Friday, August 4, 2017

Week 25 - California Cuisine

When I thought of California cuisine, the first words that came to mind were local and produce, since the produce out on the West Coast is so much better on average than anything we can get here. In addition to local produce, even though we've never been to the restaurant, one of the places that really stood out in my mind when I thought about California cuisine was Gjelina in Venice, so I started off looking for fresh vegetable recipes inspired by or from Gjelina. Lucky for me, there was a Gjelina cookbook with some recipes reprinted online, and the recipe for braised sweet corn seemed perfect for this challenge.

Whole Foods had an amazing sale on corn - 10 ears for $1 - around the time we were going to do this challenge, which made this so much easier and more affordable. The ingredients for our version of the braised sweet corn were:

- 6 ears of corn, shucked
- salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 shallots, minced
- crumbled feta cheese 
- onion salt (TJs), to taste
- juice of 1 lime
- 1/2 batch of cilantro, chopped 

The steps for making the corn were:

- shave corn kernels off cob and set aside
- scrape cobs with back of knife to extract milk and set aside milk
- cut cobs into smaller pieces
- place cut cobs in saucepan covered with cold water and season with salt
- bring to boil, cover, simmer on medium low until stock is cloudy and smells like corn (about 40 min)
- strain and discard cobs, but save corn stock for use
- prep shallots and cilantro while corn stock is in process

[I had no idea there was corn milk or that making corn stock was even a thing until I saw this recipe, but it felt really good knowing that we were using all parts of the corn and nothing was going to waste.]

- heat olive oil in sauce pan and add shallots, cooking until softer
- add corn kernels and season with salt
- add corn stock (1 cup), corn milk, some feta cheese, and cook for a few minutes until liquid has reduced a little
- add the lime juice and onion salt
- remove from heat and stir in cilantro and some more feta cheese

We ate the braised corn along with some baked panko chicken and avocado (how could I leave avocado out of California cuisine week?), and there definitely seemed to be California vibes to the dish. We really liked the braised sweet corn, but it didn't taste so dramatically different from and/or better than other similar corn dishes we've made before (if we were to make them with non-roasted corn, dishes like esquites or a simple corn and vegetables saute) considering all the extra work involved. Glad we tried this experiment, and it definitely had great corn flavor, but considering how slow I am in the kitchen, I think I'll stick to the easier versions.


  1. Do you have a recipe for the panko chicken? It looks so good!

  2. Hi Emilee, thanks for reading! I wish we could say we made the panko chicken from scratch, but we just used the Tyson frozen panko chicken we get from CostCo.