Fresh corn in the middle of the summer time is the best! For a few years now I have enjoyed preparing pickled vegetables. And as much as I purchase fresh corn every summer, I never remember how tasty it is preserved in a little vinegar with spicy chiles. For today’s blog post I combined two of my favorite ingredients in a spicy chile sauce, zucchini and corn! Enjoy as a salsa with chips, a garnish for tacos or as a side!
This recipe for chileajo(chile garlic) can be prepared with a variety of vegetables. Some vegetables that work well are cualiflower, green beans, chayote, carrots and even baby potatoes.
I have yet to learn the art of long term canning, so this is the next best thing for me. It’s quick, easy and you don’t need a lot of space for storing equipment or canning jars after being filled.
Elote y Calabacitas en Chileajo(Spicy Corn and Zucchini)
- Yields 4 1/2 Cups
- 4 large ears of corn
- 4 large chile guajillo peppers
- 6 chile japones or arbol
- 6-8 chile piquin optional
- 6 large cloves of garlic skins on
- 4 tablespoons of olive or grapeseed oil
- 1/2 tablespoon of Mexican oregano
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 cup water
- Salt to taste
- Fresh cracked pepper to taste
- 1/2 white onion finely diced
- 1 serrano pepper minced
- 2 cups zucchini finely diced
- Remove the fresh corn from the cob and transfer to a large skillet. Toast the corn in the dry skillet on medium low heat for 10-15 minutes. Remove corn from skillet and set aside.
- On a preheated comal, toast the dried chiles for less than a minute or until they become aromatic. Transfer them to a pot of simmering water and simmer on low for 10 minutes to soften. While the chiles are simmering, dry roast the cloves of garlic on that same comal(griddle).
- Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer all of the softened chiles and garlic(skins removed) to the blender. Also add 1 cup water, 1 cup vinegar, salt and pepper(to taste). Blend on high until very smooth. Taste for salt. Set aside.
- In the skillet that you cooked the corn in, add 3-4 tablespoons of oil and heat to medium heat. Add the onions, chile serrano and zucchini. Season lightly with salt and pepper and saute for 3-5 minutes. Add the oregano and saute for another minute.
- Finally, add in the corn and reserved chile sauce to the skillet. Stir well to combine and continue cooking at a low simmer for 5-6 minutes. Taste for salt.
Why stick to one type of dried chile when you can mix a few for even more flavor in your sauces and salsa’s.
Anytime it’s possible, I try to use fresh corn in my recipes as opposed to canned. Frozen would be my second choice.
During the summer, I store my dried chiles in the refrigerator. The keep for a very long time and there is less chance that any bugs would be attracted to them.
Simple, fresh ingredients is always a good way to start a recipe. I try to always have some fresh vegetables available for my everyday cooking. It’s so easy to incorporate them into your main and side dishes.
Don’t be afraid to commit to those large bags of dried chiles you see at the market. It’s so easy to prepare different salsa’s and sauces that can be frozen for long periods of time. The flavors improve with age. A quick reheat to thicken the sauce and it’s good to go!
Dry roasting and toasting my corn in a skillet gives the corn a better flavor. It’s cooked just long enough and it will still be crisp even after cooking in sauce.
Depending on what kind of blender you use, the sauce may have to be strained before adding it to your recipe. Some of the skins from the chiles can be difficult to chew and swallow.
I can literally just take a spoon and eat this whole bowl! But it also can serve as a meatless option for tacos and tostadas. Pair with some fresh guacamole and crumbled queso fresco!