Store Your Corn on the Ear in a Warm, Dry, Smokey Area!

by: EJ on 09/04/2012
Posted in: New Books

When I harvested the two ears of corn I had managed to grow in my garden, I was extremely pleased that Anthony Boutard's Beautiful Corn: America's Original Grain from Seed to Plate is now off press. Beautiful Corn walks you through every aspect of growing corn from the unique plant’s contribution to our culture, its distinctive biology to the practical information needed to grow and enjoy it at home. Beautiful Corn advocates a return to the nourishing whole grain that built America, in place of today’s genetically modified crops processed by industrial agriculture into synthetic sweeteners and cheap meat.  Michael Ableman, farmer an author of From The Good Earth, On Good Land says Beautiful Corn is, "Part love song to an ancient grain, part elevated instruction on how to grow, cook and consume it, part history and animated story, Beautiful Corn opens our eyes to a food plant that humans have both cultivated and been cultivated by."

 In this video from website Cooking Up a Story, Anthony Boutard explains how to select and store seed corn for next year's planting while he handles the beautifully colored cobs of corn.


Anthony Boutard loves his corn and he certainly gives plenty of ideas on how to return corn to its rightful place on our dinner tables.  Here is his recipe for bean kale and corn soup.  I can't think of a heartier meal for a cool fall day. 


 * 3 cups (525g) Borlotto Lamon dry beans
 * Water
 * 4 oz (100g) unsmoked but cured pork, minced
 * 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
 * 1 carrot, diced
 * 1 onion, diced
 * 1 stalk celery, diced
 * 2 cloves garlic, minced
 * 3 sage leaves, fresh and minced or dry and crumbled
 * 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes, preferably your own
 * Salt and pepper
 * 8 stalks of kale or collards, ribs discarded, leaves chopped
 * 1½ cups (210 g) medium-coarse flint cornmeal
 * Extra virgin olive oil
 Soak the dry beans in plenty of water overnight. Drain them, add fresh water to cover the beans by about 2 inches (5 cm), bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer until tender, 40 to 90 minutes.

 In a soup pot, sauté the pork in the olive oil until it begins to turn golden. Add the minced carrot, onion, and celery, and sauté gently until the vegetables are soft. Add the garlic and the minced sage leaves. Add the tomatoes. Cook until the mixture thickens a bit, about 12 minutes. Add  salt to taste. Chop the kale leaves and add to the pot. Add the beans and their liquor, topping the soup off with more water to create a good broth. Season with salt to taste.

Bring the soup to a gentle simmer. While the soup is simmering, trickle in the cornmeal and stir  occasionally until the polenta is tender, about 40 minutes. Season to taste with salt.  Serve the thick soup in shallow bowls with a good ribbon of the olive  oil on top.


For the foodies among us, Anthony Boutard will be speaking at Feast Portland, Saturday September 22nd.  Feast Portland is a world-class celebration of food and drink and everything else that makes Portland awesome. It is a four-day dynamic exchange of ideas, inspiration and dialogue featuring food enthusiasts from Oregon, across the U.S. and around the globe. 



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