There is no more all-American vegetable than corn, which is appropriate considering the sweet treat is native to the Americas. The variety of sweet corn most Americans are familiar with today was first cultivated around 1850. Today, Americans value corn for its versatility, as it can be eaten on the cob or included in a multitude of dishes.
Sweet Corn Chowder
Makes six servings
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups water
2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Tabasco® sauce, to taste
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 medium onions
2 small cloves garlic
Salt, to taste
1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons chopped chives
Sprigs of cilantro for garnish
15 ears sweet corn, husks removed
Boil corn and sugar in a large pot over high heat for 1 minute. Drain immediately. After corn cools, cut kernels from cobs and scrape cobs with the back of a knife to release corn milk. Process two-thirds of the kernels in a blender.
Heat butter, onions and garlic over medium-high heat until onions and garlic are tender and slightly golden at the edges. Add corn purée, water and half of the cobs to pot. Let soup simmer one hour. Add cornmeal as necessary to achieve chowder consistency and cook for five minutes.
Remove from heat, discard corn cobs and purée chowder in batches in blender until smooth. Strain through medium sieve and season as desired. Mix sour cream, cilantro, chives and Tabasco in a small bowl and add to individual bowls of chowder.
Serving size: about 1.5 cups
*For a lower-fat option, hold the butter and use fat-free sour cream.
Watermelons and humans go back a long way—ancient Egyptians ate the oblong fruits nearly 5,000 years ago. Today, Americans eat more watermelon than any other melon. The varieties that usually can be found in grocery stores are seeded, seedless, mini, yellow and orange.
Jeweled Watermelon Soup
Makes four servings
1 pink grapefruit
6 cups watermelon, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
Juice of 1 lime
2 teaspoons confectioner’s sugar
Peel the grapefruit, and slice it horizontally into thin slices before setting aside. Discard or eat end pieces. Remove seeds from pomegranate, and discard the peel and membrane. Set pomegranate aside. Purée watermelon, lime juice and sugar in a blender until smooth. Pour mixture into shallow bowls and place grapefruit slices and pomegranate seeds on top. Serve chilled.
Reviewed by Lori Walton, R.N., B.S.N., pediatric weight management coordinator, Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St.Vincent.