Corn Salsa – Fresh and Fast

Are you tired of fresh corn on the cob? Turn it into a fresh, spicy burrito garnish!

If you eat at Chipotle as much as our family, then you will love this recipe when staying in for burritos. When a kid loves something from a restaurant they usually won’t have anything to do with a “re-creation” from home, but in this case, the fresh corn, and the fun of watching me cut it off the cob, enticed Max into full love!

This recipe is unbelievably simple, uses fresh corn, and just a little can really add pizzazz to a burrito stuffed with black beans, brown rice, tomatillo salsa and crema. The trick to this recipe is to zap the corn, husk and all, in the microwave for five minutes. While the corn is cooking, chop the jalapeno and cilantro. It will all be finished in six minutes, tops!

Ingredients:

  • 6 ears sweet corn, microwaved for five minutes
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 small bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • salt to taste

Directions:

Microwave corn with the husk. Meanwhile, chop the jalapenos and cilantro and juice the lime over them. When the corn is finished, remove the husks and cut the kernels from the cob. Mix together in a bowl and add a little salt to taste. Cool in the refrigerator.

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Stewed Tomato Salsa

 

Here in Condolandia we have only an electric two burner counter-top thingy that gave me an arm numbing jolt the first time I used it. This spiral eyed contraption, if plugged in and turned on, conducts electricity. The base is metal, and should it need to be slid over on the counter so the cord isn’t floating above the burner, it will shock your socks off. “A few tools is all we need to adjust the cord on the inside,” says Jeff. “We’re in a condo,” I remind him. The only tools we have are butter knives and some heavy-duty Mexican trash bags for electrical tape. I just won’t touch it again, I assure him.

All in the name of love…the whole reason I got the shock in the first place was to make salsa the boys would eat. They don’t like raw tomatoes and since there’s no roasting, sans oven, I thought I’d try the stewed method. Not only will they not eat fresh tomatoes, but they won’t eat anything that doesn’t resemble ketchup, so the tomatoes had to go in the blender for a puree. I thought some pickled onions, which surprisingly the nine-year-old likes, would give the salsa a little body. So there you have it: stewed and pureed tomatoes with garlic and Serranos mixed with pickled onions, salt and cilantro. Pico de Gallo: Stewed and Electrifying!

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds Roma tomatoes, sliced into rounds
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 Serrano peppers
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 2 limes
  • 1 handful chopped cilantro
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Add oil to a pan and when it is hot, add smashed garlic cloves and whole Serrano peppers. Once the garlic releases its’ aroma, add the sliced tomatoes. Cook until the tomatoes begin to break down.

While the tomatoes simmer, place the diced onion in a bowl with warm water. Let them rest for at least ten minutes. Drain off the water and mix the onions with the lime juice and cilantro.

When the tomatoes begin to break down turn off the heat and let them cool. Once cool, place them in a blender with the garlic and peppers and puree. Mix the tomato mixture in with the onions and cilantro. Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until cool.

Pineapple Salsa

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Does anyone in Minnesota grow pineapple? I didn’t think so. This chip topper is far from local, but a real crowd and kid pleaser. The only thing local, in fact, is the cilantro and jalapeno. This one tips over my 80% local goal!

Pineapple Salsa Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pineapple chunks
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • dash of salt

Directions:

This is a zinger. Toss everything in the food processor and pulse, pulse, pulse. The only thing I would caution is if you plan to feed this to kids, check the heat of your jalapeno. I have found that organic jalapenos tend to be pretty hot. I’m not sure if that’s due to the producer or what. My trick for testing the Scoville level is to cut off the stem and a little of the pepper. Then I give the cut part with all the capsaicin a quick lick. With that test I know if I need to remove the seeds or if it is safe enough for my easy method – throw the whole darn thing in!

Three-ways To Salsa

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There is nothing better on a beautiful summer day than sitting outside sipping cold beer and dipping the old chips into something hot and spicy. I woke up thinking Mexico, and when I opened the fridge, the Minnesota tomatillos were just begging for a salsa lesson. Once I got started, the jealous garden tomatoes wanted to be spun around too. I ended up with the tomatillo, a roasted tomato and fresh tomato salsa.

