Chow Town

Bounty of fresh summer vegetables makes August good cooking month

Updated: 2013-08-05T12:34:42Z

By LOU JANE TEMPLE

In the past few weeks, Chow Town bloggers have offered lots of good recipes that use the bounty of August.

Tyler Fox’s seasonal pizza looked amazing, as did Andrea Shores Salad Nicoise. I loved Judith Fertig’s treatment of peaches (on the grill) and Donna Cook’s odes to watermelon and tomatoes.

And I’m sure all of you have an absolute favorite summer food. Write me a comment and let me know what it is.

In the meantime, here, is my contribution to this collection of August recipes.

May your peaches be juicy, your corn sweet, your tomatoes ripe. Remember these tastes and store those memories away for January.

Figs, Nectarines and Prosciutto

1 cup white wine

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

2 pints fresh figs, halved or quartered, depending on the size

6 to 8 ripe nectarines, pitted and sliced

1/3 to 1/2 pound prosciutto, thinly sliced or pulled apart

To prepare the dressing, combine the wine, water, and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and reduce until the mixture resembles a runny syrup. Add the vinegar and cook 3 minutes more. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

Arrange the figs and nectarines on a platter. Top with the prosciutto and drizzle all over with the dressing.

Scallops and corn

Makes 8 servings

1-1/2 to 2 pounds of sea scallops, rinsed and patted dry.

1 cup sriacha hot sauce or to taste

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup rice wine vinegar

1/4 cup sesame oil

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

4 shallots, peeled and sliced

2 to 3 colored peppers, any color you like: red, yellow, green or orange, seeded, quartered, and diced

8 ears corn, kernels cut off the cob.

1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk

1/2 cup half-and-half

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon white ground pepper

2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

Combine the scallops, hot sauce, soy sauce, vinegar and sesame oil in a large storage container or plastic bag. Marinate for at least an hour but not more than three hours or the vinegar will “cook” the scallops.

Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over low heat. Add the shallots and peppers and sauté for 5 minutes, and then add the corn. Sauté over low heat until the peppers are tender, another 5 minutes.

Add coconut milk, half-and-half and seasonings. Then add the cherry tomatoes and heat through, another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat but cover to keep warm.

Heat a large, dry sauté pan over medium heat. Sear the marinated scallops 3 to 4 minutes on each side, being careful not to crowd them. The marinade clinging to the scallops should be sufficient moisture for cooking them, but you can always add a tablespoon or two if necessary. Remove from the pan as they are cooked through.

If you have marinade left when all the scallops are cooked, pour it into the empty sauté pan and simmer it for 5 minutes, making sure that any marinade that has touched raw meat is heated to 165 degrees to kill any food borne bacteria. Drizzle the scallops with this reduction.

When both the corn and scallops are ready, turn the corn onto a large platter with a lip. Arrange the scallops on top and garnish with the basil.

Lou Jane Temple’s road to food has been a long and winding one. First as a rock n roll caterer back stage to the stars, then with her own Kansas City based catering company, Cafe Lulu, food writing, novelist, private chef. Lou Jane has written and had published nine culinary mysteries and one cookbook. She recently moved back to Kansas City and eagerly awaits the next chapter of her food career.

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