I may have mentioned that I like to assign themes to my weekends, even when it’s just A. and me.
Themes set the tone. Themes provide direction. Themes get people excited about what’s to come. And everyone can get involved in a theme!
Tell me you’re not going to put your nose to the grindstone to figure out a menu that goes with a ‘Things That Start With ‘F” theme. Or work up a sweat thinking of entertainment options for a ‘Colors Of The Rainbow’-themed weekend? (Green Lantern! Blue Lagoon! Black Swan! Pretty In Pink! [Obvi.])
Themes are just natural party starters.
So color me the giddy planner now that I’ve settled on this coming weekend’s plan: Fresh Stuff.
That’s right - She’s Fresh from Kool & The Gang will be in heavy rotation, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reruns will be all over our TV, and we’ll be eating and drinking all manner of fresh food and beverages for 48 straight hours. I plan to hit up the farmer’s market on Friday and keep the freshness flowing all weekend long in the form of local peaches, some early season Hatch chiles, and tons and TONS of fresh, fresh, fresh corn. I’m going to shuck it myself with these shucking hands. Fresh!
This recipe is the new family go-to for corn in my casa. It’s simple and it involves a whole lot of supporting characters that, if this is even possible, enhance the bursting flavor of your fresh corn. The queso Cotija is salty and firm, the green onions are crunchy and crisp, and the jalapeños, garlic and cilantro are all doing their extra special things.
I love it. A. loves it. If I thought his lil’ tummy could handle it, I’d feed it to B. with some kibble and I’m pretty sure he’d love it.
So will you be having a Fresh-themed weekend in a couple of days? Now is the time: Fresh weekends call for Fresh measures and there’s all manner of freshness available in your local farmer’s market and/or produce department. And if they run out of fresh stuff, you can just keep it fresh and tell them what’s what. “Stock more produce, you silly goose of a grocery market!” Now that’s fresh.
5 ears of corn (approximately 4 cups of kernels)
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 c. green onion, diced (I used Mexican green onion here, but any kind of green onion may be used)
1/4 c. jalapeño, stemmed, seeded, minced
1/4 c. cilantro, chopped, packed
1 c. queso Cotija, crumbled
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. garlic, minced
Drop the ears of corn into a large pot of boiling water. Boiling time for corn can vary according to personal preference: if you like your kernels firmer you’ll only need to boil your corn for a few minutes, softer and you can boil up to 10. For this recipe, the kernels are better on the firmer side so I wouldn’t boil the ears for more than 5 minutes. Carefully remove the cooked corn and set aside to cool. Once cool, trim the kernels off the cobs and discard the cobs.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large sauté pan over a medium flame. Add the green onion and jalapeño and cook for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute more. Stir in the corn and salt and cook for 4 more minutes. Remove the mixture from heat and immediately toss with the cilantro and cheese. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
YIELD: approximately 4-6 servings