Summer menu: Corn Soup, Chicken and Peach Melba

The weather is warm, but the sun is setting earlier, the surest sign that summer is almost over. In my local market, the last corn of t...


The weather is warm, but the sun is setting earlier, the surest sign that summer is almost over. In my local market, the last corn of the year is stacked and there are large baskets of shapely peppers of all hues. It seems pretty wonderful that stone fruits are still around – peaches, nectarines, and plums.

So I don’t look any further. Because right in front of me, the essentials of my dinner are displayed in color: corn soup, salted pepper and onion stew, and peaches for dessert. Of course, any of the dishes on this menu can also be on its own.

Made with little more than freshly picked sweet corn, onions, and water, the velvety soup is divine – and doesn’t require cream or dairy. The beautiful creaminess comes from a careful whistle in the blender. But for a silkier texture, it’s best to pass the mashed soup through a fine mesh sieve. It’s an extra step, but worth it: it turns a wonderful soup into the sublime. Finish it off with a drizzle of olive oil and torn basil leaves.

Then, to follow along, I turned to these shiny chili peppers. I love a dish of peppers and onions cooked in olive oil, and this one is inspired by the standard Italian peperonata. A hint of vinegar tempers the sweetness of the vegetables, and the whole is sprinkled with capers and olives. It smells good and is delicious served hot or at room temperature.

Garlic-rosemary-flavored chicken is an easy and welcome partner for peppers, and the Italian technique employed here Рto saut̩ chicken with a weighted pan on top Рis called al mattone. It gives a browned and crispy skin and a very juicy meat.

Instead of the usual spatchcocked bird, this recipe calls for thick thighs with bone and skin. For even heat, cook them in cast iron pans, if you can, although any thick pan will do. And for a little smoke, cook the chicken (in the pan) on a hot charcoal grill. Starting the seasoning early – one hour and up to 24 hours in advance – will yield the tastiest chicken.

For dessert, I wanted to put those peaches to good use, so I turned to a classic Melba peach. Peach halves poached in syrup and served with a raspberry sauce and vanilla ice cream, the dish was created in the 1890s by the French chef. Auguste Escoffier to honor the Australian opera star Nellie Melba. But for this menu, I went for a fresher, not-so-classic tasting version, calling for sliced ​​ripe peaches instead of cooked peach halves. Look for the best vanilla ice cream, with real vanilla, or make your own. Easy to assemble, it’s a refreshing dessert, perfect when peaches and raspberries are in season, and very elegant.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Summer menu: Corn Soup, Chicken and Peach Melba
Summer menu: Corn Soup, Chicken and Peach Melba
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