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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Eating Summer. A Farmers' Market Plate

Lately, we've been crazed with farmers' market produce. Crazed turned into frenzy when we had our first bites of fresh locally grown corn a couple of nights ago. Talk about fresh. The corn silks sprayed moisture when I shucked them, squirting  my eyes. Loved it. That night, we had them simply boiled, buttered, and salted. Tender sweet  Peaches & Cream  corn on the cob. Summer. We wanted more.

Early yesterday morning, while Michael slept, I snuck out of the house and made my way to the farmers' market.  Being very early, the market was quiet and peaceful. The calm before the storm. I made my usual three passes, while taking mental notes, before getting down to business. Everything was gorgeous. Corn, yellow squash, zucchini, broccoli, tomatoes, blackberries, and swiss chard were everywhere. It was dizzying. Life was good.  I bought everything I wanted, filling my Martha Stewart Tote until it spilled over. I had to stop. Almost.  I had just enough room in my canvas bag for a basket of intriguing green plums that I had my eye on all morning. Done.

We spent a lovely hot and breezy day at the public pool, leaving us tingly, sun-kissed, and heat zapped.

Beaten down from the day-long beating sun, we happily  decided to have vegetables for dinner last night. Vegetables. A plate of summer vegetables. In our house?  Thunder clap?

It was a great idea.  Ok, so we've done the zucchini and yellow squash thing. What we both really craved was something very simple, light, and refreshing. Tomatoes, broccoli, and corn. 

I had to mix it up.....just a bit.

Knowing that we had 8 ears of silver queen in the refrigerator to eventually  butter, smother, and cover, I decided to make savory small corn souffles to accompany the tomatoes and broccoli. By small souffles, I mean really small souffles.

With the addition of fresh cut-off corn, any savory souffle recipe would have worked.  Since I made teeny tiny 3 oz. souffles,  I had to alter the proportions dramatically. I melted 1 tablespoon of butter before adding 1 tablespoon of flour to creat a roux.  Once  the roux thickened and the flour cooked out, I added 3/4  cups milk and 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese.  When the souffle base cooled, I whisked in one beaten egg yolk, fresh cut-off Silver Queen corn kernals, and snipped chives.  After beating one egg white until stiff, I folded the souflle base into the fluffy egg white and poured the mixture into two buttered 3 oz ramekins. Really?   Seriously.  Why would anyone make two tiny 3 oz souffles?  I had to laugh at myself.  Anyway, after filling the ramekins, I slid them into my turquoise  Kenner Easy Bake Oven and let them bake for 20 minutes.
I steamed drop-dead gorgeous Anderson County broccoli until it was perfectly cooked and set it aside. After slicing Pulaski County black and yellow heirloom brandywine tomatoes, I fanned them around our plates before placing the trouble-free corn souffles in the center of our plates, twirling  the broccoli florets around them. Not wanting to muck it up, salt and pepper were the only seasonings.

Specks of chervil and chives finished as garnishes.

All kidding aside, the corn souffle bites were delicious, light, and airy. Sometimes, I have to laugh at myself.

The juicy heirloom brandywine tomatoes and hot steamed broccoli rocked. So fresh. So good.

After devouring everything, we tipped the plates to our lips and drank the remaining juices.

A great way to eat and drink summer.

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