elote

Your New Favorite (Corn) Salad

by Anne Maxfield on August 19, 2019

Even thought I was in the throes of moving, when I saw this corn salad recipe on the Smitten Kitchen site, I paused and made it for lunch for friends who were helping us. Just give yourself a little time for the onions to pickle.

Your New Favorite (Corn) Salad

  • 1/2 a small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • Slightly heaped 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 medium ears corn, shucked
  • 1/3 cup sour cream, or crema
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 ounces (heaped 1/2 cup) crumbled cotija cheese
  • 1 lime, halved
  • Tajín seasoning or chile powder
  • Handful of fresh cilantro leaves

Combine red onion, red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons cold water, salt, and sugar in a bowl or jar. Set in fridge until needed. Onions will be very lightly pickled by the time you’re done assembling the salad, but if you can give them 1-2 hours in the fridge, they’ll be better.

Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high. Lightly oil grill grates and place corn cobs directly on them. Cook corn until charred in spots all over, turning as often as needed. Transfer them to a cutting board to cool slightly.

While you’re grilling your corn, combine sour cream, mayo, and cotija cheese. Spread on the bottom of your serving plate. Cut corn from cobs with a sharp knife and pile it over the cheese mix on the platter. Squeeze the juice of half a lime all over, then scatter with the pickled onion rings from the fridge. Generously shake Tajín or chile powder all over; if you’re using plain chile powder, season with salt and an extra squeeze of lime. Top with cilantro leaves. Cut remaining lime half into wedges and serve alongside. Serve and enjoy right away while the dressing is cold, and the corn is warm!

My verdict: Amazing! I’ve been wanting to try to make elote anyway and seeing this just sealed the deal. I had some chorizo, so we grilled that and served it with the corn salad. It was a perfect summer lunch and there wasn’t a kernel of corn leftover.

It was so good, that in the middle of moving, I almost bought some more corn just to grill so we could have it in our new (grillless apartment), but I’m hoping my grill pan will do a decent job.

If you have a Mexican grocery nearby, you can get the Tajin, cojita and crema there, otherwise substitute chile powder, crumbled feta and sour cream. I did use homemade mayo and crema, but it’s so good that that probably didn’t make much of a difference.

The Tajin seasoning is great and you’ll find lots of other uses for it. I might introduce it to some Fritos and see if I can replicate my favorite junk food from Mexico—Fritos with chili and lime. What do you put it on?

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Corn Shuckers I’m Sorry, So Sorry

by Anne Maxfield on August 12, 2019

Public corn shuckers out there, I owe you an apology.

One of my biggest summer pet peeves is watching, or trying not to watch, people shucking corn in the supermarket.

And I say supermarket because at most farmers’ markets they wouldn’t let you do it.

Recently I got 6 ears of corn to make a corn salad. The recipe (which was amazing and will post soon) called for the corn to be shucked and grilled.

No problem. I did my usual grab of 6 ears of corn—shaking my head at the peepers and shuckers  — and went home to make the dish.

Accidental Locavore Corn on the CobAbout the second ear it hit me—I almost never shuck raw corn. Our two favorite ways to do corn are to toss it on the grill or pop it in the microwave. With either method it’s shucked after it’s cooked. There is still a bit of a mess, but the silk comes out easier and the cob can be popped out of the husk.

But when the corn is raw—oh baby what a mess!

By the fourth ear I was flashing back to childhood when the kids and the corn would be tossed outside so the mess would be in someone’s backyard.

After all six were done, I vowed that next time I was joining the other supermarket shuckers because it made such a huge mess!

Accidental Locavore CornThe other thing you should know about me is that I hate doing floors. Don’t know what childhood trauma I suffered, but brooms and vacuums are the enemy. I’ll scrub a toilet or polish silver way before I’ll tackle a floor.

So, after all the work shucking, I’m now faced with getting bits of corn silk off the floor where it’s hiding under the butcher block and stuck in all the grout lines.

Now I owe all the supermarket shuckers an apology. The next time I’m making this recipe (and there will be many next times) I’m joining you around one of the giant trash barrels, where we can all make a mess and there will be someone to clean up after us!

However, if you’re one of the people who peel back the husk and reject the ear, or even worse, shuck an ear and toss it back, you’re still on my s**t list.

Don’t waste food.

 

 

 

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