Monday, November 14, 2011

Corn And Huitlacoche Salsa

From chef Mark Miller's cute and helpful Ten Speed Press book The Great Salsa Book, this is really just a pure corn salsa.  Corn smut "infects" corn kernels and turn them into a fungus or mushroom, so it's one type of corn with another:  say, "weird" corn with "straight" corn.  I have cooked with Huitlacoche before--and my Cream of Huitlacoche soup is a household specialty of mine.  Corn fungus as a food ingredient is most often found as a quesadilla filling in an around Mexico City; though it is used as soup ingredient there too.  It also put into skillet dishes, such as with squash, which is used as a side dish or filling for tortillas (tacos); and it doesn show up in a Salsa de Huitlacoche, which is usually served as a sauce for chicken or meat.  Miller's salsa relies completely on the huitlacoche being bought frozen.  It is hard to come by in the this country any other way, unless you pick over farmer's markets or grow your own corn; I have even scored some by picking over corn piles in supermarkets, but not recently.  I guess produce managers are more picky these days--so frozen it is.  There are mail order sources for it.

I know this stuff looks rough, but it is delicious!!

Corn And Huitlacoche Salsa

4 Serrano chiles, roasted and peeled (don't worry if you don't get all the skin)
5 really ripe Roma or farmer's market tomatoes, chopped
2 cups huitlacoche (that's about 11 ounces), thawed, reserve all the liquid
1/2 cup minced white onion
4 cloves garlic roasted in skins
1 tsp. epazote, minced (if using dried, cut to 1/4 tsp.)
Cilantro to taste
1/2 tsp. salt
1 ear fresh corn
2 tbsp. water
1 tsp. adobo sauce (this is easy to come by if you buy canned Chipotle chiles)

1.  Chop the chiles with their seeds.

2.  Place the chiles, the tomatoes, the huitlacoche, any reserved huitlacoche liquid and onion in a skillet, heat and add the garlic, epazote, cilantro and salt.  Cook for 20 minutes, then transfer to a mixing bowl. 

3.  Shuck corn and cut the kernels from the cob.  Place these in the skillet with the water and adobo sauce, heat and then simmer for a few minutes.  Fold this into the ingredients in the mixing bowl.  This good warm with beef and pork.  Allow to come to room temperature and serve it with chips.  In fact, almost all of the salsas in the book can be served with chips if desired, and this is good in or on tacos.

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