With nearly a whole carton of buttermilk sitting in my fridge, I had to come up with some great way to use it up! On Friday at my office’s summer barbecue, one of my coworkers put together a fantastic meal and one of the dishes was a spicy corn soup. I tried to recreate it here; it’s different, but still very good.
Spicy Corn and Pepper Buttermilk Soup
2 garlic cloves
olive oil to coat the garlic
1/3 of a large sweet onion (Vidalia)
1-2 teaspoons of olive oil (for sauteing the onion)
1 green pepper, roasted
2 ears of corn
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
salt & pepper (about 1 teaspoon each)
3 cups of water (or any type of broth)
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon lime juice
1.5 tablespoons brown sugar
10-15 basil leaves
1. Prep the corn – boil in water with a dash of salt and about a teaspoon of water for 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat, drain, and run under cold water. Cut the corn off the cob, but save the cobs.
2. Roast the pepper – see yesterday’s post for a description.
3. Prep the garlic – coat the cloves (not peeled yet!) with olive oil, wrap them in foil, and cook at 350F in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until soft.
4. Chop the onion and saute in the olive oil for 2-3 minutes.
5. Chop up the roasted pepper and add half to the onion. Also add half of the corn. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
6. Add the spices: cinnamon, cumin, and chili powder. Add the salt and pepper, to taste. Cook for another 2 minutes.
7. Add the water and the saved corn cobs. Simmer (low to medium heat), uncovered, for 25 minutes.
8. In a small saute pan (nonstick is good), saute the remaining corn in 1 teaspoon of olive oil. After 3-4 minutes, add the rest of the roasted pepper and cook for 3-4 more minutes.
9. Remove the corn cobs from the soup. Add the inside of the baked garlic as well as the buttermilk.
10. Pour out the soup through a strainer into a bowl. Puree the solid part with just a little bit of the liquid until it’s fairly smooth.
11. Pour the puree and the rest of the liquid back into the soup pot. Add the lime juice and the chooped basil leaves. Add the brown sugar and mix well. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.
12. Add the remaining corn and pepper; cook until everything is heated through.
Griff was over Sunday night when we had this, and he actually added rice to his – a very good idea! Bobby and I enjoyed ours plain. I hope you find time to try it because it’s delicious 🙂
This skill will come in handy for the recipe I’m about to post next.
How to roast peppers (any kind) in an oven:
Preheat your broiler and put the rack up as close as it can get to the broiler. Cut your peppers into eighths. Place them (skin side up) on a baking sheet. Broil for 10-12 minutes, or until the skin starts to bubble and blacken. Remove them from the heat, and wait for them to cool before using them in a recipe. It’s that simple. If your peppers aren’t that big, you can cut them into quarters instead. If you’re roasting chilis, be sure to wear gloves while handling them.
This recipe comes straight from an e-mail from my Dad after I asked him how to make his amazing buttermilk pancakes. He made them every Saturday growing up and I am forever spoiled. I can’t order pancakes in restaurants because they just don’t measure up. See my notes after the recipe below…
Dad’s Buttermilk Pancakes
Ingredients & Method: (2-3 servings)
1 cup buttermilk
1. Mix them up
2. Sift together (or just mix well) the following:
1 cup flour (Dad usually uses about 1/2 cup white, a little more than 1/4 cup whole wheat – pastry flour is best – and a little less than 1/4 cup wheat germ. But don’t try to sift the wheat germ! Just throw it in the wet ingredients.)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3. Mix everything together- Dad uses a whisk, but don’t beat it to death.
4. Cook on one side until bubbles stay open, flip and cook another minute or two. (Cook in a nonstick pan/skillet with some butter/margarine over medium heat. Dad actually uses clarified butter, which doesn’t burn.)
I made some notes:
- I wanted more protein, so I used 2 egg whites instead of 1 egg – couldn’t tell the difference.
- I didn’t have wheat germ, so I crushed up some bran flakes from my Raisin Bran. It worked perfectly.
- If the batter is too thick for your liking, you can thin it out with some water – add 1/4 cup at a time until it’s the right consistency for you.
- If you don’t have buttermilk you can actually substitute… Orange juice! Weird, I know, but apparently it tastes pretty much the same. There’s something in the chemical makeup of both buttermilk and OJ that makes this recipe work.
- We topped ours with blueberries. I also added blueberries while the cakes were cooking – after you spoon the batter into the pan, just sprinkle the top with blueberries. Then when you flip them, you’ll have blueberries on one side.
- We also topped them with butter, honey, and maple syrup. Delicious!