Friday, July 12, 2013

Farmer's Market Fridays: Esquites (Mexican Corn Salad)

This is what you turn into if you eat too much of this fabulous corn salad. Not kosher.

I made this sweet corn salad last week for a barbecue at a friend's house on the 4th-- and it didn't last five minutes. Seriously, if you want to make friends and win over enemies, this may be better than any cookie you could ever bake.

(Don't quote me on that. I'd be out of a job.)

This salad is straightforward: corn, cotija cheese, garlic, lime, hot pepper. The trick is roasting the corn before you assemble the salad. I removed the kernels from the cob and cooked the heck out of them in a skillet-- and it was magic.

The wonderful thing about this recipe is it can easily be scaled up or down, and can be eaten as a salad or as a dip.

Me? I'm a dipper. The crunchiness of tortilla chips goes beautifully with the creamy cotija and the sweet, smoky corn that's in season now. Totally the right move.


Adapted from The Kitchn

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups fresh sweet corn (from about 6 ears)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 serrano pepper seeded and minced
4 tablespoons crumbled cotija cheese
2 tablespoons olive-oil based mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons Mexican-style chili powder
Juice  and zest from two limes
Kosher salt, to taste

In a large skillet, heat oil on medium until "shimmering". Add the corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until the corn is toasted and golden brown (about ten-fifteen minutes). Remove from heat and stir in garlic; allow to cool for a few minutes.

In a mixing bowl, combine the toasted corn mixture with the remaining ingredients. Adjust seasonings, as desired. Serve at room temperature with additional cotija cheese.

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