If you’re looking to add a cool and quick last-minute appetizer to your Independence Day menu, this week’s recipe for Quick Corn Salsa will be a welcome addition.
The recipe is quick because it starts with some canned shoepeg corn, but it’s packed with flavor from lots of fresh ingredients and a tangy dressing.
Canned shoepeg corn stays crisp, but this time of year, when fresh corn is abundant, I like to substitute it for the canned. You’ll need the kernels from three or four ears of corn, about four cups.
The easiest way to pre-cook the corn is to place it unhusked into the microwave and cook for about three minutes per ear, or in a 350-degree oven for 15-20 minutes.
Afterward, remove the corn and set aside until cool. Then simply pull off the husks and the silk will come off right with them.
You also can use the same method on the grill. Simply grill the corn for a total of 20 minutes, turning every five minutes, and then set aside until cool enough to remove the husks and silk.
I like to whisk up some homemade lime vinaigrette for the salsa, but in a pinch you can add the juice of half a lime and half a teaspoon of chili powder to one-third cup of store-bought vinaigrette to substitute for the homemade dressing.
Add a pound of steamed or grilled shrimp to the salsa for a heartier salad for lunch. The salsa is also delicious spooned over grilled chicken or fish.
You can vary the salad by substituting a can of black-eyed peas or black beans for one of the cans of corn. Or, you can add a can of drained sliced black olives to the salsa.
QUICK CORN SALSA
2 cans shoepeg corn, drained
2 large, ripe tomatoes, cored and diced
2 green onions, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/3 cup fresh lime juice, about 1½ limes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Tortilla or corn chips, for serving.
Combine the corn, tomatoes, onions, jalapeno and cilantro in a bowl.
Combine the lime juice, olive oil, chili powder and brown sugar in another bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir into the corn mixture.
Chill for several hours before serving. Serve with the tortilla or corn chips.
Makes about 3 cups of salsa.