Thursday, July 17, 2008

The trouble with food

There are times in everyones life when food becomes so much less appealing. For many, this does not happen until much later in life when our bodies have to contend with something so all-consuming no bodily effort can be put towards enjoying or even caring about food. For others, it happens sooner and periodically throughout the course of a lifetime. For me, it happens when I am pregnant, as I am now. Newly and sickly so, unfortunately.

This second pregnancy is much like the first: I can tolerate cold, scentless foods best. There is the occasional craving in the first three months and a desperate need for ice cream at most times. While I cannot explain these oddities to anyone around me in a way that makes any sense, I see some evidence there may be little hands at work: My daughter is a fierce eater of very good ice cream and avocados now that she can choose her own sustenance.

Jennifer always got the call when I needed a burger then. My Mom had to eat a good deal of Indian food with me, that ended in an unfortunate dish of Chicken Vindaloo which sent the seventh-month babe wildly fighting inside. And John made a probably a hundred ladies-portion-turkey-lettuce-tomato sandwiches and blueberry-muffin-extra-butter at Kingsley's as those months passed. All of this was a marked improvement over those first three months in which food was just an agony for me, and vitamins no less a nightmare.

This is by way of a warning: There is only so much cooking I can manage because I cannot tolerate the smell of food. More cold food will appear here because these recipes are tested according to what I can manage, normally against a multitude of obligations and pursuits, but now against a queasy, easily-offended, and relentless stomach. Bear with me, will you?

Grilled Corn and Cojita Salad with Lime Dressing
Serves 4

This salad is best at this time of year when the corn is super fresh and sweet. I prefer Cojita to many Feta applications because it is less salty and more creamy in texture as crumbling cheeses go. You could add a roasted poblano to this salad for some heat...

8 ears of corn (preferably sweet), cleaned
1 cup cojita cheese, crumbled
1 medium red onion, diced
Juice of one lime
1 tablespoon chili powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Coat your grilling surface with non-stick cooking spray. Heat your grill to medium.

Place the corn ears on to the grill. Cook for 7 minutes on each (relative) side, or until cooked through. This will depend on the size of the ears.

With your chef's knife, cut the kernels from the corn into a medium bowl. Add the cojita, red onion, lime juice, and chili powder. Toss vigorously to combine.

Season with salt and pepper to combine. Serve hot if you must but flavor deepens with a couple of hours in the refrigerator.

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