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Readers to the Rescue — Sweet Corn Challenge

We knew Patch readers were awesome, but we didn't know you could solve all our culinary problems — that'll teach us!

A few weeks ago I asked Patch readers for inspiration on how to use an over-abundance of jalapenos from our container garden.

Now I know where to go for cooking advice!

Here and among our Patch friends in Connecticut, I received a bumper crop of fantastic ideas, everything from mango red pepper salad recipe to homemade hot sauce ideas — even a tip for making the perfect flavored vodka for what promises to be an insanely good bloody mary.

I asked to get out of my fresh salsa rut and now I have more ideas than time, a great problem to have. (As soon as I see September hovering in the distance all I want to do is swim, not cook. I curse all really hot days until I spy the school supply lists waiting on the side of the fridge or start thinking about bus schedules. Then all I want to do is soak up the sunshine.)

Either way, having the peppers within arm's reach means incorporating jalapenos into so many more dishes. 

Yesterday I chopped one into leftover salt potatoes for a quick breakfast hash. 

Saute a small onion in a little olive oil and pat of butter and then add potatoes, cubed, and some cherry tomatoes. Cook until potatoes are nicely browned and heated through. Toss in jalapeno toward the end to taste. Never foresake leftover potatoes — I always think they are better the second time around anyway.

I'm also sharing a photo of my homemade salsa. I couldn't help myself. So easy to make. I'll get it together soon for more complicated things.

If you've never made your own salsa, definitely try. I throw in whatever I have around — cherry tomatoes, roma, beefsteak, peaches, corn, beans, whatever. (Try incorporating fresh fava beans, amazing.) I just like to retain the basic trinity of crunchy raw onion, hot pepper and cilantro as a base. Don't worry about perfection, just a great foil for a salty tortilla chip.

This week, let's talk sweet corn.

It's not going to be around forever, so we better get cooking — and freezing.

Lisa Buchman, our Bedford-Katonah Patch editor, shared a lovely black bean, sweet corn and avocado salad with me the other night. I'm going to ask her to share the receipe in the comments on Monday. And I know there are a a zillion other recipes out there.

Do you have the best one?

Anything to suggest besides mass freezing, both on and off the cob?

Let's go beyond the basics this summer. I swear I will really cook this week if you will. Pinky promise.

I want to try homemade arepa de choclo — Columbian sweet corn fritters — while dreaming of the queso fresco I'll put on top. (Where to buy the best?)

Maybe I'll also press my Chilean-by-marriage friend into service for a verson of her pastel de choclo.

What are you planning for all that sweet corn?

Maria Reina August 07, 2011 at 06:26 PM
thanks Katie ... basil works really well too!
Maria Reina August 07, 2011 at 06:28 PM
Also ... I was at the John Jay Homestead Market in Katonah yesterday. JD Farms has the most magnificent corn .. so sweet you can eat it right off the cob. They are there every Saturday, I believe!
Marie August 08, 2011 at 01:19 PM
Katie- I'm Mexican and that 'potato hash' you created is my Father's FAVORITE breakfast! He loved this with his eggs! We called it "Papita's" a pun on Papa's Potatoes. As for looking for the best queso fresco- try "La Marqueta" in Mount Kisco.(295 E. Main). Buena Suerte!
Katie Ryan O'Connor August 08, 2011 at 01:55 PM
Marie, That is so cool! Your Dad sounds awesome and thank you for the recommendation -- I'm going to head over this week!
Lisa Buchman August 08, 2011 at 05:16 PM
Thanks for the shout out for my "throw together the produce in the fridge" black bean/corn salad. Not quite that random, but it's in the spirit of this column. Chop up some red onion and whatever peppers you have: green, yellow, red, orange. Add a can of rinsed and drained black beans. Boil 4-5 ears of corn, let cool, and cut off the cob into a big bowl (you can use a bag of frozen corn in a pinch, but it's not as good). Hint: someone told me once to put the ear of corn in the middle of a bundt pan, then slice off the kernels—less mess! Works like a charm. Chop a seeded tomato and throw that in. Whisk a vinaigrette of lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper; add a pinch of cumin and a pinch of sugar. Add a generous handful of chopped cilantro and plenty of salt and pepper. If you're making the salad ahead of time, don't add the avocado until just before serving or it will brown. If you want to alter the recipe to make it less Mexican and more Italian, sub parsley, fava beans and white or red wine vinegar for the cilantro, black beans and lime juice, and omit the cumin. Perfect for bringing to a barbecue.

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