Monday, December 3, 2012

Corn with Umeboshi Paste and Mashed Potatoes with Nutritional Yeast Gravy

Tonight, for meatless Monday, we had a bunch of sides, but really made some progress on getting rid of odds and ends that were cluttering up my pantry and fridge.  For starters, I have several salad dressings I had made, so one of them got used up on our salad.  I had a few sweet potatoes left, so I made a mashed potatoes with them and an russet I had.  The biggest victory was using up some of the Umeboshi paste.  I got some for the Swedish Meatballs in Spicy Plum Sauce.  I am still not sure that these were the pickled plums called for, but they have an unusual and interesting flavor.  And at $15 for 7oz, an ingredient I don't want to waste.  When I had looked for uses for the left overs, many sources said the 'tradtional' way to eat it was a bit in the center of a ball of rice.  I would like to try that too, but the corn recipe was raved about so that one came first.  (I also want to try the salad dressing and cocktail recipe I came across)  The coolest thing about tonight was the easy to clean the corn of its silks.  I saw it on pinterest, so I knew it was either awesome of a colossal failure.  Hooray, it was awesome.  You put the unshucked corn in the microwave for 5 minutes to cook, then you cut the bottom 1/2-1" off.  Cut enough that you are getting in to the kernels.  Then hold the top of the silks and the corn slips right out!  You can see the instructions and the pictures of it here.  The diner was pretty good.  My kids and I love nutritional yeast and eat a lot of it on popcorn.  We all fight over the yeast left in the bottom of the bowl.  My husband won't touch it.  I was very excited for the gravy.  We all liked it, husband included. If I ever remove all meat from my diet, gravy would be the thing I really miss (well in the top 5;), and this gravy is close enough that I would be ok with it!  The corn was really good too.  I was surprised I didn't miss the butter.

Nutritional Yeast Gravy

1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes (see note)
1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups water
2 to 3 tablespoons soy sauce
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. In the bottom of a medium or large skillet, toast nutritional yeast and flour over medium heat until you can start to smell them, stirring constantly.
2. Add oil and stir with a whisk while it bubbles and turns golden brown. Add water, still stirring with a whisk, until mixture changes to gravy consistency. Stir in soy sauce to taste, salt and pepper.

Corn with Umeboshi Paste

Corn (in husks)
Umeboshi Paste

Put the unshuchked corn in the microwave for 5 minutes.  Remove with a pot holder and cut off the bottom 1", put the cut end on a cutting board and grab the silks on top.  Pull upwards and viola!  Then for the umeboshi, I can't be more precise since you need to go pretty sparingly on the paste.  It is super salty and sour.  How much you need depends on the size of the corn and your own personal preference.  I just put about a 1/2 tsp on my fingertips and spread evenly over the entire cob

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