After that earth shattering post last week that revealed bananas secret identity I decided to play it safe and got myself some cobs of sweet corn at the market.
Corn is a good source of many helpful nutrients that include Vitamin B1 and B5, Vitamin C, fibre, folate, manganese and phosphorous. A Cornell University study showed that cooking corn released antioxidants that help reduce the chance of heart disease and cancer.
The health benefits of Corn also include improvement to cardiovascular and lung health, memory and functional support to adrenal glands that helps us deal with stress.
I did unearth a most interesting statistic that highlights corns fragile nature - 40% of it's sugar content can be lost in just 6 hours at room temperature and it's conversion into starch happens within hours of being picked. It certainly is one ingredient that should be bought when you want to use it and as soon as it is picked.
For the recipe this week I've decided to make some Creamed Corn and one that bears no resemblance to the canned variety. This rather luxurious version comes via Matt Moran and his self-titled cookbook. The changes are minor and I've stayed in the spirit of the original dish - this presentation made with one eye on Valentine's Day.
4 corn cobs, husked
40 grams butter
1 small leek, white part only, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
200ml pure cream
salt and white pepper
Slice down each corn cob to remove the kernels - discard the cores.
In a medium saucepan over a gentle heat, melt the butter, then add the leek and garlic. Cook slowly and without allowing the leek and garlic to colour - you just want them to soften and become translucent.
Add the corn kernels, water and cream, stirring well and then increase the heat until it reaches boiling point. Turn down the heat and let this simmer until the corn is tender.
Pour into a processor or blender and process until it forms a purée. Taste and season with salt and freshly ground white pepper. If you'd like a silky smooth result, pass this blended mixture through a mouli.
Once the mixture has reached your desired texture, place into a clean saucepan and over a gentle heat let it come back to temperature before serving.
2 fresh scallops
handful fresh spinach leaves, washed
Sauté the spinach leaves until just wilted - set aside.
Season the scallops with freshly ground pepper (you shouldn't need to salt them as the caviar is salty) - sear in a hot fry-pan about 20 seconds each side.
Spoon a little creamed corn into the centre of a plate - top with the sautéed spinach leaves followed by the just-seared scallop. Finally top with a generous amount of salmon caviar.
This is a combination that just works so well. The creaminess of the corn has a match in the scallops texture and both being quite sweet, need that salty explosions of caviar to put the dish back into balance. For Valentine's Day, this will be a dish bound to satisfy.