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Fresh from Florida: Sweet Corn & Blue Crabs

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In keeping with my SOS, sustainable, organic, and seasonal, I will start a series of articles spotlighting the amazing produce grown in my home state of Florida. Buying fresh, local, organically grown produce offers the cook incredible quality and savings. In turn, we reward the dedicated hard graft put in by our amazing farmers. However, this is nothing new from me; I have been trumpeting the virtues of local, seasonal, and organic for some time on Blogcritics. Let us get to some new material, shall we, but always keeping in mind the two pivotal questions: What is good? What is in season?

Florida has 43,000 farms, utilizing more than ten million acres to generate fantastic foodstuffs. Dade County, where I live, is one of the most prolific producers of sweet corn in Florida. Sweet corn is in my kitchen almost year round. Commercial production really takes off in October, with the peak of availability in early March through May. When eating sweet corn, leave the cans on the shelves. Corn cut fresh from the cob is best. Simply take a sharp knife, stand the cob up, and cut the kernels off. Use salt only sparingly, as salt makes the corn tough. A pinch of Florida cane sugar goes a long way to accentuate the natural sweetness of the corn. Sweet corn pairs perfectly with seafood, in particularly with Florida blue crabmeat.

Blue crabs are found along Florida’s Atlantic and Gulf coasts. A shallow water crab, it can live in salt, fresh, and brackish waters. Florida blue crabs are prized for their sweet, soft, delicate, and low-fat meat. Right now we are in the peak of the blue crab season, which runs from July through October. To my palate, the combination of sweet corn and blue crab is a match made in culinary heaven. I will share two of my definite favorites. As always, recipes are merely guidelines; investigate, experiment and make them to your liking.

Sweet Corn and Blue Crab Tostada

French baguette

For the Blue Crabmeat:
Fresh Florida Blue Crabmeat
Miso mayo
Plum vinegar
Pinch of cayenne
Chopped marjoram

Combine ingredients in glass bowl. Gently mix. Do not overwork the crabmeat.

For the Sweet Corn Puree:
Fresh sweet corn kernels
Vegetable stock
Butter
Whipping cream
Pinch of cane sugar

In a blender, add the corn, stock, butter, and whipping cream. Blend until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Add a pinch of caster sugar.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Slice the baguette. Spoon some of the corn puree. Then top with the crabmeat. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Garnish with finely chopped marjoram.

Sweet Corn Chowder with Blue Crabmeat & Tarragon Emulsion

For the Corn Chowder:

Sweet corn kernels
Safflower oil
White onion
Leeks
Shallots
Garlic
Mineral water
Cognac
Riesling wine
Sweet butter
Sea salt
White pepper

In a stockpot, heat the safflower oil over medium heat. Add the onions and leeks. Cook till softened, not browned. Add the shallots and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the cognac and reduce until dry. Deglaze with the Riesling wine. Add the sweet corn and water. Simmer. Blitz in a blender and strain through a fine mesh strainer. Return to stockpot and swirl in sweet butter. Check for seasoning. Keep warm.

For the Tarragon Emulsion:
Fresh Tarragon
Organic honey
Meyer Lemon Juice
Walnut oil
Fleur de Sel

Add the tarragon, honey, lemon juice and half the oil. Process until smooth. Slowly drizzle the rest of the oil. Season with Fleur de Sel.

To plate: Spoon some fresh Florida crabmeat in the center of the bowl. Add the tarragon emulsion.

Gently pour the corn chowder.

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About Lazaro Cooks

  • http://eggplanttogo.blogspot.com/ intuitive eggplant

    Terrific combination of ingredients and two outstanding recipes, Lazaro! I must try that corn puree and your corn and crab chowder recipe is giving me just the inspiration I needed after receiving a surprise package of Iowa sweet corn in the mail from my sister. Thanks!

  • http://www.ladivacucina.com La Diva Cucina

    LOVE the corn/crab combo, well done Lazaro! I’m so glad you are good at writing serious articles! (not my style but I enjoy reading them!) So, when in Michigan recently, people were talking about Michigan sweet corn and said, “oh yeah, you don’t get any locally grown corn in Florida.” I beg to differ! I just got some in my co op box, thank you very much!

  • http://ijustlovemyapron.com Tanantha @ I Just Love My Apron

    I heart Florida and local produce. Thanks for sharing us a spotlight of each local ingredient and provide magnificent recipe!

  • Cook with Madin

    Lazaro, you always have fabulous recipes. I love blue crabs, I grew up eating them in the Philippines. Amazing combination of the crab and the sweet corn on a baguette, of course I’m not forgetting the lovely corn chowder with crab and tarragon emulsion.
    Thanks for the tip not salting the corn too much.

  • http://www.quickiesonthedinnertable.yolasite.com denise fletcher

    Not just one, but a duo of inspiring (and inspired) recipes that are delightfully do-able.

    Love the nod to Asia in the use of miso mayo and plum vinegar for the tostada. Corn chowder is a favourite and your version is simply stellar!

    Kudos on your untiring efforts to promote natural, earth-friendly eating!!

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