Smoky corn salsa is one in a small series of tequila recipes I decided would be fun to develop. Inspired by the current tequila campaign I am working on! The tequila adds a little sweet, floral and sharp note to this delicious corn salsa.
Adding the tequila to the corn salsa is totally optional. Either way, you will still enjoy a tasty recipe that you can share with your friends and family.
On the plate above covered in a warm tomatillo salsa and smoky corn salsa is a big chicken tamal! Click the link to see my family’s chicken tamal recipe. I get a craving and that’s all it takes for me to pull out my steamer and prepare a small batch of tamales! http://pinaenlacocina.com/2014/01/29/my-familys-chicken-tamales/
Smoky Corn Salsa. Cooking With Tequila
It's summer time and I am taking advantage of all the fresh corn that is abundant to prepare this smoky corn salsa! This is a small series of recipes inspired by tequila! Cooking with tequila! Sometimes I do like to add it to the food too, lol! Enjoy the process and learn new things.
- 2 large dried chile ancho pods
- 4 ears of fresh corn
- 2 tbs grapeseed oil
- 3/4 cup red onion diced fine
- 3 large cloves of garlic minced
- 1 large jalapeño minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2-1 tsp crushed chile piquin or red pepper flakes
- Juice of 1 large lime
- 1/3 cup white vinegar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/4 cup silver tequila optional
- 1/2 tbs chile limon seasoning tajin brand
- 2 tbs cilantro chopped
- Remove the stems and seeds from the chile ancho pods. Drop them into a pot of simmering water and cook for 10 minutes. Stir after 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Remove the corn form the cob. Discard cobs. Preheat a large skillet to medium heat for a few minutes. Add half of the corn and spread out into a thin even layer. Let the corn cook until it begins to blacken and toast a little. Turn as needed. Transfer corn to a bowl. Repeat with remaining corn.
- If you prefer to skip the step above, you can. I prefer cooking the corn this way because it adds a little smoky element to the salsa.
- In that same large skillet you cooked the corn, add 2 tablespoons of oil and heat to medium. Add the onion, garlic and jalapeño. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Saute for 3-4 minutes.
Add the chile ancho to a food processor and pulse to chop fine. Or you can chop it by hand. Add chile ancho, corn and remaining ingredients, minus the cilantro to the skillet. Stir well to combine. Continue cooking at a simmer for 7-8 minutes. Taste for salt. Fold in the cilantro before serving. Serve at room temperature. Serve with chips or as a salsa for your favorite tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas, flautas and tamales!
That little bit of tequila adds a little hint of sharpness, sweetness ans a floral note without over powering the other ingredients and flavors. The vinegar adds acidity, which I really enjoy, plus it will preserve the salsa for a few weeks in the refrigerator.
If you are used to using dried chiles in your recipes like chile piquin or chile de arbol, you can grind down your own red pepper flakes! The first time I prepared this recipe, I used dried chile piquin. It added even more smokt flavor to the recipe. Really tasty!
As you can see from the photos, I use several methods to cook the corn. It just depends on what kind of mood I am in and how much time I have to dedicate to the recipe.
Out of all the large dried red chiles, I find that the chile ancho has the thinnest skin when re-hydrated. It can be chopped by hand easily without worrying that the skins will be tough to chop or chew.
Here is the dried chile piquin, both whole and crushed in my molcajete. A little goes a long way when it comes to this chile pepper. Both the fresh and dried pack a punch of heat and smokiness! It is my absolute favorite chile pepper.
If you are still unsure about adding the tequila, just try adding a few tablespoons to start and let it cook down for a few minutes. Or just sip on it while you are cooking! I have been known to do that myself, lol!
I enjoy using a variety of fresh hot peppers as well. My first choice is always serrano peppers. I also like to buy jalapeños, red fresno, habanero and chile guero when I can find it. The second time I prepared the smoky corn salsa, I added some red fresno. They are all delicious!
The smoky corn salsa was perfect on this corn tortilla quesadilla with plenty of melted Oaxaca cheese and squash blossoms from my little garden.