Friday, August 28, 2009

Recipe: Chef Ryan Scott's Sweet Corn Soup

Tonight I continued my intern hours by assisting former Top Chef contestant Ryan Scott at a fundraiser event in San Francisco, Art for Aids. We served his amazing sweet corn soup with pickled cherry tomatoes as well as a hit of chili oil and tomato salt. Ryan's got a catering company here in SF now call Ryan Scott 2 Go.

We're in a heat wave... It struck with such sudden viciousness I actually got a call from a friend in sheer confusion. She couldn't understand why it was sweltering in her place, then walked outside and realized it was the entire city that was melting. Hot steaming soup at the peak of summer? In SF, it's usually a nice option since we're often still in coats anyways. That said, the soup received rave reviews despite the hot environs. Many people said it was the best dish in the house (other tables included SF notables Town Hall, Maya, Home and Asia de Cuba). My favorite feedback was someone who asked whether it was sweet or savory, and after being told it was savory told us "Well I like it even better than dessert."

Corn soup is one of those simple but completely pleasurable foods best served at the height of summer. Ryan's posting his recipes on his website, but because I can't seem to find it up yet check out the version I found here.

If you're interested in other summer corn recipes, I also found this old SF Chronicle article full of options, and a note on how to make "corn milk" (which is included in Ryan's recipe as well).

“Top Chef” Ryan Scott Sweet White Corn Soup Recipe
1/4 pound butter
1cup leeks, white part only, minced
2 cups onions, finely minced
2 Qt corn milk
1 Qt shucked corn
2 1/2 Qt's vegetable stock
1-cup heavy cream
Dash of Tabasco
3 T salt

Sweat in a large saucepan the butter, onions, and leeks or until translucent (5-10 min). Add the corn milk, corn, stock and simmer for 1/2 hour. Then add cream, salt, Tabasco, and bring to a boil. Puree in blender and strain through a fine mesh strainer (depending on the desired consistency of the soup)

“Top Chef” Ryan Scott Pickled Cherry Tomatoes Recipe
2 lbs Cherry tomatoes, cut in half and washed
2Tbs slivered garlic (as thin as a dime)
2 Tbs slivered ginger (as thin as a dime)
2 Tbs minced parsley
1 1/2 Tbs salt
1 Tbs Espelete pepper
1/2 Tbs tumeric
1 1/2 Tsp cracked black pepper
1 cup champagne vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cup corn oil
1 cup sugar

Boil salt, sugar, and vinegar till dissolved.

Heat the oil just warm enough to lightly cook the garlic, ginger, and spices. Cook till garlic is tender not brown.

Add vinegar slowly to the oil mixture and then add parsley. Pour liquid mixture over the halved tomatoes, let cool at room temperature, and then refrigerate. This mixture will hold up for weeks as long as its chilled. When serving it does taste better at room temperature.

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