Cardinal sin of cooking. Put a pan on the stove or a steak on the barbie and then go answer a couple of emails. Minutes pass. The emails are sent. A link sent from The Wrap leads to a few more minutes following the latest entertainment news and gossip. More minutes pass as checks are written to pay bills due in three days.
Then.... what's that scent in the air? Sweet smoke with a hint of bitterness. Oh, yeah, that's the bacon in the frying pan or the ears of corn on the grill, now burnt to a blackened crisp. Perfect for the trash and compost bin but definitely no good for the table.
First rule of cooking: use a timer.
Second rule of cooking: keep it with you.
Third rule of cooking: when it goes off, check what you are cooking.
Yesterday I was making grilled corn for one of my favorite summer salads: chopped italian parsley with grilled corn. Simple, easy-to-make and delicious, the salad is such a summer treat. The perfect kind of dish to serve with grilled meats, fish and poultry.
The ears of corn were husked, washed and dried, then dredged through seasoned olive oil and placed on the grill. Nothing could be easier. All I had to do was turn the ears every couple of minutes, take them off the grill, let them cool and remove the kernels, toss them with freshly cut parsley and season the salad with more olive oil and reduced balsamic vinegar.
Easy, except I burnt the nine ears of corn.
That meant a dash back to the Sunday farmers market to pick up nine more ears from Underwood Family Farms and do it all again.
And so it goes. Use a timer. Carry it with you. Listen when it goes off. And all will be good.
Parsley and Grilled Corn Salad
Yield 4 servings
2 ears corn, husks and silks removed, washed, dried
1 bunch Italian parsley, washed, stems discarded, leaves finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Pre-heat the grill to medium-hot or set the oven to 350F.
Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil on a large plate or baking tray, season with sea salt and black pepper and dredge each ear of corn to coat.
Using tongs, place the seasoned ears of corn on the grill or on a parchment lined baking tray in the oven.
Turn every 3-5 minutes so the kernels brown but don't burn. Remove once the some of the kernels have browned. Set aside to cool.
Using a sharp chefs knife, cut the kernels off the cobs and collect in a large mixing bowl.
Add the finely chopped Italian parsley, toss well and dress with the remaining olive oil.
Place the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over low heat. Gently reduce to 1 tablespoon. Allow to cool and add to the corn and parsley mixture. Toss well.
Serve cold or at room temperature.
Add 2 tablespoons raw or grilled onions.
Add 1 avocado, diced.
Add 6 quartered cherry tomatoes.
Add dusting of cayenne.
Add 2 cups cooked chicken breast or grilled shrimp.
From Men Who Like to Cook.