Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Corn with Green Onion Oil Recipe

Many of you probably don't know this about me but I have an obsession, literally an obsession, with grilled corn.  My obsession started in China when street vendors with little portable charcoal grills would set up outside bars and sell skewers of grilled meat and vegetables to the waiting crowds.  I'm not sure exactly what the blend of spices was that they sprinkled over the meat, but boy was it phenomenal.  Ever since I tried their version of grilled corn I have been on the lookout for new grilled corn recipes to add to my repertoire.  This dish was adapted from a recipe I saw on Momofuku for 2 (which is an absolutely amazing food blog based out of Vancouver).  As always, I decided to play with the recipe a little bit and adapt it to my tastes.  I didn't have a red chili, so I used a jalapeno instead.  And then I wanted to throw in some cilantro because I just love cilantro.  After the experience with the fried corn at the New Amsterdam Market, I decided to try to pan-roast/pan-fry the corn in a cast iron skillet in some grapeseed oil.  I chose grapeseed oil because it has a high smoke point and also because I wanted an oil with a completely neutral flavor.

The green onion oil that goes with this corn is fabulous.  The fish sauce gave it just the right amount of salt and flavor to complement the fresh flavors of the scallion and cilantro, and the very slight heat from the jalapeno.  Combined with the sweet corn it was just fantastic.  In the future I will probably cut the kernels off the corncobs so that the green onion oil is more evenly distributed through the corn.  With the corn on the cob, there were patches where the oil really stuck and gave the corn great flavor and then there were patches where the oil with the green onions and cilantro slid right off.  I didn't want to cut the kernels off this time because I didn't want to take the time and risk the corn getting cold (plus it's just a pain to do), but I will just suck it up in the future because this recipe is totally worth it.  So I'm writing the recipe like I did cut the kernels off, but you can grill it whole instead of pan-roasting the kernels if that's your thing.

Recipe after the jump!

Grilled Corn with Green Onion Oil Recipe
Adapted from Momofuku for 2

2 ears of corn, kernels removed with a sharp knife (about 1 cup corn kernels)
1/4 cup grapeseed oil, plus 1 tbsp, separated
1 bunch of green onions, green and white parts, thinly sliced
1 jalapeno, finely diced (including seeds)
2 tsp fish sauce
2 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped

Heat up 1/4 cup oil in a small deep sauce pot over medium-high heat until the oil is hot and shimmering, but not smoking.  Move the pot off the burner and add the green onions and jalapeno.  Be careful because the oil will spit and splatter once you add the scallions!  Stir in the fish sauce.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.  Add 1 tbsp grapeseed oil.  Add the corn kernels.  Cook the corn, stirring occasionally, until the corn kernels turn golden and tender, about 5 minutes.  Add the green onion oil while the corn is still hot.  Toss to combine.  Add cilantro and stir to combine.

Serve immediately.

** NOTE:  If you want to grill the corn, heat the grill at heat medium-high with the rack about 4 inches from the fire.  Put corn on the grill and cook until the kernels begin to char, about 5 minutes, then turn it over. Continue cooking and turning until all sides are slightly blackened.

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