of the Parmesan, gren onions, thyme, salt and pepper.  Taste and adjust seasonings to your taste.  
Stuff the peppers and arrange them in the prepared pan. 
Add ¼ C water to the bottom of the pan and cover tightly with foil.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the peppers are cooked and just beginning to slump. 
Remove the pan and sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese on top of the peppers.  
Broil until the cheese melts and becomes golden brown. 


Variations:  You can use another color pepper, although purple peppers are very mild.  For added protein you might also add to the filling cooked and salted ground meat.  For a vegan version, substitute crumbled firm tofu for the ricotta and vegan parmesan or mozzarella for the Parmesan.  If you don’t have fresh thyme, use about 1/3 tsp of dried thyme or another fresh herb you enjoy.  Personally, I like a bit more herbs and spices than called for in the recipe.  If you don't want to buy faro in bulk, try it out with smaller packages found in the rice aisle of your grocery store.  For the recipe above we used a Cheesy Faro mix by Allessi.

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Story:
My daughter planted a variety of peppers in her first garden this year.  They are bountiful and beautiful!  The purple ones, are gorgeous as pictured above by East of Eden Cooking from whom this recipe and the photos come.  She and her husband treated us with this meal recently and it was delicious!  They've already canned hot sauce of varying heat levels and frozen green peppers for future use.  She caught the garden and kitchen bug!  I am grateful and know she will be and do much more than she received from her family.

So many Sisters talk about the values and lifestyles of their parents.  Studying, music, hard work as a family, faith, service and generosity are "caught" more than they are "taught".  Elder Sisters tell stories of the family's love for books and art and their service to others.  A life of dedication to one's one calling allows others to listen to their own.   Seeing adults with strong convictions gives confidence to young people that empowers them to dare to live out their own values and dreams.  From whom did I receive my basic posture towards life?  Are their inherited biases I need to unlearn?  We ask how our own faith in God's goodness and our choices leave a legacy for others to "catch".  


 

Three Sisters Soup

Monday, October 16th 2023 6:00 am

 

Ingredients:  There is no set recipe, but some recommendations are indicated.  Use your experience of soup making to adjust the amounts, if you like!  
2 T olive oil  
1 medium onion, diced
3-6 cloves garlic, minced
4 C chicken or vegetable broth
1 14 oz can fire roasted or regular tomatoes
2 C cubed red or sweet potatoes, removing skin is optional
2-3 C any peeled cubed winter squash
1 ½ C corn, frozen or kernels cut fresh off the ears
1 15 o can black beans, drained or 1 C dry beans, soaked in water overnight 
1 chopped jalapeño, with or without seeds
1 tsp chipotle powder or 1 T sauce from canned chipotles in adobo sauce, adds a nice smokey heat
bay leaf 
1 tsp cumin or to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Directions: 
In a large pot over medium heat add oil and onions.  Saute for 5 minutes until onion is translucent.
Add garlic and saute for 1 minute. 
Add broth, tomatoes, potatoes, squash, corn, beans, seasonings and jalapeno.
Turn heat to high and bring to a boil.
Cover, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 50 minutes or until beans and squash are tender. 
Check every 15 minutes or so.  Add more broth or water as needed to maintain the consistency you like and to prevent burning. 

Variations: 
Use summer squash.  Bring the recipe into spring and summer by subbing out winter squash for zucchini and crook neck squash.
Explore different beans: Black-eyed peas, pinto or kidney beans work well.
Use fresh beans: If you’re not into dried or canned legumes, use fresh green or waxed beans.
Try canned hominy, instead of sweet corn.
Add chilis, canned or fresh, to enhance this soup. Go for mild or spicy.
Thicken the soup by adding some masa harina toward the end of cooking to give the soup body and more corn flavor. Or, using an immersion blender, blend just a portion of the soup to thicken it up.  You can even blend canned pumpkin into the soup stock.
Add animal protein such as shredded pork, chicken or sausage of your choice, such as chorizo.
Add cheese.  This is not traditional, but shavings of queso, Parmesan, or other aged cheese add another dimension of flavor.
Make it vegan by using water or vegetable stock in place of the chicken stock.

