Recipe: mexican grilled corn salad
Rounding hairpin turns, blinded by the rising sun, I squinted at the clock on the dash. I was late. But you can’t step on the gas and hurry because there are all those Honda Civic-sized potholes to dodge as well as wild animals to watch for. I figured if they’re there, great. If they’ve already moved on, so be it. It is what it is, my first morning NOT dedicated to a trail run or a hike, but to photograph moose. I was in luck.
it seems all they ever do is eat
Our local moose have a feeding pattern in summer that draws the photographers out each morning like flies. They feed in the low meadows and then move on up to higher ground. It varies. Sometimes they will hang out until well after noon and other times they’ll sneak away only to return later. It’s their home. About 100 moose live in the Brainard Lake area alone, plus more in the surrounding mountains. These are my neighbors.
time to move on
way too close for my comfort
I managed to catch the tail end of the show, about 15 minutes’ worth of shooting. No biggie. I just wanted to see and maybe photograph moose and was able to do both. Chatting with a few gentlemen who were also shooting the moose, I learned they traveled a couple of hours just for this. They do it once a week. When they learned I lived nearby and ran/hiked here all the time, one fellow smiled and said with the utmost sincerity, “You are very lucky.” I nodded to confirm this statement – yes, I am VERY lucky. We wished one another well and said good-bye.
On the drive back home, I thought about luck. It would be easy to look at all of the negatives in my life (and I’ve had my share, thank you) and let that set the tone for the rest of my life, but what’s the point in that? Wallowing in self-pity has never been my cup of tea. There are so many more positives from a simple sunrise to helping a stranger to cherishing every hug from my mom to packing a lunch for Jeremy. I’m just grateful to be here, really. Sometimes I think about how much time I have left – I don’t really know how much time I have… it could be another 40 years or it could be a few days. Regardless, time is short. Life is short. There isn’t enough time in another 40 years to do everything I want let alone waste it on bad relationships, jonesing, terrible food, buying “stuff”, being unkind, not being honest, trying to be someone I am not, worrying what others think of me. It’s taken me a few decades to get to the point where I can trim away most of the “bullshit”, but it’s liberating and I think it makes my life feel lucky. It certainly feels GOOD.
The other day I went hiking in the high country with my friend, Erin (another Erin, but both of my Erins are awesome ladies), and her pup, Banjo. How nice to have much-needed doggie time as well as friend time. I love it when you find someone who doesn’t need to talk the talk, because she totally rocks the walk. That’s Erin. We spent the entire day hiking, foraging, and talking under sun, clouds, and pouring rain. When we weren’t chatting it up on the trail, I just sang “Banjooooo” in rhythm with my stride because he’s such a good and sweet boy. It made me think of my little Kaweah and how utterly bad she was on the trail (but cute!).
erin holds a mushroom (a kind i don’t eat)
banjo is such a good pup
and the wildflowers were out in force
clouds move in over the lovely alpine lake
Erin just had a major birthday and I wanted to do something nice. I thought of baking a flourless chocolate cake and packing it up to the high country to surprise her. Or maybe making French macarons to bust out at the lake. But the reality was that my schedule was overly full, so I bought her a Chuao bar (triple nut temptation dark chocolate – Jeremy’s favorite), tied a ribbon on it, wrote a card, and called it good. Jeremy commented that the old me would have stayed up late baking, lost sleep, and been exhausted and not enjoyed my hike. It’s true. The current me has a little more sense (just slightly) than the old me.
The idea of keeping things simple is a good one. That’s why this corn salad is so appealing. It’s like the Mexico City-style roasted corn, but it’s easier to prepare and way less messy to eat. I found the recipe on Kevin’s site, Closet Cooking, which is a great blog full of cheesy, melty, juicy, amazing recipes. Since summer is in full swing, we must partake of the corn.
chipotle powder, salt, garlic, green onions, jalapeño, lime, mayonnaise, corn, cotija cheese, cilantro, vegetable oil
My recipe deviates from Kevin’s a little bit because I prefer to use my grill. If I can grill instead of using the stove top, I will do that – especially in summer. The corn is charred on the cob and then cut off the cob whereas Kevin cuts the raw kernels off and then chars them on the stove top. But if you don’t have a grill or you don’t want to grill, just do it Kevin’s way. The point is to make the corn salad and put it in your belly.
shuck the corn
brush with vegetable oil
grill to lightly char the kernels
cut the kernels off the cob (carefully!)
Aside from the corn, the rest of the ingredient preparation is straightforward. Grate the garlic, juice the lime, chop or crumble everything else. If I weren’t photographing the steps for your benefit, each item would go straight into a giant bowl. How easy is that?! Super easy.
grate the garlic
juice a lime
lime juice, cilantro, charred corn, mayonnaise, green onions, cotija cheese, jalapeño, garlic, salt, chipotle powder
pour in the lime juice
add the cotija cheese
If you make this salad, be sure to taste it as you go. Every person has different preferences. I reduced the amount of mayonnaise from the original recipe, but you might like more (or none!). Pretty much everything can be tweaked to your liking and should be. We enjoyed the salad with some skirt steak tacos. Serve this with your summer barbecues. It’s ideal for entertaining too.
garnish with extra cheese and cilantro
great side salad for tacos
summer on a plate
Mexican Grilled Corn Salad
modified from Closet Cooking
4 ears fresh corn, shucked and cleared of silk
vegetable oil for grilling
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
1 clove garlic, grated
2 green onions, sliced thin or chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 lime, juice of
3 tbsps Cotija cheese, grated plus extra for garnish
2 tbsps mayonnaise
1/4 tsp chipotle pepper powder (or to taste)
salt to taste
Brush the naked ears of corn with vegetable oil and grill over high heat until the kernels begin to char. Turn the cobs as each side is lightly charred until the cobs are done (about 10-16 minutes depending on your grill and other weather factors). When the corn is cooked, use a sharp knife to cut the kernels from the cobs (please be careful!). *Alternative*: If you can’t or don’t want to grill the corn, you can cut the kernels off of the raw ears, then brown the kernels over high heat and some butter in a skillet or frying pan. Place the cooked corn kernels, jalapeño pepper, garlic, green onions, cilantro, lime juice, Cotija cheese, and mayonnaise in a large bowl. Mix everything together. Season with chipotle pepper powder and salt to taste. Garnish with extra cheese. Serves 4-8 as a side salad.
more goodness from the use real butter archives
|mexico city style roasted corn with chipotle mayonnaise
|grilled corn and chilpotle soup
|lobster corn chowder
|corn prosciutto pizza