Esquites – Mexican street food at its best!

Esquites

I was recently introduced to Esquites (Mexican Corn Salad) by my daughter who was visiting from New York. One evening, she agreed to make a side dish for dinner, and while I was preparing the salmon for the main course, I couldn’t help but be wowed by the colorful corn salad she was preparing.

Esquites are kernals of corn slathered with mayonnaise, crumbled cheese, lemon juice, chili powder and cilantro – usually served in cups by Mexican street vendors. “Spicy, crunchy, creamy” are words that can be used to best describe this dish. It worked perfectly with my salmon, but would also be great as a side for a barbeque.

You can use either fresh or frozen corn for this dish, but I can tell you right up front that using fresh corn is the best. I like to char my corn a bit as I cook in on the stovetop, however you can just cook it normally.

For part of the year, I live very close to the Mexican border, in fact, so close that if I’m not careful heading south on the freeway, I might wind up crossing over into Tijuana! Due to my love of Mexican food, I recently took a tour of various Tijuana street food vendors- I tasted tacos stuffed with mariscos (sea food), tostadas topped with ceviche, tortas stuffed with cheese and finely sliced roast beef (and even ice cream served at a shop next to a Sam’s Club) but no Esquites! However, it doesn’t matter since I am now able to make my own!

Interviewing an owner of a Tijuana street food outlet: “What, no esquites for sale?”

 

 

 

 

 

Esquites (Mexican Corn Salad)
Serves 4
A spicy, crunch and creamy corn salad- from south of the border!
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 cups corn, fresh or frozen
  2. 2 tbsp cooking oil
  3. 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  4. 1-2 garlic cloves, diced
  5. ½ cup scallion greens (green part of spring onions)
  6. Juice from 1 lime
  7. ½ jalapeno, seeded and diced
  8. ½ cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
  9. 2 oz cotija cheese (or feta cheese)
  10. 2 tsp chili powder, to taste
  11. chili flakes, to taste
  12. salt to taste
Instructions
  1. If using fresh corn, remove the corn kernels from the cobs (using about 4 cobs). Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add the corn kernels and stir occasionally until the corn turns golden brown or slightly charred. Alternatively, prepare frozen corn according to directions on package.
  2. Transfer corn to a large bowl, add remaining ingredients and adjust seasoning according to taste. Garnish with a slice of lime and several pieces of whole cilantro (coriander). Serve warm or cold.
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/

Pumpkin Bourbon Pecan Pie

 

 

Pie (1 of 1) (1 of 1)

Salsipuedes, Baja California

Last week, I went on a drive from San Diego to Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico and stopped at a beautiful spot called Salsipuedes, located about 60 miles south of the U.S. border. This spot has beautiful cliffs and stunning coastal views – stopping for a few minutes to drink in the panorama, I wondered at the irony of the name Salsipuedes- which means “Get out, if you can!” in Spanish.

Salsipuedes

What has this got to do with my recipe for Pumpkin Bourbon Pecan Pie? Not much, except that when I sit down to eat this delicious pie, I keep on thinking, “Stop eating this, if you can!” Not an easy thing to do when pumpkin pie happens to be my favourite pie, especially when you add a splash of bourbon and some tasty pecans to the recipe.

A few tips on making the pie crust (see detailed recipe below):

  • Roll out the dough so that about 1.5 inches of dough overhangs the edge of the pie pan. Trim the edge of the dough with kitchen scissors so that one inch remains hanging over the edge.
  • Tuck the ends of the dough under to form a thicker crust edge.
  • To form the fluted edges of the pie crust, pinch the dough together using the thumb and index finger of your left hand- then push your right thumb inward to form the fluted edge.
  • Pour the pureed pumpkin mixture into the pie crust and bake until the mixture sets.

 Pie (2 of 2) (1 of 1)

 P.S. I’d love it if you’d ‘like’ my G’day Souffle’ Facebook page- it would really make my day!

Pumpkin Bourbon Pecan Pie
Serves 8
Creamy Pumpkin Pie with a splash of bourbon and topped with pecans. Makes one 10-inch pie.
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For the pie crust
  1. 2 1/2 cups (300 g) white flour
  2. 11 tbsp. (150 g) butter, cubed
  3. 1 1/2 eggs
  4. 2 - 3 tbsp. cold water
For the pumpkin pie filling
  1. 1 15-ounce canned pumpkin purée (or fresh pumpkin)
  2. ½ cup brown sugar
  3. 1 ½ cup sweetened condensed milk
  4. 1/4 cup bourbon
  5. 3 tbsp maple syrup
  6. 2 tbsp cinnamon
  7. 2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  8. 1 tsp ground cloves
  9. 1 tsp salt
  10. 5 eggs
For the pecan topping
  1. 1 cup pecan halves (approximate)
  2. 3 tbsp molasses
  3. 1 tbsp brown sugar
  4. 1 tbsp butter
To prepare the pie crust
  1. Place flour in large bowl. Add cold butter cubes and rub mixture with palms and finger tips until mixture resembles fine sand. Alternatively, place flour and butter in food processor bowl and pulse until mixture resembles texture of fine sand. (See following link for detailed instructions on how to make pie crust http://www.gdaysouffle.com/2014/01/12/quiche-lorraine-back-to-the-french-basics/).
  2. Add 1 1/2 eggs and stir until mixture starts to form a ball. If required, add 2-3 tbsps. of cold water and mix until dough hangs together in firm ball shape.
  3. Knead the dough several times on work surface and form into firm ball. Roll out the dough until it measures about 1.5 inches larger than the dimensions of your pie pan. Trim the dough using kitchen scissors so that 1 inch of dough overhangs the pie pan. Tuck the edges of the dough under at the edges and then form into fluted edges. Set the dough aside.
To make the pumpkin pie filling
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 F (190 C).
  2. In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin purée, brown sugar, condensed milk, bourbon, maple syrup, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice, cloves and salt. Stir in the eggs until combined.
  3. Place mixture in a blender and blend for 30-60 seconds until smooth. Pour mixture into prepared pie crust. Cover edges with foil and bake for 40 minutes or until edges begin to puff and center is almost set. Remove from oven.
For the pecan topping
  1. In a small saucepan, heat the molasses, brown sugar and butter until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Add the pecans and stir until they are fully coated- arrange the pecans decoratively on top of the pie and bake for a further 15 minutes until the center of the pie sets. Cool and serve or refrigerate until ready to serve.
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/