The Gourmet Touch: Corn and broccoli make happy medium
by Prudence Hilburn
Special to The Star
Aug 29, 2012 | 2236 views |  0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
If a poll were taken to find the most liked vegetable, I seriously doubt that it would be broccoli. In fact, it could possibly be the least liked. Many people seem to turn a thumbs down to any of the green vegetables, especially broccoli.

Corn, however, is a favorite of young and old alike. Personally, both of these vegetables find favor with my palate. I thought I would try to strike a happy medium by combining broccoli and corn in a tasty salad.

It is important to remember that when using fresh broccoli in a salad, it is best to quickly blanch it. This will turn the broccoli a bright green and give the salad a colorful boost.

To blanch it, simply heat salted water to a boil, dip the broccoli into the water and when it changes color to a bright green, remove it immediately and drop it into ice water. This icy water bath stops the cooking process and prevents the broccoli from becoming limp.

I am always looking for products that are just a little out of the traditional category. In recipes calling for canned corn, I sometimes like to substitute either Chipotle white corn or Southwestern-style corn with black beans. If you would like to add a little spicy heat to the salad, substitute pepperjack cheese for the cheese called for in the following recipe.

The broccoli and corn salad is a great side dish for a bowl of Southwestern Chowder. Of course, a wedge of your favorite cornbread would make it even better. Sometime ago, a friend shared an unusual tip for making better-textured cornbread.

The tip shared was to add a little less buttermilk than is called for in your favorite cornbread recipe. To this thick mixture, she gradually adds a little water and mixes the batter well before adding more. She continues adding a little water until the batter reaches the consistency that she likes. It worked for me and I now use this tip almost every time I make cornbread.

By the way, the broccoli and corn salad would be a good addition to your Labor Day menu because it goes well with almost any meats that you would cook on the grill.

Broccoli and Corn Salad

1 (11 ounce) can Shoepeg corn, drained
1 cup chopped fresh broccoli
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup French onion dip

Combine the corn, broccoli and red bell pepper. Stir to mix. Combine the mayonnaise with the onion dip and mix well. Add enough of the mayonnaise mixture to the vegetables to coat well. Refrigerate.

Southwestern Chowder

2 cups peeled and cubed potatoes
2/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup cooked and crumbled bacon
3 cups water or chicken broth
1/4 cup butter
1 can Southwestern style corn (with peppers and black beans)
1 can Chipotle white corn
3 cups half and half
11/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack/Colby cheese
Salt and black pepper, to taste

Combine the potatoes, onion, bacon, water and butter. Cook over medium heat until potatoes are fork tender (not mushy). Add the corn, half and half and cheese. Over low heat, cook until cheese melts. Serve with cornbread.
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The Gourmet Touch: Corn and broccoli make happy medium by Prudence Hilburn
Special to The Star

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