Wednesday, June 10, 2009

It's a recipe!

In Sunny California, seasonally grown corn is available from May through October, peaking in June and July. Since June is just getting underway, what better time to enjoy the delights of this golden nugget?

Yellow corn is low in saturated fat, and very low in cholesterol and sodium. It's also a great source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, thiamin, folate, magnesium and phosphorus!

Maize is the proper word for corn, taken from the indigenous peoples of the “new world” who introduced it to European explorers and settlers. The word corn goes back to Biblical days, and means any particle of grain or any small pellet of anything. In some lands, corn meant wheat; in others it meant barley or oats.

Only Americans adopted the word to describe maize. In many American dialects, the word for corn meant, "that which gives us life." Indeed, corn was the dietary staple for the native people’s of this land. Aztec and Mayan civilizations were built on a corn economy, as corn provided food, currency, fuel, fodder for animals, silk for smoking, sugar and even fermented beverages.

At the Co-op’s Deli, we have another use for corn . . . chowder! So tasty, so layered in flavor, our People’s Mexican Corn Chowder is the perfect accompaniment to toasted whole grain bread, served with fresh garden tomatoes, sliced in the round. From our table to yours, enjoy!

People’s Mexican Corn Chowder

Serves 10 – 12 (or freeze surplus and enjoy on another day!)

2 cups yellow potatoes, diced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 cups yellow onion, diced

1 cup celery, sliced

1 cup red bell peppers, diced

1 teaspoon cumin powder

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 1/2 teaspoons tamari

2 teaspoons ume plum vinegar

4 cups corn

4 cups water

1/4 bunch cilantro, chopped

Boil potatoes until just tender, then drain. Sauté the onions, celery, and peppers in olive oil until soft, then add the spices and sauté for 1 minute. Add the tamari, vinegar, potatoes, corn and water, and stir well. Take out 1 cup of the chowder and blend until smooth, then add it back to the chowder and simmer until hot. Add the cilantro and serve.