Saturday, August 20, 2016

Chili-lime roast corn


If you go to the hill stations of India, particularly those hotspots in the South, and find yourself coming back with neverrending cravings for blackened corn and whiffs of eucalyptus, realize that it is common phenomenon, you aren't and will never be alone. It stays with you the rest of your life.  

Ramshackle pushcarts edge up midst backsplashes of similar atmospheric quality, across the country-misty mountains, roadside tourist spots, and breezy beachfronts. The vendors that supply from these could teach the world all it needs to know about beautifying bhutta (bhutta transl:corn). Their product: chili crusted, charred corn, wrapped in recycled newspaper that meets higher purposes. Yes, these coaltopped mobile stoves are the benchmark, true exemplar, of how smoking hot flamegrills should be done.

Of course, roasting corn in crisp climates is clearly more comfortable than cooking it, possibly on the pavement, which on most days, if ambition struck, is my reality, because we all know I reside in the Land of Perpetual Climatic Inferno. 

Still, taking the prospect from Indian streetcart to the streets of Southwest US is an insanely delicious undertaking, one that's both delight and privilege for myself to be able to wax poetic of, share knowledge with and hopefully get you on the bandwagon to. Hereafter, maneuvering maize to exotic magnificence must be the diktat that we all strive for.
It's a superb way to do onthecob, incredibly light with a terrific lime/powdered red pepper/salt ratio. The copybook black and white sprinkle, as good as it is, gets an annex of two more components, giving maize mucho gravitas. Wee smears of butter do great here as well, but can be totally optional. The best part: lime wedges become the ultimate utensil serving a threefold duty of juicer, butter baster, and spicerubber. Bright pops of utter taste and zing emerge from the coalesce of spice/smoke/sweet/tang gifting the whole scene with a quaint, albeit grand, flavor finale. 

That August could be the best and possibly the last month ever to carry off this brilliant endeavor where you can buy fresh ears-in-husk for much less than if you drove miles and miles and miles (this may have happened a few times in my life) to the farm and picked them yourself.

So, is there really an excuse for you to wait on this one? Summer's about to disappear( why I'm desperately trying to rush this out the door). I suggest you collect and consume before its all over.
Ingredients:
  • 4-6 ears of corn 
  • ½-1 stick butter
  • 2 tbsp cayenne pepper(Indian chilli powder)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 4 limes halved
Directions:
  • Shuck, wash and dry each ear of corn.
  • Grill corn over medium-low heat, turning each, until browned/almostcharred and cooked through.
  • Take off heat.
  • Smear some butter onto sides.
  • In a bowl, mix cayenne, salt and pepper.
  • Dip each lime into chili salt mixture. 
  • Rub the seasoned lime wedge over corn, squeezing lime juice over it.
  • Serve warm.
Outdoor grills, gastop flames, indoor cast-iron, your choice. 
Fire breather to the spice wimp; the desire to lungburn or tonguewhisper is totally up to you.


August 2015~ Mango kulfi
August 2012~ Pate A Choux

Missed you guys. Our conversations are becoming few and far between. With school in full swing I believe I should hold attendance regularly. Whatever that means.
******

"He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.  And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy." Colossians 1:17-18






Thursday, July 14, 2016

Cheesecake

If I were given the choice to have a single item to file under desserts, it would be today's subject; cheesecake. I confess there may not be a valid reason as to why this Wonderment to Humanity hasn't once featured under BFMK spotlight, an utter shame that confounds me as much as it does you.

You could argue (and I'd agree) that this is the quintessential all-meets-one dessert, in its infinite variations, tiered, airy soft like a mock mousse, still firm to the slice, and never ceasing to make an impressionable, buxom sideways view.  Flavorwise, it is most unlike the frozen grocery staple, one which I may have eaten for many of the BH (Before Homemade) cheesecake years of my life.

I've sectioned this formula as an end-to-end general outline. You'll see, it's clearly magnificent as is, but gets epic ridiculous when adornments and gildings come along for the ride (see fresh fruit, mint notes at screen bottom), being that it would appeal to The Normals as well as The Hard to Please( I'm sure these are only rarities that exist at my table, right?).

It's where I mention the two mouths, who make it test through everything that passes this kitchen and often play up tactics of extreme, mean culinary criticism. The same brutal duo, exercise profuse gratefulness each time a pie is made, where for an instant they sprout wings and halos, and their convincing testimony make for intervals between cheesecake repeats shorter each time.

The basic tenets of airy light cake construction consist of everyday pantry/refrigerator staples, pertinent in rendering harmony and evenhanded bliss between tastes, textures. The result: an outlay of almostcake almostpudding, almostpie becomes the easiest of realities with a few blocks of cream cheese, half a pound of butter and enough cookie sand.

Anything you really consider "labour" is sent to the oven for a good part of an hour. And if you follow the rules the rest of the way, you'll be doing somersaults in the air. Suggestions of an accompanying pan of water, of cake cooled, calmed and collected for further refrigeration are instructional mandates in taking the beneficial to several bars beyond.

As our conversation comes to an end, I urge you to get rolling, and follow through with this spreadsheet while I return to my season of chaos and hope for some long awaited miracles, including a house that selfcleans.
How do you not love edible buttery gravel?  
Ingredients:
Crust~
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ¼ cup almonds, crushed or finely ground
  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Filling~
  • 1 pound cream cheese (2 -8 ounce blocks), softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Topping (optional)~ assorted berries, fruit(my favorite:peaches), mint, fruit sauces

Directions:
Crust~
  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • Stir together crust ingredients until mixture resembles a crumbly moist sand.
  • Line an 8 inch lightly greased springform pan with crumb-butter mixture. Use the bottom of a glass to evenly press the crumbs onto the bottom and an inch up the sides of pan. Refrigerate.
Filling~
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat on medium the cream cheese until smooth and creamy. 
  • Add eggs one at a time and beat well, scraping down bowl between additions.
  • Pour in sugar and beat for 2 minutes.
  • Add sour cream, orange zest and vanilla. Continue beating on medium until all ingredients are incorporated, but not overmixed, and mixture is smooth and creamy. 
  • Pour the filling into the crust lined pan. Place this in the middle rack of the oven. Fill another cakepan half way up with water and place on lowest rack of the oven. This maintains some moisture level in the oven and keeps cheesecake from cracking.
  • Bake for 40-50 minutes until cheesecake is mostly firm with some jiggle in the center.
  • Take out and let cool in pan completely. Afterwards, refrigerate and chill, loosely covered for unto 4 hours.
  • Top with fruit, mint or berry sauce when serving.

Mint. Fruit. Sauce. No sauce. Fancy or as low key as you like. It''s all good.