Tag Archives: Corn on the Cob

Veggies Galore: Calabasitas for Dinner

Calabasitas is something I haven’t made in a while – it used to be one of my mainstays.  I guess that happens, you make certain dishes all the time then the recipe fades away for a bit only to be rediscovered later.  Calabasitas is like a Mexican version of ratatouille only it cooks in less time.  My version has fresh zucchini, yellow squash, sweet corn, (I’m proud to add that all three are Colorado-grown!) onions, Poblano pepper, tomatoes and cheese.  My secret ingredient is a pinch of dried Italian herbs, which brightens up the flavors.  The vegetables are sautéed until tender and it’s finished off with some cherry tomatoes, melted sharp cheddar cheese, queso fresco and cilantro.  Even though it has all vegetables, it’s a hearty and filling meal.

Coloradans like to brag about the good produce that is grown in our state – we are especially proud of the Palisade peaches and the sweet, tender Olathe corn from the Western Slope.  The peaches aren’t available yet but I did see the Olathe corn in the store and snatched some up.  For more flavor I grilled the corn but you don’t have to, in fact this is great with frozen corn kernels when fresh is out of season.  The vegetables take about a half hour to sauté, and I love that there this is melted cheese on top.  It adds a velvety richness and lots of flavor.  I served mine in individual serving dishes but you can serve it directly from the skillet; sprinkle the tomatoes and grated cheese on top of the vegetables and put the skillet under the broiler for a minute or so until the cheese gets nice and bubbly.  Add the garnishes and serve with warm corn tortillas – dinner is ready. 

Eat well and share the love!

Calabasitas
Recipe: Melissa Schenker/Foodie for Two
Serves two foodies

Ingredients:
1 ½ cups cubed zucchini (half-inch sized cubes)
1 ½ cups cubed yellow squash (half-inch sized cubes)
½ cup diced Poblano pepper (about half a large pepper)
1 small onion, diced
1/8 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 corn on the cob, kernels removed (or ½ cup frozen corn)
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Fresh cracked pepper
Topping
5 to 6 cherry tomatoes, halved and quartered,
  or 4 tablespoons diced tomato
1/3 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons queso fresco cheese, crumbled
fresh cilantro leaves
fresh cracked pepper
2 to 3 warm corn tortillas
Optional: jalapeno rounds, thinly sliced

Directions:
Heat a large oven-proof skillet over medium heat.  Add about 2 tablespoons olive oil, just enough to coat the bottom of the pan.

When the oil is warm, add the chopped zucchini, yellow squash and Poblano peppers to the pan; season with ½ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper and stir well.  Sauté vegetables for five or six minutes and add the onions.  Add a drizzle of olive oil around the edge of pan along with a good pinch of salt and 1/8 teaspoon Italian herbs.  Sauté for another 20 to 25 minutes until vegetables are soft and tender.  Add the minced garlic and let cook for 30 seconds, stirring often.  Stir in the corn kernels and let heat through, about 2 minutes.  (If the corn is frozen, let cook for 5 or 6 minutes until corn is heated through)

Turn the oven broiler to high.  Sprinkle the tomatoes over the vegetables and follow with the grated cheddar cheese.  Broil for 2 to 3 minutes until cheese is bubbly.

Garnish with crumbled queso fresco cheese, fresh cilantro leaves and fresh cracked pepper (optional: thinly sliced jalapeno rounds).  Serve hot with warm corn tortillas.

  • Optional Flavor Boost – Quick Grilled Corn: Heat grill to medium-high. Remove husks and silk from corn.  Lightly coat the corn cob with olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper.  Grill corn, turning often, for 5 to 8 minutes until the kernels start to soften and get browned. 
  • Safely remove kernels from corn with chef’s knife lay grilled corn on cutting board and place your hand flat on top, with index finger and thumb in the middle of cob (not hanging over the cutting side).  Slice knife down the side of the cob, parallel to the corn, to remove kernels.  Keep turning corn until all kernels are removed. 

