When corn is its sweetest, Tasting Table's resident chef, Dave Kirschner, likes to give it the Mexican street-style treatment, charring the cobs on the grill and then slathering them with crema, cotija cheese, lime and chile.
That was the initial inspiration for his eclectic summer party dip, but Kirschner took it on a trip around the world.
Instead of grilling, he sautéed the corn kernels with shallots and garlic, then puréed them in a food processor with roasted jalapeños. And instead of crema and cotija cheese, he added some salty Italian Pecorino Romano, and finished off the dip with tomatoes, lime juice and tarragon.
Serve it with tortilla or pita chips, or your favorite raw vegetables.
Corn Dip with Pecorino Romano and Roasted Jalapeño
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 3 cups
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
3 jalapeños, halved and seeded
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
5 ears corn, shucked, kernels cut off (set-aside ½ cup of the kernels to use for garnish)
1 large shallot, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup water
1½ cups sour cream
1½ cups diced tomatoes, divided
1 cup grated Pecorino Romano
Juice from 2 limes
⅛ teaspoon smoked paprika
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons chopped tarragon, divided
1. Set the oven to broil. In a small mixing bowl, toss the jalapeños with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Transfer to a baking sheet and broil until the skin begins to blister, about 1 minute. Remove from the oven and set aside.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and cook until just soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until the garlic has softened, about a minute. Add the corn and sauté until cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes. Season the corn mixture with salt and pepper. Remove 1 cup of the corn mixture and set aside to cool. Add the water to the remaining ingredients in the pan to deglaze. Transfer the mixture to a food processor. Add the roasted jalapeños and blend for 2 minutes until smooth. Set aside to cool.
3. Whisk together the sour cream, the reserved sautéed corn and jalapeño-corn purée until well mixed. Add 1 cup of the tomatoes, Pecorino Romano cheese, lime juice, smoked paprika, cayenne and 1 tablespoon of the tarragon. Season with salt and mix. Transfer dip to refrigerator for at least an hour before serving, to let the flavors meld together.
4. Use the leftover ingredients to make a slaw: Combine the remaining tomatoes, tarragon, ½ cup of the raw corn and ¼ cup of the olive oil. When ready to serve, sprinkle the tomato-corn relish on top of the dip. Serve with tortilla chips, crispy pita or your favorite raw vegetables.