Friday, October 8, 2010

Superfast Elote Asado... with a Caveat

The polenta was almost finished when I remembered I had a couple ears of corn languishing in the fridge. It's not like me to neglect sweet corn, but we went out of town for a wedding and sometimes these things happen.  I thought a little roasted corn flavor might be nice in that polenta, but there just wasn't enough time to make elote asado before everything else was ready for dinner, so I gave it the chile pepper treatment and held with tongs over the open flame of my stove burner.  The kernels spit as they charred, making these wacky little bursts of sparks [It's not as scary as that may sound.]  As soon and they were spotty all over,  I transferred them to a cutting board, gave them a minute to cool while I checked the polenta, then cut the kernels from cob and stirred everything together.  The texture of the kernels was a little chewier -- it's definitely not a replacement for stand-alone elote asado* -- but it had the desired flavor and made the polenta dish taste like super gooey, whole-kernel cornbread.  It was good.
I topped it with fried eggs and scattered raw yellow tomatoes and roasted wax beans around the plate. It was supposed to be a textural and tonal dish, harkening back to the early days with JG when I'd regularly make an all-yellow meal of blue box macaroni and cheese, fish sticks, and canned corn [I've come a long way, baby]. Aesthetically it wasn't much prettier than that meal from the old days... I could have scattered some bright green cilantro over the whole thing and it would have been lovely, but I didn't garnish back them and I was overly committed to the theme.  At any rate, it tasted great with a few splashes of [tonally acceptable] Cholula hot sauce and was a _bit_ healthier than my yellow dinner of yore... and at ~15 minutes of total cooking time, the new, whole grain/fresh produce version might have even been faster.

*that's the caveat

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