Charred Corn and Cucumber Salad

Charred Corn and Cucumber Salad

So… it’s been a while. Quite a few things have changed during my (embarrassingly long and unintentional) blog hiatus. We moved almost 4,000 miles, from Paris to Washington, D.C. We were faced with the task of furnishing a new apartment, for a while the most comfortable seat in the living room was the dog’s bed. I got a new job as a tour guide, which entailed a lot of research. Wikipedia and I have been very close over the last few months. In more blog related news: I also got a shiny new camera! In theory the pictures should improve, although with a new camera comes a new learning curve as well.
Chicken

Some things are the same though. This pup is still my #1 food-tester/kitchen floor vacuum. I’m still cooking, though a little less than I was because of the whole new job thing. And I’m still hoping to get back to blogging. As an apology for my prolonged absence, I did make something a little special for you.

Charred corn and cucumber salad

It’s actually pretty similar to the Mexican Street Corn recipe I posted ages ago, but lightened up for summer. Inspired by a recipe from the Bon Appetit grilling issue-which also had a delicious lamb burger recipe in it, hopefully I’ll get the opportunity to share that. I changed up the original recipe by charring all of my corn, and chopping up some cucumber to have the cooling effect that the raw corn provides. I also cooked my corn under the broiler which takes A LOT longer than grilling, if you go my route you must have patience.

Charred corn and cucumber salad

This is seriously one of the most perfect summer dishes out there. It’s pretty adaptable, so if you’re missing an ingredient or two it won’t be the end of the world. It’s light and refreshing, which helps it balance out heavy BBQ food. You can serve it on its own as a side, scatter it over something juicy and grilled, or tuck it inside some tacos or burritos to balance out a meaty filling. Or you can just eat it straight out of the bowl, like I do. No judgment.

Charred corn and cucumber salad

Charred Corn and Cucumber Salad

Adapted from Bon Appetit

Serves 4 as an accompaniment

2 ears of corn, husked
1 medium seedless cucumber
1 medium shallot
1/4-1/2 red chile (I used 1/2 of a Serrano, and it wasn’t super spicy)
2-3 limes (I actually used 2 small lemons, but thought that the salad could’ve used more)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/8-1/4 cup cilantro (I used 1/8 cup because the boyfriend isn’t wild about cilantro, but if you like it add more!)
2 oz queso fresco or cotija cheese
Salt and pepper

Preheat the broiler (or the grill). Dice the cucumber. Slice the shallot and the chile into thin rings, leaving the seed on the chile. Juice the citrus. Mix the cucumber, shallot, chile, and lime juice in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside. After about 15 minutes on the counter, put it in the fridge until the corn is ready.

If using the broiler: place the corn on a baking sheet and drizzle on all sides with oil. Put it in the oven, about 6-8 inches away from the heat. It will need to broil for at least 8-10 minutes on each side to get the charred effect, possibly longer. Have patience!

If using the grill: lightly brush the corn on all sides with oil. Place on the grill, turning every 3-4 minutes, until tender and evenly charred. It should be about 12 minutes total.

While the corn is doing its thing, coarsely chop the cilantro (stems included) and crumble the cheese. If you can’t find a Mexican cheese, feta would be a good substitute, or even grated cheddar.

When the corn is done, let it cool for a few minutes. Slice the kernels off the cob (a serrated knife works best for this) into the bowl. Trust me, you want to be slicing into a bowl, those kernels have some bounce in them. Add the cheese and cilantro in and mix everything together really well. Taste and adjust seasoning (maybe more lime juice). Devour.

Charred corn and cucumber salad