Here is a recipe that makes use of one of the only consistent items of produce you can get in the Maine winter: frozen corn. Blah, yeah? NOPE! Not at all. It turns out that all frozen corn needs is a little love and for people to do anything other than steaming it. In this recipe, I cook the corn in a hot cast iron skillet until it is charred and sweet then mix it with a spicy dressing and crunchy jalapenos and bacon. Don’t worry, since the seeds are removed from the jalapeno, it isn’t too hot.
Pan roasting corn is a great way to brighten up the regular winter vegetables. In fact, it is so tasty that I still like to make it here in Hawaii where I have all the produce you can think of even in the middle of winter! I like to eat it by itself or in salads like this one. This recipe is just a base. You can add anything you want. Mint and lemon with feta and olives would be very tasty. Basically, you want to try and make the best of the veggies available to you, whether you are in Hawaii and can get anything or are somewhere where frozen veggies are the only option. If you are, just make a really good dressing and leave out the other vegetables completely. The corn is the star here.
Here’s an idea, if you really want to make summer in the middle of winter, cook some chicken or beef under the broiler with Mexican spices and make tacos with this salad inside. Whip up some Margaritas or Mojitos and put on beachy music. Pretend all the snow drifts are sand dunes. Make the most of it!
Heck, you won’t have to drive home from your fantasy kitchen beach party so drink another Mojitos and have a blast!
Spicy Corn Salad
The roasted corn is wonderful on its own but is even better as the base of this spicy herb filled salad.
- 3 cups frozen or fresh corn kernels
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
- 1 large jalapeno, seeded and diced
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- ¼ cup chopped scallions
- 4 slices bacon, cooked and coarsely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 lime, juice and zest
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp chili powder
- 2 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat a skillet over medium-high heat; add corn (still frozen if you are using frozen corn); stir infrequently until the corn begins to get charred spots and is heated through; remove from heat and place in a large bowl
- Mix in cherry tomatoes, jalapeno, cilantro, scallions, and bacon
- In a small bowl, mix the garlic, lime juice and zest, cumin and chili powder; gradually whisk in the oil; season with salt and pepper
- Stir dressing into the salad; serve room temperature or chilled