As I mentioned in my last Current Cookbook post...Sometimes it's hard to decide which recipe to make from a cookbook. This time it was pretty easy. I picked this recipe from the Big Summer Cookbook because...well...even though I have grilled corn a zillion times, I've never done anything else with it other than eating it out of hand. I chose to make this dish because any time a recipe has asked for corn kernels and has given a choice of either cooking the corn and scrapping the kernels off or using canned or frozen corn...I've used frozen corn. I know I know. The horror. Bad foodie. But this time, after picking up some great fresh Brentwood Corn (and listening to mister blowhard in that voice that carries all over the farmers market drone on about how good it is) I decided that I was going to cut the kernels off and make a dish! Go me! Yeah, little happy cooking moments LOL.
Now in the back of my mind, I've always remembered a tip somewhere that the easiest way to cut kernels from a cob of corn is to use your bundt pan. Stick the end of the cob in the middle hole of the bundt pan and as you cut the kernels they fall into the bundt pan. The pan also catches all the juices and you're able to move your knife all the way down to the end of the corn cob without the counter or dish getting in the way. This little tip worked perfectly for me (though Mr. L thought I was crazy when I said I had to get out the bundt pan to do the job). I will say, don't cut off the tip or stem end of the corn cob before you do this as either one helps lodge the cob into the bundt pan hole. And why do I feel I need a cigarette after explaining that? Get your minds out of the gutter!
The ingredient list in this recipe does something which I hate. It states "juice of one orange" and "juice of one lime". Lately I can get anywhere from 1/2 teaspoon to 1 1/2 Tablespoons of juice out of one lime from the market. Not sure if it would really make a difference in the dish, but I honestly wasn't sure if the amount of juice I put in was correct. Next time I also think I need to keep the corn on the grill longer to get more smokey flavor. This was super easy to make though and it made a great accompaniment to some grilled steaks we served that night.
GRILLED CORN SALAD
6 ears of fresh corn, shucked
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large ripe tomato, roughly chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup pitted and sliced black olives
1/4 cup sliced scallions, white part and some green parts
Juice of 1 lime
Juice of 1 orange
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
Preheat the grill, then turn the heat down to medium. Brush the corn with some of the oil. Place on the grill and cook turning frequently, 5 to 7 minutes or until the kernels are golden brown.
Into a serving bowl, cut the kernels from the cob. Add the tomato, olives and scallions.
Place the citrus juices, basil, and remaining oil in a blender. Pulse until smooth and add to the salad. Toss to coat and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6
VARIATIONS - Serve this salad over freshly picked field greens or lettuces. You may also add 1/3 cup finely crumbled blue cheese when you toss. Add 1/4 cup finely diced red sweet pepper for color. If you like the spiciness of Southwest cooking, mince a serrano pepper and add to step 2.
Note: I didn't even bother getting out the blender. I just cute the basil into bits and then whisked all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
Note: I didn't use any of the variations but I think I little serrano pepper would be perfect in this next time.
Note: My favorite flower combo is a blue vase with yellow flowers so I loved the look of the yellow corn in this blue dish. Not sure about the photo since it was taken under the light above the stove and looks washed out, but the Grilled Corn Salad itself, even without the blue bowl, made a pretty presentation.
Obviously, cutting kernels of corn off the cob is an easy thing to do and I'm not sure why I was so intimidated about doing it before. Now all I can think about is finding some corn to grill so I can make some awesome corn chowder!