Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Corn on the Cob - Mexican Style

My college friend, Christine, introduced me to a lot of delicious Latin-American cuisine that has stuck with me over the years. Among them were pupusas from El Salvador and Mexican-style fruit with chile, lime and salt. She's a spontaneous person, always looking for a little adventure. One night, we decided we'd kidnap our roommates and take them on a camping trip with whatever they had on their person at the time. I'm not sure if my memory serves me correctly, but I'm pretty sure we didn't get enough blankets and all we had for breakfast were some cans of corn . . . and mayo, chile, lime, and salt. I had never been introduced to Mexican-style corn and this was my first experience . . . unheated canned corn (drained) with all of these ingredients dumped on top and eaten straight from the can. Honestly, I don't even think we had any utensils. That was my first experience with this style of corn. Some time later I had a more authentic version of this corn, this time on-the-cob and grilled. (Not that yours wasn't yummy, Christine) but the grilled on-the-cob version was awesome!


Corn on the cob, grilled or steamed
Mayo (I've also experimented with butter or sour cream and they work great)
Fresh Lime
Chili Powder

Spread mayo or butter on the hot corn. Sprinkle with salt, chili powder and squeeze lime juice on top. I don't always have queso seco (dry cheese like queso cotija) on hand, but the Mexican-style crumbled and tossed on top adds an extra depth of flavor to this yummy side-dish.

You'll want to have several napkins on hand.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Rustic Tomato Tart

I remember when I happened upon this recipe, I was chatting on the phone about food with my hungry, expectant sister and described this recipe to her. She was so excited that she had all of the ingredients on hand as I read it to her. While she made it, I was left salivating and dreaming about this delectable tart. On my next trip to the grocery store, I picked up everything I needed and my friend, Lisa, and I whipped a couple of these up along with my peach basil pizza one evening after a long day at work. Today, my tomato plants in my garden are heavy with tomatoes that I hope will ripen soon and I've been daydreaming about this delicious tart so I can make this again soon. 

2-3 ripe red and yellow tomatoes cored and cut into slices 1/8 in thick
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
8 by 10 inch rectangle of frozen puff pastry, cut in half and thawed (in the fridge)
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella
4 Tbsp grated hard cheese
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
Olive oil for drizzling

Position rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 400F. Place the tomato slices on paper towels, season with salt, and let drain 30-60 min. Do NOT skip this step, it is vital as you don't want the juices from the tomatoes to make the crust soggy.

In a small bowl, combine the garlic and butter. Place the puff pastry rectangles on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush with the garlic butter and season with salt, leaving a 1/4 inch border.
Sprinkle crust with mozzarella and 2 Tbsp Parmesan. 
Arrange tomato slices on top. 
Sprinkle remaining Parmesan. 
Bake until golden  25-30 minutes. Sprinkle with basil and drizzle with olive oil. Serve right away.