Sunday, July 3, 2011

Food blogging is hard....and messy!

Tonight I thought I'd try my hand at food blogging. I don't style myself an amazing or singularly interesting chef but, honestly, it gave me a fun reason to play with my new camera. The reason I chose to document this particular recipe is mostly because of the colors of the ingredients. It's also one of my absolute favorite recipes, is fairly simple, and is my go-to for parties. While I can eat it myself even after my bariatric surgery, I generally avoid it because of the sugar and carbs involved. That said, I've been known to sneak a bite.

Mike and I live in a small house and have two cats. This cuts down the amount of entertaining we do. Because of this I take it upon myself to help out or bring a dish to any get together that we're invited to. If someone else is volunteering their house for a party I feel that the least I can do is whip together a little something to bring with me. This colorful recipe is one of my absolute favorites to bring because of its vibrant colors and flavors. I usually like to make it fresh, a few hours before heading out to the gathering but this time I made it the night before. The party we're going to is at the home of some of our good friends and is on the 4th of July. The morning of the 4th Mike and I always attend the Kirkland parade so I just wouldn't have the time to make it that day. Anyways, sitting in the fridge overnight will really give the flavors time to mesh together. Without further ado:

Southwestern Corn Salad
I originally found this recipe on and modified it for my own tastes.


  • 8 ears fresh corn (preferrably in husks)
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 1 red onion or 1 bunch green onions
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 limes, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cumin to taste
  • Paprika to taste
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • sesame oil to taste

Place the corn in a large pot, with enough water to cover, and soak for at least 15 minutes. Now, while I normally much prefer to grill my corn in the husk, the corn I got this time at Costco came pre-husked. Not that big of deal but you have to keep a constant eye on it while cooking. If your corn DOES have a husk, make sure to remove the silk before grilling. Place the corn, onion and bell peppers on a preheated grill. Cook, turning occasionally, about 20 minutes or until tender. Really keep an eye on the onions and bell peppers as they'll burn quickly.

You'll notice there's no onions on my grill here. I actually forgot to grill them before I turned off the heat but I take care of the problem later.

Remove everything from the heat as it finishes. You want those nice charred marks as that will add the grilled flavor that we're looking for but you don't want everything burnt through. The corn will start to pop loudly if it's burning. Set everything aside to cool.

While your grilled veggies are cooling, take the time to chop the rest of your ingredients.

Chop the onions, garlic and cilantro. Cut the limes into quarters. For easier juicing, roll the limes between the palm of your hand and the cutting board to tenderize it a bit.

In order to address my earlier snafu, I sauteed my chopped onion in sesame oil for extra flavor. The original recipe called for finely chopped red onion. I can't stand the taste of raw onion so I either grill mine or saute them before adding them to the rest of the ingredients. You can prepare yours however you prefer.

Now, in a blender or food processor, mix the cilantro...

..olive oil...

...lime juice (forgive my stubby nails)...

..sugar, salt, pepper, hotsauce (be careful with your hotsauce. Some sauces, like the Tabasco below, can add too much of a vinegar flavor. Add it slowly until the desired flavor is reached)...

..and, another thing that the original recipe didn't include, cumin and paprika...

and blend until smooth.

At this point your grilled veggies should be cooled down. Remove the seeds and stem from the bell peppers and chop to a desired size. Remove the husks from the corn and discard. If you have one of those nifty gadgets that magically removes the kernels from a corn cob, then use that. Otherwise, use a sharp knife and carefully slide it along the cob to remove the kernels. Try not to send the kernels flying around the kitchen like I did. The poodle was not impressed.

Add all your veggies to the bowl along with some more freshly chopped cilantro. I really enjoy the flavor and color the cilantro adds.


...more color. Tasty, tasty colors.

Add your blended mixture to the rest of the ingredients and stir. Here's where a lot of variation comes into play. I, personally, LOVE the nutty flavor that sesame oil adds to this salad. Other ingredients that would really add some nice flare are chili flakes, chopped (and maybe grilled) jalapeno, tomatoes, and avocado. This is really a dish you can play around with!

Simple, pretty, and a great dish to bring with you to summer pot lucks and parties.

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