Roasted Corn Salad

Almost everyone loves corn, especially corn on the cob.  This recipe combines roasted corn with peppers and cheese and a dressing with a little kick.  Awhile ago I bought a cast iron pizza pan (made by Lodge).  This pan makes the most awesome pizza.  It’s non stick.  It retains the heat.  And while it does a great job with pizza it’s also wonderful for roasting vegetables.

Ingredients:

5-6 ears of sweet corn

2 T olive oil

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup sour cream

1 jalapeño pepper seeded

1 sweet pepper (red, orange or yellow)

2-3 cloves of garlic, minced

juice of 1 lime

dash of smoked paprika

smidgen of cayenne pepper

salt to taste

1/2 cup diced cheese (feta, cotija or cheddar)

1/2 c of cilantro

Brush the corn with olive oil.  Roast the corn under the broiler turning once.  It would probably be even more flavorful charred on a charcoal grill.

Allow the corn to cool while you make the dressing.  Finely dice the jalapeño and the bell pepper.  Mince the garlic.  Remove cilantro from the stems and rough chop.

Dice or crumble the cheese.

Years ago one of my daughter’s friends gave me measuring spoons labeled pinch, dash, and smidgen.  Who knew how handy those would be!?  Just use your judgment if you don’t own these.

Combine the mayonnaise, sour cream and spices and whisk together.  Add the fresh squeezed lime juice and stir in the peppers and garlic.

Once the corn has cooled use a sharp knife to remove it from cobs.

Add the corn, cheese and cilantro and stir to combine.

Add salt to taste and refrigerate for a least an hour before serving.

I served this salad with roast pork loin, asparagus, mashed potatoes and applesauce.  Tonight I’m serving the leftover salad with fish tacos.

NOTE:  If you have extra space in your freezer the corn cobs can be frozen and used later to make a vegetable broth.

As with any recipe you can adjust the spices based on your personal taste.  Diced scallions would also be a nice addition.

Homemade Potato Chips with Chilpotle Lime Dip

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Homemade chips anyone?  Remember when we all owned a “Fry Baby” or “Fry Daddy” and apparently fried lots of things??  Those must-have appliances came with a plastic lid so you could just store and reuse the oil. I rarely deep fry anymore but a couple weeks ago I made chili Rellenos which are deep fried in a pretty fair amount of oil. So as not to be wasteful, once the oil had completely cooled I strained it using a fine mesh colander lined with a coffee filter. After doing that the oil can be stored in the refrigerator and used one or two more times…unless you’ve fried fish in it and then no, do not reuse. I decided to make fish and chips for dinner.  My excuse for a dinner of all fried things was not wanting to waste that oil.  I know that will make perfect sense to anyone reading this.  Back in the Fry Daddy days I guess we didn’t need an excuse.

To prepare the potatoes for chip making wash them and, using a mandolin on a fine setting, slice away. I used redskin potatoes and I do not peel them. Rinse the potatoes well after slicing and dry them as thoroughly as possible with paper towel or clean cotton dish towels.

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Heat your oil in a heavy Dutch oven until it reaches 375-380 degrees. Carefully begin dropping the potatoes in the hot oil and let them fry until they are lightly browned. Don’t crowd the potatoes in the pan.

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You may have to turn them once. When they are done to your liking remove the chips from the hot oil using a skimmer and put them on a pizza pan or jelly roll pan lined with paper towel. Salt them immediately with coarse salt and put them in a warm oven.

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Begin your next batch until you’ve made the desired amount of chips. I think putting the chips in a warm oven after frying also helps to crisp them up and any excess oil dissipates or is absorbed by the paper towel.

Dip Ingredients:

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup mayonnaise

3 T chilpotle peppers in adobo (chopped well)

juice and zest of one lime

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Thoroughly combine all ingredients.

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Keep refrigerated until you’re ready to serve.

NOTE:  If you have any chips left store them in a zip lock bag and, before serving the left overs, warm them up a bit in the oven.   The dip is also excellent on fish tacos and would add a little zip to a vegetable tray.  You can also make really yummy chips with sweet potatoes.

Strawberry Lime Sorbet

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Spring seems like it’s never going to get here and I thought a nice fruity sorbet would make a refreshing dessert and would taste like Spring. I happen to have an ice cream maker that I haven’t used in awhile so I dusted that off and put the bowl in the freezer. I decided to combine strawberries and lime to get a little sweet tart thing going on.

Ingredients:

2 1-lb boxes of strawberries washed and hulled

2 T fresh squeezed lime juice

zest of one lime (about a tsp)

1/2 cup water

1/4 to 1/2 cup of sugar (depending on how sweet the fruit is and, of course, personal taste)

1 tsp vanilla extract

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Put the washed and hulled berries in your food processor and purée until smooth.

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Pour the purée into a large measuring cup or bowl and set aside while you prepare the syrup.

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Taste your purée for sweetness and then determine how much sugar to add. I used a generous 1/4 cup. Measure your sugar, zest, lime juice and water into a small saucepan.

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Cook over medium heat stirring constantly just until sugar is dissolved.

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After taking it off the heat stir in the vanilla. Allow the syrup to cool a little. Once it’s cooled stir the syrup into the purée. You should have between 3 and 4 cups total once the syrup and purée are combined. Refrigerate 4-5 hours or overnight. Now dust off your Ice cream maker.

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Once it’s assembled (I had to get the manual out) turn it on and pour in the purée.

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After about 30 minutes I had a perfect sorbet. Scoop out and garnish with a little slice of lime or a piece of fresh mint. And enjoy the taste of Spring!

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Now that I’ve dusted off the ice cream maker and located the manual I think I’ll be experimenting with more fruit sorbets. They are a lot lower in calories than ice cream or even frozen yogurt.

NOTE:  Put your sorbet into a container with a good sealing lid and store it in the freezer. Before serving leave it out for a couple minutes for easier scooping. Also, I had a particularly juicy lime so I saved the rest of the juice in a labeled zip lock snack bag and put it in my freezer.

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