Monday, August 19, 2013

Street Corn

Ok, I've never had "Street Corn" and I don't even know if there is such a thing, but if there were, this is what I'd imagine it to be. I love going to fairs and seeing everyone walking around with a big 'ole corn on the cob and I've always wanted to try it. But I think this version takes my food imagination to a whole new level.

**Update: My brother has informed me that street vendors in Mexico serve street corn that is rolled in cojita cheese and fresh lime juice. So there you go. There's your street corn lesson for the day. You're welcome. :)

I usually boil the corn when I make corn on the cob, but this time I baked it and it's SO much better. This version of corn only takes a few minutes longer to make, but it's so worth it. While the corn is baking, prep the sauce and grate the cheese. You can also prep the sauce ahead of time also. This is my new favorite way to eat corn on the cob. And for some reason knowing that Greek yogurt is in the sauce makes me feel less guilty for eating seconds. I guess it is *slightly* better than eating corn on the cob with just butter and salt. (Hey, it gives it some protein to all of you nay-sayers!) :)

Here's what you need:

-(6) ears of corn, husk intact

-4 TBS Greek Yogurt
-2 TBS mayo (can use fat-free)
-1 tsp. chili powder
-1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
-1/2 tsp. salt
-zest of one lime
-juice of one lime

-lime wedges
-finely grated Asiago cheese

1. Place corn on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. (You can also grill the corn for a few minutes on each side after it's baked so that you get grill marks and it will also slightly roast the corn. It just adds to the flavor, but it's not necessary.)

2. Prep sauce: combine all ingredients into a small mixing bowl. Stir to combine and set aside.

3. Once corn is baked, remove from oven and allow to cool 2-3 minutes. Pull husk down from corn but don't remove as this makes a natural handle to hold on to. Take a butter knife and coat the outside of the corn with the sauce. Sprinkle or roll corn in grated cheese. Serve with a fresh lime wedge, squeeze fresh juice on right before eating and enjoy while hot.

Enjoy and Happy Cooking!

Here's the printable recipe.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Mini Caprese Kabobs with a Balsamic Reduction

Oh my goodness! This Summer has been busy, but we've had some great time traveling and spending time as a family. I'm sorry that I haven't posted in forever. I've got a quick, easy, delicious and fresh recipe for you.

I love Summer because of all the fresh product readily available. My parents have grown a huge garden every year since the time I was little. I loved going out and picking fresh veggies, especially tomatoes. I'm not sure what else is better than a perfectly red, delicious vine-ripened tomato from your own garden. We started our own garden this year and we planted several varieties of tomatoes. We also planted basil, so I've been in heaven.

I love Caprese Salad and this is a little twist that makes a perfect appetizer or light lunch. You only need 4 ingredients: tomatoes, fresh basil, fresh mozzarella cheese and balsamic vinegar. You need to use fresh mozzarella---not the hard, brick kind that you would grate for pizza. Fresh mozzarella is usually sold in a ball and the texture is really soft. The fresh stuff is a more expensive so I usually buy it at Costco in their specialty cheese section. I also love the Kirkland brand Balsamic vinegar too. I like using a balsamic reduction rather than just straight balsamic vinegar because it sticks to the tomatoes better, it doesn't absorb into the cheese, it tastes a little sweeter and that acidic "bite" is mellowed. And it makes for a gorgeous presentation. You can make the balsamic reduction while you assemble the skewers, so it really doesn't take extra time. You can make the kabobs a day or 2 ahead of time, but the tomatoes taste better if not refrigerated so I like to make mine the day I want to serve them.

Here's what you need: This made about 30 mini skewers.
-1.5 lbs. of cherry tomatoes (or grape tomatoes)
-1 lb. fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into cubes
-12 fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
-1 small pkg toothpicks (I like to use the ones with the wispy stuff on the tip)
-1/2 C balsamic vinegar

1. Put balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer about 10 minutes, OR until the mixture starts to thicken to a honey-like consistency. If you accidentally simmer it too long (molasses-like consistency), you can add a little extra balsamic vinegar and then simmer it again to the desired consistency. Remove pan from heat and set to the side.

2. Use 2 cherry tomatoes and 2 cubes of cheese for each toothpick kabob. I alternated every other one on the toothpick. Continue doing this until you have made the desired amounts of kabobs. Place them on a plate or serving platter.

3. Right before serving, drizzle the balsamic reduction over the kabobs and sprinkle a little coarse sea salt over them. You will not use all of the reduction, so you can save leftovers in the refrigerator for up to a week. Sprinkle with chopped basil and serve.

Enjoy and Happy Cooking!

Here's the printable recipe.