Sunday, April 29, 2012
Ancho Cream Corn
Thinking back to when I use to cook from the books on my shelf, ideas from phone conversations with family members, and jotted down recipes as they were recited....verses now.... the internet, the blogs, the social media cooking websites and all the people I've "met" and learned from. It's pretty cool. My little cooking world has expanded. I've learned so much over the years. Not only about techniques but about flavors. What goes together, what doesn't, and what does but you'd think shouldn't. I've been exposed to so many new ingredients that I would never have touched or knew what on earth to do with if it weren't for our fun little food world on the net.
And yes....ancho chile is one of them. I'm in love with the ancho chile. Which happens to be the dried version of a poblano (my other love). The addition of either of these forms of chile add such depth to Mexican dishes (or Tex-Mex in this case). It transforms a dish from (lets see...how do I say this without insulting anyone) Americanized taco bell kind of Mexican food to authentic mom and pop hole in the wall Mexican food.
Which brings me to this Ancho Cream Corn. One of many fantastic recipes found in Lisa Fain's cookbook, The Homesick Texan. I love cream corn. I love corn casserole. I love grilled corn. Corn is good. Ancho Cream Corn is better! The ancho chile addition....WOW!! It adds a wonderful smokey flavor that I just can't get enough of. It's not hot...so you other wimps out there (I say "other" because when it comes to heat...I'm a total wimp!) don't have anything to worry about. The ancho flavor just mixes itself into the cream and makes you go "mmmmmm" with every bite as you're digging your spoon in for another.
While this dish only takes a mere 15 minutes to cook....there is some prep work to be done. Not hard work. But rehydrating a dried chile takes some time....about 30 minutes.....soooo, keep this in mind when planning your cooking time line.
Ancho Cream Corn
1 dried ancho chile, stem and seeds removed
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced (I used 3 cuz I love garlic)
5 cups of corn, fresh or frozen (It took 7 ears of shucked fresh corn for me to get 5 cups)
1 cup heavy cream
4 oz cream cheese
1/4 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon lime juice (about 1 - 2 limes, depending on how juicy they are)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cotija cheese, crumbled, to garnish (I used queso fresco ranchero cheese)
In a hot skillet, no oil....toast the ancho chile for about 10 seconds. Add enough water to cover the chili and bring to a boil. Turn the heat off and let "soak" for about 30 minutes. By this time, the chili should be soft. Rinse the chili and dice. Set aside. (toss the soaking water out)
While the chile is soaking, if you're using fresh corn, this would be a good time to shuck it and cut all those kernels off the cob.
In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and saute for about 1 minute. Add the corn, heavy cream, cream cheese, cumin, cayenne and diced ancho chile. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with cheese.
And there you have it. a delicious side dish that's easy and quick (after the prep work). You can bet that this dish will be seen this summer on my bbq menu.