If ever there was a day to write an “in the fridge” post, it was last week. We came home a day early from New Orleans in the wake of “Hurricane/Tropical Storm/Turned-out-to be-Barely-Cloudy-in-New Orleans Karen (it was petering out to sea as we were boarding the plane, only we were delayed because of ‘high winds’ at Newark international. Do I need to point out the irony? Oy).
I’m always fearful when I open the door to our house after a trip. Something a little scary always happens when we’re gone, only this time I was hardly worried since my parents were house sitting for all but the last day. I walked in and there was this vague scent of musty vegetables. I put a deliriously tired Francesca to bed and then went to investigate. It took me a good long while to realize the freezer wasn’t completely closed from ice build-up, which happens from time to time. Everything was still vaguely cool, but definitely not frozen. Most things had to be thrown away, but there was a lot of corn that was still cold. Fortunately, I remembered a recipe I taught once for a farmers market class – Lime Ancho Corn Soup – which I once modified during a class for a student who didn’t eat any dairy.
I took out my cast iron skillet, turned up the flame, and voila re-created this great, fast, and easy side dish that combines blackened corn with lime and ancho chile powder. This dish can also be converted into a salad by chilling the corn and adding red onions, tomatoes and avocadoes as well.
I was feeling very jet lagged and very bummed to be cooking at midnight, but of course very happy the next day to have the corn with roasted capon. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait for a refrigerator mishap to make this dish. Enjoy!
Question of the Day: Have you ever turned around a refrigerator disaster like this? What did you do? We want to know!
Burnt Corn with Lime and Ancho Chile Spice
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 pounds (about 4 ½ cups,) frozen or fresh organic corn*
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 limes
- ¾ teaspoon pepper
- 1-1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons ancho or chipotle chili powder divided
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 medium red onion coarsely chopped
- 2 avocados diced (optional)
- 2 tomatoes coarsely chopped (optional)
- Heat canola oil in a non-stick pan, preferably cast iron.
- Add corn. Mix well to assure all the kernels are coated with oil.
- Add the salt, stir and cook on medium high for 10 minutes, or until the kernels start to brown and even burn in some places. (It will smell vaguely of popcorn and may even pop a kernel or two, so be careful!)
- Zest both limes (you should have 2 teaspoons of zest)
- Add the zest and the juice of one lime to the skillet. Mix well and then add the ancho powder, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Stir well and serve. You may also serve the corn as a light and healthy salad by letting the corn cool for at least an hour in the refrigerator and adding red onions, avocado and tomatoes. Sprinkle the juice of the second lime over the salad, mix well and serve.