Friday, July 8, 2016

Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad

Perfect Pairing: Grilled dinner

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Last summer I went to a food and wine festival at Lincoln Park in Chicago.  Chris gave me the tickets for my birthday and I was SO excited.  The morning of the festival I woke up feeling gnarly and not at all like going to a food festival, but I persevered because that is my mecca.  I saw demos from some of my favorite chefs like Rick Bayless and Stephanie Izard and tried lots of good food and wine.  Fortunately, I felt better as the day went on and we had a great time!


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One of the best bites of food I had all day was a truffled Mexican street corn.  Holy corn Batman, it was delicious.  I may have gone back for seconds… and thirds.  It was a small piece of sweet corn rolled in some glorious mayonnaise mixture then topped with parmesan and shaved truffles.  I just can’t even describe it. 


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Last summer my cousin’s wife made an extraordinarily good Mexican Street Corn dip for our annual Lake House Chef’s Challenge.  It was a serious crowd pleaser.  So, ever since the dip and the festival corn I have been wanting to try a variation on Mexican street corn.


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Enter Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad!  Grilled corn and grilled scallions are mixed with pasta in a tangy sauce and then combined with cilantro, parmesan and avocado.  It is really tasty. 


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If you have not grilled your scallions you are missing out.  It totally changes the flavor.  They are fantastic on tacos.


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This salad is so not the typical summer pasta salad and would be a hit at any party.  There is some prep involved so I think it is paired best with a simple grilled entrée like hamburgers or brats. 


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I wonder what else you can do with Mexican street corn.  Goals!

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Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad

Lindsay at Perfecting the Pairing


Ingredients:
  • 5 ears sweet corn
  • 4 bunches green onions, root and top 2 inches of green part removed
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 1 Tb lime zest
  • 4 Tb lime juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1 lb Rotini pasta
  • 1 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 avocados, cut into bite-sized pieces


Directions:
Preheat the grill to medium heat.  Coat the ears of corn and green onions in a thin layer of olive oil.  It is fine if you don’t get every inch of the veggies.  Season corn and onions generously with salt and pepper.  Grill until slightly charred.  The green onions will cook much faster than the corn.  Allow to cool slightly.  Cut the corn off the cob and chop the green onions.

In a small bowl make the dressing by combining the mayonnaise, sour cream, lime zest, lime juice, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, cumin and dash of cayenne pepper.  Whisk to combine.  Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt, pepper, cayenne and lime.


Cook the pasta according to package instructions, drain and add to a large bowl.  Allow to cool slightly.  Add in the corn and green onions.  Add in about half of the sauce, stir gently to coat.  Add more sauce as needed.  You may need all of the sauce but you don’t want it drowning in it.  Add the grated parmesan, cilantro and avocado and stir gently to not smash the avocados.  Chill and serve!

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