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July 2, 2014

Fourth of July Backyard Barbecues

Christopher Coombs, Hood Cream Chef

Nothing is quite as patriotic as the 4th of July in Boston. Home of the Boston Pops, the USS Constitution, and the Boston Tea Party, Independence Day is our day to shine as a city.

One of my favorite things to do on Independence Day is to invite some friends and family over and have a nice, old-fashioned barbecue. As a chef, I find it hard to just put on a few patties and hot dogs on the grill, so I try to elevate my cookouts to include premium ingredients like different cuts of meat and grilled seafood. I love to surprise my guests by serving items they wouldn't normally expect, such as a delicious creamy soup with fresh seasonal corn - perfect this time of year - and I even steam vegetables on the grill by wrapping seasonal vegetables in foil with some herbs and olive oil. 

My favorite cut of meat to grill is a skirt steak because it's simple, lean, and packed with flavor. I make a quick marinade with olive oil, garlic, thyme, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and rosemary, which I combine in a plastic bag, allowing the meat to marinate for at least two hours so that the flavor soaks through. I generally cook it at a medium rare temperature and slice it width-wise. It pairs perfectly with my delicious summer Cream of Corn Chowder. 

The Cream of Corn Chowder is a perfect way to celebrate corn season and give it the delicate twist of the traditional corn on the cob. It elevates any barbecue. And using a high-quality cream like Hood® Cream, you'll find that the flavors shine through and complement the rest of the grilled foods you serve. 

Chris Coombs' Hood Cream® of Corn Soup
Farm Fresh Sweet Corn Soup

¼ pound butter
1 yellow onion, diced
2 quarts corn kernels, cobs reserved
1 quart corn stock
1 quart light Hood® Cream
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
Salt to taste
White pepper to taste

Directions: For corn stock, place corn cobs in large sauce pot. Cover just barely with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn off and let steep for 45 minutes. Remove corn cobs and reserve liquid. 

Melt butter in medium sauce pot over medium low heat. Add the onions and cook slowly until translucent. Add the corn kernels and cook until tender, 5-10 minutes. Add corn stock and Hood® Cream. Bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer gently over medium heat for 15 minutes. 

Carefully transfer mixture in batches to the blender and puree until smooth. Be careful as the hot mixture will expand in the blender! For an even silkier texture, pass through a fine mesh sieve. Add the sherry vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste.

 


Christopher Coombs

Chef Christopher Coombs is the owner and executive chef at three of Boston's top restaurants: Deuxave, Boston Chops and dbar.

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