Fresh corn and polenta replacements
Much to my dismay, I recently discovered that my toddler has a corn allergy. I've seen good suggestions on replacing corn products in baked goods and as a thickener, but I'd love suggestions on what to use to replace fresh corn in sautes and stir-fries where its caramelization provides flavor for sauces, and what to use when I'd normally choose to put meat or vegetables on a bed of polenta. Any good ideas?
How about couscous instead of polenta. If you want something creamier, go for rissotto.
I've never stir-fried corn, so no ideas there...are you talking about the mini-corn-on-the cob stuff? Just curious. Can you tell us what ingredients you usually saute and stir-fry corn with? might help me to think of a substitute. I've never used caramelized corn to flavor a sauce, I'm curious about that too. (And dying to make a pun about caramel corn but it's just not coming to me...lucky for you).
Hmm, those might work... I want something to go with the fattier cuts of pork.
I have not yet gotten to try them (bought the cookbook after finding out about the allergy), but I'm looking at cooking my way through Fast, Fresh, and Green by Susie Middleton, and she uses corn in a couple of "quick braised" vegetable ragouts; a corn saute with chile and lime (probably not a substitute-friendly recipe!); a stir-fry of zucchini, corn, and peanuts; and a gratin of butternut squash, corn, and leeks. All of these use freshly cut off the cob kernels.
Sounds like your corn substitution problem is specifically tied to this cookbook. Seems that Susie is using corn a number of novel ways. You may have to decide, on a recipe by recipe basis, what the purpose of the corn is (texture, flavor?), and whether it can be omitted without changing the character too much. In some cases green peas might provide a similar texture, or diced carrots might provide a similar sweetness.
Sweet corn is not common outside the USA. There are some Chinese dishes that use corn (not just the baby ears), but I don't think they are 'stir frys'.
Well, fattier cuts of pork makes me think of rice; maybe sticky rice? But the couscous might work anyway. (Thinking of lamb shanks and couscous, so the pork might work too).
those veggie sautes sound good - I'll look for that cookbook later this summer when CSA season is in full swing & we get 8 ears of corn a week :-)
In a cookbook I have I found a recipe for polenta made from buckwheat flour. I have never made this so cannot vouch for the taste or whether it works. Plus would never make it due to high fat content. Not sure if can be made without butter. I remember seeing recipes for polenta that use other grains (I think one was millet), corn only began to be used after 1492 before they used other grains/flour, whatever was cheaply available in that region.
1 1/2 pints water
1 scant T coarse sea salt
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 scant cup butter
7 ounces fontina, aisago and/or fonatl cheese cut into slivers
Bring water & salt to a boil. Sift in flour, stir with whisk. Add 1/2 cup butter. now cook like regular polenta for 40 minutes. ie stir frequently. makes a soft polenta. add cheese. cook few more minutes, then add rest of cheese.
Buckwheat is one those 'grains' traditionally used for polenta. While using straight buckwheat is possible, I suspect a mix of corn and buckwheat is more common (e.g. 2/3 and 1/3). As with corn polenta (or grits) the amount of fat (butter and cheese) you use has more to do with flavor than requirements of the basic porridge.
I made a partial buckwheat polenta once, but wasn't too impressed. I don't recall whether it was the flavor or the color (gray).
There are lots of 'grains' that can used whole, coarse (grits) or fine, whether rice, oats, farro, wheat, quinoa, barley, etc.
you can use oatmeal in place of soft or firm polenta. it's delicious & incredibly versatile with savory flavors.
for the sautes & stir-fries, peas will contribute sweetness and a similar texture, and you can add some caramelized leek or sweet onion to enhance the flavor of the sauce.