Drought Friendly Elote: Mexican-style Grilled Corn

OMG. This recipe is so delicious. Need proof? Super Sous and I grilled 7 ears of corn when developing this recipe and devoured them all within 15 minutes. In fact, Super Sous exclaimed, “this is the best grilled corn dish I’ve ever had!” when all was said and gone, I mean done.

Elote or the Mexican-style street food version of corn is common to see here, being sold, in LA. Vendors in parks or on street corners set up camp with their makeshift grills, tub of mayonnaise, chili powder and cojita cheese, serving the sweet and savory cobs to eager customers.  It’s pretty fantastic; a pleasure on the taste buds.

Since Super Sous and I have been creating Drought Friendly Recipes, we realized that we could still enjoy this creamy crunchy corn on the cob, sans egg and cheese by doing a swap out with soymilk aioli (aioli is normally made with an egg, but soymilk acts as an emulsifier) and using a sprinkle of nutritional yeast for the cheesy creaminess. Add to that a special spice mix blend we created (take that, chili powder!) and fresh chopped cilantro and you have a winner.

This recipe serves 12, but you may need to double or triple the batch. Trust us. It’s addictive.

 

corn shucked

Shucked corn with one layer of husk left

corn grilled

Grilled corn

Drought Friendly Aioli

Vegan Aioli

Elote with Aioli

Slathering on the aioli

Elote finished

Time to dig in

Drought Friendly Elote: Mexican-style Grilled Corn

Yield: 12 servings

 

12 ears of corn, whole and unshucked

Vegan Aioli (recipe below)

Elote Spice Mix (recipe below)

3 tablespoons nutritional yeast

1 cup packed roughly chopped cilantro

 

Preheat your grill to medium-high.

Shuck the corn, leaving 1 layer of husk covering the cob. Cut off the silk at top of corn.

Place the corn on the grill, close the lid, and grill for a total of 15 minutes, rotating the corn ⅓ turn every 5 minutes, until the corn is cooked and the husks are slightly charred.

Remove the corn from the grill, carefully shuck the corn (hot!). Brush with aioli, sprinkle some of the spice mix and yeast on the corn and top with cilantro.

Serve, enjoy, repeat.

 

Drought Friendly Vegan Aioli

Yield: 1 cup

 

1 large clove garlic, pressed (1/4 teaspoon)

3½ teaspoons lime juice

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1/3 cup organic soy milk

2/3 cup organic grapeseed oil

 

Mix all ingredients except oil in a small container or bowl with high sides. (I used the glass container that goes with my French Press.

Using an immersion blender, blend all ingredients thoroughly.

Keep the immersion blender a bit raised in the container, to where the liquid is churning vigorously. Slowly stream the oil into the vortex of the churning liquid. Don’t rush this step. The slower the oil stream, the better. The liquid will thicken and form to the consistency of mayonnaise. Refrigerate until use.

 

Elote Spice Mix

1 tablespoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon chipotle powder

1¼ teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ancho chile powder

 

Mix ingredients together in a small bowl.

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Crispy Spiced Chickpeas

Here’s a delicious dish that you can whip up in no time. Great for parties and snacks, this unique twist on chickpeas will have you going back for seconds, thirds, fourths…

Spiced Chickpeas

Crispy Spiced Chickpeas

Yield: 15-ounces of spiced chickpeas

Spice Mix

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ tablespoon za’atar

½ teaspoon Hungarian paprika

1/8 teaspoon chipotle powder

Stir to combine spices in a small mixing bowl.

Chickpeas

1/3 cup grapeseed oil

1 15-ounce can of chickpeas, rinsed, drained and spread out on a paper towel to dry for 15 minutes (the dryer the chickpeas the better as it will prevent spattering hot oil in the pan)

Pour grapeseed oil in a large sauté pan and turn heat on medium-high.

Heat oil until it is very hot and shimmering, approximately 3 minutes.

Carefully add chickpeas to the sauté pan and cook for approximately 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chickpeas are golden brown. To prevent hot oil from spattering, partially cover sauté pan; do not fully cover as the chickpeas will steam and not crisp up.

Remove chickpeas from sauté pan with a slotted spoon and transfer onto a paper towel-lined plate to soak up any excess oil.

Transfer chickpeas to the small bowl with spices and stir to combine.

Serve immediately for maximum crispy tastiness!

Spiced Oven-Roasted Pork Tenderloin

Remember that Date Apple Chutney recipe I posted last week? Ya, well, this pork tenderloin is that recipes best friend. Try them both together for a delicious dish. Or just make the pork, because it’s darn good on its own!

Spiced Oven Roasted Pork Tenderloin

Spiced Oven-Roasted Pork Tenderloin
Yield: 4 servings

 

Tenderloin:

1 ½ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon chipotle powder

1 teaspoon Hungarian paprika

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon garlic powder

1 pound pork tenderloin, silver skin removed (see note below)

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

 

In a small bowl, mix together the cumin, chipotle, paprika, salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Pat the tenderloin dry and season it with the spice rub. Allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Dust off any excess spice rub.

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position, then preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Heat a large, oven-safe sauté pan (large enough to accommodate the pork) over high heat until very hot. Add the olive oil, swirl the pan to distribute the oil and heat until shimmering. If it begins to smoke, that’s okay.

Add the tenderloin and allow to cook for 2 minutes, undisturbed, until nicely seared. Using tongs, rotate the tenderloin ¼ turn and continue to sear, again for 2 minutes. Once seared, rotate again another ¼ turn and sear for another 2 minutes. Upon rotating the tenderloin to the fourth and final side, hold the tenderloin off the pan with your tongs and insert the digital probe of an oven-safe meat thermometer from the end of the tenderloin into the center. The tip of the probe must reach approximately halfway into the tenderloin.

