Butter my buns and call me a biscuit, What in the world did I just agree to?
The exact thoughts (except insert profanity where needed) that ran through my head when I responded “yes” to a dinner proposal from Eckerts Farm asking if I would be willing to put together a pop up meal along with a concept / design for thirty guests of their choice.
Who am I?
Not a professional, i can tell ya’ll that much. Little restaurant experience (however I DID cater in HS for some extra cash) and then making food appear to be (mostly) edible at the studio I work at here in St. Louis. My experience with cooking has always been enjoyed in the comfort of my own home. I’m at ease there, I also am comforted by the fact that I know if my recipe development goes to hell there is a local pizza delivery place that I have on speed dial. Or some blue box blues. Oh and wine. Always wine.
But how could i turn down Eckerts? Sinfully sweet corn, the juiciest peaches in all the land (no joke), the most scrumdiddilyumptious blackberries and the list goes on, and on, and on… andonandonandonandon. And on top of that? Chris & Angie Eckert just happen to be the most hardworking / hospitable people I have ever met. Saying yes was basically my only option. So began the night sweats and nausea leading up to the big day. (let’s just say i absolutely have no idea how to actually ‘play it cool’)
The evening began with a signature cocktail provided by Eckerts and then began a wagon ride through the farm where the guests stopped in the cornfield and were able to pick & try some of Eckerts sweet corn. They next continued their way by wagon, up until they landed in Chris & Angie Eckerts orchard with a vineyard view, talk about living, l-i-v-i-n. Then began the meal starting with a chilled curried coconut sweet corn & apple soup with some fresh beet hummus on the side, followed by a broiled leafy green salad topped with pancetta, caramelized onions, walnuts and shaved parmesan, next brandied peaches over pork chops that laid upon a bed of cheesy grits and pea tendrils, and ended with creme fraiche and white chocolate puddincotta (panna cotta meets pudding) with a brandied blackberry sauce and fresh blackberries.
Needless to say, I don’t think anyone went home hungry (or at least i hope not).
okay i’ll stop. those puns were horrifyingly awful. but i tried. hush child.
Sweet corn is key for the ultimate flavor high. Without it… it just ain’t so sweet.
A little coconut milk goes a looooong way. trust me on this. i made this recipe several times until i finally got the right amount down. as the soup chills all flavors become more bold, but the coconut milk literally takes over. we want to taste the corn here, the star of the show, with just subtle notes of coconut. duhz
a high powered blender is the key for complete laziness with this recipe (i use a vita mixer) HOWEVER it is NOT necessary. you can blend this with a regular ol’ blender and then push ingredients through a fine sieve. however you’ll come out with a little less (so recipe will be more for 6 vs 8 people).
yes, you may eat this soup hot. it tastes pretty damn good. i served mine with a side of beet hummus over a toasted baguette. that recipe will come another time. just be patient. thank you. kindly.
*Thank you Eckerts Farm for sponsoring this post, ALL thoughts and feelings are completely my own and am only hoping I can work with them again in the near future!