Three Salsa Recipes

Tomatillo

The tomatillo and roasted tomato are basically the same salsa only one has tomatillos and the other tomatoes. All the ingredients get roasted on a sheet pan under the broiler until they start to blacken, then they get a zing through the food processor with lime juice, cilantro and salt.

* While I prep the ingredients for these salsas, I wrap a head of garlic in foil and place it in the oven at 400 degrees to roast it. When the other ingredients are ready to broil just toss the garlic on the sheet pan so it can continue to cook a little longer.

Tomatillo Ingredients:

  • 1 pound tomatillos, husks removed and washed
  • 1/2 medium white onion cut in quarters
  • 2 cloves roasted garlic*
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, stem removed
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro washed
  • salt to taste

Directions:

Line a large sheet pan with foil. Lay out washed tomatillos, chopped onion and jalapeno on the sheet. If you haven’t already started the garlic, that can be wrapped in foil and placed on the sheet pan as well. Place the vegetables under the broiler. Watch them carefully so they don’t burn. I roast them until everything has a blackened spot on it. The onions take a little longer, so sometimes you may need to move things around so the tender veggies are further away from the heat. Once they are blackened a bit, set them aside to cool for a minute. When they are cool spoon them into a food processor and add the cilantro, lime juice salt and two of the roasted garlic cloves. Run the processor until the salsa is smooth. Refrigerate before serving.

Roasted Tomato Salsa Ingredients:

  • 10 Roma tomatoes washed and cut in half lengthwise
  • 3 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1 jalapeno, stem removed
  • 1/2 medium white onion cut in quarters
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro washed
  • juice 1 lime
  • salt to taste

Roasted Tomato Salsa Directions:

Follow the same directions as for the tomatillos above. It’s very easy to make both of these recipes on one sheet tray together.

Fresh Tomato Salsa

A while back I posted this recipe but used red onions instead of white. These ingredients get a few pulses in the processor and you are ready to eat. Enjoy!

  • 6 Roma tomatoes quartered
  • 1/2 medium white onion
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 1 bunch cilantro, washed
  • 1 lime juiced
  • salt to taste

Spicy Corn Ceviche

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If you’ve been to Peru or Ecuador, you know the world’s most famous ceviches. Creamy white pieces of fish tenderize and mellow as they are bathed in a marinade of lime juice and salt. Added to the mix are thin slivers of red onions, green pepper, the aji chile and tiny specks of cilantro. Ceviche is served cold, mostly in the coastal areas, and usually next to an icy beer. It pairs nicely with “patacones” or fried and salted plantains.

Since I thankfully don’t receive any fish in my CSA box, and wouldn’t eat it anyway, I opted instead to turn my lovely sweet corn into a ceviche of great Midwestern style. Everything in this ceviche is local with the exception of the lime! Having no green peppers at the moment, I instead opted for diced cucumbers to give the salad a little color and crunch, and used the red Thai Chiles I bought last weekend at the Kingfield Farmer’s Market to spice it up. Here’s how my nine-year-old son described it when he gave it a taste – word for word, “Wow! First you taste the lime, then you get a little zing from the peppers, but then it gets all sweet and mellow from the corn.” He may end up as a part time sommelier if he keeps talking like that!

Spicy Corn Ceviche Recipe

The only fussy thing about this ceviche is cooking the corn and cutting it from the cob. I’m sure you could use frozen corn if you want to make the recipe, but skip the fuss. I’m a firm believer that corn, like asparagus, should only be cooked for two or three minutes in boiling water. As I clean the corn, I get a big pan of water boiling and only when it is furiously bouncing on the stove do I drop in the ears of corn. I quickly replace the lid, check the clock, and remove after no more than three minutes. Perfection!

