A cooking and baking journal

A Great Broccoli Dish and a Litttle Sweet Corn Lesson for This Sunday

8/23/09: Broccoli Flan and Mirai Sweet Corn

Meal details: Broccoli flan which consists of swiss cheese, eggs, onions, and broccoli. Yes, this recipe isn't technically a flan (which is a baked custard quite similar to crème caramel), but it has the texture of one and that is why the recipe creators decided to call this dish such. If I was titling this recipe I would call it an egg casserole instead. Alongside the baked flan we had a new variety of sweet corn called Mirai Optimum which I will tell you more about later.

Recipe sources: The flan recipe came from Recipes from America's Small Farms: Fresh Ideas for the Season's Bounty.
Defining moment: First time for me to use broccoli in a recipe.
What I learned: I am happy to say that broccoli isn't that difficult to clean. Yay! I also learned how to steam broccoli with ease and I owe all of this to Annemarie. She told me that I just have to take a large pot, put a 1/2" or an 1" of water on the bottom, put the broccoli in, cover, and put the burner on a low temperature. I stayed around medium heat most of the time and I stirred the broccoli every five minutes until they were tender. It worked out splendidly! I first thought I had to use a double boiler kind of contraption in order to steam, but that isn't the case. One final thing I learned is that leftovers taste great if pan fried, just like we do leftover scrambled eggs.
Any modifications? No, I followed the recipe exactly. And by the way, I multiplied the recipe by 3 and the flan fitted perfectly into the Pyrex casserole dish.
How it tasted: It tasted very good but I do think I should have put more salt and pepper in. Other than that, it was great.
How about a 2nd time? Yes, and I do hope our second patch of broccoli will pull through all the woodchuck and deer nibbling! :(

So here are a few photos of the broccoli flan I prepared:

And before I go I wanted to elaborate on what is Mirai sweet corn. The best way to tell you all is to copy what my father said in our farm market's weekly newsletter. He is a sweet corn guru (has been growing it for many years) so here it is:

Last August I happened to be listening to the Chicago's WGN 720 AM radio (the voice of the Chicago Cubs) and I heard an ad about a place northwest of Chicago that sold sweet corn that they grew on their farm. The announcer made it sound like the corn was really special - I found out that they were selling it for around $7 a dozen which means they must have thought it was special! The type of corn was Mirai corn, whatever that was. Well, I knew there were three types of sweet corn-regular old fashioned type (SU), the supersweet (SH2) type and the enhanced sugar (SE) type, which is the primary type we have grown for over 15 years. Actually we have grown all three types but we have preferred the enhanced sugar type. Well, there is a new type of corn Mirai, which has some of all three genes mixed in. It was claimed in the ad (from Twin Gardens Farm located near Harvard Illinois) that the Mirai type was the best tasting corn around. I had to try it so I planted three bi-color varieties of Mirai corn. (To be honest, two of the varieties have Mirai in their name, with a number like 301 as a suffix, and one is actually named Optimum which is the same type of corn as Mirai but put out by a different seed company so they couldn't use the Mirai name.) Despite the warnings that Mirai corn was hard to grow, it has done fabulously and we have just taste tested it. It is truly a revolutionary corn. About the sweetest corn I ever tasted. If you like it sweet you should try it (by the way we are selling it for the same price as most of our corn, $4 a dozen). To be honest though, my wife and I think it is so sweet it is almost too sweet! While I expect it will be a big hit with most of our customers, not everyone will go for it. However, it is definitely a lot tenderer and more flavorful than the old-time Supersweet, which I personally didn't like at all! The Mirai type is a good corn and if you think it's a bit too sweet let it set in the kitchen a couple of days and it will lose some sweetness. For more information check out Miraicorn.com or Twingardenfarms.com.

So there you go, everything you want to learn about this really tasty sweet corn! And for those who like the visual, here's a photo of the Mirai before it was boiled:

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