Sunday, December 11, 2011

Red Corn with Cilantro and Cotija Anejo Cheese

Serves 2

2 ears of red corn, kernels removed from the cob
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon lime juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons crumbled cotija anejo cheese**
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro

Cut off the corn kernels. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt olive oil. Add corn and sprinkle evenly with sugar. Saute for 2-3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add lime juice and salt & pepper. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes and remove from heat. The corn should be cooked through yet still firm. Sprinkle with cotija anejo cheese and cilantro and toss gently until well combined and serve immediately.

** Cotija anejo, a mild-flavored Mexican cheese with a crumbly texture, can be found in Mexican markets or in the refrigerator section of most major supermarkets. Queso fresco, another mild Mexican cheese, is a good substitute and also can be found in most major supermarkets.

Note: This dish can be made with traditional white, yellow, or bi-color corn, though you many want to omit the sugar.

Experimenting with Red Corn

Basic Cooking Instructions: Combine 3 cups of water and 1 cup of dry corn. Bring to boiling. Simmer uncovered 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover, let stand 3 hours. Return to boiling, simmer covered 3 hours or until done. Season to taste.

+ cilantro
+ tomatoes
+ lime
+ nuts, toasted
+ quinoa


Red Corn Posole with Smoked Pasilla

2 cups dried Red Corn Posole
1 1/2 lb pork shoulder
2 medium diced white onions
5 cloves garlic

Red Corn Posole has a wonderful flavor- at once corny, nutty and earthy. It retains its red color when cooked and stays more Al Dente than conventional yellow posole.

Soak the posole overnight; two nights are better. Drain. In a large, heavy- bottomed pot, brown the salted pork in olive oil taking care to get it quite brown and caramelized. Remove the pork; sauté the onions and garlic slowly until translucent. Return the pork to the pot. Add the drained posole, oregano and bay leaf. Remove from heat. Toast the smoked chiles for 2 minutes in a 400 degree oven. Don't burn them or they will be bitter. Pound the chiles or pulverize in a spice grinder to a fine powder. Add to pot and sauté everything together for five minutes or so. Add water to about 2 inches above posole. Bring to a boil and skim off scum. Lower to simmer and cook for at least 4 hours, adding water as necessary. Salt to taste during last 20 minutes of cooking. The pork should be falling from the bone. Serve in large bowls with plenty of broth. Garnish with diced red or green onion, avocadoes, toasted oregano, lime juice, cilantro and /or finely shredded cabbage. In late summer, add tomatoes, sweet corn and green chile and forget the pork. With less broth, it can be a side dish for roasted meat, poultry or grilled fish.

Tip: It will taste even better if served the next day.