For the love of corn {Interview with Lisa Skye of I Love Corn}

Happy (almost) 4th of July.

Since corn from the local farms will soon be at its peak (I get mine from the Union Square Greenmarket), I thought you’d enjoy meeting Lisa Skye, whose favorite food is—yes!—corn.

Lisa Skye is a multi-talented woman: she’s a director in the Manhattan Business Network International, involved in NYC real estate and she’s an all-around positive person. In fact, she turned a tragedy in her life into a way of helping others via a cookbook about her favorite food. Read below for her story of triumph and for one of her favorite corn recipes.

Lisa-Skye

Tracey Ceurvels: What inspired you to write a cookbook all about corn?
Lisa Skye: On Valentine’s Day 2004, my father was hit and killed by a drunk driver while on a motorcycle vacation in Australia. As a way to say thank you for all of the incredible support I received in the years after he died, I created this cookbook full of recipes designed around the food I personally love most: corn! With the generous support and contributions of 50 James Beard Award winning and renowned chefs from around the country, I Love Corn was born and 75% of the proceeds go to an organization that supports grieving children and families.

Corn-Lobster-recipe

Tracey: That is an amazing story! What are some of your favorite recipes from the book?
Lisa:

  • Corn Flapjacks with Fresh Ricotta & Chopped Walnuts (the crunch of the cornmeal combined with the creaminess of the ricotta and the hot maple syrup is outrageously delicious!)
  • Lobster & Corn Bruschetta (has been a super popular pick because it’s perfect for summer, especially for dinner parties and weekend BBQs)
  • Corn Ice Cream (an unexpected favorite of mine—it has a nice little kick with the cayenne. That paired with the sweetness of the honey makes this ice cream amazing.)

Tracey: Are there any recipes from I Love Corn that you make over and over?
Lisa: I absolutely LOVE the Warm Jersey Corn Salad. It is the perfect summer (or really anytime) dish because it’s SO easy to make. There are just four main ingredients: corn, tomatoes, potatoes and asparagus, coupled with olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme. In a flash you have a dish that’s great served warm, or you can chill the leftovers and have a yummy corn potato salad the next day, too.

Tracey: What are some of your go-to dishes to make at home during the week?
Lisa: I’m a sucker for stir-frys. We made them often in my house growing up. I occasionally use either ground chicken/turkey as my base or I just go simple with tons of vegetables: peppers, mushrooms, onions, corn (if possible), broccoli along with olive oil, salt + pepper, and a bit of teriyaki sauce for extra flavor.

I also have a secret weapon in the kitchen: Texas Hot Salt. It’s basically a seasoning salt—great for seasoning chicken, salads, meats and popcorn.

Tracey: Where do you like to shop for corn? Where have you found the best corn?
Lisa: I always try to buy local or organic especially when it comes to corn. So you’ll find me at greenmarkets or at my local specialty gourmet markets.

dougy-center

Tracey: I know that you’re donating proceeds of the book…to what organization?
Lisa:A whopping 75% of the proceeds go directly to The Dougy Center: the National Center for Grieving Children & Families, which is based in Portland, Oregon, where my mother has lived for the past 12 years. They are privately funded, and train facilitators at over 500 locations around the world. Most recently their training helped comfort the families in Newtown, CT, after the terrible shooting that happened there last December. I believe their work is so important. Grief is a very real thing.

Tracey: Any more cookbooks on the horizon?
Lisa: I would love to create another “I Love…” cookbook and I’m in talks with my publisher to do so. Time will tell, and the chances are better if I Love Corn does well so please spread the CORN love, and THANK YOU!!!

I Love Corn is available on Amazon and at your local bookstore.

Lobster + Corn Bruschetta

Serves 4
Meal type Appetizer

Ingredients

  • 1 French baguette
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (plus extra for drizzling)
  • Salt + freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 1 1/2 pound lobster (cooked and cleaned)
  • 2 ears of corn (about 1 1/2 - 2 cups) (shucked and kernels removed)
  • 1 red pepper (diced)
  • 2 shallots (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon of curry powder
  • 1/3 cup of heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons of cilantro (minced, plus more for garnish)
  • 4 scallions (about 2 tablespoons) (both white + green parts, minced)
  • 1/2 avocado (sliced very thin)

Directions

Preheat oven to 400˚F.

Take the lobster meat and dice into small 1/4” pieces.

Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the corn, red pepper, and shallots. Cook until tender and shallots begin to appear translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Whisk the curry powder and heavy cream together in a small bowl, and then add to the corn mixture. Continue to cook until the consistency of the cream has thickened, about 1 minute.

Add the cilantro, scallions, and lobster. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Turn heat down to low. Allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes so the flavors have time to come together, and the mixture thickens.

Place the slices of baguette on a sheet tray. Drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven until slightly toasted, about 5 to 7 minutes.

To serve, place a spoonful of lobster mixture over each of the toasted baguettes. Garnish with a small slice of avocado and cilantro leaf.

SUBSTITUTION: Blue crab or shrimp can replace the lobster for a different or new twist on this recipe.

FREE Guide!

Join the Edible Adventures!

Get a FREE Guide, plus tips + recipes to feed your adventurous spirit.