Corn on the Cob with Chile Butter
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, softened
1 tablespoon minced fresh hot green chile (like jalepeno)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ears fresh corn
1. Put the butter in a small bowl, add the chile and a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and stir until combined.
2. Peel the husk from the corn and remove as much of the silk as possible. Break or cut off the stem.
3. Put a large pinch of salt in a stock pot with enough water to come 1 inch up the sides, then add the corn. It's okay if some of the ears sit in the water and some sit above it.
4. Cover the pot, put it over high heat and bring to a boil. The fresher the corn, the less you want to cook it, so start checking about 3 minutes after the water boils. You want the corn hot and just tender, but not tough, so don't let it go longer than 10 minutes. To serve, drain the corn, then smear the ears with the chile butter.
Green Beans with Crisp Shallots
1 1/2 pounds green beans
1 tablespoon butter
2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup sliced slmonds, optional
1. Bring a stockpot of water to a boil and salt it. Fill a large bowl with cold water and lots of ice cubes and keep a colander handy. To trim the beans, snap or cut off the stem end and any brown spots. Cut them into 2-inch pieces or leave them whole.
2. Add the green beans to the boiling water and cook until they just start to get tender but remain quite crunchy, 3 to 5 minutes depending on the size of the beans. Drain the beans and immediately plunge them into the ice water. Let them sit for a minute to cool thoroughly, then drain them. (You can prepare the beans up to a day before finishing the dish, cover well and refrigerate.).
3. Put the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter melts, add the shallots and cook stirring once or twice, until they're golden brown and crisp, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer the shallots to a plate lined with paper towels. Leave the fat in the pan.
4. Add the green beans to the skillet. Sprinkle with salt and ppper and cook stirring occasionally, until the beans are crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning and serve hot or warm with the shallots on top and almonds sprinkled over if yuo're using them.
Garlicky Sweet Potatoes
2 pounds sweet potatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Peel the sweet potatoes and grate them by hand or with a grating dish or a food processor; you should have about 5 packed cups; save any extra for another use.
2. Put 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-hight heat. When it's hot, add half the sweet potatoes, spread them out in an even layer, and sprinkle with half of the garlic and some salt and pepper. Cook, without stirring, until the potatoes begin to brown on the bottom and release easily from the skillet, 3 to 5 minutes.
3. Continue cooking, stirring every 2 to 3 minutes, until the potatoes are mostly golden brown and tender but not mushy; begin checking after about 5 mintues. When they're ready, transfer them to a serving plate.
4. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Add the second bath of sweet potatoes to the first and toss to combine. Taste, adjust the seasoning, toss again and serve.