Monday, June 27, 2011

Grilled Corn Salsa

My dad grows corn.

He brought over a bag of freshly picked corn the other day.

The first thing I did was put a pot of water on the stove to boil.

Freshly picked corn is so sweet!

After I ate an ear--or two--I set out to make corn salsa.



Ingredients:

4 ears of sweet corn
1/2 cup minced red onion
3 green onions
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced cucumber
1/2 cup diced jicama
1/2 cup diced red pepper
1 cup loosely packed chopped cilantro
1 minced small jalapeno pepper, seeded & deveined
1 garlic clove, minced

juice of 1 lemon and 1 lime--about 1/4 cup total
1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste

optional:

1/4 cup Trader Joe's Orange Muscat Champagne vinegar



This is the corn that my dad grew.

He hadn't been using pesticides awhile back, so sometimes the corn had worms.

It made shucking the corn quite the experience--the possibility of finding a worm wriggling around eating the corn kernels!

Even though I grew up shucking corn and finding a worm--shaking the worm off into the trash with the corn husks, then cutting that part of the cob off--it's still creepy to find a worm.

My dad doesn't like to spray the whole field with pesticides, so what he's been doing the past couple of years, is put a little dab of a pesticide on the silk of each ear of corn--because that's where the pests lay their eggs.


For the pests, the corn silk is a highway into the ear of corn where the worms can gorge themselves.



By the time the corn matures, the pesticide has lost its potency and the manufacturer says the produce is safe for humans.




That's why I be sure to take the silk off before cooking and strip off some of the husks too.




I took out the silk, stripped some of the husk, washed the corn and put it on the grill on low heat for 6 minutes, then turned them over for 5 more minutes.

They steamed fine with all the moisture, but they weren't getting the slight char that I wanted, so I took the husks off.




And concluded that it would be a lot easier to start with the corn already husked.

If you're going to be eating it on the cob, it's kind of fun to have the husk on it pulled back--but next time, I'm taking it all off to start with!



I like to use the celery tops and leaves, so I diced those.



Then the red onion.



Cucumber.

You don't have to use all the vegetables I do, you can add whatever veggies you like in the corn salsa.



The jicama had a Melissa's sticker on it, and the surface was covered with a thin, waxy substance.

It must be on there to keep it from losing moisture, so you need to peel the skin off.

I forgot to take a photo of the jicama before I peeled it, that's the top in the photo above.



This is the peeled jicama.

I tried to dice it small, like the kernels of corn.



Add the juice of one lime and one small lemon, as well as 1 jalapeño pepper.

I take the seeds and the veins out--not everyone in my family likes heat.

Be careful when you're handling the jalapeño--its juices can sting your eyes and your skin if you're sensitive.



Finely chop the jalapeño.

Best test it before putting the whole thing into the salsa.

You can always add more, but it's impossible to take them out once they're in and the salsa is too hot.



Thinly slice the green onions.



When the corn has cooled, cut the corn off the cob.

You need to cut like you're cutting into the cob a bit, otherwise you'll just get the top of the corn kernel.



Do that to all the ears of corn.



The photos might look like it's more than you have--that's because I'm making a double batch to take to a retirement party tonight.

Put all the ingredients into a large bowl and add 1/2 teaspoon cumin and salt and pepper to taste.

Add the lemon & lime juices as well as the olive oil.



The red bell pepper adds such nice color.



There it is, corn salsa.

Taste and adjust seasoning.



When I tasted it, it needed some punch--so I added a 1/4 cup Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar to round out the flavors.



I like to add corn salsa to tacos and burritos as well as add it to salads.

It's also good as a side dish.


Itadakimasu!



***



Over the weekend, Wes and Connie were here working on the video for their upcoming wedding.

We're making a slideshow to show at their reception.



It's fun getting to know Connie better, even though I've known her since she was in elementary school and her basketball team played against Karen's.

I've gotten to know her differently lately--since I've been spending so much time perusing the photos of her life and editing video--while working on their slideshow.


Connie's very steady--a rock for Wes.

And very practical minded.

She's funny, too.



Connie loves Wes unconditionally, just as he is.

Wes has a lot of interests and hobbies that consume him and take a lot of his time.


He's good for her, too.

She says he makes her live outside her box. 



I love working on a project with Wes.

I learn a lot from him.

He's very creative.

And fun.




The above 3 photos are by Lauren Miyake Photography.

You will love Lauren's Father's Day post for her dad!



***




Ingredients:

4 ears of sweet corn
1/2 cup minced red onion
3 green onions
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced cucumber
1/2 cup diced jicama
1/2 cup diced red pepper
1 cup loosely packed chopped cilantro
1 minced small jalapeno pepper, seeded & deveined
1 garlic clove, minced

juice of 1 lemon and 1 lime--about 1/4 cup total
1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste

optional:

1/4 cup Trader Joe's Orange Muscat Champagne vinegar

Husk the corn and grill it over a low fire on the barbecue until it is lightly charred. While the corn cools, chop the vegetables and combine them in a large bowl.

When the corn is cool enough to handle, cut the kernels from the cob, cutting into the cob a little to get the full kernel. Add the corn to the vegetables. Add the lemon and lime juice and spices, along with the orange champagne vinegar if desired.

Taste and adjust flavors.

Serve chilled.


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