Monday, June 10, 2013

Meatless Monday: Elote Salad

I haven't posted a Meatless Monday meal in a LONG time.  That's primarily because I haven't cooked in a LONG time.  LONG = since before Clara was born {Clara is almost 8 months old now}.  At first, I blamed it on my lack of time.  I don't have to tell you all that caring for a newborn and two toddlers is a lot of work!  But now Clara is older and sleeping/napping regularly and I feel like my excuses are running out.

Who's been doing the cooking?  Tim!  He's always been the better cook anyway.  And he enjoys it much more than me.  I prefer baking because I like eating baked goods way more.

So we have Tim (and Esquire magazine) to thank for this Meatless Monday dish: Elote Salad.  

"Elote (or corn on the cob) is a Mexican street food, eaten on a stick or by using the peeled-down husks and cob as a handle. Here, it's an outdoor salad — easier to prepare, serve, and eat."

* Photo courtesy of Esquire magazine

Ingredients for Chile-lime mayo:
- 1/2 cup mayo (see Note 1 below)
- Juice of one lime
- 1/2 tsp mild chile powder (plus a little more for dusting)
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp hot sauce (see Note 2 below)

Note 1: We used 1/4 cup of Light Mayo to cut back on calories and it turned out really good!
Note 2: It's really not hot or spicy (in case you are going to serve this to your kids).  If you want more spice, add more hot sauce or chile powder.

Instructions for Chile-lime mayo:
1.  Mix together all ingredients and refrigerate until ready to add the corn. 
2.  Can be done well in advance.

Other Ingredients:
- 6 ears corn in husks
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
- 3 scallions, sliced
- 1/2 cup Cotija cheese, crumbled (I couldn't find this cheese so Tim used Panela instead)

1.  Using a big pot or pail, soak the corn in husks in cold water for at least 1 hour. Use a smaller lid or plate as a weight to keep the cobs submerged.

2.  Arrange husks around the outer edges of grill (low heat). The steam from the soaking period will cook the corn. As the husks toast, about 5 minutes on the first side, use tongs to rotate each cob in quarter turns (so the cobs cook evenly). When the husks are toasted all around (about 20 or 25 minutes), remove. When cool enough to handle, shuck.
3.  Lightly char the shucked corn on all sides over medium fire for about 10 minutes. Do this dry: no oil or salt or pepper.
4.  To cut the kernels from the cob: Stand each cob in the center of a large roasting pan (to catch the falling kernels). Slice down the ear with a knife and work your way around, cutting off the kernels as close to the cob as you can without digging into the cob. The knife must be flat. If it's angled and the blade digs into the cob, you won't have an easy time of it, like trying to mow the lawn with a hoe. Add the kernels to the spicy mayo along with the cilantro and scallions, mixing well to coat. Mix in most of the cheese and scatter the rest over the top, along with a dusting of chile powder.

This makes about 6 - 8 servings.  We made it on a Sunday and used it as a side for our dinners for 3 nights.  It keeps well in the fridge.

Thanks Tim for keeping me well-fed the past 8 months (and through most of our 9 years of marriage)!  Muah!

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