Sunday, October 18, 2009

CSA 10: Corn and Scallions

The last of the summer corn from my CSA share from Upper Meadows Farm. I've been saving this corn for a rainy day. I love corn and there's nothing like the fresh kind. But it was a kind of rainy, lonely day. I needed something that reminded me of home. I needed something soothing and hot. Congee! This is a type of rice porridge. It's fairly easy and you can add any ingredient that you want: savory or sweet. I took my scallions and chopped them into small pieces. I left some green tips separate for garnishing. For the corn, I stripped the kernels from the cob. I took a piece of beef flank and sliced it thinly. The key is to cut it against the grain. And also, cut it when it's still cold and even slightly frozen. You'll be able to get the thinnest slices that way. I slightly marinated the meat in soy sauce, salt, pepper, and sesame oil. A half cup of rice that is washed and rinsed. Usually, people use water to make congee. But I was looking for more flavor. I used chicken stock instead. Bring it to a rapid boil, then add your rice. Continue boiling it for at least a half hour. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. If the rice starts to dry out (meaning it's cooking like regular rice) then add more liquid (water or stock). You want the individual grains to pop and let out all of its starch making a very thick porridge. The grains should technically be completely broken down. When the rice is nice and thick but broken down, add the corn and scallions. Cook for a couple minutes until done. Then add your beef. Stir to ensure that the beef is cooked. Take off the heat immediately. This is the type of dish that retains heat for a long while. Lastly, scoop some of the porridge with meat, corn, and scallions into a bowl or large mug. Add condiments to your liking. I add soy sauce and sesame oil. Lastly, some more scallions on top. The corn and scallions add a good crunch to an otherwise mushy texture. The beef is cooked well. Just done on the outside but still tender on the inside. And the savory Asian flavors just brings everything together for me. This half cup of raw rice serves 3 bowls of congee. Of course, I ate all of it by myself. Yum! This is so good. It reminds me of home. So warm and soothing. It's the equivalent of chicken noodle soup for me. It's something that I grew up on and will never tire of. Upper Meadows Farm 12 Pollara Lane Montague, NJ 07827 (973) 293-8171

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