Tuesday, July, 7, 2015: Corn Gorditas, Nopales Salad and Calabacitas by Chef Jeff Smedstad


Gorditas de Elote
If you love corn, and if you don't why are you reading this book, these are a wonder fresh corn encased in corn dough. It sounds like some fancy chef doing his exploration of one ingredient but these are just damn good crispy cakes. Careful when frying as corn likes to “pop” when frying even when fresh, I have the scars to prove it.

2 cups masa
2 cups freshly cut corn
2 tbsp buttermilk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp maseca

In bowl knead together everything except the cut corn until smooth like playdough and not sticky, depending on your masa you may have to add more butter milk or maseca as needed. Form a quick ptty and if the edges are smooth not cracked you are there then as gently as you can mix in the corn without squishing the kernenel so not to release all the liquid and make your dough too wet. Form them into chocolate chip cookie size patties 2 to 3 tablespoons of dough and set aside on wax paper sheets.  Using a deep thick skillet heat 2 inches of corn oil to about 340 and fry the patties for 2 minutes on each side, check your first one by breaking it in 1/2 and see if there is raw dough, if so fry a little longer.

Nopales Salad

2 cups nopales, shaved of all spines rinsed then coated with oil and grilled or broiled until cooked through and slightly browned or charred then cut into strips and chilled
2 cups or a good handful of field greens
1 meduim tomato diced
1 poblano chile, roasted peeled seeded and diced
2 pickled jalapenos sliced
1/2 cup diced red onion
1 cup roughly crumbled queso fresco

1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp lime juice 
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
in a large bowl mix up dressing then add sald components and mix well, makes enough for 4 to 6 salads

Although I have had this dish may times, I will always be amazed at what you can do with the humble zucchini always cheap and plentiful this dish may be part of a budget meal with some roast chicken and beans but with proper care it will always be a memorable meal.

2 cups diced zucchini
1/4 cup onion diced
1 smashed and chopped clove of garlic
1 cup corn
1/2 cup tomato diced
1/2 cup roasted peeled and diced poblano chile
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp oregano
1/4 cup olive oil

In a large skillet over medium high heat add oil and garlic saute for about a minute then add zucchini and corn and cook stirring from time to time until lightly browned then add remaining ingredients and cook until slightly thickened about 5 minutes again stirring occasionally. It is now ready to serve or you can gussy it up a bit by putting it in a casserole and topping with some crushed corn chips along with some crumbled queso fresco and cotija cheese as well. I would then run it under your broiler for a minute or so until browned.