Ingredients:

12 ears fresh sweetcorn, cooked and removed from the cob

1 small vidalia onion, diced

1 medium cucumber, seeded and diced

3-5 Thai chiles

1 small bunch cilantro

1 Tbs. canola oil

Juice of 1 lime

salt to taste

Directions:

Cook the corn and cut the kernels from the cob. Dice the onion and the cucumber and mix in bowl with corn. In a food processor, chop the chiles and the cilantro. Mix everything together and add the oil, lime juice and a sprinkle of salt. Enjoy!

Sofrito Salsa

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Sofrito Salsa

Doesn’t it just seem too dang hot for real food? I’d rather jump in the fridge with the vegetables than to cook them. I’m just not in the mood for anything that requires much time in the kitchen. So, I check in the fridge to see what’s NOT from the box, and under all the greens, I stumble upon this dash of red. It’s a six pack of red peppers from Costco – not fresh, not organic, but deliciously red – goes with the heat, you know.

I’ve always got black beans on the ready, so I decide to make some quick “Burrito Bowls” with what I call a “Sofrito Salsa.” Sofrito reigns from the warmer climates of places like Puerto Rico, Cuba and Haiti where it’s a base for much of their cooking. Simply, it’s onions, garlic, peppers and tomatoes sauteed in a bit of oil. It get’s a little sweet from the nearly caramelized onion and pepper, but I spiced it up a little with a Serrano pepper. It was easy to cook up a pot of green rice and eat the whole mess with crema and romaine from Foxtail Farm.

The Grain Belt Premium was inspired by my friend, Mark Johnston, whose film commercial for Grainbelt won third place. http://www.grainbelt.com/ Check it out! He eats meat, but hasn’t lost his creative juices!

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Sarah plates a meal – boring!

But Jeff plates with pizazz!

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Here’s the Sofrito Salsa recipe:

Ingredients:

1 Tbs. olive oil

1/2 red onion

4 cloves garlic

1 red pepper

1 roma tomato

1 serrano pepper

1/4 cup water

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. sugar

1 small bunch cilantro finely chopped

1 lime juiced

Directions:

If you don’t have a food processor, you need one! Put the onion and the garlic in the processor and chop fine. Toss in heated pan with olive oil and saute. Stir frequently. Let the onions and garlic cook for about five minutes or until the onions lose most of their pink color. Meanwhile chop the pepper and tomato in the food processor and add to onions and garlic. Cook this for another three or four minutes. Add water and mix. Put sofrito mix into the freezer to cool for a few minutes. Chop the Serrano and cilantro in the food processor. When the sofrito is cool, add the Serrano, cilantro, salt, sugar and lime juice. Mix this all together. If it seems too thick, add a bit more water and stir again. Serve it up!

From the Box: Romaine Lettuce

Fresh Tomato Salsa

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I am crazy about salsa, and I’m a fiend for anything quick and easy in the kitchen! Last night I cooked up two pounds of red beans, so tonight’s dinner was a simple Red Beans and Rice with Fresh Tomato Salsa. This is the kind of meal I like to eat without utensils and just use chips to scoop it all up – delicious!

The Cuisenart is the queen of quick and easy, and I use it nearly every time I cook. Salsa is really simple in one of these machines. Toss everything in, pulse a few times and serve. Tonight’s variation of the fresh salsa had garlic and a bit of olive oil, but I often keep the flavors simple with just lime and salt. This is the traditional Mexican Pico de Gallo recipe pulsed to bits in the Cuisenart!

Fresh Tomato Salsa

6 – 8 roma tomatoes cut in half

1 or 2 jalapenos

1 small piece of red onion – about 3/4 inch thick slice

1 tsp salt

1 lime juiced

1 small bunch of cilantro

1 clove garlic (optional)

1 Tbs. olive oil (optional)

Place all ingredients in the food processor and pulse a few times. I never really measure the salt, so check to see if more is needed. This salsa is best fresh as tomatoes don’t weather well in the refrigerator. I try to eat it within the day, but if you have to, it will keep for a day or two in the fridge.