Sunday, August 18, 2013

Kernels of truth

I never know whether or not to post when I cook something I'm really excited about, but which comes directly from someone's blog or cookbook without significant alterations. For instance, I made this a few weeks ago. It was so moose-huggingly delicious that we ate virtually all of it in one sitting, but it felt plagiaristic to post just to say, "Oh, hi, someone else came up with a wonderful recipe requiring very little talent that I faithfully reproduced!" So when I initially saw this recipe, I was all, "Here we go again."

Never fear, however, for instantly the changes flowed in. First of all, I wanted a lighter, less coconutty broth. I added an ear of corn in addition to the husks, a jalapeno, some scallions, and extra spices in proportion to volume to the broth and boiled it down to about four cups of fresh, corn-scented goodness, then just finished it off with lime, Sriracha, and coconut milk (the combination of which turned it kind of pink). The dumpling mixture got beefed up with some ancho chilies instead of jalapeno, a little extra scallion, and sea salt.

One must trim one's cornsilk before using it to make broth.

Fresh sweet corn is one of my favorite summer foods, raw,
cooked, or anywhere in between.

Again, devoured most of the sixty (!!!) dumplings this ended up making. The recipe was time-consuming, so I could see making fritters or quenelles out of essentially the same ingredients as the dumpling filling and floating them in the broth, or making a creamed soup--strained, of course, to smooth it out--from all these ingredients*. I probably could have saved a couple bucks by using queso fresco or queso blanco instead of cotija, too.

*Actually, that sounds really good. Yet another use for fresh corn before the summer is out.

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