There is no doubt about it, the sweetcorn is the star of this show. And boy is this a must see show.
I’m always being asked for delicious dishes that can be whipped up with minimal effort, but which taste amazing. As any host will know, a crucial part of entertaining is to serve your guests something which looks like it must be terribly tricky to pull together, but which you actually did with ease. It’s also a bonus when you can serve them something a little bit different, that they haven’t necessarily had before and which draws the inevitable pleas for the recipe.
Well my friends, here is a recipe which ticks all of those boxes and I know you are going to love it.
I’ve had so many lovely messages from people telling me how much they enjoyed this recipe I posted a while back. But if you’ve already served that to everyone you’ve ever met, let me introduce you to my sweetcorn puree.
Sometimes I wonder if my love of all things pureed is some deep set desire to be a baby again. But then I think, no, I have no desire to wear a bib, or be burped or be bounced on my grannies knee. Yes it’s a wonderful feeling to be carried around all the time when you can’t be bothered / don’t know how to walk. But there are also major disadvantages to being a baby. You have to wear whatever your parents decide to put you in…yes we are thinking of you North West. You have to go to bed really early. Now I love going to bed early, but 7pm is probably a little early even for me. But there is one major advantage to being less than a year old. You get to eat pureed food all day everyday. Total bliss.
I very much doubt, back in the day I gobbling down the sort of purees I have now come to know and love, but I would have been one happy baby if I had.
This sweetcorn puree has been enthusiastically gobbled by friends and clients I’ve cooked for, so I hope you love it just as much. It makes the perfect substitute to stodgy mashed potato which undoubtedly leaves you feeling much like a mashed potato yourself.
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped
- 3 large tins of unsweetened sweetcorn (of course you can use fresh corn which has been removed from the cob, but the tinned stuff works great and I'm trying to make this as easy as possible for people)
- 100ml coconut milk
- 60ml water (may or may not need, you will see)
- 1 tsp bouillon vegetable stock powder
- dash of olive oil
- pinch of salt and pepper
- a few chilli flakes
- Simply heat a little olive oil in a pan, and then add the chopped shallot. Cook on a gentle heat for 5 mins or so until the onion is lovely and soft.
- Drain the sweetcorn and add to the pan. (If using fresh uncooked corn, you will need to cook it in hot water for 5-7 mins until soft...then carry on as outlined below)
- Add the bouillon and the salt and pepper.
- Give it all a good stir. Then tip into a good processor and blitz.
- At the stage it will look a little like sweetcorn mush but nothing like a silky smooth puree.
- Dont panic.
- Add the coconut milk and blitz again. Let it run for a good 2 mins, scraping down the sides as necessary.
- It should now be looking more puree-like. If it still too thick, add a little water and blitz again.
- You have two options, you can serve it as it is, slightly chunkier with a bit more bite, which I personally love. Or you can quickly pop it through a sieve so that it's smoother and more professional looking.
- Either way, make sure its well seasoned. Add the chilli flakes for a lovely subtle hint of heat.
- Pop into a dish and keep warm in the oven.
- Alternatively, you can make it a day ahead, then reheat in a pan when you need it. Easy peasy. When serving drizzle with a little olive oil and a few chilli flakes. Delicious!
- 8 chicken thighs, with skin on
- lovely bunch of cherry tomatoes still on the vine
- 8 slices of pancetta
- bunch of basil
- handful of almonds
- good glug of olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- basil leaves to garnish, I love Greek Basil
- This is so easy! Preheat the oven to 200C
- Pop the chicken thighs skin side up in a roasting tin
- Drizzle with olive oil and a good pinch of Maldon salt, to help the skins get crispy
- Cook for 30 mins.
- After 30 minutes, add the pancetta strips to the pan, and the tomatoes. Return to the oven to finish the chicken, crisp the pancetta and help the tomatoes burst a little. This should take about 8 minutes.
- Whilst this magic is happening in the oven you can make the pistou. A pistou is a pesto without the cheese, and I promise you really don't miss the cheese at all! Which is great, as it saves you lots of calories, but it doesnt compromise on taste at all.
- Simply pop a handful of basil into a food processor. Add the crushed garlic clove, a handful of almonds and a good glug of olive oil. Whizz it all together. If its too thick, add more oil.
- I am purposefully not giving you exact specifics on the measurements as it's good to just have a go at bunging it all in and seeing that it works out wonderfully, which it will! You just need to trust yourself.
- Add a pinch of salt.
- Now, remove the dish from the oven
- Serve the chicken on a bed of sweetcorn puree, with crispy pancetta, bursting cherry tomatoes and a drizzle of pistou. Garnish with basil and prepare to wow yourself, and your guests.
Don’t forget to tag me in your photos on Instagram, I love seeing all of your creations!