I wrote a guest post debuting today on Childhood Relived. I waxed nostalgic about the snack foods of my youth, most of them processed and full of high fructose corn syrup. (Make sure to check it out for nostalgic stories and embarrassing photos.)
Reminiscing about these foods made me thankful for a mom that cooked healthy meals, so at least I was forced to make good food choices at home. The 1987 to 1994 versions of myself would choose a Mountain Dew, a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos, or a Hostess Cupcake every single time (or all three at once).
Even now, my permed and neon clad 1987 self takes over and wants to buy anything processed and packaged, boxed items like Zatarain’s jambalaya mix (one of my favorite things) or sweet treats like Nutter Butters and Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies.
The temptation to buy processed foods is one of the reasons I rarely shop at the grocery store. These days I go to the farmers market or John’s backyard (I could live on his tomatoes). But last Sunday I needed to buy some cat supplies (we just welcomed a new calico kitten into our family) so I headed to the closest store which happens to be a grocery store. While there I decided to get something for dinner. I thought to myself, Certainly I can buy some local produce; it’s summer after all.
I was mistaken. Nothing was local. But more importantly nothing looked good or fresh. The only thing I actually wanted to buy was an avocado, but it’s not on my locavore diet.
Disgusted, I purchased the kitten supplies and determined to make do with what I had at home.
Rummaging through the refrigerator and pantry, I discovered local corn, yummy local double smoked bacon, chicken stock leftover from a previous recipe, local cream, and leftover pasta. Inspired by the memory of a recipe on Frugal Foodie Family, I made Sweet Corn and Bacon Pasta.
Sweet Corn and Bacon Pasta
3 slices bacon, diced into bit-sized pieces
1 small red onion, diced
Kernels from 2 ears of fresh corn
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 pound of cooked pasta, whatever shape you like
1/4 cup Pecorino Romano
salt and pepper to taste
In a large skillet, get the bacon going over high heat. Cook until the bacon starts browning and crisping up. Turn the heat to medium high and add the onion. Cook until the onion is translucent, about 4 minutes.
Add the corn and stir to combine. Add the chicken stock, heavy cream, smoked paprika and dash of cayenne pepper. Let that hang out for about 5 minutes.
Mix in the cheese and taste. Add as much salt and pepper as you like (I only needed to add pepper because the bacon and cheese are salty enough). Stir in the pasta to combine. Remove from heat and serve.
The husband and I finished this entire dish by ourselves, so I would say it serves two. But maybe it could serve three people with reasonable appetites.
If I can pull this recipe off with local items I didn’t even know I had, I’ll never need to shop at the grocery store again!