Whether on or off the cob, nothing screams warm weather like sweet corn. Tom Valenti, owner and chef at Ouest (pronounced "west") and Cesca, shares some corny dishes to help get you in the mood for summer. Here are the recipes.
Sweet Corn VoluteTom Valenti
Shuck and clean corn well, cut off kernels and, using the back side of a knife, gently scrape out any "milk" that is left on the cob.
Puree the kernels in a food processor, and strain through a fine mesh strainer.
Add 3/4 of the corn puree and all milk to a sauce pan, and cook for 10 to 12 minutes on low heat. Stir the mixture often. Season with salt and pepper to taste. You are going to stop the cooking when the mixture has lost its "raw" corn taste. Add the butter during the last minute of cooking. Set aside until needed.
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Corn FlanTom Valenti
Preheat oven to 325ºF. Add all ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk together well.
Lightly spray the inside of the tins with a nonstick spray. Fill tins with mixture and place in a baking dish and pour enough water in the dish to just cover the bottom. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and slowly move the dish to your preheated oven. You do not want any of the water in the dish to spill into the flan.
Cook for 50 to 60 minutes, remove from oven. Let cool 20 minutes, then remove one corner of the foil and gently shake one of the flans. Look at the center to make sure it has set. If it looks a little undercooked, put pan back in the oven and check it in another 5 minutes.
When flan is set, reserve until needed. Reheat before serving.
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Crispy Bacon and GarnishTom Valenti
Place a sauté pan on high heat, add the bacon dice and cook until crispy. Remove the bacon but save the rendered bacon fat.
Lightly season the potato dice with salt and pepper and add it to the hot bacon fat. Stir potato until lightly browned.
Add the corn kernels to the potato dice to cook for 2 more minutes. Remove and add the mixture to the bacon dice.
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To serve: Place the flan in a 350ºF preheated oven, and reheat for 5 to 6 minutes or until warmed through. Gently reheat the volute over a medium flame until warmed through.
Invert the flan into the center of a soup bowl and lift off the aluminum tin. Add about 3 ounces of the volute around the flan. Spoon the garnish over the top of the dish and add a little chopped chive if you would like.