Recipes

Roasted Corncakes Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Chives

3 tablespoons corn oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/4 teaspoon paprika

4 ears fresh corn, shucked

2 large eggs

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup minced fresh chives

6 ounces fresh goat cheese

2 tablespoons clarified butter (see note), or a combination of butter and oil

1 red ripe tomato, diced

1 ripe yellow tomato, diced

2 tablespoons slivered basil

Preheat an outdoor or stovetop grill. Combine the oil with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper, and the paprika. Rub the corn with the oil mixture and roast until tender, about 10 minutes. Scrape the corn kernels into a bowl (there should be about 1-1/2 cups). Let cool completely.

In a large bowl, place the eggs, flour, milk, baking soda, and the remaining salt and pepper; whisk until smooth. Add the corn and let stand for 1 hour.

In a small bowl, mix together the goat cheese and chives.

Heat the clarified butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, and ladle a scant 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan for each corncake; gently spread with the back of a heat-resistant spatula (this is important for even cooking). Crumble a teaspoon of the goat cheese mixture into the center. Cover with another 1/4 cup of corn batter; wait 10 to 12 seconds, flip the corncake, and cook on the other side.

The cakes may be kept warm on a baking sheet in a 200 degree F. oven while the others are prepared.

Divide the corncakes among 4 plates and top with tomato and slivered basil. Makes 8, 3-inch pancakes (4 appetizer or side-dish servings).

Note: Clarified butter doesn't burn. To clarify butter, melt it over low heat and simmer for a few minutes. Pour off and use the clear-yellow portion; discard the solids. Butter will lose about 1/4 of its original volume when treated this way, so measure accordingly.

Sweet Pepper Sauce for Pasta

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 garlic cloves, smashed

1 medium sweet onion, coarsely chopped

3 large bell peppers (red, yellow, orange, or chocolate), stemmed, seeded, and coarsely chopped

1-1/2 pounds (8 to 10) small tomatoes (color to match the bell pepper color)

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 pound pasta, your favorite variety

1/2 cup finely chopped basil leaves

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Goat cheese, for garnish; optional

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the bell peppers and cook until they begin to blister. Add the tomatoes and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes.

In a food processor, pulse the mixture until coarsely chopped; return to pan and keep warm until the pasta is ready.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain well in a colander.

In a large serving bowl, toss together the pasta, sauce, and chopped basil leaves. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top each serving with a dollop of aged goat cheese, if desired.

Serves 4 to 6.

- Recipes adapted from 'The Greenmarket Cookbook,' by Joel Patraker and Joan Schwartz (Viking, $12.95)

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