Friday, August 19, 2011

Black bean quesadillas and roasted corn ... something-or-other

My husband and I live by the Seneca Food plant in town here and this is the time of year where one of our main routes home is clogged by semi trucks bringing in sweet corn for processing.  Which is great, in theory, talk about seeing where your food comes from.  Except that on some evenings, the air smells like corn.  Which is fine, in theory, until said smell lasts for several days on end.  So as much as I loved sweet corn as a girl and still do to some extent, living near a canning factory makes me a little green around the gills when I'm presented with corn.

Which is what my wonderful neighbor Bonnie did the other day.  A half dozen ears of corn and three fresh onions from her nephew's garden.  (I was pretty psyched about the onions.)  Faced with the prospect of having my kitchen smell like the canning factory, I shucked the corn and brought it out to the great outdoors and the grill. My idea was to make a roasted corn salsa with a bunch of other grilled veggies - tomatoes, onions and peppers.  As this started to come together, I couldn't decide if this was a salsa, a relish or a salad.  So we're just going to call this "roasted corn something-or-other."

You're gonna have to forgive the photo ... this is off the Blackberry, not sure where I put the camera.  Sigh!

For the Black Bean Quesadillas
2 corn tortillas
about 3 T. of 2% Mexican-blend cheese
about 2 T. of black beans

Heat a skillet over high heat and place one corn tortilla on the surface, carefully sprinkle with cheese and beans.  Wait until cheese is getting melty and press the other tortilla on.  Then give it a careful flip.  (And this is usually the part where I get cheese everywhere if I am impatient and do not wait for the cheese to melt.)  Heat the other side until the filling is cooked through.

Roasted Corn Something-or-Other
2 ears sweet corn, husks removed and cooked on the grill
2 red peppers, sliced and roasted on the grill, then diced
1 green pepper, roasted on the grill, then diced
2 large tomatoes, roasted on grill, diced **
1 large onion, halved and roasted on grill, diced
1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
1 T. adobo sauce from chipotle peppers (optional - adds a strong kick of heat)
a couple dashes of hot pepper sauce
Penzey's Adobo Seasoning

**FYI on the tomatoes - you're going to want a firm tomato so you don't get tomato juice all over your grates.

I am probably one of the last people who should be educating the masses on how to grill veggies.  So go here.  And here.  Once these are grilled and given a little chance to cool down, start dicing your grilled and roasted vegetables.  For the corn, take a sharp knife and cut the kernels away from the cob.  (FYI - you can save the cobs to make the base for a corn chowder, if you are so inclined.  Which I will be.)

Chances are good that the corn will cut off in cute, little slabs.  You don't necessarily want this, so go ahead and dig in with your (clean) hands to break them up and incorporate them with the rest of the veggies.  This is also where you'll add some regular cherry tomatoes - which is optional ... I added them for texture and color.  And because I love tomatoes.  Sprinkle liberally with salt and whatever Mexican-esque seasoning you have in the house.  (Plain ol' cumin is a good choice, maybe some chili pepper.)  At this point, the salad would be good as-is, but if you're craving a little heat, we added some adobo sauce from the chipotle pepper can and a little bit of hot pepper sauce. 

We ate ours on the warm side, but this is going to taste fabulous after it's spent some time in the fridge and melding all the tastes together. 

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