Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Red Pepper & Walnut Pesto AND Corniest Corn Chowder

OMG where have I been?!

Well, let's see: after my AMAZING birthday trip to Punta de Mita, Mexico [surfing La Lancha, deep-sea fishing for swordfish, relaxing by the pool, snorkeling, sun soaking, pina colada sipping, guacamole overdosing], Ross and I embarked on the Great New Apartment Adventure! We are now in a MUCH more spacious and completely adorable one bedroom right in the heart of Lakeview.

Not a week went by after my return from Mexico that I was whisked away to LA for work (not the most terrible place to work, I must admit). Amidst the travel, the moving, then being swallowed up in a downright challenging barrage of work and social activities, I didn't cook a thing for the entire month of August (unless you count late-night scrambled eggs on toast, which, frankly, you shouldn't).

All excuses aside, to my loyal blog fans: many apologies for my absence, but here's to looking forward to an autumn filled with squash, cider, and cozy nights at home (in front of our WORKING FIREPLACE!!!). And check out our "Urban Surf Shack" bedroom:

Sascha Fierce is enjoying the extra room to run wild, Ross is loving his very own Surfboard Storage Space, and I'm loving my big, open, granite-countertop-boasting kitchen (WITH A DISHWASHER!!!)...in which, I promise you with this post, I will be creating more of the delicious meals you've come to expect. So, as atonement for my laziness, please enjoy not one but TWO Fearless recipes that will take you from late summer to early fall.



1 6-oz. can tomato paste
1 jar roasted red peppers
~1 cup walnut halves/pieces
big handful basil leaves
1/2 bunch parsley
6-8 kalamata olives
salt to taste
juice of one lemon
~1/4 cup water
~1/3 c. olive oil
1 box whole wheat penne pasta (or any other pasta you like)
grated Parmesan cheese for topping


Place all ingredients except pasta and Parmesan into food processor and blend until smooth. With the blade running, drizzle in the olive oil. Taste and adjust seasoning. Set aside.


Meanwhile, boil the noodles in salted water until al dente. Drain and return to cooking pot. Toss with the sauce and heat on low to warm sauce through. Serve topped with Parmesan. Enjoy!



3 T. butter
1 small onion (or 1/2 a large onion), diced small
salt and pepper
red pepper flakes
10 cobs fresh corn, husked
3 cloves garlic, sliced
~1/2 carton chicken broth (probably about 2 cups)
1/2 pint half and half
4-5 large fresh basil leaves, in ribbons
sour cream, grape tomatoes, and fresh basil for garnish

With a sharp knife, cut the kernels off the corn cobs into a large bowl. Meanwhile, heat a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Melt the butter in the pot. Add the onion, corn kernels, and salt/pepper/red pepper flakes. Stir and let cook until onions begin to get translucent.

Add enough chicken broth just to cover the kernels. Add the garlic and basil, stir, then cover and cook over medium high heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, and adding a little chicken broth if the mixture seems to be getting a little dry.

Use an immersion blender to break down most of the corn kernels - you want a soup that's not pureed, but that's creamier than cream corn. You could also do this step in a blender or food processor. If you want it chunkier, leave more kernels. If you want it creamier, puree the heck out of it.

Reduce the heat a bit and stir in the half and half. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve in bowls topped with quartered grape tomatoes, slivered basil leaves, and a dollop of sour cream. Enjoy!

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