Prolong summer with late season corn | VailDaily.com
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Prolong summer with late season corn

Special to the Daily/Nelson Kunkel
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The rural Colorado town of Olathe, located midway between Delta and Montrose, has been supplying the Vail Valley with a bounty of sweet corn since early August. Autumn may be in the air, but dont abandon this inexpensive late season crop. Local grocery stores still have late summer corn stacked up, and for as little as 5 for $1. Colorado corn can be traced to the ancient Anasazi who farmed at Mesa Verde. As one of the three sisters of agriculture, including squash and beans, corn served as a staple food. The Anasazi might not recognize our present day sweet corn tucked into the beds of trucks rumbling through towns. Still, Olathe Sweet from the Western Slope of Colorado is a descendant from that ancient humble plant.Most agree that an ear of corn slathered in butter and sprinkled with salt is one of lifes simple pleasures. But if your family is tired of corn on the cob, surprise them with a new recipe. Avondales Executive Chef Jeremy Kittelson hails from Iowa, one of the largest corn producing states in our nation. Not surprisingly, he has endless ideas for using this plentiful summer vegetable. To start off your meal he offers Olathe Sweet Corn Soup. His menu also features a sweet corn filled ravioli served with tender braised veal cheek and a marinated skirt steak accompanied by griddled polenta and sauted sweet corn.Vegetables for dessert? Avondale Pastry Chef Allison Helfer serves up an ingenious sweet corn ice cream to top off her fresh plum cobbler. Make a batch of this ice cream to prolong your summer.

1/2 cup white onion, diced1 cup yellow peppers, diced1/2 cup leeks, diced4 cups (about 8 ears) fresh corn, cooked and cut from cob2 quarts corn stock (simmer trimmed ears with salt and pepper and enough water to cover for 20 minutes)1/4 cup heavy cream1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, gratedSweat onions, peppers, leeks in a deep pot until translucent. Add corn and continue to sweat until fragrant. Add enough stock just to cover top of soup and simmer 5 to 10 min. Finish soup with cream and cheese and simmer for 2 to 5 minutes. Puree until smooth and strain through sieve. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve garnished with fresh, snipped chives. Makes: 6 cups

3 cups whole milk3 cups heavy cream1 1/2 cup sugar4 ears corn (shucked, kernels removed, cobs reserved)7 eggs, beaten2 yolks, beaten1/4 cup maple syrupHeat milk and cream to just boiling, remove from heat and steep corn for 20 minutes, strain. Reheat milk and cream, add sugar while stirring until it dissolves. Remove from heat. Mix eggs, egg yolks and maple syrup together. Slowly add a little of the milk to the egg mixture, tempering to prevent eggs from cooking. When both are combined, cook over medium low heat until the mixture thinly coats a spoon. Cool in an ice bath stirring often. Process in ice cream maker according to manufacturers directions. Makes: 2 liters.Sue Barham is the marketing director for Restaurant Avondale. Avondale recently opened in The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa in Avon. The restaurant features a West Coast inspired, seasonal menu and the chefs use time-honored cooking methods, such as slow roasting and braising, to create simple dishes rich in flavor. The wine program focuses on small production wines to compliment the straightforward cuisine. For more information visit http://www.avondalerestaurant.com.


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