Replace the tenderloin in the pan on the fourth and final side, and transfer the sauté pan, uncovered, into the oven. Set the digital thermometer to 145ºF.

When the thermometer beeps, after about 15 minutes, transfer the tenderloin to a cutting board, cover loosely with foil, and allow the tenderloin to rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

Note: Similar to the iridescent color of a pearl, silver skin is the inedible connective tissue that covers a small portion of the thicker end of the tenderloin. Too tough to pull off with your bare hands (unlike a layer of fat), the silver skin can be removed, using your knife of choice, by simply filleting it off. Do this by cutting just under the silver skin with the tip of your knife, angling your knife slightly upwards, then cutting the silver skin off in strips. Alternatively, you can ask your butcher to remove the silver skin.

Spiced Roasted Cabbage with Yogurt Sauce

Cabbage is more than just the star of a good coleslaw, it can stand on its own – especially when spiced up, roasted and served with my lemon yogurt sauce!

spicedroastedcabbage

 

Spiced Roasted Cabbage with Yogurt Sauce

Yield: Serves 4

 

1 small head of green cabbage, cut into ¼ – ½ inch rounds

extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

kosher salt, to taste

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground fennel

1/8 teaspoon ground chipotle powder, or more to taste

 

Place an oven rack on the middle position and preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place cabbage on a parchment lined sheet tray.

Drizzle cabbage with olive oil. Using a brush or your finger, spread olive oil to coat the cabbage.

Season cabbage with salt, pepper, cumin, fennel and chipotle. Flip cabbage rounds and repeat with olive oil and spices.

Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until cabbage is nice and caramelized.

 

Yogurt Sauce:

¼ cup nonfat Greek yogurt

2 teaspoons freshly squeeze lemon juice

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

kosher salt, to taste

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

 

Stir to combine all ingredients. Serve alongside roasted cabbage.

 

 

Mahi Mahi Curry

I mostly cook French/Mediterranean/California style cooking, but sometimes I just want something different. More flavors, more spices-a trip beyond the Mediterranean. This dish is all about something new – going a bit beyond my comfort zone as far as recipe development. It may look like a lot of ingredients, but trust me, this dish is well worth it. Warm, balanced, flavorful, delicious. It’s like a vacation for your palate – no passport necessary. (Bonus: it’s a sustainable seafood dish!)

Mahi Mahi Curry

Mahi Mahi Curry

Yield: 4 servings

 

3 tablespoons coconut oil, divided

1 large yellow onion, diced small, 3 cups

1 fennel bulb, diced small, 2 cups

6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 serrano pepper, seeded and deveined, diced small

1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and minced

2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

1 ¼ teaspoon ground cumin

1 ¼ teaspoon ground fennel

¾ teaspoon turmeric

1 sprig fresh curry (approximately 16 fresh curry leaves)

¾ teaspoon garam malasa

1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and julienned

1/2 pound small red potatoes, sliced into ¼-inch thick rounds

1 14-ounce can light coconut milk

1 cup chicken or vegetable stock

1 ¼ pounds US Atlantic mahi mahi filets, cut into 6 equal sized pieces

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup quartered cherry or grape tomatoes

½ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro

1 lemon, halved

 

In an oval Dutch oven over medium-high heat add 1 ½ tablespoons coconut oil. Heat the oil until it’s shimmering, approximately 1 minute.

Add the onion and fennel and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent and lightly caramelized, approximately 6 to 8 minutes.

Add garlic, Serrano pepper, ginger, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, cumin, fennel, turmeric, curry leaves and garam masala. Stir and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant.

Add 1 to 2 tablespoons water if pan feels dry after adding the spices and then add bell pepper. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to break up any brown bits. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for approximately 3 to 5 minutes, until bell pepper has softened.

Add the potatoes, coconut milk and stock. Stir and cover. Let simmer on medium-low for 20 to 30 minutes, until the potatoes are al dente.

In the meantime, remove fish from refrigerator. Pat dry and season (both sides) with 1 teaspoon of salt and the black pepper.

In large sauté pan oven over high heat add 1 ½ tablespoons coconut oil. Heat the oil until it starts to smoke, approximately 1 minute.

Add fish pieces and let cook, undisturbed, for 2 to 3 minutes, until the fish is seared nicely on one side. Remove fish from the pan and set aside.

Going back to your oval dutch oven, once potatoes are al dente, add the tomatoes, stir and then nestle fish pieces in the pan, seared side up, and continue simmering, uncovered, for 15 to 25 minutes until fish flakes apart easily. If your filets are thin, it will take a shorter amount of time, so check on your fish for doneness frequently. (My oval dutch oven had an inner ring of rapid simmering liquid in the center of the pan and I nestled my fish around that inner circle of bubbliness so it wasn’t directly in the boil, but just snuggled up to it.)

Remove from heat, squeeze half a lemon over and season to taste with salt, pepper and additional lemon as needed. Garnish with cilantro and serve to hungry guests. Have lemon wedges on hand.

My Cookbook, Some Spice, and Everthing Nice

This is a really fun thing!

My favorite spice company, My Spice Sage, is sponsoring a giveaway of a signed copy of my seasonal cookbook, Great Food Starts Fresh.

Spices and a free signed cookbook? Read on and share with your friends!

http://www.myspicesage.com/Announcing-Our-Delicious-Giveaway-blog-185.html