Magazine article Sunset

September Menus

Magazine article Sunset

September Menus

Article excerpt

QUICK, SEASONAL, BUDGET-WISE . . . FOR FAMILY AND FRIENDS

Lazy cooks have it easy this month. Wonderful produce is overwhelming gardens and markets; take advantage of nature's generosity and focus on single, wholesome foods for fabulously simple meals. Here we zero in on two--at their ripest and best value--and put them center stage.

Some warm evening, eat your fill of sweet corn; for a quick, any-day lunch, savor a salad of really ripe tomatoes with a fresh cheese.

Because corn and tomatoes are favorites as motifs in serving pieces, check your shelves; you might have such dishes hidden away.

To reduce last-minute activities, start up to a day ahead by organizing the butters and cheese for the corn, roasting chunks of Italian sausage, and measuring dry ingredients for the muffins. Then, while water for corn comes to a boil, make the muffins.

Plain melon is fine, or dress it up with a splash of fruit syrup or liqueur (black raspberry, cassis, orange).

Boiled Corn with Lime, Butters, and Cheese

16 to 24 medium-size ears of corn, husks and silks removed

Lime wedges

Flavored butters (suggestions follow)

About 1 cup soft cheese such as boursin or rondele, flavored with herbs (optional)

Salt, pepper, and crushed dried hot red chilies

Rinse and drain corn; if husking ahead, cover corn with damp towels and chill up to 4 hours.

Half-fill a 16- to 20-quart pan (or 2 smaller pans of equal volume) with water. Cover and bring water to a boil over high heat. Carefully drop corn into boiling water; cover, remove from heat, and let stand until kernels look slightly darker in color, about 10 minutes. Serve corn on a platter or from hot water. Have lime wedges, butters, and cheeses in small bowls.

To eat, season corn as desired: rub ears with lime and sprinkle with salt and pepper or chilies, or spread with the flavored butters or cheese. Makes 8 servings, 2 or 3 ears each.

Per ear with lime juice: 78 cal. (13 percent from fat); 2.9 g protein; 1.1 g fat (0.2 g sat.); 17 g carbo.; 14 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

Flavored butters. Choose 1 or several flavors (following); if making ahead, cover and chill up to 2 days. To make each flavor, beat 1/4 cup (1/8 lb.) butter or margarine, at room temperature, to blend with 1 of the following combinations. Allow about 1/2 tablespoon flavored butter for each ear of corn.

Hot-sour butter. Add 1/2 teaspoon grated lime peel, 1 tablespoon lime juice, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne. Makes about 1/4 cup.

Per 1/2 tablespoon: 54 cal. (100 percent from fat); 0.1 g protein; 6 g fat (3.7 g sat.); 0.2 g carbo. …

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