I have long been a fan of frozen corn, at least when fresh was out of season. As soon as you pick corn, its sugar begins to turn to starch and it is not as tasty. (The same goes for peas.) Frozen corn is picked when ripe and then immediately blanched and frozen at the height of its tastiness, which is why it is a good idea to keep a stash in the freezer for the off season. One could argue that you should never eat vegetables out of season, but when you have a son who eats only about five vegetables, you can't be all that seasonal.
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped (about ½ cup)
One 7 ½-ounce can red salmon, drained
One 4 ½-ounce can chopped mild green chiles, drained
½ C. crumbled tortilla chips
1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
½ tsp. ground cumin
¼ C. Wondra flour (or unbleached all-purpose flour)
One 10-ounce package frozen corn kernels
1 C. bottled salsa
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium skillet over high heat until hot. Reduce the heat to medium; add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer the onion to a medium bowl with a slotted spoon; set the skillet aside.
Add the salmon, chiles, tortilla chips, mayonnaise, and cumin to the onion in the bowl and stir until combined. Form the mixture into four 1/2-inch-thick cakes (or patties). Coat the cakes lightly in flour on all sides. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the skillet and heat over high heat until hot; reduce the heat to medium and add the salmon cakes. Sauté until well browned on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
Meanwhile, cook the corn in water following package directions. Drain well and return to the saucepan. Add the salsa and heat just until hot. Serve the salmon burgers topped with corn salsa.
Recipe courtesy of Sara Moulton from her book "Sara's Secrets for Weeknight Meals"; Broadway Books, 2005.
Recipe: Spaghetti with White Beans and Tuna
Makes 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
4 stalks celery finely chopped, plus leaves for garnish
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups canned white beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
1 large can oil-packed tuna, drained, rinsed, and broken up
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound spaghetti
Bring a large pot of water on to boil. Heat the oil in a large skillet over moderately low heat. Add the onion and cook until softened. Add the red pepper, celery, and garlic and cook for 3 minutes more. Stir in the white beans and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and simmer, mashing the beans slightly with the back of a spoon for 5 minutes. Add the hot pepper flakes and tuna, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and simmer until heated through. Keep warm while you cook the pasta.
Salt the boiling water and add the pasta. Cook until al dente following the instructions on the back of the package. Drain and transfer to a bowl. Toss with the sauce and serve, garnishing each portion with some of the celery leaves.
Recipe courtesy of Sara Moulton.
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Recipe: Cuban-Style Roast Pork
Makes 8 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus overnight marinating
Cook Time: 4 to 5 hours