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summer kind of cooking

July 26 2011 by Kristin at The Kitchen Sink in Recipe,Salad » 14 comments

warm corn chowder salad

The kind of cooking that’s been happening in my kitchen lately is a summer kind of cooking.  Most of the time, it’s barely “cooking” at all.  It’s largely based on fresh produce—whatever has caught my eye.  Last weekend it was tomatoes, an heirloom variety that was deeply red and wonderfully misshapen.  They were sliced onto seeded bagels, under thin rounds of cucumbers and purple onions sliced into half moons.  They were stuffed into BLTs, mine doctored up with snipped chives, while Kevin’s gilded the lily with a fried egg.  They were diced into a salad—just the tomatoes, a crack of pepper, and crumbled feta.  Salt, too.  It’s the difference between a really great tomato and a transcendent one.  Yes, transcendent.  If there’s a cause for hyperbole, friends, it’s a ripe summer tomato.  It just is.

bagel, with the works

There’s been some more involved cooking and baking (a baked pasta for our friends who have a newborn; homemade burger buns for a BBQ last Saturday; a smoked pork butt; endless batches of my favorite ice cream), but even that has taken on summer’s rhythms.  I cook and bake in little pockets of time—when it’s raining, or after it’s dark, or before we set out on a giant walk.  I love that kitchen—I do—but it will be there in the fall and it will be there still in the (dare I say?) winter.

blt with egg (b.e.l.t.?)

I can’t get enough blueberries, and wedges of watermelon have been calling to me.  Crisp white wine—as cold as possible—could not be more refreshing.

tomato salad & marconas

And corn, too.  Boiled, grilled, shaved from the cob—I’ll take it any which way.


But, with my back against the wall, I’d choose this warm corn chowder salad.  It’s quick and spicy and smoky and familiar.  It’s wonderful at any temperature, which makes it perfect for a picnic.  Picnic!  And, with that, I can guess my next summer cooking bender.

Warm Corn Chowder Salad
Adapted from Food & Wine

Serves 6-8

4 thick slices of bacon (4 ounces), chopped
1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 jalapeno, minced
8 ears of corn, kernels removed
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup cider vinegar
Snipped chives (optional)

In a large skillet, cook the bacon over moderately low heat, stirring a few times, until it is crisp, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to paper towels and let drain.

Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of the bacon fat in the skillet. Add the potatoes and cook over moderate heat until they start to brown, about 3 minutes. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes longer, until almost tender. Add the jalapenos and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes and peppers are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the corn kernels and cook, stirring, until heated through, about 3 minutes.

Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl and stir in the onion, cider vinegar, and bacon. Season the salad with salt.  Garnish with chives (if desired) and serve.

14 comments so far. »
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  1. Rosa says on July 26 2011 at 10:27 pm:

    Lovely food. That Salad looks very palatable. I love such dishes.



  2. The Hungry Traveler says on July 27 2011 at 4:36 am:

    Omit the bacon, swap the potatoes for yellow tomatoes and the vinegar for lime juice, and you pretty much have the salsa/salad thing we just made to go with some salmon. The fish was great, but I ended up eating the salsa out of the bowl with a spoon it was so good! Love me some summer corn; your salad sounds great too, will have to try that one next.

  3. The Dinner Belle for KimberlyBelle.com says on July 27 2011 at 9:23 am:

    Totally share the same sentiments with you on summer tomatoes…they are seriously so good during this time of the year. I wish they were like that all four seasons! And your summer cooking looks beautiful – thanks for the inspiration ;)

  4. heather @ chiknpastry says on July 27 2011 at 12:09 pm:

    i saw this recipe also – i really need to grab some corn and get to cookin’.

  5. Katie says on July 27 2011 at 6:30 pm:

    I think I could enjoy eating my summer meals at your house! Yum! That corn chowder salad sounds delicious. Is the bacon pretty essential? I’d love to try it, but I don’t eat meat other than fish.

  6. Maria @ A Platter of Figs says on July 28 2011 at 6:45 pm:

    This is a beautiful recipe and I am sure it tastes delicious especially with fresh produce. I am like you in that during the summer my cooking is “barely cooking”. More like putting ingredients together in their more natural state.

  7. Barbara says on July 29 2011 at 11:20 am:

    Your summer cooking is the kind I like best, Kristin! Super photos, too. The chowder sounds wonderful.

  8. diane says on July 31 2011 at 7:19 pm:

    I can’t wait to make this for our friends,should be a great meal after a long day.It looks fabulous! MOM

  9. Gemma says on August 03 2011 at 1:00 pm:

    This sounds wonderful. What a great spread of summer food photos!

  10. Kasey says on August 03 2011 at 5:46 pm:

    I know exactly what you mean about ‘summer kind of cooking.’ It’s effortless, and I love it!

  11. Jacqueline says on August 07 2011 at 2:13 am:

    Ok, so now I am feeling ravenous. I think it is time for breakfast. What a temptation of a post.

  12. betty says on August 10 2011 at 8:03 pm:

    oh i am definitely evernoting this, thank you!

  13. Summer for one « GuFf says on August 11 2011 at 12:12 pm:

    [...] Summer sweetcorn salad Adapted slightly from The Kitchen Sink [...]

  14. Gourmandelle says on August 12 2011 at 7:48 am:

    Looks so delicious! I can’t wait to try this recipe!

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