Mexican Street Corn Salad

Hello, all.  Long time, no write.  But I echo everything Cat said about A + K’s wedding.  In fact, my biggest regret of the whole beautiful weekend was that we didn’t get a picture of the four of us ladies for ze blog.  That said, everything else was flawless, just as summer in New England should be.  And I certainly don’t regret any of the moves I busted on the dance floor.

Last night, a lovely and mild summer evening, Carrie came over to make dinner.  We had emailed and texted all day about the menu and we both agreed we really wanted to make Mexican street corn- the delicious, mayo and cheese and lime soaked concoction on a stick- but ideally without mayo since neither of us ever buys it. 



We whipped up this recipe off the cuff using Greek Yogurt (fage brand) as the substitute for mayo.  We did a few other unconventional things- I didn’t want to fire up the charcoal just for corn, so I grilled the ears on my panini press (worked surprisingly well.)  Also, since Mexican Street Corn can be messy and some of the best bits of cheese can slide off the ear, we cut all the corn off the cob and made it a salad so you could use your fork to scoop up every delicious morsel

It turned out really tasty- tangy and spicy, with all of the ooze and none of the ick.  This could be a really popular side dish at a BBQ or summer dinner party, and you can kind of pretend it’s health food, on account of the yogurt.  Make it while corn is still cheap and plentiful. 

Mexican Street Corn Salad

  • 4 ears corn
  • 1 cup plain Fage yogurt
  • 1/2 block cotija cheese (feta would work, too)
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 2 tsp chopped scallions
  • juice of 3 limes

Grill the corn (or boil if you don’t have access to the grill).  Once cool, use knife to cut it off the cob into a mixing bowl.  Add other ingredients.  You will need to crumble up the cotija into bite size morsels.  Mix and taste, adjusting seasonings if necessary. 


ImageWe consumed ours with black beans, homemade tomato salsa, homemade guac, and quick pickled red onions in tacos.  Perfection.  The onions were tasty too, but i forgot to photograph them in the midst of my hunger so I’ll save them for another post.  


Island eSCAPES

This post is for anyone who

1) picks up garlic scapes at a farmers market or CSA and

2) googles around for possible uses and

3) realizes that everyone in the world seems to be using garlic scapes for only one thing (pesto**) and

4) has a lifelong need to not be like everyone else in the world.

Here is what my lovely sister and I did when we dared to be different with a batch of scapes on an island weekend in Maine.

Grilled Garlic Scape Bruschetta

  • one batch garlic scapes
  • salt and pepper
  • juice of a lemon
  • olive oil
  • 1 cup tomatoes, chopped with juice
  • bruschetta vehicle (toasted bread or cracker)

Douse the scapes with lemon, olive oil, salt, and pepper.  



Grill for about 8 minutes, until scapes are looking wilty and browned.  Take off grill and roughly chop into bite size pieces.



Combine with juicy tomato goodness and spread on crostini vehicle of choice.


A very good snack.  The scapes have a nice, mellow flavor rather like roasted regular garlic.


**In the interest of full disclosure, I did have another batch of scapes later and I made…pesto.  And it was…very good.  Everyone makes it for a reason, I guess.  But I still maintain the bruschetta are a great and tasty way to put a different twist on this summer ingredient.  Make both and decide for yourself!


Pleasantly Surprised…

When life is hard sometimes you lose interest in cooking.  Especially if, in the midst of life being hard, you move and you don’t have any of your spices or knives, just a cracked plastic bowl and an old jar of peanut butter.  In times like those, you order a lot of Thai take out and otherwise subsist on berries and Greek yogurt.  Not very interesting blog material.

Then when things start to open up a bit, you only want to cook old standbys, favorite recipes that you know will deliver because you have enough uncertainty to deal with without wondering if a new recipe is going to disappoint.  So you cook from those recipes you know by heart, which of course, you’ve already blogged about before.  Again, boring.

But some summer days, the ones where you can watch the Olympic swim trials and enjoy a glass of wine on your new leafy patio, call for a new recipe.  Especially when you have two ripe avocados and you don’t want to make guacamole.  And a Smitten Kitchen recipe is as close as one can get to a sure thing when dealing with matters of kitchen uncertainty.

When life is hard it’s nice to be pleasantly surprised, whether by flowers from a thoughtful friend, or by an unassuming little recipe.  People, this is a good salad.  It takes basically two ingredients and everything else you probably have in your kitchen.  The carrots have great flavor and the avocado adds a nice citrus-y, summery feel.  A bite of it feels a little bit like waking up.

Avocado and Roasted Carrot Salad

adapted, barely, from Smitten Kitchen

  • 1  bag of large carrots, scrubbed and chopped into bite size chunks
  • pinches of salt, cumin, and pepper to taste
  • 2 avocados, sliced
  • the juice of one lemon
  • olive oil to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 and in the meantime slice up your carrots.  Toss them in a olive oil and coat them with salt, pepper, and cumin.  Place on a baking sheet and roast for 25-35 minutes, until they are brown and taste tender but not mushy and overcooked.

Add the avocado slices with the carrots.

You all know how to slice avocado, but I just thought this ended up being kind of an arty photo.



Squeeze the lemon over everything, and add a drizzle more of olive oil with another generous dose of salt and pepper.  You’re done!