Before I get into today’s corn dish, I must celebrate a landmark: this is the exact midpoint of my challenge, with 45 days gone and 45 to go. That’s right – I’m halfway there. (Livin’ on a prayer.) I think a retrospective is in order. Admittedly, there have been a lot of mediocre preparations, and at least a couple utter failures, but for the most part, I have enjoyed what I’ve cooked with corn and I haven’t even gotten sick of it. The only times when I regret accepting this bet is when I come home after a long day, having already eaten three full meals, completely un-hungry, and I realize I still have to cram a can of corn down my gob. Otherwise, I truly enjoy eating it. On some days, it’s actually something I look forward to. Plus, I have produced some truly excellent dishes along the way:
- Day 6: O-corn-omiyaki
- Day 11: Corn and Red Cabbage Grilled Cheese
- Day 15: Corn Noodle Soup with Bergamot
- Day 20: Corn Kedgeree
- Day 23: Corn and Pork Rib Nachos
- Day 26: Corn and Grapefruit Salad with Shichimi
- Day 27: Chilli con Corne
- Day 40: Zakkoku Rice with Corn
That grapefruit salad alone just about makes this whole ordeal worth it. Highly recommended.
Anyway, I must press on. There’s corn to be done. Today I made a simple sesame dressing out of tahini, sesame oil, sesame seeds, mirin, kabosu juice, yuzu zest, MSG, salt, vegetable oil, and grated ginger, garlic, and shallot. I used this to coat batons of multi-colored carrots and salsify along with a can of corn. The vegetables were roasted at 200ºC for about 45 minutes. The sesame sauce clung tightly to the veg, and everything caramelized beautifully. The carrots and salsify had a wonderful chew, and the corn was not out of place – sweet and nutty, to match the glaze.
I served it with some lovely brill, which I poached in a mixture of umeboshi puree and akazake, a rare kind of cooking sake from Kumamoto that I was lucky enough to happen upon in a department store basement in Tokyo. The sauce had a deep sweet and sour flavor, and the fish was satiny soft. The recipe can be found in my upcoming cookbook, if you are keen to try it (you can substitute Shaoxing wine for the akazake).