Summer Corn and Smoked Gouda Pizza

By Corinne

One of the things I love about summer is fresh, seasonal produce. There is little that says ‘summer’ meal to me more than something on the BBQ and a steamed cob of fresh corn. This year our local sweet corn seems better than ever somehow! When I prepped this recipe, I thought I might need the kernels from two cobs, but two cups was going to be way too much for one pizza. What to do with the extra corn… um…apparently eat it raw because it was delicious! My inspiration for this was essentially I wanted corn chowder in flat bread form. I think it was a success. While these are pretty non-traditional toppings, my husband said this was the best pizza he has ever had… and we may have eaten the entire thing in one sitting. Shout out to Belluz Farms for the amazing corn, Tim’s Meats for the utterly unique bacon jerky and Thunder Oak Cheese Farm for the delectable smoked gouda.

Makes: 1 pizza 15″ diameter

Preheat oven 400F

Time: 20 min prep, 1 hour rise, 20 minutes bake.

You will need:

  • 1 cob of corn, kernels removed, about 1 cup
  •  1 clove garlic
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup shredded smoked gouda cheese – Thunder Oak if you can get it + 1/4 cup more if desired
  • 1/2 cup bacon bits – use Tim’s Bacon Jerky if you live in Thunder Bay and can get it- shortens your prep time and is amazing
  • snipped fresh parsley if desired

Tl’s-works-every-time pizza dough* this is a half recipe to make one pizza rather than 2

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp yeast (quick rise or traditional, either works, traditional will just take longer to rise)
  • 2/3 cup very warm water

Mix dry ingredients, including yeast, for dough. Add very warm water and knead a few minutes until all ingredients have come together in a smooth dough. If dough seems too sticky, add a bit more flour. Rub dough with a tbsp or so of oil, cover, and let rise in a warm place until you are ready to roll out for ingredients. Your dough will probably double in this time.

Cook bacon for bacon bits if you are not using delicious bacon jerky from Tim’s Meats. If you are using the amazing bacon jerky,  you can just snip into bits using kitchen shears. I find this is the quickest way to get it into little pieces.  Remove kernels from cob and set aside. Shred cheese and set aside.

In a shallow pan, melt 1 tbsp butter. Add 1 clove minced garlic and 1/4 tsp salt. Whisk in 1 tbsp flour. Add the 1 cup of heavy cream a bit at a time, whisking until liquid is absorbed. When all liquid is added, let bubble a minute or two more, whisking frequently. If desired… you can add an additional 1/4 cup of shredded cheese to the sauce and whisk in. Do this after you have removed the sauce from heat to avoid separation.

When oven is preheated, and dough has risen roll out dough and transfer onto pizza stone. If dough is quite sticky (which sometimes happens because measuring flour can yield varying amounts!) then rather than add more flour, if you stretch and spread the dough with your fingers over the stone, a slightly sticky dough will bake up very crisp and delicious! There are some recipes such as this one that actually do this on purpose 🙂

Spread the white sauce over the dough. Sprinkle on cheese, corn and bacon bits. Note that this may seem like a scant amount of cheese for a pizza, but with the creamy sauce you really don’t need a lot. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes until cheese is bubbly and crust is golden. Garnish with snipped fresh parsley. You may notice that my pictures do not have snipped fresh parsley. That’s because we ate it and I forgot. But it would be wonderful 🙂

Corn and Tomato Pasta Skillet

By Corinne

I love fresh summer sweet corn and am always looking for ways to appreciate it while it is in season. This is a simple supper with a short ingredient list that comes together quickly. We had it as a vegetarian main, but if you wished it would go well with a serving of sliced Italian sausage or smokey.

Time: 5 min prep, 15-20 min cook

Serves: 2 generously

You will need:

  • 2 ears of corn, remove kernels from cob
  • about 1.5 cups of mixed cherry tomatoes (I just used what I had, a few more would have been welcome)
  • 2 tbsp garlic infused oil (or regular oil)
  • 2 cups uncooked pasta of your choice – I used orecchiette but any similar sized pasta would work
  • juice of one lime
  • handful of fresh cilantro
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper if desired

Boil water for pasta, pasta water should be salted for optimum flavour. While water is boiling, shuck corn and remove kernels from cob. In a cast iron or other heavy bottomed skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. When water is boiling, add pasta to water, and corn and tomatoes to skillet.

Stir vegetables every couple of minutes, allowing some of the corn and tomatoes to brown/blacken a bit. When pasta is finished(about 10 min), drain and add to skillet with corn and tomatoes. Mix and add 1 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar, juice of one lime and fresh cilantro. Serve garnished with additional cheddar and cilantro if desired.

img_3930

Fiddleheads

img_2851By Corinne

There is something especially satisfying about eating things you’ve grown yourself. I find that same sort of satisfaction even when I haven’t grown it myself, but have done the footwork of finding, collecting and preparing something mother nature has provided.

Fiddleheads aren’t an especially northwestern Ontario treat, they grow all over Canada. They are only in season for a few short weeks, making them an easy to miss treat if you aren’t watching out for them.

When foraging, it’s always important to be able to properly identify what you are picking. Most ferns make a ‘fiddlehead’ but not all are edible. The Ostrich fern is the one you are looking for. It’s also important to never pick all of the fiddlheads from a ‘clump’. Only take a few, if you take them all the fern will die.

Ostrich fern fiddleheads have a deep, ”U”-shaped groove on the inside of the smooth stem with thin, brown, paper-like scales covering the newly emerging fiddleheads. The scales fall off as the fiddlehead grows. Bracken fern (a questionably edible species) have fuzzy fiddleheads and lack the “U”. Here is another site with some helpful photos to help with identification, as well as tips for identification at other times of year.

Preparing fiddle heads for eating

  1. Remove as much of the papery covering as you can with your fingers.
  2. Rinse, shaking them up and rubbing off more of the brown papery covering in several changes of cold water. Fiddleheads often grow in sandy soils, so they can be gritty as well.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to boil.
  4. Health Canada recommends boiling for 15 minutes – many other sources recommend between 7 and 10.
  5. After fiddleheads have been boiled, they are now ready to cook however you are going to prepare them.

To prepare to freeze

  1. Follow steps 1-3 above
  2. You now have two choices, you can blanch them- boil for two minutes then plunge into icy water.
  3. Drain and lay flat on a parchment covered cookie sheet, place into freezer bags when frozen.
  4. If you choose to only blanch them, they STILL MUST be boiled before cooking with them.

OR

You can boil them for the 15 minutes and then plunge into icy water- this way when you go to cook with them you don’t need to do the 15 minute boil.

These fiddle heads have been boiled and are ready to cook with. img_2859