Monday, July 3, 2017

YouTube Idols and a Fresh Grilled Corn Salad

It's been about five years since the first time I put pen-to-paper so to speak and began writing about my cooking experiences. There was been a lot of changes in those five years, different social media sources, those clever super sped up cooking videos, and YouTube. YouTube is a goldmine of information and videos to watch, everything from a short clip of a single recipe to fully produced 30 minute "shows" by everyone from amateurs to professional chefs getting in on it. During the last year I really got to thinking of YouTube as a great way to keep up with some of my personal favorites, like Rachel Khoo, since I am rarely able to catch her shows on American satellite tv, and a YouTube favorite, Hilah Cooking. The brainchild of Texas cook and YouTube sensation Hilah Johnson, Hilah Cooking is a fun and "real woman" cooking show and companion blog that I find highly entertaining! Besides her great sense of humor, her recipes are killer! Hilah makes real food- fresh, pretty much in live-time and her recipes are not filled with pricey ingredients, she doesn't use an army of ridiculously expensive and unnecessary tools and gadgets, and the finished dishes look like something I want to eat. Right now. 

Recently I watched a Hilah Cooking video in which Hilah was making a fresh corn salad, starting with slightly charred ears of fresh corn. Raw corn. Still sweet and juicy and touched by a little grill heat to give you just a few bits of grilled taste. Her video is hilarious, taking a jab at that current Pinterest trendy phrase "Mexican street corn" and bringing out the giggles in me. I would soooo love to hang out with this woman! Her recipe sounded delicious, with that corn that's not really cooked. I was immediately convinced I needed to make this- or something a lot like it. I mean, come on, I am a Minnesota turned Iowa girl after all- we are all about the corn. Hilah's recipe sounds totally delicious with a nice kick of heat from those fresh Serrano chilies. I am going to switch up her recipe a bit and add some avocado maybe or even toss some pan seared scallops in there to make it an entree salad. I cheated and roasted my corn and scallions over the burner on my gas range- worked like a charm! Here is how I did it.

Tex Mex Iowa Sweet Corn Salad with Scallops

4 ears fresh Iowa sweet corn
3 scallions
1 Jalapeno or Serrano chili
1 cup halved heirloom cherry tomatoes
1 avocado, cut into cubes
1 package large scallops, thawed if frozen
1 tablespoon chili powder
3 limes
1/2 cup cotija cheese
1/4 olive oil, plus more
2 cloves garlic, grated
salt and pepper
1 package arugula
1 small bunch fresh cilantro

Clean the ears of corn, removing as much of the silk as possible. Rub each ear of corn with a small drizzle of olive oil, season with salt and pepper and set aside. Heat a grill to high, or heat a heavy skillet or grill pan over high heat. Add the corn and grill over high heat, turning so that you get char on all sides. Set corn aside to cool. Throw the scallions on there for a just a minute or two to get some char marks and flavor. Set them aside. 

Place the scallops in a bowl and squeeze half of one of the limes and a tablespoon of olive oil over and sprinkle with the chili powder. 

Sear the scallops in a hot skillet until just cooked and they have the beautiful golden brown crust. Remove to a plate and set aside.

This is the golden brown sear you're looking for.
Cut the corn off the cobs and discard the cobs. Place the corn in a large bowl, add the tomatoes, avocado, and the scallions, which have been chopped. Add a handful of chopped cilantro.

In a small bowl or jar, juice the remaining limes. For an intense lime flavor you can also add some of the zest to the dressing. Whisk in the 1/4 cup olive oil, grated garlic and salt and pepper to taste. 

Cotija cheese crumbles like a charm.
Drizzle half the dressing over the vegetables, toss to coat everything, then add the cheese, toss again, and serve the corn salad on top of a handful of arugula with remaining dressing on the side. Top the salad with the scallops.

So fresh! This is a great party recipe for when you are having friends over on a summer evening- very limited indoor cooking IF you go the skillet route and lots of fresh flavors. Like that super trendy, if not slightly irritating recipe for Mexican street corn, this dish has a TexMex hint of flavor but it's totally Iowa with that crunchy sweet corn. I love it because it doesn't have any mayonnaise in the recipe, and I find the whole idea of cooking mayo on an ear of corn completely yuck. I hope you'll try it. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 55: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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