pickled onions

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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Stinky Cheese Festival

by Anne Maxfield on March 8, 2010

Accidental Locavore Raclette

Ok, so this week’s blog is not about local (well a local restaurant), or fresh, but hey, it’s March.

A long time ago, when I lived in Paris, there used to be an old restaurant in the back of Les Halles, that served nothing but raclette. For those of you who have never had raclette, it’s fondue’s much better cousin. Half wheels of raclette cheese are melted over a heating element, or a fire, until it’s melted and bubbly. They then scrape the melted cheese on your plate, and you scoop it up with steamed potatoes, ham, cornichons, and little pickled onions. Heaven.

So when I heard that Marseilles, a favorite restaurant, was kicking off the Stinky Cheese Festival last Monday, with a menu that started with raclette, I was quickly making reservations. Walking in, all you could smell was the cheese melting, it took me right back to Paris. The raclette was followed by a wonderful four course dinner, all made with “stinky” cheeses. My favorite after the raclette, was a puff pastry tourte filled with leeks and potatoes, in a sauce made from epoisse (a very stinky, runny cheese), what’ not to like, right? That was followed by a risotto with tallegio, and a chicken breast stuffed with prosciutto and fontina. Desert, if you could move at that point, was a pear poached in port wine, and stuffed with gorgonzola. Oh, and there was wine with every course. Thanks to my friend Geri who runs Ventureneer who was willing to give up our usual Indian haunt for a night of cheese.

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