Last Thursday evening, I decided to play wait-and-see on a big thunderstorm and my patience paid off. I got to enjoy a cooking demonstration by Kevin Kilburn, a professional chef who is now based in Florence, Alabama. Kevin made corn cakes, black bean salsa and grilled chicken tacos and received rave reviews from the few brave souls who ventured out into the heat and humidity to enjoy the Spring Park Farmers Market in Tuscumbia.
Making Corn Cakes
Kevin began with a demonstration of the art of milking corn on the cob.
The corn cakes are made with raw corn kernels and milk from the cob, some plain corn meal (preferably stone-ground), red sweet peppers sauteed in a bit of butter, chopped onions, milk, two eggs, and a bit of sea salt and pepper. The full recipe is available from the Times Daily website. Once the mixture is blended, about a half-cup of the thin batter is poured onto a griddle. The cakes cook just like pancakes and can be eaten immediately, stored for a few days in the refrigerator and reheated, or even frozen for use at a later date.
Kevin served the hot corn cakes with the corn, black bean and tomato salsa. The salsa is great by itself, as a salad, or served with tortilla chips. Kevin deep-fries sections of corn tortillas to make his own chips.
The corn cakes are also perfect wraps for a grilled chicken taco. Kevin grilled the chicken ahead of time and reheated it on-site. He placed a few pieces of chicken on the corn cake and topped that with a bit of leaf lettuce and cheddar cheese. You can also use the corn cakes as the basis for quesadillas.
Kevin recently moved to the Shoals from Nashville. In addition to his work as a private chef in the North Alabama area, Kevin is teaching a wide range of cooking classes this summer and fall at the Shoals Commercial Culinary Complex in Florence. Details on the cooking classes are available here. I would love to try the Tuscan Dinner Nights myself but not sure my work schedule will permit a trip back to the Shoals that evening.
Kevin has a website with details on his availability as a professional chef, contact information and sample menus. His blog is called Southern Food and Lifestyle where you’ll find cooking tips, videos, musings on the southern lifestyle and more. Southern Food and Lifestyle is also the title of Kevin’s soon-to-be-published cookbook.Shoals Commercial Culinary Complex 610 W. College Street Florence, AL 35630 Registration for Cooking Classes: 256-764-0044