28 August 2013

Grilled Pepper & Corn Salad

Ahh, the joys of corn on the cob.  Juicy yellow kernels of sweet perfection bursting in your mouth as you munch.  The ears are so good, it totally makes up for the butter facial and slightly singed fingertips from trying to put the corn holders into the ends waaaaay before its cool enough to handle.  Grilled corn is divine, the epitome of summer eats.  But sometimes, it's nice to nix the cob and keep your dignity at the dinner table.  That's when a grilled corn salad like this one comes in super handy.

My inspiration for this dish was this Mexican Street Corn Salad.  To say that I am obsessed is an understatement.  I have made this no less than four times in the past three weeks...no joke, and absolutely no apologies.  I have always been a corn on the cob lover, but never have I ever loved corn as much as this.  Eat it with a fork, scoop it on chips or throw it on top of fish....delightful.  Oh so yummy, and so very forkable.

After twerking tweaking around with the recipe a bit, I've come up with a version that is super pleasing to our palates.  The lime juice has been dialed back a bit and a few extra spices mixed in.  And since stuffing extra veggies into everything is how I roll, I added some green pepper for nutrition and color.  Even if you are not a green pepper fan, I encourage you to give it a try here.  When combined with the sweet corn and additional spices, you do not get the same strong flavor that some describe as grassy or bitter.  It really adds more color and texture to the dish than flavor.  So if you're a green pepper-hater (mom), think of this as an excellent opportunity to give them a second change.

I must point out a big non-substitution from the original recipe.  Drum roll, please.....I have not swapped out the mayo.  (*!!!!*)  For those of you who don't know me or my spinach dip, this is a big deal.  This is literally the first recipe in YEARS where I haven't swapped in plain greek yogurt.  I took a chance, made the hubs very happy and used our olive oil mayo....and actually enjoyed it a lot.  This being said, greek yogurt would be an easy substitution in this dish if you suffer from mayo-phobia like some people I know (*cough*).  Since the recipe calls for only a few tablespoons, it really won't make a big difference in the taste.  You may find yourself needing an extra pinch of salt, but I would recommend sampling the dish first.  (Like you wouldn't for some reason....weird.)

This is a fabulous summer side served on its own, as well as with multi-grain or blue corn tortilla chips.  But it's also fantastic over simply grilled fish.  We most recently ate it atop freshly grilled steelhead trout, seasoned with salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder.  The sweet corn and smokey jalapeno flavor are excellent on this tender-firm fish, but it would also be really tasty on top of halibut or tilapia.

Grilled Pepper & Corn Salad
Modified version of the original over at Love & Lemons
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1/2 green pepper
  • 2 ears corn, shucked 
  • 1/2 tbs olive oil
  • pinch salt & pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • juice from 1 lime (or 2 tsp lime extract)
  • 1/4 c cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 2 tbs mayonnaise or plain yogurt
  • feta & paprika, to garnish

Roast the jalapeno over the grill or under the broiler, turning occasionally, until the skin is well charred all around.  Remove and set on a cutting board to cool.

Place a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat.  While the pan heats, cut the kernels of corn off of the cob and dice the pepper.  When the pan is hot, add 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and swirl to coat.  Transfer the green pepper into the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes, until they begin to brown.  Add the corn and stir together well, then increase the heat to just under high.  Season with salt and pepper then cook until corn is bright yellow and browned, about 2-3 minutes, stirring every minute or so (whenever the corn starts to pop too much).  Remove the pan from the heat and turn off the burner.

Clear a spot in the middle of the hot pan of corn and peppers, then add the garlic.  Let cook for about 15 seconds before stirring together with the corn and peppers.  Cut the stem off the jalapeno and dice, skin and all, then transfer to the pan (for less heat, seed the jalapeno before dicing).  Add the lime juice, cilantro, paprika and mayonnaise, stirring until the corn mixture is evenly coated.  Transfer to a plate and serve, garnishing with the remaining cilantro, feta and paprika.  Serve as a side or over the simply grilled fish of your choice.  

No comments:

Post a Comment