slightly all-american: grilled chicken; corn, squash, and beans with jalapeno butter and blueberry-blackberry crumble

It's Independence Day, and this year that means attempting menu eight of David Tanis's A Platter of Figs. Menu eight is aptly named slightly all-american and includes grilled chicken breast; corn, squash, and beans with jalapeno butter; and blueberry-blackberry bramble, and when I say bramble, I mean crumble, but with all those bs in there bramble felt better. (Still does.) FYI: Matt just got a hold of the computer.
A Platter of Fig's versions:

our versions:
I like when cookbooks are organized into menus, though this usually means that each recipe is for six to ten people. Tanis's recipes are for eight. I knew this when I went shopping for the eight ears of corn, two pounds of zucchini (instead of squash) and two pounds of green beans but didn't realize just how much salad that would make until an hour into the preparations and I had filled almost every large serving/mixing bowl I had.
Speaking of the corn: have you ever cut raw corn off the cob? I had not, and so when the recipe called for "4 cups of corn kernels (from eight ears of corn)" I was all: "But, raw?" So, many thanks to the Twitterverse for setting me straight that this was 1. something that could be done and 2. something that should be done within the walls of a large bowl that might catch the kernels that wanted to fly everywhere.
The salad was well worth the effort and lasted us for days, though, next time I will leave more jalapeno seeds in the jalapeno butter as it wasn't spicy at all. 

The b-berry breeeebal was as easy as it was awesometotally made up for all the time spent chopping up the vegetables. But before I leave you with one last picture, I need to be honest with you about the chicken. We didn't follow Tanis's instructions. Instead, we did our own thing, inspired by one of our favorite weeknight-dinner chicken recipes. We bought two organic, free-range, skin-on, bone-in (though I always ask butcher to cut the bone out) chicken breasts and cooked them in a saute pan with a little bit of olive oil, rosemary, salt, pepper and butter. Dear friends: I cannot stress how easy and delicious this is and how much of the deliciousness, I believe, hinges on the skin-on factor. Even if you don't eat that amazing, crispy skin, it makes the whole thing better. Well, that and the organic factor. Don't even get me started on the organic factor.

Tanis's A Platter of Figs definitely isn't the kind of cookbook interested in making sure you follow its directions exactly anyway. Tanis writes, "What can you learn from this book? That a party can be any gathering of eaters at a table. That a fine meal doesn't have to necessarily be elaborate. That the best meals mirror nature and celebrate the seasonal... What matters is that you do it."
We did. And it was delicious.
Happy Fourth of July!

p.s. Speaking of the do-ers, this week I received a super nice email from one of Bon Appetempt's younger readers—the amazing, 12-year-old Kayla over at so you think you can cook. Keep up the great work, Kayla!

Corn, Squash, and Beans with Jalapeño Butter via A Platter of Figs
serves 8 to 10
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, smash to a paste with a little salt
4 cups corn kernels (from 8 ears of sweet corn)
2 lbs zucchini or summer squash, diced
2 lbs green beans, topped and tailed and cut into ½-inch pieces
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup water
jalapeño butter (see recipe below)
optional garnish: cilantro leaves, chopped

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan over a medium flame. Add the diced onion and let it cook for 5 minutes or so, until softened.
Add the garlic, corn kernels, summer squash, and green beans. Season well with salt and pepper. Increase the heat to high, and cook, stirring well, for a minute or two. Add a cup of water and cover the pan. Cook the vegetables for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring once or twice. When they are cooked to your liking--soft, but not too soft--add some jalapeño butter and mix it in gently.
Serve in a warmed bowl, topped with chopped cilantro, if you wish.

jalapeño butter
Put a stick of softened butter in a small bowl. With a wooden spoon, stir in 1 minced jalapeño pepper (remove the seeds before chopping for a less spicy butter). Add salt and pepper, the grated zest and juice of 1 lime, and a tablespoon of slivered chives. Mix well.


Matt said...

blueberry Bramble is awesome!

Danielle (elleinadspir) said...

I am so glad the corn thing worked! Looks yummy.

Kayla said...

Oh Amelia! Thank you sooo so much for this blog post! I really apperciate it! Everyone, check out my website, http://soyouthinkyoucancook.wordpress.com! :)

Jessica said...

That crumble looks unreal, and healthy-ish at that! Great menu -- will definitely give your chicken recipe a try this week. Thanks!

seesaw designs said...

sooo happy i found your blog! love it.

dulci said...

I love it...shaping the young minds of today. I believe the children are our future!!!


Amelia Morris said...

seesaw designs: yayy! welcome! i love your work/blog, too.

dulci: thank you for taking the time to quote Whitney Houston--what a song and what a message! :)

Andrea said...

This looks so bright and yummy.