Mexican Corn

As we all know, summer is here, and one thing that I truly love to eat during this season is corn on the cob. I have written about corn in the past, however my colleague just reminded me of what she calls “Mexican Corn”. Thanks to Kate, this recipe was made this past weekend.

Grilled Mexican Corn with Mayonnaise and Cheese

As noted, while living in Dallas, Texas, corn vendors would sell a few varieties of corn on the cob, and the Mexican corn recipe below was one of them. I steered away from Kate’s just lightly as I used Parmesan cheese rather than queso fresco, and chili powder rather than cayenne pepper.

Ingredients

  • Fresh corn on the cob, husk on, but ends trimmed and soaked in water for 2-4 hours
  • 1 cup of mayonnaise, the good stuff, nothing light
  • Chili Powder
  • Cotija Cheese, or Parmesan Cheese
  • Fresh Limes, quartered

Kate suggests cleaning the corn, removing the husks, boiling for 7-10 minutes, then caramelizing the corn on the grill, however I really love cooking my corn, husk on, on the grill, so that is where I went with this recipe. Cook on the grill for roughly 20-30 minutes, turning quarterly every few minutes or so. The water from the soaking builds enough moisture within the husk to perform a steam bath for the corn.

Once the corn is cooked, let the corn cool for a few minutes, then peel the husk down, twist, and place them back on the grill to let the corn caramelize, roughly 5-7 minutes, on direct heat. While this is going on, get your mayonnaise ready, the cheese, and the seasoning. When the corn is done, plate them up and allow your family to lather on the mayonnaise, sprinkle with cheese, and season with the chili powder. Trust me on this one, it is delicious.

Tacos al Pastor – Round One

Tacos al PastorWhy round one? Because there is going to be a round two. For the past nine years, ninety six percent of my menu selection at my local taquerías has been tacos al pastor. These tacos have been pretty much consistent among the few restaurants I frequent, and every time I am so satisfied that I am now in serious pursuit in how to make them. Please keep in mind that if you have never had the taco al pastor that you will really enjoy this recipe, and if you have had them before, you will like this one as well.

I have been experimenting over the last couple of years, making carnitas and spicing them up a bit, however my last visit to the taquería really sold me. Call me a food nerd, but I took a few extra minutes investigating the taco, picking out what I could in flavors, colors, and overall tastes. I am certain a couple of the locals were looking at me as I did make eye contact with them, however if they would only give me the recipe, I would not have to do this type of thing!

Lets get started.

Ingredients:

  • Pork Shoulder (3lb), cut in small cubes (keep the fat on as it will render later on)
  • 2 Oranges, quartered
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 3 Pasilla peppers, seeded, then boiled, then chopped
  • 1 tbs vinegar
  • 1/2 head of garlic
  • 1/2 tbs of ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbs of oil
  • Cilantro
  • More onion
  • Corn tortillas (2 per taco), store bought or homemade
  • Cold beer

Begin by marinating your pork with the quartered onions and oranges. Let this mixture sit in a large ziplock bag overnight. When you are ready to begin cooking, slow cook the pork, oranges, and onions on low for roughly 8 hours. This process will render out some of the fat and begin to come together. Don’t get too excited yet, the fun is about to come.

Tacos al PastorIn a food processor, add the garlic, pasilla peppers, salt, pepper, and vinegar. Process until it forms somewhat of a paste. This paste is going to be used to cook the pork, once again, to form a crispness to the pork.

In a large pot, add the cooking oil and bring to a medium to high heat for a few minutes. add the pork, then the paste. Mix really well, and cook on medium heat for roughly 15 minutes. Reduce heat to low, and let cook for another 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to come together even further.

When you are ready, heat your tortillas, then place in your tortilla warmer if you have one, otherwise, get your tacos together. Take two of the tortillas, fold, scoop as much meat as you want within your taco, add diced onion, fresh cilantro, and any other topping you desire. I use tomato wedges, limes, and slices of avocado.

