We’ve rented a house at the beach this week, but we haven’t seen it because why would you leave your house if it had a pool like this in the backyard? Between this, and other things the only delight pathetic city people — the giant (charcoal!) grill, a washer and dryer and an entirely separate floor just for bedrooms, meaning that adults can converse at a notch above a whisper after children go to sleep — we have zero regrets. Plus, 7 week-olds, as everyone lies when they say, are so portable! I mean, they physically are, but our sardine-packed car on Friday with everything from a folding bassinet, crib, tub, reams of burp cloths, swaddling blankets and the most sigh-worthy collection of tiny rompers might tell a different story.
Beach house cooking — the kind fueled by good farmer’s markets but the notable absence of whatever ingredient you needed most, forcing you to be clever — is my favorite. To wit, it’s only day three and we’ve already eaten our body weights in grilled meat, caprese, and my favorite new hack on this avocado-cucumber salad (with ample lime juice, olive oil, sea salt and small amount of finely slivered jalapenos and red onion), and this six-ingredient corn salad I made last week is hopefully next for a repeat.
This salad hails from the Beekman Boys, the transplanted New Yorkers we fantasize about being every August who bought a farm, and launched a store, TV show and series of cookbooks to share what they grown and make. I couldn’t resist the cleverness of applying the ingredients of corn chowder to a salad, even if they taste little alike, but I was even more impressed by the way they managed to get such flavor from six ingredients cooked layer by layer in a single pan. It’s almost like they understand how we all really want to be in the waning days of summer — very very lazy. We salute this.
One year ago: Strawberries and Cream with Graham Crumbles
Two years ago: Butterscotch Pudding Popsicles and Pink Lemonade Popsicles
Three years ago: Vanilla Custards with Roasted Blueberries
Four years ago: Naked Tomato Sauce
Five years ago: Fresh Tomato Sauce
Six years ago: Grilled Eggplant and Olive Pizza, Peach Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Frosting and Melon Agua Fresca
Seven years ago: How to Poach an Egg, Smitten Kitchen-Style, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake and Slow-Roasted Tomatoes
Eight years ago: Plum Almond Tart, Smoke-Roasted Stuffed Bell Peppers and Double Chocolate Torte
And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Spaghetti Pangattato with Crispy Eggs and The ‘I Want Chocolate Cake’ Cake
1.5 Years Ago: Dijon and Cognac Beef Stew and Morning Bread Pudding with Salted Caramel
2.5 Years Ago: Fried Egg Sandwich with Bacon and Blue Cheese
3.5 Years Ago: French Onion Tart
Corn Chowder Salad
From The Beekman Boys
This salad was a much bigger hit than I’d expected, from my husband “Bacon? corn? My new favorite!” before even trying it, to my son “This is the best salad you’ve ever made, mom,” to the babysitter and her daughter both. One note about the corn: My mega New York ears of corn yielded way more than I think was intended. The Beekman Boys created this salad as way to show off the five varieties of corn they grow (Silver Queen! Country Gentlemen!), all which sound smaller (7 to 8 inches) than what I had. Even with less corn, as I suggest below, do keep in mind that this salad is (deliciously) mostly corn and just a little potato. If you’d like to forego the bacon to make this vegetarian and vegan, you could start the recipe by frying the potatoes in 3 tablespoons of another fat. Finally, as I have a chive plant growing wild outside, I finished this with a handful.
Serves 8 as a side
4 thick slices of bacon (4 ounces), cut crosswise 1/2 inch thick
1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 red bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch dice, although I made mine smaller
6 large or 8 medium ears of corn, kernels removed (I used 8 large and it was a massive salad)
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup cider vinegar
Salt and crushed red pepper to taste
Cook bacon: In a large frying pan, cook the bacon over moderately low heat, stirring a few times, until it is crisp, about 5 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to paper towels and let drain.
Fry potatoes, peppers and corn: Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of the bacon fat in the skillet. Add the potatoes and cook over moderately high heat until they start to brown, about about 3 to 6 minutes. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes longer, until almost tender; they’ll finish cooking with the other vegetables. Add the diced red peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes and peppers are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the corn kernels and cook, stirring, until heated through but still crisp, about 3 minutes.
Assemble and serve: Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl and stir in the onion, cider vinegar and bacon. Season with red pepper and salt to taste. Serve warm, or at room temperature.