12 February 2016
This week’s request comes from my friend, Damielou, who – surprise, surprise! – is yet another vlogger. She also happens to be a very talented singer, songwriter and musician. If that sounds like something you’d be interested in, I recommend checking out Damielou’s YouTube channel.
But getting back to the topic of food; Damielou’s request was almost as vague as last weeks’ was, being “something with Avocado in it”. However, this time I had some inside knowledge: Damielou has recently turned vegetarian.
With this now ruling out a rather large portion of potential edibles, I thought up something that everybody can enjoy, because it’s also 100% vegan! (but don’t let that put you off)
1 large avocado (ripe, but firm)
1 corn on the cob (husk removed)
½ Spanish onion, diced finely
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp chilli powder
Juice of 1 lime
White corn tortillas (optional)
When I say that the avocado should be “ripe, but firm”, that’s exactly what I mean. If this seems to be a contradiction (or you don’t know how to determine the ripeness of an avocado), allow me to elaborate. Step 1: Place the avocado in the palm of your hand. Step 2: Wrap your fingers around the avocado and gently press with the length of your fingers against your palm. If you feel no resistance and the avocado is soft, then it may be overripe. This means that it could potentially be brown if you cut it open, but either way it’ll just turn to mush when you try to stir the salsa together. If it’s solid as a rock, this means it’s not ripe for eating yet. You’ll probably have issues cutting this up, and it’ll be crunchy and unpleasant. If you feel it give way with a hint of resistance, this is EXACTLY the avocado you’ll want for this recipe! Firm enough to peel and dice, but soft and creamy enough to eat.
Spanish onion is my preference here. If you can’t get this, I’ll suggest either a half Tuscan red onion or a shallot. If neither of these options are available, then a white onion can suffice. Or even some baby radishes could work if you’d prefer.
You can swap the chilli powder for cayenne pepper, however they are essentially the same product (both are made by grinding dried chillis). If you’re looking for a milder alternative, use sweet or smokey paprika (which is also a ground dried chilli, but not as hot).
The tortillas are optional because it’s a matter of preference when serving. I’ll cover this more at the end of the recipe.
1. Place the diced onion into a large bowl along with the lime juice and a generous pinch of salt. Mix together until the onion is coated with the lime juice, then place aside until needed. (TIP: The longer you leave it, the better. The lime juice will soften the onion and mellow the flavour, while the salt will draw out the onion juices. This is called ‘steeping’ or ‘macerating’ and can be done up to 24 hours beforehand if you’re busy.)
2. In a bowl, mix together the chilli powder, olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Use a pastry brush to brush the spiced oil over the corn until well coated.
3. Fry the corn whole in a dry pan over medium-high heat, rotating every 2 minutes to ensure it is cooked on all sides (takes approx. 10-12 minutes) before removing it from the pan and allowing to cool completely. (The corn may burn here and there, but that’s the “chargrilled” element of the salsa. You could do this on a barbecue also.)
4. Use a sharp knife to remove the corn kernels from the cob. (Stand the corn up, and hold the top while slicing downwards against the cob.)
5. Stir the corn into the onion and lime juice mixture and place aside until needed again.
6. Peel the avocado and dice into smallish chunks, then mix with the corn and onion.
7. Transfer to a serving dish and top with some more olive oil, salt, and chilli powder.
8. Serve with some storebought tortilla chips, OR…
9. Heat some oil in a pan over medium-high heat and fry the optional white corn tortillas for 1-2 minutes on each side or until browned, then drain on some paper towels and serve with the salsa. (The type of oil isn’t really important, and you can either shallow fry or deep fry.)
A video of this recipe is also available at - https://youtu.be/kXSFvxzOrFU.
If you have a recipe to request, it's not too late! Please send me an email and I'll see what I can do.