Grilled Corn with Spicy Miso Butter and Furikake

Camper Mike's corn!

Camper Mike’s corn!

Ryan and I were camping in the Eastern Sierras recently at a gorgeous locale called Silver Lake (also the name of our neighborhood in Los Angeles so I guess it was meant to be).  My friend Sienna, who you may recognize as the talented artist, food stylist and Hudson Workshops founder, her hubs Dallas and their mini-them, Dakota have been vacationing there for a while so this year we decided to tag along.  And thank god we did.  This was some postcard camping, boating, fishing and hiking at its finest.

Our neighbor at the campground, a happy well-fed man named Mike rolled in with his family to celebrate his 40th birthday and upon smelling the bacon I had sizzling on the camp stove, he promptly came over to say hello.  We got to talking about food (what else!) and both quickly discovered that we were crazed for it.  He showed me photos of his homemade grilling rigs, filled in Ryan on all the best fishing spots in the area and gave us some corn his coworker grew that was kicking around in his camper.  In some ways he reminded me of my dad, in others like every guy I grew up with in Wisconsin.  I like guys like Mike.  And the corn wasn’t too shabby either.

Sunset on Silver Lake

Sunset on Silver Lake


6 ears of corn

Cooking spray

1 stick butter, softened

2 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp miso (white or red)

1 tbsp gochujang*




Heat the grill or grill pan to medium high heat.

To make the miso butter, mix together the butter, sesame oil, miso, and gochujang.  If you are making a large batch of this, you can use the food processor and the butter doesn’t have to be softened.  This compound butter freezes well so you can wrap it in small bundles and keep in the freezer for future use.

Shuck the corn and spray it with cooking spray.  Grill until slightly charred, turning the cob so that it is cooked evenly, about 10 minutes.

Remove the corn from the grill and rub with the spicy miso butter.  Squirt some lime juice  and give them a nice dusting of furikake.

*Gochujang is a Korean chili paste that’s in like everything they make.  It’s delicious and you should go on the interwebs and buy some if you don’t have access to it where you live.

**Furikake is a Japanese dry seasoning that has sesame, seaweed, salt, sugar and dried fish. It is traditionally sprinkled on rice which is delicious.  Clearly also awesome on corn. Again, interwebs it if you can’t find it in your town.

Sienna Fishing for Trout

Sienna Fishing for Trout



Ratatouille Succotash with Herb Pistou

Summertime in a bowl!

Summertime in a bowl!

In honor of Bastille Day, I decided I wanted to make a ratatouille with all the beautiful summer vegetables I found at the farmer’s market in Prospect Park this past weekend.  It’s always such a pleasure to make ratatouille when all the veggies are in peak form, and in my mind, it’s a dish that should never be attempted out of season.

Then a shipment of Rancho Gordo beans arrived at Pete and Susan’s casa, so of course I decided some sort of white bean though certainly not traditional, would be appropriate to add to the mélange.  Then several ears of leftover corn appeared from a Sunday cookout, so why not throw them in too, screw it! My ratatouille très francaise started becoming a bit americaine, as if Succotash was taken by a Provençal lover and this was the result of their rolling around in a field of lavender.

This is a superb vegetarian dish this time of year that can stand on its own, act as a side dish, or be made a bit heartier with the addition of a poached egg on top.  It’s also a great topping for crostini with a bit of chèvre, and makes a killer room-temp pasta salad with penne.  All that being said, make sure you make a big batch so you have all these options to nosh on throughout the week.  Happy Bastille Day and Bonne Fête Nationale!


For the Herb Pistou:

3 cups fresh herbs; could be basil, parsley, tarragon, chervil, mint or any combination thereof

1 scallion, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

1/2 cup toasted almonds

1/4 cup grated Parmesan Reggiano

1/4 cup water

Juice of 1 lemon

1 cup olive oil

Sale and pepper, to taste

For the Ratatouille Succotash:

Olive oil

1 large eggplant, chopped

3 medium zucchini, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

2 bell peppers (whatever color you prefer or a mix thereof), chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 large tomatoes, chopped

1/4 cup white vermouth

small bunch fresh thyme, leaves only chopped

1/2 lb. cooked lima beans

4 ears of cooked corn, kernels cut from the cob

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Salt and pepper, to taste




To make the Herb Pistou, combine the herbs, scallion, garlic, almonds and Parmesan to the bowl of a food processor.  Blend until everything is broken up and combined, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl and process again.  Add the water and lemon juice, pulse again and scrape down the sides of the bowl.  With the food processor running, add the olive oil through the spout in a slow stream.  Season with salt and pepper, scrape into a sealed container and set aside.  Herb pistou can be made as early as 3 days ahead of time and held in the refrigerator.

To make the Ratatouille Succotash, in a large pot over medium high heat add 1/4 cup olive oil and toss in the eggplant making sure not to crowd the pot.  If necessary, do this in two batches so that the eggplant browns and retains its shape.  Season with salt and pepper.  Leave it alone for 5 minutes, then stir and cook another 5 minutes.  Remove the eggplant from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl.

Add 2 more tablespoons olive oil to the pot and toss in the zucchini.  Season with salt and pepper.  Again you do not want the zucchini to crowd the pot so do this in two batches if necessary.  Cook the for 5 minutes, stir and cook another 5 minutes.  Remove the zucchini from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl.

Add 2 more tablespoons olive oil to the pan and add the onion and bell peppers.  Sweat until they turn translucent, about 7 minutes.

Then add the garlic and tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes.

Deglaze the pot with vermouth, scraping up any browned bits (sucs) on the bottom with a wooden spoon.

Return the eggplant and zucchini to the pot and toss in the thyme.

Turn the heat down to medium and cook the vegetables for another 10 minutes.

Add the lima beans, corn, fresh lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

Remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

Serve with a big dollop of the Herb Pistou, crusty bread and hefty glass of wine.

14 Juillet