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Memorial Day: Grilled Corn with Honey Jalapeño Butter

One of my favorite ways to enjoy corn on the cob is to grill it with the husks on.  This technique has been around for a long while and is nothing new, but it deserves to be resurrected.  The husks act like a steamer and impart a slightly nutty and smoky flavor to this classic summertime vegetable.  And when the corn is ready to eat, the husks do double duty as a handle.   Succulent grilled corn with a sweet and spicy butter is just the ticket for a Memorial Day Weekend Barbecue because it’s easy to make and such a treat to eat. 

The trick to grilling corn with the husks on is to soak them (husk and all) in water for a few hours before grilling.  Just like soaking wooden grilling skewers, the water helps keep the husks from burning too quickly.  I use my large Rondeau pot to soak the corn cobs – if they float just put a heavy plate on top.  Before grilling the corn, I remove all the silk (the thin strands between the husk and corn) so you don’t have to fuss with it when the corn is hot.  Most of the silk comes out in large pieces but there always seems to be stragglers.  Here’s a clever trick I learned in the catering world to remove them: dampen a clean kitchen towel and run it down the cob – it works wonders to capture those little guys.  The corn gets a light brushing of the honey jalapeño butter and then the husks are pulled back up to cover the corn and tied with strips made from a few husk leaves.  They get grilled over a low heat for about 30 minutes, turning every few minutes.

With corn on the cob, you must have butter (lots of it, please!).  I like to change it up and make a sweet and spicy butter to flavor the corn kernels.  It is super easy to make and only takes five minutes to whip together, including melting the butter.  I decided to make one of my favorites, honey jalapeño butter: unsalted butter, wildflower honey, jalapeño, lime zest, salt and pepper.  This butter would also be great on shrimp, on biscuits or to flavor bread for homemade croutons.   I love a spicy kick with the sweetness of the corn – another favorite is to slather the hot corn with butter, add some salt and pepper and a few dashes of a hot wings buffalo sauce.  Fabulous! 

Look for my post later this week when I share my recipe for brined barbecued chicken to round out the Memorial Day weekend meal.

Grilled Corn in the Husks with Honey Jalapeño Butter
Recipe: Melissa Schenker/Foodie for Two    
Serves two foodies (4 corn on the cob)
Prep Time: 2 1/2 hours (soaking and de-silking)
Cooking Time: 30 to 35 minutes

Ingredients:
Honey Jalapeño Butter
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
¼ teaspoon honey
Half of a jalapeño, finely diced
1/8 teaspoon lime zest
1/8 teaspoon salt
Pinch of pepper

Corn in the Husk:
4 corn on the cob
Large pot of cold water (to soak the corn on
the cob before grilling)

Directions:
Honey Jalapeño Butter:
Add the melted butter to a small bowl along the remaining ingredients and stir together until well-combined.  Let sit for 30 minutes or more to allow flavors to blend.  (Butter mixture can be made up to one day ahead, store covered in refrigerator.)

Corn in the Husk:
Soak corn in water (completely submerged) with the husks on for two hours.  Before grilling, remove the silk strands: Grasp the top of the corn with both hands using your thumbs and two fingertips, and pull either side of the husk down gently in two pieces to expose the whole cob.  Remove the silk strands with your hands and discard. Use a damp, clean kitchen towel to remove any remaining silk strands by grasping the top of the cop and dragging the towel down, from the top to the bottom.  Season with a light brushing of honey jalapeño butter and carefully pull the husks back up over the corn cob.  Secure with a few strips of husks (take off a few long husk leaves and cut lengthwise into strips with knife or kitchen shears) to prepare for grilling.

Heat grill to low heat and grill corn for 30 to 35 minutes, until outside husk leaves are a bit charred and corn is tender.  Turn corn every few minutes. 

To serve, peel the husks down, keeping the leaves intact at the bottom.  Brush liberally with honey jalapeño butter, season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper and serve hot.