This recipe has been adapted from The View from Great Island by Sue Moran who moved from LA to Great Island, NH to Madison, Wisconsin.  Sue loves Midwestern food culture and being near the biggest farmer's market in the country.  Her summer version of Three Sisters' Soup is pictured above.

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Story: 
There is no one authentic recipe for this soup ~ it can be made, and is made, in a variety of ways, with different combinations of ‘sisters’. Recipes for it have been passed down through generations in tribes, and have become more modernized in the process. This version uses chicken broth and fire roasted tomatoes for a flavorful broth, potatoes for their satisfaction factor, jalapeño and chipotle powder for a little kick of heat, and black beans. Tomatoes, potatoes, and peppers are all indigenous crops, native to the Americas.

Three sisters soup celebrates the fall harvest  Three sisters refers to the combination of corn, beans, and squash, as well as to a native American companion planting technique that paired the three crops together for better productivity, and sustainable land use. The three foods have been staples in the diets of many tribes (from the Iroquois in the North, the Chickasaw in the South, and the Hopi and Navajo Nations in the Southwest) over the centuries, and this soup is a celebration of that magical trio. This hearty healthy soup provides a great story and learning opportunity as well!

Meet the three sisters. These three crops not only support each other as they grow, they have been critically important foods to Native Americans, and are particularly nourishing. In three sisters soup corn, beans and squash are a complete nutritional package with carbohydrates from the corn, protein from the beans (they provide the missing amino acids in the corn) and essential vitamins and minerals from the squash.
CORN ~ the tall corn provides support for the beans vines to grow on.
BEANS ~ add nitrogen into the soil to fertilize the corn and squash. These can be fresh or dried beans.
SQUASH ~ this refers to both winter and summer squash, both of which are low to the ground crops which provide shade to keep the ground moist and prevent weeds.
Speaking of Squash:

Check out the Seasoned Franciscan next week for how to roast squash seeds (even touch pumpkin seeds) and season them 5 ways. 

P.S.  If you haven’t yet seen Ken Burns' PBS special on "The American Buffalo", it is another learning invitation for all white people.  It isn't just about Bison as food.  Burns thoughtfully tells the story of the history and tragedy of this important lifegiving animal in Native history and that of our country.  It is often difficult to watch, but Burns offers both challenge and hope.  VLK

Native American Corn Hominy Soup

Tuesday, November 8th 2022 6:00 am

Hominy Corn Soup

Ingredients:
3/4 pound pork loin chops, cubed (save the bones for the soup as well)
2 15.5 oz cans hominy, drained and rinsed
3 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and diced
1 15.5 oz cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. In a large deep pot of salted water, bring the meat (and bones, if using) to a boil. Cook at a gentle boil for 45 minutes. This creates a flavorful broth.
    Add the hominy to the pot gently boil for another 45 minutes. In the meantime, boil the diced potatoes in a separate pot until fork tender, drain and cool to stop the cooking process.
    Add the cooled potatoes and beans to the soup mixture. Add up to 2 C of water to the soup until it is your desired consistency.
    Variations: Pork hocks, salt pork can be used. Omit or limit salt. You can also use chicken thighs and substitute stock instead of water.

Story:
First the chemistry, then the history and culture of hominy. Hominy is processed corn loved for its puffy, slightly chewy kernels. Hominy is the result of a long cooking process in which the mature dried flint (field) corn kernels are cooked with wood ash (aka lye) causing a chemical reaction called nixtamalization. A solution of lye (potassium hydroxide - which can be produced from water and wood ash) or of slaked lime (calcium hydroxide from limestone) is the first step. Next the husked are removed from the grains, rinsed and cooked again. Soaking the corn in lye kills the seed's germs, which keeps it from sprouting while in storage. Finally, in addition to providing a source of dietary calcium, the lye or lime reacts with the corn so that the nutrient niacin (B3) can be assimilated by the digestive tract. People consume hominy in intact kernels, grind it into sand-sized particles for grits, or into flour.  

