On a sweltering late summer evening my husband and I eagerly joined CSA holders from our favorite farm market for a festive dinner made right on the farm. The advance buzz had been intriguing. The menu was to be based entirely on the farm’s produce and local ingredients. And, the dishes would be concocted by a leading area chef. The price of admission – a dessert to share It was a combination too alluring to miss and so we set out for dinner with my contribution, a blueberry peach crisp, tucked safely away on the back seat.
Chef David Banks was already working the grill when we arrived at Hill Girt farm, nestled in the rolling hills of the nearby Brandywine Valley. Tantalizing aromas drifted toward us and music wafted across the fields. It was a promising start to the evening.
And it only got better. When we approached the rustic 1600’s barn where dinner was being served, we were greeted with spicy pineapple, agave and scotch bonnet cocktails. The scotch bonnet’s fire was quenched by the smooth agave and balanced by the tart pineapple. Altogether the right choice for a hot night.
Chinese lanterns lent a festive air but our eyes were drawn to the sensational array of dishes on tables that stretched along one entire side of the barn. Which to choose first? Free-range chicken with lemongrass-ginger sauce? Grilled corn on a stick with spicy aioli? Beet foam salad? The corn won out. Its sweet crunch and smoky grill flavor were complemented perfectly by its slather of savory dressing. But the salad was a close second. The delicate foam atop a mountain of greens presented a lovely pairing.
Many munches later we strolled down the farm lane in the lingering dusk. Behind us the barn lights twinkled and children played on the grass. Crickets chirped in the distance. It had been a magical evening and the food was only a part of it.
Photo courtesy of SIW Vegetables
Grilled Corn on a Stick
(Courtesy of Harry's Savoy Grill)
6 Ears of corn in husks but with silks removed
3 tbs butter melted
1/2 cup sour cream mixed with a little milk
1/3 cup crumbled queso or other cheese
1 tbs cayenne powder
1/2 tsp cumin
2 tbls lime juice
About one hour before serving, place corn in a pot of cold water.
Light charcoal or start the grill.
Combine the other ingredients and set aside
Lay corn on the grill and roast 15-20 minutes until outer leaves are blackened.
Remove, let cool then remove husks. For a nice touch, cut into 4 pieces and insert skewer, place on a plate.
Serve with the sour cream mix as a dip or a spread.