AUTHOR: Julia TITLE: Farmers' Market Report - Summer Bounty DATE: 7/29/2008 07:50:00 AM ----- BODY:


In the farmers’ market this week, all the summer time favorites are finally available: fresh, local sweet corn, heirloom field tomatoes, cucumbers, blueberries, and peaches. In additional, the farmers graciously grow lots of staples and fillers so that we can prepare a full meal (though some would argue that corn and tomatoes is a complete meal) with just locally grown foods.

When I worked under Lydia Shire, at the now defunct Biba, she taught me how to appreciate color on the palate. She would garnish a fish or meat dish with something white (potatoes), green (watercress) and red (beets). Each garnish was bright and vivid, and with a back-drop of rosy lamb or florescent wild salmon, the colors on the plate just popped.

I think of her every summer as I compose one of my favorite dishes: Roast Salmon with Creamed Corn (yellow), Roasted Tomatoes (red) and Basil Coulis (green).

Creamed Corn utilizes just the kernels; the cobs can be saved for a stock or other recipe. . I’ve seen many neat tricks for removing the kernels, including this one on Simply Recipes. I usually just lay the cob on its side and use the full blade of the knife to slice down and back. Wasn’t it Newton’s law of physics: for every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction…. If the cob is on its side, then the kernels, don’t fall as far, and therefore don’t bounce as far away on the counter. Once I have the corn prepped, I can proceed with the recipe.

Given my inclination for a completely locavore meal, I think a steak from Austin Brothers Valley Farm would be better than farm raised salmon. Local striped bass would be lovely too, but no one at the market is selling fish.

To complete the meal, I would prepare a blueberry bread pudding: bread from hi-rise (sold at the farmers market and eggs also from Austin Farm. Though no one is selling milk, I know I can get fresh local dairy at the Harvest Co-op – avoiding the mega chain of Whole Foods and supporting the local supermarket.

Beef Tenderloin with Summer’s Trilogy
1 whole filet, weighing about 5#, trussed
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon plain oil
3 ears of corn, kernels cut off
1 tbs. butter
1 large fresh red onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 cup cream
1/2 tsp. curry powder
4 roma tomatoes, cut in half
1 tbs. olive oil
1 slice smoked bacon
1 tsp. fresh thyme
1 bunch basil
2 lemons, juiced
plain oil
salt and pepper to taste.

Season filet with salt and pepper.

Heat a large sauté pan, or grill over high heat. Add oil to pan. Sear filet on one side, sear until golden brown on the other. Finish roasting in 350 oven for about 10-20 minutes, or until desired doneness.

Meanwhile….

Toss tomatoes with olive oil, thyme, 2 tbs. diced onion and 1 tbs. garlic. Roast in 500F oven, until tomatoes begin to brown and blister. Meanwhile, render bacon in a skillet. When crispy, coarsely chop and mix with tomatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Melt butter in a skillet. Add corn, 1 tbs. chopped shallots and 1 tsp. garlic. Cook until garlic and corn begin to brown. Add curry powder and cook for 1 minute more. Add cream, and cook for 5 minutes, or until cream is reduced by 1/2. Season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice.

In a blender, puree basil with 2 tbs. chopped onion, lemon juice and 1/4 cup of olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

After tenderloin is finished raosting, let rest for 10 mintues. Slice. Garnish with corn, tomatoes, basil coulis (and fresh summer zucchini too!)

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----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) DATE:7/29/2008 08:45:00 AM For me, corn and tomatoes is the perfect summer meal, sometimes with a bit of local cheese and bread, too. Or fish, when I'm lucky enough to be near the Rhode Island shore. ----- --------