This monthly cooking series features husband and wife team Barry and Kelley Courter.
BARRY SAYS: The growing season for some vegetables is coming to an end but just starting for others. Kelley and I talked about cooking a dish that might incorporate late-summer produce but also that would help bring on the cooler weather, at least in our minds. We did not think it would bring the monsoons as well, but it was nice to have the rain.
What she chose was delicious, comforting and just about perfect. I especially liked the crunch that the corn gave the soup, and the chorizo burger, with the added apple flavoring, was wonderful. The one leftover made for a tasty breakfast. I'm a big fan of leftovers, by the way. We don't see them a lot in our house for some reason, but they are a welcome bonus.
KELLEY SAYS: I really wasn't sure where I would go with this menu. I had on hand several fresh produce items that needed to be used soon and chorizo from one of the local Latin markets. The menu really didn't hit me until I was walking through the cheese aisle at the grocery. I obtained a few more items and headed home to begin cooking. I tossed a few ideas around with Barry, and we ended up with a wonderful late-summer afternoon dinner on the porch.
When September arrives, I begin to think cooler weather and football. I think this menu would be good for both. I will definitely make all these items again, and very soon.
One note to pass on with the burgers and jalapenos: We added hickory to the grill to give them a nice smoky flavor.
BARRY: This would make a good meal for tailgating. Everything about the meal blended well together. The peppers weren't too spicy, and the creamy filling, with the bacon and cranberry cream cheese, was good on its own, but paired with the soup and burger, it was great.
I'm glad to hear you'll be doing this one again. When?
Fresh Corn Soup
1 tablespoon butter
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 large green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
4 small blue potatoes, sliced
6 ears fresh corn, kernels sliced off cob
3 cup chicken or vegetable broth
3 large bay leaves
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
16 ounces Wisconsin cheddar cheese soup
5 ounces Sweetwater Valley buttermilk cheese
Melt butter in large saucepan, then sauté onion, pepper and carrots till soft. Add potatoes, corn, broth and bay leaves. Season to taste with black pepper. Cook mixture for about 20 minutes on medium heat, and then add 16 ounces Wisconsin cheddar cheese soup and 5 ounces shredded Sweetwater Valley buttermilk cheese. Stir on low heat until melted.
Smoked Stuffed Jalapenos
6 large green jalapeno peppers
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
5 ounces dried cranberry chipotle cheddar cheese, grated
4 pieces smoked bacon, cooked and finely chopped
1 green onion (green part only), thinly sliced
Cut jalapenos in half and scoop out seeds. Mix remaining ingredients and stuff into peppers. Place on upper portion of grill and smoke for about 30 minutes.
Ground Pork and Chorizo Burgers
11/2 pounds ground pork
1 pound Mexican chorizo, casings removed
1 green onion sliced
1/2 cup finely minced red onion
1/2 Fuji apple (small dice)
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 packet sazon tropical (Badia brand)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Mix above ingredients, shape into patties and grill until desired doneness.
1/2 head small green cabbage, shredded
1/2 small jicama, grated
1/2 large green bell pepper diced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 lime, squeezed
2 large garlic cloves
3 tablespoons cilantro
1 teaspoon McCormick Perfect Pinch Mediterranean Herb seasoning
Salt and pepper, to taste
Place cabbage, jicama and bell pepper in bowl.
In a small blender, combine vegetable oil, lime juice, garlic, cilantro and herb seasoning. Pour over cabbage mixture, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
To serve: Place burgers on toasted onion roll, top with slaw and chipotle mayonnaise (homemade or ready-made). Serve with Fresh Corn Soup and Smoked Stuffed Jalapenos.
Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...