There are probably a zillion ways to commemorate the start of an exciting adventure, you can smash a champagne bottle against a boat before it sets out on its journey, you could break a coconut or you could grill, like we do. Yup, grilling has always been a way for us to inaugurate! So to celebrate summer and our home, we grilled, well we've been grilling aggressively every weekend on our terrace in a fire pit. Experimenting with new techniques and flavors but mostly, having fun doing it. Grilling is one of those cooking techniques where the possibilities are endless, from sweet to savory, there's a lot of fun stuff to do!
Sweet corn is good but if you grill it, it tastes even better. It's one of those vegetables which benefits from getting burned and charred. The kernels acquire a whole new depth of flavor when charred, now combine this with a couple of roasted poblanos and some garlic and this is one smoky yet tasty corn side. Several years ago, I got to try a Mexican dish made with roasted corn and poblano peppers in spicy cream and queso sauce. This vegan version is inspired by that delicious dish, it's got all the goodness of spice and heat yet cooling with the smooth and creamy texture of the almond creamer from Califia Farms. Grilling is what gives this dish it's characteristic flavor and it's one of those dishes to make and eat all summer long!
Here are some of tips that you mind find useful when preparing this dish;
- You'll notice I use a two-stage grilling technique here. I first cook the veggies on the grill either in their skin or in a sheet of aluminum foil. Once they're soft and tender, I let them sit on the grill directly and exposed to the fire. This method allows the veggies to cook first and then smoke and char them gently without the risk of over burning.
- Nutritional yeast also adds a nice cheese flavor to the cream. You could also add a vegan queso if you have a favorite but I haven't been too happy with the store bought ones.
- Depending on how hot you like things, you could choose to keep the seeds in the peppers or reduce the number of peppers, it's completely up to you.
fire roasted poblano and corn in almond cream
yields: 4 servings
2 ears of corn in husk
4 poblano peppers
4 cloves of garlic with skin
1 cup Califia unsweetened almond milk creamer
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon kosher sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
1/4 teaspoon toasted cumin seed powder, freshly ground
1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves
1. Place the corn in the husk over the hot grill. Place the poblano peppers and garlic cloves on a small sheet of aluminium foil and carefully, place on the grill. Cook and turn the veggies by rotating them every 5 minutes until they start to blister. The corn will start to steam in its own juices. Do this for about 20 minutes, the time might vary a little depending on how close the grill is to the source of heat, so use your judgement here. Carefully, peel the husk off the hot corn, the corn will be soft and tender inside. Place the corn ears back on the grill and allow to char evenly all over but rotating the ears every 3 minutes or so. Remove from grill and keep aside. Place the garlic cloves and poblano peppers on the grill and rotate every 3 minutes until charred. Remove from heat and keep aside. Cover the peppers in aluminum foil and allow to rest for 2 minutes.
2. Using a knife, cut the corn out by sliding the blade against the ear from bottom to top over a bowl.
3. Peel the skin off the poblano peppers and garlic. Remove the seeds from the peppers and discard. Thinly slice the poblano peppers along their length. Transfer the garlic, half of the sliced poblano peppers into a blender along with the almond creamer and nutritional yeast. Blend until smooth. Transfer to a medium-sized mixing bowl, add the corn and remaining poblano peppers. Add salt, pepper, and cumin. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with fresh cilantro and ancho chili powder. Serve at room temperature or luke warm.
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Califia Farms. However, opinions expressed are solely my own.