Trust me on this one, regardless if it is a round one, it is truly awesome. Enjoy.

The Potsticker

Pot Sticker - GyozaI realize that most of my ingredients and flavors are surround by Asian cultures, and there is a reason for that. The freshness of the ingredient, the intense flavors, and the simplicity of the cook time. Today I am focusing on the pot sticker, otherwise know as the gyoza. I have been making these for many years and they truly are delicious. The process contains meat marination, wrapping, and cooking these little morsels, similar to the egg roll process. I was turned onto these dumplings while eating Dim Sum, and figured out my own pot sticker from that point on.
Ingredients:

  • Ground Pork
  • Shallots or green onions, thinly sliced/chopped
  • Roasted Sesame Oil (dark)
  • Sherry Cooking Wine
  • Pepper
  • Chinese Cabbage (Savoy)
  • Chopped Ginger
  • Water for wrapping
  • Chicken broth or water for steaming
  • Small amount of oil (vegetable or canola)
  • Gyoza Wrappers (found in many Asian markets)

For the non-meat eater, please note that you can substitute meat for vegetables as well.

Pot Sticker - GyozaOnce you have the meat mixture marinated with above ingredients, excluding the wrappers, let it marinade for nearly thirty minutes to a hour. Once ready, place about a tablespoon of the meat mixture into the middle of the wrapper, and be mindful that you want to make a tight seal of the wrapper, so do not get too close to the edges. Brush water along the half-side of the moon-shaped wrapper, fold over and seal. Move onto the next twenty or fifty.

Once you are ready, heat a large pan of about one tablespoon of the oil and disperse throughout the pan. The goal is to lightly coat the pan with oil as we want to go through a light fry process on both sides, amounting to about 2-3 minutes on each side. Once lightly browned on each side, add your water or chicken broth, about a 1/4 to a 1/2 cup, cover, and let steam until the liquid almost evaporates.

Pot Sticker - GyozaThat’s it. Plate and serve. You can do a few things with these at this time. Add them to a broth, a few glass noodles, and serve as a soup, or my favorite which is dipping them into the gyoza sauce, or a chili sauce, or heck, simply eat them alone as the flavor itself is so good.

If are are wanting to make the sauce, it is really easy:

  • 1/3 cup of soy sauce
  • 1/4 of rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon of Srirachi hot sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sugar
  • Garlic or ginger is optional

Filipino Barbecue

I will be the first to admit that when my wife made this for me, it was wonderful. Anyone who knows me knows that I will do my own little twist to a recipe, enhance it, if you will. This recipe stems from my wife’s upbringing. In her house, barbecue is the dish. It was not chicken, ribs, or anything else you might expect as barbecue. When they talk barbecue, it means meat on a stick, and it is something amazing.

Filipino Barbecue Recipe

This recipe is way too simple, and it is awesome served with beer, rice, papaya salad, potato salad, or great on its own.

  • Pork Shoulder or Pork Butt (need a little fat), thinly sliced
  • 1 head of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup of soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • Wooden skewers (soaked for one hour or more)

Keep in my that this meat will end up on bamboo skewers so you will not want chunks of meat, and you will want thin slices of meat, possibly a 1/4 inch thick. Depending on the amount of pork and barbecue you are making, this process can take some time. Once you are done slicing, add the garlic, brown sugar, soy sauce, pepper, and green onions to a large bowl, and whisk until the brown sugar is dissolved. Add in your pork, and toss to make sure all of the meat is coated.

I use a zip lock bag for this next step because I typically marinate the meat for 12-24 hours.
Add the meat to the bag and place in the refrigerator.

Once you are ready, sew them onto the skewers, about three slices per skewer. Heat  your grill, and cook the pork. You know when the sugars start to melt into the meat, become one, and look heavenly.

Keep in mind that these will go fast and trust me, you and your family are just going to love them. Enjoy.