Friday, February 8, 2013

grilled avocado and corn salad.

Have you noticed there is a blizzard going on outside ride now?  A blizzard named Nemo (I mean really who names these things?) and he is wreaking havoc on the city and flights (Miami I’ll be seeing you Sunday sorry for the delay).  I imagine you are sitting at home eating chocolate chip cookies and drinking hot chocolate (don’t tell me I’m the only one) and watching the fat flakes fall in an endless stream onto the city streets.  I haven’t experienced a winter wonderland like this in quite a while and I forgot how beautiful and quiet it can be when everyone is hibernating inside.  It’s rather magical, so magical in fact that I found self pressing my face to the glass in order to get a better look at the world outside.  Sometimes my inner child has a way of emerging. 

I decided this week, as a reward for making it to February, to finally dip into my stash of frozen summer vegetables.  I have the tendency to hoard summer’s bounty in my freezer so when the depths of winter doldrums have arrived I have a little of sun – a reminder of what will eventually arrive again.  I settled on the corn and knew a simple sautéed corn salad would help to cure my winter blues.  The cumin and crushed chipotle peppers give a great deal of warmth and complexion to the dish.  The grilled avocado provided the perfect creamy buttery touch to the salad.  I found myself slathering warmed avocado on homemade whole wheat bread and topping it with the corn salad.  It was an open faced sandwich that bridged the gap between seasons. 

Grilled Avocado and Corn Salad
Recipe adapted from Not Without Salt

I imagine when corn is in season again, this will then be on heavy rotation.  Cooking the salad on a cast iron skillet and grilling the avocados over an open flame will give the whole dish a smokiness that can never be achieved indoors.  If you don’t have a gas stove you can omit the grilling of the avocados. 

Also, this recipe is adapted from one I found on the most well-written and beautifully photographed food blog I have ever read called Not Without Salt (thanks Simone!).  She has beautifully well-written thoughts not only about food but also about love and what it means to be in a relationship.  I highly recommend it and I also recommend you have several hours available before you start reading because it’s addicting. 

Serves 2

1 tablespoon oil
3 cups frozen corn
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon crushed chipotle pepper or crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon sour cream
1/3 cup diced queso fresco or feta
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped cilantro 
1 avocado, halved
Sea salt for sprinkling

In a large sauté pan heat the tablespoon of oil on medium-high heat.  When the oil is hot add the corn to the pan, stir to heat through.  Add the cumin and crushed pepper and continue to cook until the corn is heat through and just beginning to carmelize, about 3 minutes.  Add the sour cream and stir to combine.  Mix in the cheese and continue to cook for another minute.  Taste and adjust the seasonings.  Stir in the cilantro and remove the corn from the heat. 

Place the avocado cut side down on the burner over a medium heat.  Heat for a minute and the flip.  Divide the corn onto 2 plates and top each with an avocado half and then a sprinkle of sea salt.   

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