Showing posts with label corn. Show all posts
Showing posts with label corn. Show all posts

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Corn and Hatch Chili Quesadilla

I went to the HEB the other day and was greeted with the awesome aroma of roasting Hatch chili peppers. What can you do? You buy them, of course and make as many things as possible with them.

Last night I mixed up a nice pyrex container of corn, Hatch chilis and parsley. The plan, to stuff it all inside tortillas and make quesadillas!

Corn and Hatch Chili Quesadilla
nutrition facts, Serves six

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup whole kernel corn - your choice of thawed from frozen or fresh scraped from the cob
1/2 cup roasted and peeled Hatch chilis (hot or mild as you prefer), rough chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 t smokey paprika
8 oz Monterrey Jack Cheese
6 large flour tortillas
1 can fat free black bean frijoles
1 1/2 cups salsa
non-stick spray

Directions:

Measure and chop the corn, chilis, and cilantro. Mix in a Pyrex dish if you want or the bowl of your preference.

Put the black bean frijoles in a small casserole with a lid (you can use regular frijoles if you like).

Assemble all the other ingredients on the counter.

Lay out three of the tortillas on a work surface (I used two cutting boards).

Sprinkle half the cheese on the tortillas. Divide the chili mixture among the tortillas spreading the filling out to about half an inch from the edges.

Sprinkle the other half of the cheese on top of the chilis mix.

Top each with paprika and then place the remaining three tortillas on top sandwich style.

Heat a large non-stick skillet to medium. Hover your hand over it and when it is very hot, remove from the burner and give a spritz with the non-stick spray. Carefully lift one of the quesadillas and place in the pan.

This is a good time to nuke the frijoles.

Use a spatula and press the quesadilla while it cooks. Not all the time, just every now and then. When the cheese starts to melt you will be able to tell by how it feels when you press. This is a good time to check the bottom of the tortilla to see if it is getting nicely browned.

When it is brown on the bottom, spray the top tortilla with non-stick spray and flip it over. Continue to cook until that tortilla is browned. Remove to a plate and cover to keep warm while you cook the remaining two quesadillas.

Divide the frijoles over the top of each quesadilla and top with salsa and, if you like, more cheese.

Slice in half to serve. Only my 23 year old son can eat an entire quesadilla and I do not suggest that the rest of you even try. Half is good. Enjoy it with a large side salad.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Corn Tortillas

Tortilla making is a wonderfully mindful communal activity. Your family or guests will enjoy making their own tortillas. You can enjoy the savings. My five pound package of Masa Flour cost less than one 10 pack of tortillas.

Corn Tortillas

Ingredients for 8 tortillas:

Nutrition facts (6" in diameter tortilla)

1 cup Masa Flour* (do not pack)
1/8 t salt
2/3 cup warm water

Mixing it all together:

Mix the Masa Flour, salt and warm water very well for a couple minutes with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms. If the dough feels dry, add more water one tablespoon at a time. A pinch of dough should feel rather like the lobe of your ear. Let the dough rest a couple minutes. Do you think it is easy to be beaten about with a wooden spoon?

Separate the dough into eight equal sized balls of dough. Cover with a damp cloth to keep them moistened until cookery time. Don't let them sit all day or they'll dry out and you will make corn crumbles instead of tortillas.

a little on the thick side, but it worked great!
Think gordita from "that place".
Work with one ball at a time. Gently press into a round disk. Place the disk between a folded sheet of wax paper, leave room around all sides to allow for expansion.  Flatten the disk with your hand or rolling pin, until it is about 5-6 inches in diameter. After the pressing, gently remove the wax paper from each side and dust with more Masa. That way you can slip them right off the paper into the pan for cookery.

Let the eight uncooked tortillas happily sit in their wax paper holding bins while you prep the skillet.

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Gently tip and slide the tortilla into the heated skillet. You may have to experiment with technique for this. I am a klutz and find that if I try to pick them up and lay them in the pan, I make a great mess of the fragile uncooked things. Thus, the tipping and slipping.

Tortillas only need to cook about 30-50 seconds on each side (if you made fat tortillas, it will take a little longer). Flip to cook the other side when the first has a few nice brown bits. Watch closely so they do not burn. It sure doesn't look like the thing will hold together, does it? So fragile before cooking. A few seconds in a skillet, and you can fold and toss them about with wild abandon...ok, maybe not wild abandon, just general abandon.

You can press the second tortilla while the first is cooking, etc..., instead of prepping them all at once. That makes it a fast very busy process, but it’s fun and you don't have to worry about the tortilla drying out or sticking to the wax paper. It’s good to make that method a two person event. One can watch the cooking tortilla and the other can do the pressing. Watch out for that third person that wants to do all the eating.

As the tortillas finish cooking, place them in a warm cotton cloth or in a tortilla warmer until all are ready and dinner is served. Enjoy Mindfully.

Notes:

*Masa Flour is corn flour that has been treated with calcium hydroxide to make the corn more digestible - the package may just say "treated with lime". It does not mean lime juice. Look for it in the ethnic section of your supermarket.  The package may say "Masa Harina". Masa Flour is used to make many corn flour based Mexican treats.

Do not use regular corn meal for this recipe. That would be most unmindful indeed.

It may take a bit of practice to get the thickness just right. I mangled a few before they started to resemble tortillas. Fortunately, Masa Flour is inexpensive, the dough quick to mix, and the tortillas fast to cook. If you mess up, just mix some more dough!

Try adding a tablespoon or two of diced Hatch Chiles to the Masa mixture. Hot or mild Hatches are fine. Cut back a bit on the water a tablespoon as the chiles will add its own liquid.

