Well I managed to stumble my way through my allotted 20 slides, when my turn came up at the City Market Visa Wellington on a Plate event, Pecha Kucha: Imbibe. I won't lie, I was a bunch of nerves standing on stage, all eyes on me, and my slides, mouth dried up, but words managed to flow, I think, although it is a haze, I managed a joke or two, wasn’t booed or humiliated, not suffering from PTSD, in the end it was a lot of fun, and quite proud to be part of the 14 presenters who took to the stage that night. Well on to the regularly scheduled blog post.
I hate waiting for packages, the ten days between seeing “item dispatched” on my orders and the package arriving, I find myself checking the mail daily with growing anticipation followed by soul crushing depression, until it finally turns up. Having a magazine subscription, I get to go through this cycle regularly. The termination of the latest hope-sadness cycle was with Lucky Peach finally landing on my desk, and trying so hard to not to flick through it during work hours, but as soon as I got home I started devouring it page by page.
Flicking my way through the lastest issue, with Americana recipes inspired by the film Diner, which I have ever so vague recollections about, I came across Daniel Patterson's popcorn grits (Lucky Peach, Issue #4, page 83), and I knew I had to make it.
½ cup Popcorn Kernels
¼ cup Oil (something neutral, such as rice bran, rapeseed or canola)
3 cups Water
7 Tablespoons Butter, unsalted
Salt, to taste
- Over a medium heat, pop the corn in the oil. Be very careful not burn it, sacrifice a few kernels if you have to, but if you burn it, or it smells slightly acrid, bin it.
- Bring lightly salted water and butter to a simmer.
- Add a third of the popped corn to the water and simmer for 1 minute.
- Strain through a sieve, reserving the liquid.
- Pour the liquid back into the pot, bring back to a simmer.
- With the back of a spoon press the simmered popped corn through the sieve, scraping the underside into a bowl.
- Repeat with the other two thirds of the popped corn.
- Put the purée into a pot loosen with some of the popcorn ‘stock’, I used almost all of mine.
- Season with salt.
Corn and mushrooms are pretty good friends on a plate together, corn sweet and nutty, mushrooms earthy and can be meaty and nutty, heck even nature puts it together, and man puts it in a can, à la huitlacoche the fungal infected swollen corn kernels.