Summer produce waits for no one, so don’t be late for dinner with me.
Can I get a sign like that made? It would come in awfully handy, especially when I was in my crab cake phase. If you came over for dinner in 2012 I probably cooked you crab cakes with a raw corn and tomato salad. Or that was at least my planned menu. The crab cake always appeared but the corn and tomato salad usually wavered between totally raw, slightly warm or in the case of one very late dinner guest a mixture that was so cooked it could no longer be called a salad.
No matter the temperature or level of cook, corn and tomatoes are such an easy pair in the summer. If you go raw then toss the two of with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. If it’s warm then add a little bit of garlic when lightly sauteeing the corn. High heat quickly cooks the corn and softens the garlic, toss that with with the raw tomatoes and you’ve got an easy side.
Or at least that’s the plan, until your friend is late and you’re left sipping on Dogfish head beers and jamming out to Brand New alone in your kitchen.
With time to kill, a 15 minute meal needs a little more cooking to entertain me while I wait for latecomers.
Corn stripped from the cobs is then slowly sauteed and caramelized, and halved cherry tomatoes are tossed in the pan to break down too for a caramelized tomato and corn hash. The brown bits from the corn and juice from the tomatoes that collect at the bottom of the pan are continually deglazed with chicken stock, or beer if you’re already sipping while waiting for dinner.
45 slow minutes later the tomatoes are a shadow of their fresh former selves and the corn kernels are slicked with concentrated chicken stock. Since you can’t have corn without butter, a tablespoon is added to the finished tomato and corn hash to add extra richness.
To brighten the tomato and corn hash and give a nod to the fresh salad it started out as I add slivers of cool avocado on top and shower the dish with salt and lemon for brightness. This dish is great hot, if your dinner guests show up on time but is also happy to be eaten at room temperature if traffic and timing don’t line up for you.
- 1 ½ cups corn kernels, from about 3 ears of corn
- 1 pint of grape tomatoes, halved
- 2 tablespoons butter, divided
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1 large or 2 small cloves
- 1 cup chicken stock, divided
- 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- ¾ teaspoon black pepper, divided
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Heat a large saute pan over medium heat, you want a pan big enough that the corn and tomato can cook in one layer in the pan.
- Add one tablespoon of butter and the olive oil to the pan.
- Add the the corn kernels and cook for 2-3 minutes to warm them through and then add the tomatoes and stir together.
- After ten minutes drop the heat to medium low, stir the mixture and add ⅓ cup of chicken stock to the pan and another ½ tsp of salt and ¼ tsp of pepper.
- Cook for another ten minutes and stir in another ⅓ cup of chicken stock and ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp black pepper
- Repeat again in ten minutes, adding in the remaining chicken stock and salt and pepper.
- After 5 minutes, add the chopped garlic, adjust seasoning and add final tablespoon of butter
- Top with slivers of avocado and a juice from half a lemon.
- Serve warm or room temperature.