Monday, August 07, 2006

Sweet Corn and Parmesan Flans

There is no really good reason as to why there was no post yesterday. I just totally lost all motivation. I wheedled M. into making me brunch (which turned into lunch by the 3 o'clock hour when we finally ate) and we ordered Chinese food for dinner. Today, however, I am back in action and have concocted a feast worthy of luring M. home from the office in time for a late dinner and the second-to-last Hell's Kitchen episode. What will Monday nights be like when the season ends next week? Tragic.

Anyways, I planned my meal around the recipe for Sweet Corn and Parmesan Flans which was a recipe featured in June's Cooking Light magazine. I thought a veggie-heavy meal would complement what I anticipated to be a creamy/eggy dish, and I was pleased to see I was correct. After putting the flans into the oven, I concocted a quick quinoa pilaf, glazed some sliced portabello mushrooms in a basalmic glaze and then braised some yellow beans in a vegetable broth/light butter sauce. Served with a chilled Pinot Grigio, the meal was pleasing and leftovers are eagerly anticipated by us both.

M.'s plate (which was considered most photogenic) shows quinoa pilaf, yellow beans, sliced tomato, sweet corn and parmesan flan, and basalmic glazed portabello mushrooms.

Sweet Corn and Parmesan Flans

Cooking Light’s Notes -For a pretty presentation, use a combination of red, orange, and yellow tear-drop tomatoes.

My notes – This dish was surprisingly easy to prepare, once the corn kernels were removed from the cob. Even with my corn zipper, it was surprisingly annoying as kernels popped out of the bowl almost as quickly as they were dropped in. Still, the dish is delicious and the corn battles are completely worth it!

Cooking spray

2 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 5 ears)

1 cup 1% low-fat milk

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 large eggs

18 small tear-drop cherry tomatoes (pear-shaped), halved

2 tablespoons thinly sliced basil

Preheat oven to 350°.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add corn, and cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Set aside 1 cup corn kernels.

Place remaining corn in a food processor; pulse 5 times or until coarsely chopped. Add milk and next 5 ingredients (through eggs) to food processor; pulse 4 times or until combined.

Pour about 1/2 cup corn mixture into each of 6 (6-ounce) ramekins coated with cooking spray. Place ramekins in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan; add hot water to pan to a depth of 1 inch. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes or until the center barely moves when ramekins are touched. Remove ramekins from pan; cool 5 minutes on a wire rack. Invert flans onto each of 6 plates. Garnish each serving with about 2 1/2 tablespoons corn kernels, 6 tomato halves, and 1 teaspoon basil.

Yield: 6 servings

CALORIES 152(35% from fat); FAT 5.9g (sat 2.2g,mono 2g,poly 1g); PROTEIN 9.8g; CHOLESTEROL 147mg; CALCIUM 125mg; SODIUM 344mg; FIBER 2.4g; IRON 1.2mg; CARBOHYDRATE 17g

Quinoa Pilaf

Serves 4

My notes - This recipe represents what I had ready access to, and what was lying around my kitchen. Substitutions welcome. And, as a presentation note, this particular combination was particularly "molding" friendly meaning that the pilaf retained the shape of the utensil by which it was served (spoon, glass or measuring cup etc).

2 cups vegetable broth

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 cup quinoa (rinsed in a sieve)

1 orange pepper (rough chopped)

2 tablespoons thyme leaves

1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

1 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)

1/2 cup corn kernels

1/3 cup edamame beans (shelled soybeans)

Add all ingredients, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until quinoa is tender and most of the liquid has disappeared. Serve.

Basalmic Glazed Portabello Mushrooms

serves 2 with generous portions (4 with small portions)

1 package sliced portabello mushrooms

Cooking spray

1 garlic clove chopped

2 tablespoons basalmic vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground pepper

1 teaspoon light butter (optional)

Coat cooking pan with cooking spray. Add mushrooms and garlic clove to pan heated to high heat. Add vinegar, salt, pepper and light butter. Stir vigorously for a moment to allow all ingredients to mix (mushroom slices should be well coated with basalmic vinegar). Turn heat down to medium high, and allow mushrooms to cook stirring every two to three minutes. In five to ten minutes, the basalmic glaze will thicken and mushrooms will cook down creating a sauce. Turn off heat, and serve.

Braised Yellow Beans

serves 4

Yellow beans (approximately 3/4 of a pound)

Cooking spray

1 garlic clove chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground pepper

1 tablespoon light butter

1/2 cup vegetable broth

Coat pan with cooking spray and heat on high heat. Add beans, and cook for two-three minutes. Add garlic, and other ingredients through butter. Cook for three minutes, and add broth. Reduce heat to medium-high, and cook stirring frequently until broth reduces and beans are tender. Serve immediately.

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Tanna said...

I like the sound of the parmesan corn flans.
Somewhere I saw a tip to tame cutting corn off the cob, haven't tried it yet. They used angel food cake tube pan - place one end of the cob on the middle tube and the kernels should fall into the pan.

M said...

The bundt pan/angel food cake pan technique definitely works. We use the Kuhn Rikon Corn Zipper, which Helios profiled in her risotto post.

Joe said...

We made the flans a few weeks ago - they were excellent!

helios said...

Tanna - yes, I was too lazy to dig out my bundt pan. But that is an effective technique!

Joe - the flans were really great, weren't they? CL sure had a winner there.