Here’s a fun and tasty dish. I made the “Corn Cakes with Goat Cheese,” along with a side of “Crisp Breakfast Ham,” from the May 2010 issue of Everyday Food, even though it sounds a bit like breakfast food. In truth, it was rather a celebration of the great flavors of corn and zucchini, with the perfect addition of creamy goat cheese. The crumbled, crispy ham, served alongside, completed the nice taste profile.

I sauteed my corn (frozen) and zucchini for 7 minutes, with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. black pepper. Once my batter was together -- with the additions of scallions, eggs, and cornmeal -- I formed and fried 10 corn cakes. Broiling the ham slices for 7 minutes was a neat and easy way to have crunchy, salty, bacony goodness.

Now, it’s time to ponder Bragg Liquid Aminos

I noticed the recipe for “Creamy Walnut-Mushroom Soup with Thyme,” from the July 2009 issue of Vegetarian Times, included this “all-purpose seasoning” in its list of ingredients. The liquid protein concentrate is derived from soybeans and contains 16 essential and non-essential amino acids in naturally occurring amounts. How does this differ from soy sauce or tamari? Bragg’s is not fermented or heated in its production, and this would appeal to the raw-foodists among us. I wanted to try it, to see what the fuss was about.

I marinated my mushrooms and thyme in the Bragg’s for three hours. When I blended my walnuts, olive oil, and garlic in the blender (what a great way to “make” soup!), I added 2 tsp. salt (which may have been a bit heavy-handed) and 1/2 tsp. black pepper. Admittedly, I was disappointed that this soup was not at all creamy. Its watery thinness bored me. The marinated mushroom topping was fine, though overpowered by the strong flavor impact of the fresh thyme. The Bragg’s was nothing special; it may have well been soy sauce, in my opinion.

Zucchini (1 small) = .92¢
Goat Cheese (2 oz.) = .89¢
Deli Ham Slices = $3.65
Cremini Mushrooms (10) = $1.32
Walnuts (4 oz.) = $1.21

RECIPES: corn cakes for dinner are whimsically pleasant, while a cool, raw mushroom soup is underwhelming
eat corn cakes and ham after less than 30 minutes of prep and cooking; marinate your mushrooms for hours, if you dare, but eat the soup directly out of the blender
sweet corn and zucchini + tangy goat cheese + crisped salty ham =a fun dish; raw walnut/mushroom soup is light and unspectacular

Next time, I will cook “Latino-Style Chicken and Rice (aka Arroz con Pollo),” from the September 2006 issue of Cook’s Illustrated, along with “Black Pepper Biscuits,” from the September 2009 issue of Bön Appetit. See my meal when you return to my site on Tuesday, June 29.