To make tostadas, allow to cool and then fry in hot oil. Top them with frijoles and veggies. 

To make gorditas, don't roll them quite so thin.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Real Leggett Corn

So, my daughter wanted me to blog my most requested Thanksgiving side dish...well except for the five layer butterflake rolls. I thought I had done so already and performed a quick google for Leggett Corn - named by my son after my Dad's corn raising and eating side of the family. I was most surprised when up popped a few recipes from bloggers that had the nerve to post recipes called Leggett Corn - and that no, I had not blogged it. So, appalled at the potential besmirching of my maiden name with recipes that could never be the most wonderful of all forms of corn deliciousness I checked the recipes out. They were so very near to my own cherished family "recipe" that I wondered if, in fact these were relatives. But, due to the use of Profile Names there was no way to verify that. I will proceed here on the assumption that there could be some confusion out there on how The Real Leggett Corn is made and thus entitle the dish and this blog accordingly.

This sign proves that I am in fact an original Leggett - please note that this Illinois farm was certified in 1987 by the Governor himself as a Century Farm - a farm owned and operated by the same family for 100 years. As my Uncle and Cousin still farm there, we are well into our second century.

My Leggetts go back to pre-Constitutional America. Thus, I win the right to name and own the recipe for Leggett Corn. *neener neener, as they say*

Here's some of the Leggetts that made the Original and Real Leggett Corn.

They don't look too happy. Perhaps they heard about all this upstart Leggett Corn stuff going on and available over the internet for anyone that does not know better.

Well, as a dutiful descendent, I am about to set the record straight.

I present to you, The Real Leggett Corn (TM) in all its rich complexity.

Ingredients:

2 large cans of Green Giant creamed corn
1 small can of the Niblets extra sweet corn
A lot of Premium Saltine Crackers all crumbled up by hand just like the people above did - do not use any labor saving devices or it will not be Real Leggett Corn.
Milk - NOT skim
pepper
paprika - only if you are having guests for a formal eating party that uses real plates and need to fancy it up.

Difficult to follow instructions, but for the dish to work please perform all steps with precision:

Dump the creamed corn and drained regular corn into a bowl. Stir in crumbled crackers until it's real thick.

My Dad is the scrawny one front left
Thin a bit with milk and then add more crackers and keep this up until the crackers are absorbing the milk and the mixture looks kind of like a thick pudding of corn. Sorry, but there are no measurements. This is an intuitive recipe and you just go on adding crackers and milk til it looks dratted good. Sprinkle in some pepper once you've got a nice texture that is not too thin - here is where I will diverge from the original a tad because I do not add more salt but please don't tell the Victorian Leggetts that.

Pour into a buttered casserole dish and sprinkle a nice layer of crumbled crackers over the top.

Sprinkle paprika over crackers if formal dining is to be had.

Bake at 375 until the crumbs are just starting to brown and the whole is a bit bubbly.

Warning:

you really can over bake the dish, so just slightly browned, ok? Maybe 25 minutes or so.

If you are eating this and interested in calories, you can find a reasonable estimate using low fat milk here.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

I'll Have a Bowl of Corn Chowder.

This is just about my most favorite soup ever, well, it's not a soup, it's chowder! Those that read my ramblings on Food I Eat know that there will never be a fish that makes it all the way past my lips with the exception of heavily spiced or sauced shrimp, preferably grilled. So, don't even begin to talk to me about how corn has no place in the real New England Chowder. You people that eat clams need to come round to the real chowder - corn chowder.

If you are into calories and nutrition facts, click here.

my chowder as a side dish
New England Corn Chowder

Ingredients with variations on the theme and options for your enjoyment no matter how you eat:

6 strips of the meatiest bacon you can find. If you can get applewood smoked bacon do it, because it is the best ever. Trim off any ends that are particularly fatty...yes a bit wasteful, but it's better. Trust me. If you are a serious bacon eater add more...or cook up some to sprinkle on when it is served.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Mixed Grill


It's what we decided needed to be served with our 2004 Gevrey-Chambertin 1st Cru. To be precise, marinated lamb chops, prime rib eye steak, shrimps, pineapple, and corn on the cob (method below) – all grilled over coals.

Grilled pineapple is one of the world's most perfect foods and should be included in as many meals as possible. No need for a dessert when you serve this bit of yummy stuff with dinner.

Grilled corn on the cob is a favorite of ours. I don't use the fancy garlic butter spreads that are so popular, as I find that simple works the best for good sweet corn.

How to grill corn on the cob:

nutrition facts for corn

Trim off the tassle and outer leaves – do not remove the entire husk (you may need to trim a bit at the top end with the tassles). Rinse well. Soak immersed in a large container of well salted water (a couple tablespoons of salt) anywhere from 8 hours to over night.

Remove from the container and shake off excess water. Grill in the husks – the husks and cob soaked up the salty water which lets the corn steams right in the husks.

Grilling takes about 20-30 minutes or so. They are best cooked over "waning" coals or a medium heat. Watch closely so they do not burn, it's the only way to ruin the corn. Turn often. When grilled this way there is no need for butter.

I don't know how much salt actually stays on the kernels, but I truly do not think it is much as it is mostly absorbed by the fibrous part of the plant. It never tastes salty to me.

In order to finish the delicious picture at the table, there should be something green with a dash of red on the table so maybe a simple salad of red leaf lettuce, with a sprinkle of blue cheese or feta topped with a balsamic vinaigrette.

To serve, share with good friends.