Mexican "Grilled" Corn - A Great Summer Side Dish

Mexican Grilled Corn à la Cooks Illustrated
Summer is nearly here, and fresh corn on the cob will be beckoning us to enjoy its plump, sweet kernels. I love corn on the cob, and it wasn't until a year or two ago that I came to enjoy the splendor of corn fresh from the field. Madison Street Produce runs a farm stand just a hop-skip from our home, and their produce is picked fresh daily.

Madison Street's corn was a revelation! So delicate and sweet, with kernels that burst forth at the lightest touch. This was the complete opposite of corn that I grew up eating -- kind of tough kernels with moderate corn-fresh flavor. I dubbed Madison's corn, "crack from the field," not to be confused with "crack from the oven," aka, Momofuku Milk Bar's Crack Pie.

Fresh corn; cilantro, garlic and lime

Evidently, I have some sort of crack fixation... :)

In any case, I want to share with you my Mexican  "grilled" corn, adapted from Cooks Illustrated's fantastic recipe. I use quotes around "grilled" because I cheated and used my stove to attain the char marks you see. I will say that it's worth it to grill the corn properly because my attempt to imbue some flavor through this method did not work. The stove-top treatment made it look grilled (kind of), but it didn't impart any of the wonderful smoky flavor you would get from the coals.

Dishy Goodness Mexican "Grilled" Corn
(adapted from Cooks Illustrated )

1/4 cup Vegenaise (feel free to substitute regular or light mayonnaise; we just like Vegenaise a lot more)
3 TB sour cream
3 TB minced fresh cilantro leaves
1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
4 tsp juice from 1 lime
1 oz grated Cotija cheese (it's worth it to find this cheese instead of substituting something like Pecorino)
6 large ears of corn, husks and silk removed

Cook corn per your favorite method -- boiling water; microwave; etc. Just don't overcook it.
**EDIT 7/29/13: If you plan on grilling your corn, you no longer have to PM me! Here are the recipes for gas grilling and charcoal grilling methods, which have a short additional step before you grill the corn.
**EDIT: If you plan on grilling your corn, the directions are a little different. PM me at donna {at} dishygoodness {dot} com, and I can send you the recipe for either charcoal grilling or gas grilling. Just let me know which method you prefer. :) **

In a large bowl, combine Vegenaise, sour cream, cilantro, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon chili powder, black pepper, cayenne, lime juice and cheese. Check seasoning for desired flavor.

Place cooked corn directly over stove flame, turning regularly with tongs to achieve char marks. Remove to platter when done.

Add charred corn to mixture and toss to coat evenly. Serve immediately. I like to provide additional lime wedges with the corn.

Please let me know if you try this recipe or have any suggestions! It's so, so tasty.

P.S. If you are in the mood for real grilled Mexican corn, and don't want to make it yourself, check out Cacao Mexicatessen in Eagle Rock!


Dishy Goodness Home-Cooked Turkey Chili

Turkey Chili by Ms. Dishy Goodness
So I have these dishes that I've cooked and documented, just sitting on my portable drive. . . and I thought it was high time I got around to posting one. So here you are! My recipe for turkey chili with two kinds of kidney beans (yes, two!). I think I can *just* sneak it in before the weather gets too hot to think about chili (at least here in the desert!).

I usually don't stick to a recipe religiously. I like to see what I have in the fridge and pantry and then go from there. I'm sure many of you do the same. I usually have a lot of canned tomatoes and canned beans in my cupboard and ground turkey in the freezer.

On this day, I decided to use red and white kidney beans. I also had some "Kangaroo Cheddar" from Costco -- a nutty cheddar from Australia. We bought the cheese mainly because the logo is a boxing kangaroo, and it was too cute to resist. :) Fortunately, it's also a tasty cheese!

Diced carrots and celery

The base of the chili was the classic mirepoix - onions, celery and carrots. You can throw in some bell pepper if you like. If you have red bell pepper on hand, a tasty addition is roasted red pepper puree. It adds a great depth of flavor to your chili (or soup!), and it's so easy to do (please leave a comment or email me at donna [at] dishygoodness [dot] com if you want specific directions on how to make the roasted pepper puree).

After softening the onions, celery and carrots, I browned the ground turkey. The mirepoix was then combined with the meat. Sometimes turkey is a little "gamey" for me, so to cut that undesired flavor, I add liberal dashes of Worcestershire sauce.

Ground turkey with softened mirepoix

I like to add soy sauce, Maggi sauce and red wine vinegar to further create savoriness with a little bit of acidity. Of course, chili powder and a little cayenne provide spice and heat. Use to your desired spiciness. Or if you have jalapenos or serrano or other chiles, feel free to substitute as you like. I added a fine mince of serrano as a garnish on my chili. Add the canned tomatoes with their juice and simmer for twenty minutes.

The finished dish!
That's pretty much it! Taste for seasoning and enjoy with your favorite garnishes. It's really a dish that you can improvise with what you have on hand. I like to make a big batch so I have meals prepared for most of the week. It tastes great over rice, too!

Turkey chili in my Le Creuset dutch oven
P.S. Here's the turkey chili recipe I used as the foundation for my dish. I left out the cumin. (Link opens in a new window.)

P.P.S. Come join SoupaPalooza at TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored by KitchenAidRed Star Yeast and Le Creuset.

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