Thursday, September 6, 2012

Grilled Corn Agnolotti

Here’s the thing… this was the best dish to EVER come out of the Food Night kitchen.

It just so happened that said kitchen was not Food Night’s home kitchen, but rather the kitchen at Dr. Tom’s pad in Minneapolis.  And it just so happened to be served the same night as …

1). A bottle of 1993* Dom was consumed.
2). The neighbors came over to, um, comment that the volume on the musical component of the evening may be a bit… excessive.
3). The cops were called (or so I was told, they never showed up or anything), since said volume was never really, you know, adjusted.  Perhaps because…
4). Tom may or may not have been tasered and/or unconscious shortly after setting the Food Night record for “Most wine glasses broken in one evening” with 2. 

*Yeah, that Dom.  Not.  Shabby.  Thanks Rich.

The evening was certainly a huge success (unless you were the neighbors apparently).  I feel kinda bad not talking at all about the evening’s scallop course…

… but discussing anything other than the pasta course here would be akin to discussing how nice the (irrelevant thing) is at (your favorite food establishment).*

*Mad Libs. You know you want to.  Shout ‘em out in the Comments below.

Grilled Corn Agnolotti with Somerset Grapes, Almonds, Tarragon

Somerset grapes (Heartland)
Sliced almonds (toast them in a 350 oven until golden)
Parmigiano Reggiano
Fresh Tarragon
Butter (plus, truffle butter if you can get your hands on some)
One pasta dough recipe (duck eggs optional, use quality chicken eggs if you like)

Corn Filling

Grill 3 ears of corn with the husks still on over a hot grill, until husks are completely blackened.  Some corn kernels should be splotchy black as well.  Allow to cool, and cut the kernels off the cobs (reserve the cobs for stock, below). Puree the roughly 2 cups of kernels with approximately ½ cup greek yogurt (just barely enough to get the mixture to puree), a teaspoon of horseradish, juice of half a lemon, salt and pepper.   Strain, strain, strain the mixture.  Or, just puree the dickens out of it in a VitaMix.  Chill thoroughly, and place in a gallon ziplock bag. 

Corn Stock

Cut corn cobs in half and place them in a pot along with a diced onion, diced carrot, bay leaves, pepper corns and fresh parsley.  Cover with water, and bring to a very gentle simmer for 60 to 90 minutes.  Strain through a fine mesh strainer and reserve.


Make pasta dough.  Divide the dough into thirds.  Roll one third through a pasta machine down to the second thinnest setting, keeping the other two thirds of the dough covered in plastic wrap while you work. 

Lay the sheet of dough on a floured work surface.  Snip off about a half inch corner of the ziplock bag, and pipe a stream of filling onto the middle of the sheet of pasta, taking note to leave an inch margin on the left and right sides of the pasta.

Actually you know what…. Just watch this video beginning at the 1 minute mark.  These pictures will mean more than the 10,000 words I could/would write about agnolotti construction. 

Once assembled, use right away, or freeze agnolotti on heavily floured plates or sheet pans, then store in a ziplock bag until ready to use.  Agnolotti can go from freezer directly into boiling water.

NOTE: The agnolotti can be made to this point and frozen up to a week ahead of time.  If you don’t plan on freezing the agnolotti, make the filling and stock the day before assembly to save yourself some time the day of service.

To finish

Melt several (4 to 6) tablespoons of butter in a skillet.  Put a large pot of heavily salted water on to boil.  When water is boiling, turn it down (you don’t want it vigorously boiling) and add the agnolotti.  They are ready when they float to the surface, approx 2 to 3 minutes.  Do not over saturate the pot with agnolotti.

While the agnolotti is in the water, add ¼ cup of corn stock to the melted butter, swirl to combine and increase heat to create a saucy consistency.

Add the agnolotti and grapes to the pan, and gently simmer for a minute to let the sauce and the pasta get to know each other.  Toss in a knob of truffle butter at this point if you have it, and more corn stock if the sauce gets too dry.

Plate, topping with Parmigiano, almonds, tarragon and Maldon.  Should look something like this...