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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Smoky Chipotle Mock Duck Burrito

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“That was the best meal I’ve had in a decade,” Jeff hailed with a quick kiss on the cheek before hauling a box of can lights up to the attic for the remodel. I smiled to myself as I thought, This is a meal for a woman who needs something done around the house! (Not that he wouldn’t do it anyway, but some guys may need a little extra push!) My husband, vegetarian for nearly seventeen years, still craves the satisfying texture and richness of protein, and despite not wanting to consume meat, he doesn’t mind the similarities to meat that plant protein substitutes like veggie burgers and mock duck have.

Burritos and Enchiladas have always been our favorite foods, and many years ago, when we were working on starting a restaurant, Mock Duck Stuffed Burritos were to be on the menu. The restaurant was to be in a quiet neighborhood in Minneapolis and would serve vegetarian Latino Fusion. The old corner store we were hoping to convert didn’t have any parking, and the neighbors didn’t want a restaurant in the location, so our plan died and so did the Mock Duck Stuffed Burrito…until today!

Mock duck prepared this way is a little like red chile stew made with slow cooked pork roast – a great meal to help prove to our fellow carnivores that vegetarian food isn’t hard to palate. Not only do these burritos have this amazingly flavorful mock duck, but I whipped up a batch of tomatillo salsa, some wicked delicious guacamole and a rice dish that will send you on a Soma holiday (Aldous Huxley, Brave New World, 1932)! This meal has many pieces and the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

To prepare the burritos, we heat the tortillas on a skillet until they begin to toast slightly. As the tortilla warms, I like to add grated cheddar cheese first so it melts, then top it with rice and mock duck. Then I fold my burritos in half more like a quesadilla and toast them on both sides. Once it lands on the plate, the fun begins. I am all about the garnishes when it comes to Latin American food. I load on salsa, chopped cilantro, guacamole and some kind of cheese – either crema, cotija or crumbled feta. Oh, so satisfying!

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Mock Duck Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbs. canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, halved and sliced so onion breaks apart in half-circles
  • 1/2 head roasted garlic, pureed in food processor
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo, pureed in food processor
  • 4 cans mock duck, shredded
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. dried chipotle powder

Directions:

Saute the onions in the oil on low heat until they begin to caramelize. Next add the mashed garlic and chipotles. Mix in the shredded mock duck and spices. Cook on low heat for just a few minutes until the flavors have combined. I have found that if you cook mock duck too long, it breaks down and gets soft and mushy, so you really want to simply warm it.

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

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