Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Corn Saute with Chile and Lime

This recipe is another way to indulge in my love affair with sweet corn. I used to shy away from recipes using fresh corn off the cob because I didn't want to go through the effort of removing it from the ears, but since I got my Oxo Good Grips Corn Stripper, stripping corn is easy and not terribly messy (though I always still manage to get a few errant kernels all over the counter). I'm making the most of the abundance of sweet corn before it disappears! I don't know what I'll do when I have to go back to frozen and canned corn after summer ends.

This is wonderfully rich and creamy, both from the butter and natural creaminess of fresh corn, yet still tastes light, fresh, and summery. Not only does it make a quick and tasty side, but it is also a great dip for tortilla chips. I also recommend experimenting with other chile powder (chipotle, perhaps?) and other spices like smoky cumin.

Corn Saute with Chile and Lime
from Fast, Fresh, and Green by Susie Middleton

serves 4

2 T. unsalted butter
1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1.5 c. small-diced yellow onion (1 medium-large onion), preferably sweet
1 T. kosher salt (and more if needed)
2 slightly heaping cups corn kernels (from 4 medium ears)
1/2 t. ancho chile powder
1 T. finely grated lime zest
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 lime
3 T. chopped fresh cilantro

1. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter with the olive oil in a 10-inch saute pan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Uncover, turn up the heat to medium, and saute, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes more.

2. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, the corn kernels, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently and scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon, until the corn is tender but still slightly toothy to the bite, 4 to 5 minutes more. (It will begin to intensify in color, glisten, and be somewhat shrunken in size). Add the chile powder and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the lime zest and remove the pan from heat. Let the corn saute sit undisturbed for 2 minutes. Stir again, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

3. Season the saute with a few generous grinds of pepper and a good squeeze of lime. Stir in half of the cilantro. Let site for another couple of minutes if you have time. Stir and season with more salt, pepper, or lime juice. Stir in the remaining cilantro just before serving.

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