Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My Current Food Obsession: Roasted Corn and Avocado Salsa

So I do a lot of cooking for the boy, mainly because it makes him think I am some sort of amazing super woman who manages to find time to work, sex him up and cook, but also because it allows me to cater to whatever food whim I am currently enslaved to.  The avocado is probably my favorite single food item (I would eat the shit out of them every single day if I could have a consistently ripe supply- hard avocados ruin everything.) My love for avocados means I am pretty easily enslaved by avocado recipes, but this one in particular also seems to work its magic on non-avocado fanatics just as acutely. I have seen the boy scrape the leftovers out of the bowl and stuff it into a pita and eat it like a sandwich. He does this before I even have a chance to do the dishes. This shit is powerful.  The key is the roasted corn- its sweet and crunchy and blends so nicely with the creaminess of avocado. 

Roasted Corn and Avocado Salsa

For the roasted corn:

2 cups corn kernels (you can use frozen or cut them off fresh cobs- it'll take about 4 cobs)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse salt 
Fresh ground pepper

Pre-heat your oven to 400 F. Put the corn in a bowl, add the olive oil and toss with your hands until the kernels feel well coated. Put more salt that you think you'll need and add pepper to taste. Re-toss to ensure the salt and pepper are well distributed. 

Take a baking sheet (you might want to cover it in tinfoil first- easier clean-up) and dump the corn out on  it. Make sure you spread the corn out in a flat layer. Pop in the over for at least 20 minutes. As it bakes, some of the kernels are going to turn black and burned looking- you want this. These kernels are indescribably delicious. Do not deprive yourself of delicious, crunchy burned corn because you think 20 minutes is an awfully long time to bake corn kernels. 

For the avocado salsa:

2 ripe (slightly soft under pressure) avocados
1/2 red onion- diced
1/2 jalapeno pepper- seeded and diced very very small
1/2 red bell pepper- diced
Limes or lime juice

Cut the avocados into 1/2 inch chunks. Combine the avocados with the diced onion and peppers. Gently stir the ingredients together. Add the juice of 1/2 of a lime. Don't salt or pepper the avocado mixture yet- the corn is going to be salty and it usually adds all you need (this was learned through trial and error). Let the avocado mixture sit at room temperature while the corn roasts. This gives the flavors a chance to mellow and come together a bit. 

When the corn is done (most kernels should be browned and crunchy). You may need more than 20 minutes, depending on your oven. You want brown and crunchy with some blackened kernels in the mix and some yellow still showing through. Add the hot corn to the avocado mixture and stir gently to mix everything together. Let it sit for about 5-10 minutes and then sample the mixture. This is the point where you may want to add a little more salt, but if you used enough when you made the corn you should be good.

You now have a huge bowl of deliciousness. What you can do with this stuff is pretty endless. It goes great as a topping on any kind meat (its awesome over Thai peanut chicken, grilled steaks, BBQ pork or grilled tuna). Its also awesome with wild rice. Or you can be like the boy and just stuff it into a pita and enjoy as a sandwich.