Barbequed corn and pepper saute
You know the saying, "It's good to have friends in high places?" It is a saying quite dear to me as it's completely applicable to my relationship with gardening. Don't see the connection? Let me explain. I kill all living plants. This condition goes beyond a black thumb, as the plants usually die before I even touch them. It's more of a black stare as with one look at whatever beautiful plant graces my deck, it immediately cries out in despair, wilts and dies. And I am not exaggerating. I have killed cactus on 3 different occasions (they live in the desert and don't even need water!) and 2 rounds of rosemary, an herb that flourishes along highways, ditches, and available sidewalk cracks. People don't believe me when I tell them of my disability. "How?" they ask. "How is it you know what to do with plants once they get into your kitchen yet can't seem to work with them otherwise?"
I think that is the exact point. I know there are plenty of cooks who also garden but I just feel like plants know that I am going to chop, blanch, boil, saute and/or roast them and they think, "what's the point?" Heck, if I knew such an end was in my future I don't think I'd spend so much energy growing and looking tasty only to be cut down in my prime. OK, back to how this relates to having friends in high places. Because it is physically impossible for me to grow my own food I view farmers as people of an elevated status. Especially those farmers who are my friends. Farmer Eddie is one such friend that I have personally elevated to Gardening God. The beauty of Eddie's bounty is that it is done out of the pure joy of growing and spending time out in nature. (Again, two things I'm not so good at.) Let me say that Eddie is not a farmer by profession. The plethora of lemons, potatoes, tomatoes, strawberries, fava beans, blueberries and countless other delectables he pulls from his garden are all cultivated in his free time. FREE TIME! I sleep during my free time while he creates enough food for a family of four. This is why he is a better person than I and aptly deemed friend in high place.
Another great thing about being friends with Eddie is that his wife doesn't like all the things he plants, which means when they can't eat it all, I get a phone call and a bag full of goodies. I received such a bag a few weeks ago after Eddie's Blackberry Bonanza party. The party's premise: guests pick the blackberries and Eddie makes something delicious. This year he regaled us with blackberry scones and a midnight-colored blackberry pie. (Yes, he is one of those gardeners who can cook!) Right as we were about to leave Eddie asked me if I would like a few things from the garden. 3 zucchini, a bag of fava beans, 1 padron and 2 banana peppers later and I knew what we were having for dinner. I shelled the fava beans, gave them a quick blanched, peeled off the final layer and sauteed them with sweet peas and prosciutto. Ah yeah! I then grilled the zucchini in a cast iron skillet and finished it with a splash of balsamic vinegar. Finally, I took out two ears of corn we had barbecued the night before, reheat them with the peppers and topped each serving with a fried egg. Voila, a fabulous Farmer Eddie dinner!
Barbecued Corn and Pepper Saute
2 tablespoons organic butter
1/2 a red onion, thinly sliced
1 padron pepper
1 banana pepper
2 ears of leftover barbecued corn
Salt and pepper to taste
2 organic fried eggs, optional
With a small paring knife, cut the kernels from the barbecued corn and place in a small bowl. Wash the peppers, cut off the tops and slice down the middle. Remove the seeds. Be careful not to touch your eyes while working with the peppers. Cut each pepper in half again, this time width-wise then slice into thin strips.
Melt the butter in a medium-sized pan and add the onions. Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat, until translucent. Add the sliced peppers and cook for another 8 minutes. Once the peppers have softened add the corn and salt and pepper to taste. Heat through for another few minutes then serve with an egg on top. YUM!
* To fry the eggs: Heat a dab of butter in a small pan over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, crack the egg and add it to the pan. When the white has solidified, place a lid over the pan for 2 minutes to help firm up the yolk. Remove the lid, add a touch of salt and slide it onto the corn.
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