Corn is a popular side dish wherever you go because it is so versatile and can be sweet or made to be savory. It is often boiled or grilled on the cob, but we chose to remove the kernels and sauté them with jalapeno and orange bell pepper. We seeded the jalapeno pepper and still found it to have plenty of heat, but if you really want more heat, you can certainly leave the seeds in. Sprinkling with cotija cheese adds a nice flavor to the dish, but you can leave it out or use parmesan or feta cheese if you can’t find cotija cheese. It is a great side dish to have with steak, pork, or fish. It could also be altered to become an actual entrée if you would prefer. For cutting the corn kernels off of the cob, we used a bunt pan to catch the kernels as they came off of the cob. It is a handy trick that works really well. We found it to be extremely delicious.
4 Corn Cobs – cleaned and kernels removed
1 Orange Bell Pepper – seeded and diced
2 Jalapeno Peppers – seeded and diced
1/2 cup Cotija Cheese – crumbled by hand
2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
4 tbsp Unsalted Butter
Salt and Pepper to taste
Heat the oil and 2 tablespoons of butter in a large, cast-iron skillet to medium-high heat. Add the corn, orange pepper, and jalapeno peppers to the skillet and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the peppers are soft and the corn is fully cooked and starting to brown. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with small crumbles of cotija cheese.
We love a good chicken curry and we tend to try various styles at different times. This particular version is pretty simple and you can make it very spicy or tone the heat down for a milder version. We chose to go ahead and leave in the heat, but we would forewarn you that it did pack a bit of a punch. It was very flavorful and would certainly work with shrimp or fish as well. We also chose to use a couple of types of peppers, but it can certainly be made using a single pepper. This recipe serves two, but it can easily be increased for a larger group. Our original version of chicken curry used cream to help cool it down, which could be done for this dish as well.
2 Skinless and Boneless Chicken Breasts – cut into 1 inch cubes
1 Medium White Onion – thinly sliced
2 Garlic Cloves – chopped
1 tsp Fresh Ginger – peeled and grated
1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ground Turmeric
1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
1/4 tsp Garam Masala
1 Serano Pepper – chopped (deseeded for less heat)
1 Fresno Pepper – chopped (deseeded for less heat)
2 tsp Tomato Purée
2 tsp Lemon Juice
2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until lightly browned. While the onion is cooking, add the garlic, ginger, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, garam masala, peppers, and 1/4 cup cold water to a blender and pulse until it forms a smooth paste. Remove the onions from the skillet and add the chicken, seasoning with salt and pepper. Cook the chicken until fully done and the sides are browned, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the paste, tomato purée, and onions to the chicken. Rinse the blender with 3/4 cup of boiling water and stir it into the skillet to create a sauce. Simmer for about 7 minutes to completely coat the chicken and heat the sauce. Add the lemon juice and serve over a bed of rice or fried potatoes.
Living in Colorado, we are surrounded by states that embrace southwestern flavors. Whether visiting New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, or our own state, southwestern flavors can be found everywhere. Tacos, burritos, Huevos rancheros, enchiladas, guacamole, and all kinds of peppers can be found on menus in almost every city. We have tried to recreate several of the dishes that we’ve had during our travels throughout the area as well as we have some of our own that we’ve grown up eating.
Southwestern food is full of spices and packed with flavor, but usually it is just a mild heat. Some places offer the choice of sauce to put over your food, usually ranging from mild to hot, with the green sauce usually being the hottest. One nice thing about southwestern food is that the same flavors work with different types of proteins like pork, beef, and shrimp, but it can also be made to be vegetarian as well. Since we like to share anyway, the portions are usually large enough for us to still have leftovers to take home with us.
As we get ready to leave for Moab, Utah tomorrow, we expect that we will likely find many southwestern options available to us when we arrive. Hopefully we’ll find some of the creative dishes that we found in Scottsdale, Arizona and Sante Fe, New Mexico. We don’t have a favorite type of food, but we certainly enjoy good southwestern dishes when we are in the mood for something a little spicy.