Posts Tagged 'corn'

BBQ Chicken Salad

When I was on Martha Stewart Living’s Everyday Food Radio Program today talking to host Betsy Karetnick talking about Summertime Salad Suppers, this tasty salad came to mind. 

With the grilled chicken, black bean & corn salsa, and sliced avocados, this salad satisfies as a main course without being too heavy.  It is the perfect summer time meal!

I like to make the black bean & corn salsa and the buttermilk dressing in advance, so when dinner time comes around…I can just sit on my back porch and enjoy the summer evening while my chicken is grilling.


BBQ Chicken Salad with Black Bean and Corn Salsa
From Simply Salads by Jennifer Chandler

Cowboys look out! This salad combines the best of the Southwest all in one dish.

For the Black Bean and Corn Salsa:
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, cooked as per package directions, drained, and cooled
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
1/2 red onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the Buttermilk Ranch Dressing:
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon sour cream
1/4 teaspoon cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the salad:
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
3/4 cup your favorite BBQ Sauce
1 bag (12 ounces) American or Romaine salad blend
2 ripe avocados, halved, pit removed, peeled, and thinly sliced
2 cups tortilla chips

For the Black Bean and Corn Salsa:
Combine the black beans, corn, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, red onion, cilantro, oil, vinegar, and cayenne in a medium-size mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 1 day in advance.

For the Buttermilk Ranch Dressing:
In a small bowl whisk together the buttermilk, mayonnaise, sour cream, cider vinegar, garlic, mustard, thyme, and chives.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the salad:
Place the chicken breasts in a large bowl and coat with BBQ sauce.  Cover and marinate in a refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Heat a clean grill to medium-high.  Season the marinated chicken with salt and pepper.  Grill until no longer pink in the middle, 6 to 8 minutes per side.  Remove the chicken from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes.

Divide the salad blend equally among the individual plates.  Drizzle with the dressing to taste.  Arrange on top a generous spoonful of the black bean and corn salsa, the sliced avocados, tortilla chips, and a chicken breast.  Serve immediately.

Makes 4 dinner salads.

Cooking Tip:  The black bean and corn slaw is such a versatile…and tasty… condiment.  Serve as a dip with chips, serve it with fajitas, or bring it to a barbecue as a side dish.

Crawfish Boil

Peel ‘um, Eat ‘um and Suck the Heads!

Crawfish is probably the one ingredient that most Americans associate with Cajun cooking. Once deemed a poor man’s food from the swamp waters of Southern Louisiana, these little lobster-like crustaceans were a treat that local fisherman enjoyed only at home.  It wasn’t until they were specially featured at the Breaux Bridge Centennial Celebration in the early 1960s that crawfish gained widespread social acceptance. Once the world discovered the sweet, tasty meat of the so nicknamed “mudbug,” they started showing up not only in backyard boiling pots but also on restaurant tables.  Due to their rise in popularity, crawfish are now commercially farmed throughout the South.

Crawfish boils where guests “peel ‘um, eat ‘um and suck the heads” are one of the most popular ways to enjoy this Cajun treat. Live crawfish are boiled in a spicy mixture of garlic, onions, corn cobs, new potatoes and the all important cayenne pepper. The finished product is dumped on a platter or a table covered with newspaper and guests eat the tasty meat of the crawfish tails and then suck the spicy juices from the head.

Crawfish season runs roughly from Mardi Gras (mid-February) through June.  Call your local seafood wholesaler or ask your grocer’s seafood manager to order it for you in advance.

Don’t let crawfish season pass you by without “sucking the head and eating the tail” of at least one (or in my case several dozen) mudbugs!


Crawfish Boil

Serves 15 to 20

30 pounds live crawfish (one sack)
2 cups salt for purging
2 (3 oz.) boxes crab boil seasoning
10 small onions, peeled and halved
2 pounds sliced Andouille sausage
5 pounds small red or new potatoes, unpeeled
4 heads garlic, sliced in half
10 ears of fresh corn-on-the-cob, shucked and broken in halves 

To purge the crawfish, place them in a large plastic tub or a large ice chest and rinse them in enough changes of water for the water to run reasonably clear. Then add more water to cover the crawfish and add 2 cups of salt. Stir for 3 minutes, then rinse crawfish. Keep the cleaned and drained crawfish uncovered until ready to cook.

Fill a large 18 to 20 gallon pot three-quarters full.  Add the crab boil seasoning. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Boil 2 to 3 minutes to allow the spices to mix well.

Using a large wire basket that fits into the pot, add the onions, sausage, potatoes, garlic, and corn. Maintain a boil and cook 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Add the crawfish to the wire basket, stirring them a bit.  Cook an additional 7 to 10 minutes, being careful not to overcook the crawfish. Remove the wire basket from pot.

To serve, line a table with newspaper. Lift the basket from the stock and drain. Dump the basket ingredients directly on newspaper.

Note: Be sure to have plenty of paper towels and beer on hand!

Cooking Tip: Leftover crawfish can be peeled and the meat frozen to be later used in dishes such as Crawfish Etouffee, Crawfish Pies, and Seafood Gumbo.

Photo by Natalie Root Photography. Styled by Jennifer Chandler.

Blackened Swordfish with Fresh Corn and Tomato Relish

Serves 4

4 1-inch thick swordfish steaks
4 tbsp. blackening seasoning
1 tbsp. olive oil
4 ears of corn, shucked and kernels removed
2 large tomatoes, chopped
¼ cup minced fresh basil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat a clean grill to medium-high.

Season swordfish steaks with blackening seasoning. 

In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil until warm.  Add the corn and tomatoes.  Sauté, stirring occasionally until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Remove from the heat and stir in the basil.  Keep warm.

Place swordfish on the grill and cook until medium, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. 

Serve warm garnished with the relish.

Jennifer Chandler

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