Corn and Asparagus Salad

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Since living in Fresno, it has been really hot, something that I am definitely not used to coming from the Bay.  I have also been trying to be healthier…”trying.”  I have been making a lot salads recently, but man salads suck.  So this one involves asparagus and corn, which let’s be honest, is so much better than lettuce.  I got the recipe from food network and Paula Deen.  Don’t worry though, there’s no butter in it.  It turned out pretty good, but you definitely don’t need all the dressing that this recipe makes.

Ingredients:

  • 6 ears of yellow corn, shucked
  • 2 bunches asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup basli, chiffonade
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper

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Directions

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and blanch the corn for ~3 minutes
  • Pull the corn out and place in an ice bath
  • Blanch the asparagus in the same boiling water for ~1 minute
  • Pull out the asparagus and place in ice bath
  • Remove the kernels of the corn using a knife
  • Cut the asparagus into ~1in pieces
  • Place asparagus and corn in a bowl, along with the basil and onion
  • For the dressing, mix the sugar, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a bowl
  • Drizzle some of the dressing over the asparagus, corn, onion and basil until well coated
  • Mix thoroughly and serve!

Chili and Cast Iron Corn Bread

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We had the slow cooker out from making the hummus and decided to use it again to make chili. What goes well with chili? Cornbread of course! Corn bread made in a cast iron skillet to be exact. So we put everything in the crock pot before going to work and came home to an apartment filled with the smell of chili, and in no way was that disappointing. Then we whipped up the cornbread and ate a terribly unhealthy, but terribly delicious meal. Got the recipe for the cornbread from here.

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Ingredients for chili (semi made up from a hodgepodge of other recipes Ive seen in the past)

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • dash of pepper
  • 3 cans of stewed/diced tomatoes
  • Shredded cheddar cheese and chopped onions for serving

Directions

  • In a large pan on medium heat, cook the onions and season with salt until soft
  • Add the garlic and chili powder and stir for a minute
  • Add the beef and cook until brown
  • Drain the majority to almost all of the oil and transfer to a slow cooker
  • Cook the chili in the slow cooker on low for 8 hours

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Ingredients for corn bread

  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups finely ground yellow cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk

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Directions for corn bread

  • Heat oven to 450 degrees
  • put 2 tbsp butter in a cast iron skillet and set aside, melt the other 6 tbsp of butter in a small dish
  • Whisk cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl
  • Whisk eggs in a large bowl until frothy, then mix in the buttermilk
  • Pour egg mix into the flour/cornmeal mix and stir until dry streaks are incorporated (easier if you use a rubber spatula), but careful not to overmix
  • Fold in the melted butter and let stand for 5 minutes
  • When the oven is hot, place the skillet with the 2 tbsp butter in for 5 minutes
  • Remove the pan and coat the bottom of the pan with the melted butter
  • Pour the batter into the skillet and bake until golden (~15 minutes)
  • After removing the pan from the oven, let it rest for about 5 minutes
  • Cut and enjoy

This meal was pretty damn good. It was hearty and nostalgic, but on the downside it lacked any form of real vegetables whatsoever. The chili was pretty oily in the cooker, so before we mixed and served it, I spooned out most of the oil that had risen to the top. I also added a little bit of cornstarch to the chili to thicken it up. The cornbread turned out perfectly, but next time we might add some cheddar cheese to the mix, and maybe some jalapeños too.