This food and the process that allows it to be stored for years has been vital to the health and food culture of middle America. It honors their commitment to 7 generations. Many tribes strive to have a 3 year supply of dried corn on hand in case of drought or other hardship. Traders brought maize/corn along all their routes and today, it is often bartered and rarely sold.

Corn is a sacred food and bringing it from seed to table is a sacred process. Ceremonies using tobacco, drumming, songs, chants and blessings are a part of all involved. It is done with gratitude for the whole community. To see for yourself, watch the following videos showing Native people working with corn.

PBS Wisconsin: Wisconsin Foodie
Travel with Wisconsin Foodie to the Oneida Reservation outside of Green Bay, WI to meet Laura Manthe and Rebecca Webster, cousins and members of the Oneida Nation. They are part of a White Corn Growers Cooperative and are revitalizing an ancient heirloom food within the Oneida Nation, White Corn. You’ll notice their values, hard work and passion. Host Luke Zahn gets a personal tutorial on how to prepare White Corn Soup. “It is more than eating a bowl of soup. It feels like you are being woven into a very large story, a very beautiful story.” Watch it here: pbswisconsin.org.

CBS Docs: Stories from the Land
An Oneida chef and a knowledge keeper guide you through the traditional way of making Corn Soup. As we learn about the soup and how it’s made, we also learn about how the process is deeply rooted in the culture. From the way the corn is harvested, to the way hardwood ashes are used as part of the process, to the way the soup is distributed to the elders of the community as an acknowledgment of the work they do. All from a humble bowl of corn soup. Watch it here: youtube.com.

If you would like to be notified when we share new recipes, be sure to scroll to the bottom, provide your email address, check the box confirming you are not a robot, click on a few photos to prove it and click subscribe! You will then receive an email after each new post. Remember, we're always looking for new recipes, so keep sending them to ecopact@fspa.org!

Easy Corn, Beans and Salsa Main Dish

Monday, August 29th 2022 6:00 am

Easy Corn, Beans and Salsa Main Dish

Ingredients:
2 C fresh or frozen sweet corn kernels, thawed in a bowl of hot water
2 C or 1  16 oz jar salsa
1 can or (2 C homemade) black beans, drained and rinsed
2 T corn oil or your preferred salad oil
1 T lime juice or vinegar of your choice. (The tang of red wine vinegar is good!)
1 package of Taco seasoning OR
   - 1 tsp ground cumin
   - 1/2 tsp chili powder
   - 1/2 tsp garlic powder
   - 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt to taste
3 T chopped fresh cilantro, optional
1 sliced avocado on the side, optional
4 C cooked brown or white rice (or cooked grain of your choice) cooked according to package directions (see note below)

Directions:

  1. Combine thawed corn, salsa, drained beans in a large bowl
  2. Add spices and acid.  Stir, tasting for salt or other spices
  3. For a cold salad, mix with the cooled grain
  4. For a hot meal, heat in a skillet and serve over your warm grain. Add lime juice or vinegar as you prefer

Note:
A rice cooker is a great investment! You can cook a full batch and put the remainder in freezer bags to freeze for quick recipes like this. Couscous and quinoa also cook quickly. Cooked bulger works well in this recipe. Find them in the rice or pasta or natural foods aisle. Bulger lends itself to freezing. Use the other half in bread dough or in Greek salad like Tabouli when cukes, tomatoes and parsley are in season.

Story:
Commercially frozen vegetables are typically processed within hours of harvest which preserves their nutritional value. For me, fresh flavor is a great reason to eat seasonally. Local fresh sweet corn is tastier and juicier than frozen or any shipped in from a distance. So, how do we “put up” fresh sweet corn? Don’t let the following 10 step process overwhelm you. Remember, you can thaw a bag of corn in hot water and have sweetness of summer for chowder, salads, salsa, loaded muffins and cornbread for months!

For a complete guide to blanching vegetables, see the National Center for Home Food Preservation.

If you would like to be notified when we share new recipes, be sure to scroll to the bottom, provide your email address, check the box confirming you are not a robot, click on a few photos to prove it and click subscribe! You will then receive an email after each new post. Remember, we're always looking for new recipes, and food stories so keep sending them to ecopact@fspa.org!


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