Esquites Mexican Street Corn Salad

Esquites: Mexican Street Corn Salad

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This esquites corn salad is our way of paying homage to Mexico and its vibrant cuisine on the day of the country’s most significant holiday, Cinco de Mayo.

Our version of esquites should be treated as more of a ‘dip’ rather than a salad, and is best served with piles and piles of crunchy tortilla chips. Perfect for your next (iso-)fiesta!

Ingredients (Serves 4)

For the corn:
  • 6 large corn cobs
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 bunch oregano, leaves picked, stems reserved
  • 1/2 bunch coriander, leaves picked, stems reserved
  • 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Fine sea salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • Chilli flakes, to garnish

For the whipped feta:
  • 200 grams feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup whole egg mayonnaise
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Pinch chipotle chili powder
  • Fine sea salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper

For the coriander oil:
  • 1/2 bunch coriander, leaves only
  • 60ml extra virgin olive oil

For the Mexican Corn Salad:

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan or stock pot over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and chilli to the pan and cook for 5 minutes or until soft.

Meanwhile, remove the husk from the corn and cut off the base of each cob. Remove the kernels from 5 of the corn cobs and reserve two of the bare cobs to add to the stock pot later.

Add the corn kernels to the pan, stir to combine then add the bay leaves.

Finely chop both the oregano and coriander leaves, then place them into the pan along with the Mexican oregano.

Add the stock and the reserved corn cobs to the pan, then use some butcher twine to tie the oregano and cilantro stems together to create a bouquet garni. Then add the bouquet garni to the pan as well.

Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat then let everything bubble away uncovered for 30-40 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a fry pan over a high heat and char the remaining corn cob on all sides, until most of the kernels have blackened. Remove the charred cob from the pan and allow to cool. Once the charred cob has cooled, remove the kernels from the cob as well and set aside to use as garnish.

For the Whipped Feta:

Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend until the mixture is completely incorporated and smooth.

Taste, season with salt and pepper then set aside to use as garnish.

For the Coriander Oil:

Place both the coriander and olive oil into a food processor, a blender, or even into a mortar and pestle, and blend or grind the ingredients until the oil turns vibrant green and everything is well combined.

Set aside to use as garnish.

Assembling the Corn Salad:

Remove the corn from the heat then take the cobs, bouquet garni and bay leaves out of the saucepan. Stir the butter into the pan along with the lime juice, taste, then season with salt and pepper as you see fit.

Use a ladle to dish the kernels and some of the delicious corn stock into individual serving bowls. Drizzle the whipped feta on top of the Esquites, followed by the coriander oil. Top with chilli flakes, some of the charred kernels and serve with tortilla chips.

The corn kernels and it’s broth are delicious served on it’s own, and feel free to omit the butter if you would like to make the dish vegan-friendly.

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