Simply a-maizing corn recipes

Simply a-maizing corn recipes

You'll be surprised how much Mexican cuisine depends on the humble corn. Here's looking at some top picks that incorporate it!

By Recipes by: Manuel Antonio, Head Chef, ZOCO Dubai, Al Habtoor City

Published: Thu 15 Mar 2018, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Wed 21 Mar 2018, 12:52 PM

Quinoa Salad
Serves: 4
Prep time: 25 mins
240 gm quinoa
Water, as required
Salt, as required
240 gm mixed salad
400 gm avocado
100 gm black beans, canned
60 gm sweet corn
50 gm corn tortillas
200 gm orange, supremed
For the dressing:
40 ml rice vinegar
120 ml orange juice
120 ml olive oil
4 gm salt
2 gm black pepper
For the dressing: mix all the ingredients in a blender and season well.
For the salad: boil the quinoa in water with salt, for around 15 minutes; strain and allow to cool.
Cut the tortillas in julienne and fry until crispy. Mix all the salad ingredients together with the dressing, except for the tortillas and avocado.
Arrange the salad on a plate, topped with tortilla and avocado.
Chef Manuel: "We like to play with sweet and sour flavours in this dish (that's the orange and corn, respectively). This salad has a variety of different textures: the softness of the cheese and avocado and the crispness of the tortilla. not to mention, the benefits of quinoa for good health."

Tacos Dorados
Serves: 5
Prep time: 25 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
250 gm chicken breast
Salt to taste
15 corn tortillas
600 gm avocado
150 gm cherry tomato, quartered
150 gm red onion, sliced
300 gm sour cream
250 gm Parmesan cheese
300 gm Mesclun lettuce
100 gm lime
For the tacos: boil the chicken until soft and shredded; season with salt.
Make a roll with the tortillas with the chicken inside; use toothpicks to keep closed, and fry.
Make a guacamole with half the avocado and slice up the other half.
Place the crispy tacos in a plain plate and top with the sour cream, Parmesan cheese, lettuce, sliced avocado, tomato and red onion, seasoning the salad with a little salt and a drizzle of lime. Serve with guacamole and sour cream on the side.
Chef Manuel: "This is one of my favourite antojitos (street foods) from Mexico, because it reminds me of when my mom would cook for me. It is one of the most popular dishes for kids, but adults can enjoy it too. The taquitos (rolled-up tacos) are delicious when you mix them with avocado and sour cream. This recipe is delicious but can be a headache for a mom with a big family - like in my cousin's house, where his mother cooks for eight large men who would need over 100 taquitos for dinner!"
Tamales De Elotes
Serves: 6
Prep time: 45 mins
Cook time: 1.5 hrs
500 gm lamb shoulder
Selection of herbs (epazote, cilantro, thyme)
25 pc fresh corn (elotes)
300 gm butter
200 ml milk
For the sauce:
500 gm tomato
100 gm onion
75 gm guajillo chili
25 gm poblano (ancho chile pepper)
100 ml beef stock/ water
10 gm garlic
4 gm epazote (wormseed)
4 gm salt
2 gm black pepper
For the garnish:
10 gm corn kernels
5 gm corn smut (huitlacoche)
10 gm corn hair
15 gm Akawi cheese, diced
5 gm Serrano chili, sliced
300 gm corn leaves, cut into squares
For the sauce: grill the tomato until soft, the onion until it's a little burnt, and the chilies until they release aroma.
Blend with the stock, garlic, epazote, salt and black pepper.
For the filling: boil the lamb shoulder with some herbs (epazote, cilantro, thyme), shred and season with salt.
For the tamales, carefully take the leaf of the corn (cutting the base of the cob to make it easy) and place it in warm water for 10 minutes.
Using a knife, take out the kernels from the cob and blend with the milk. Do not over-blend or the mix may get too sour.
Add the mix to a bowl and mix with melted butter, seasoning with salt.
Dry the corn leaf and use in pairs to make a long rectangle, one on top of the other.
Place the corn mix in the middle, one spoon of lamb meat and 2 spoons of sauce; fold and steam for 45 min, then remove and allow to cool.
For the garnish, sauté the corn kernel with the huitlacoche. Fry the corn hair for a few seconds (careful not to burn it).
Serve the tamales, garnished with the mentioned ingredients.
Chef Manuel: "We use practically every part of the corn in this recipe: the leaf, kernels, corn flour, huitlacoche (referred to as our Mexican caviar; it has a beautiful flavour) - even corn hair. I love tamales because the recipe is one of the oldest in Mexico. It reminds me of my culture and the magic of the people in Mesoamerica, who've been able to make this plant such a huge part of their lives."

Mole Verde
Serves: 4
Prep time: 1 hr
Cook time: 1.5 hrs
500 gm beef ribs
2 L + 80 ml water
Assorted herbs
150 gm corn flour
50 gm butter
5 gm epazote
Salt to taste
250 gm green tomato
50 gm white onion
150 gm corn tortilla
1 serrano chili
1 Habanero chili
10 gm garlic
20 gm fresh coriander
20 gm Romaine lettuce
Black pepper to taste
250 gm corn
250 gm green beans
400 gm steamed white rice
Boil the meat in water with some herbs until tender and shredded.
For the chochoyotes (masa balls): mix the corn flour with 80 ml water until you get a soft dough. Add the butter and epazote (use freshly chopped coriander, if you don't have epazote). Season with salt, and make small balls with this masa; use your finger to make a hole in the centre. Set aside.
For the sauce: grill the tomato until soft, the onion until a little burnt, and the tortillas until crispy. Brown the serrano and habanero a little (deseed if you don't want it spicy).
Blend all the grilled ingredients with the garlic, coriander, romaine lettuce and epazote, using some of the beef stock from the boiled meat; season with salt and black pepper.
For the Mole verde: mix the green sauce with the remaining beef stock; add the shredded beef, half the corn and green beans. Boil and reduce heat to low, simmering for about 10 minutes. Seasoning well with salt and black pepper.
Add the masa balls one by one (don't place them all together as they will stick together). The dish is ready when the masa balls begin to float.
To plate, pour the mole into a soup bowl; add the rice, grilled corn, sliced habanero, some lime, fresh coriander and crispy tortilla.
Serve hot.
Chef Manuel: "This recipe uses corn throughout the process: the sauce uses corn tortillas, it is served with corn kernels, corn cob and corn masa for the chochoyotes. The recipe comes from the Huasteca region - that is before the Spanish arrived and Mexico was divided."

Pan De Elote
Serves: 4
Prep time: 10 mins
Bake time: 15 mins
For the bread base:
200 gm sweet corn
100 gm condensed milk
45 gm butter
50 gm egg
4 gm baking powder
65 gm corn flour
4 gm vanilla
4 gm cinnamon powder
4 gm salt
For the garnish:
100 gm whipping cream
100 gm baby corn
100 gm corn kernels
100 gm berries
20 gm corn hair
200 gm ice cream
Blend all the ingredients for the bread base and pour into cupcake moulds.
Bake at 180°C for 15 minutes.
Plate the pan de elote with whipping cream on top, some grilled baby corn, corn kernels, berries, and fried corn hair. Serve with vanilla ice cream (or ice cream of your choice).
Chef Manuel: "The best thing about corn is that it is delicious salty, sour or sweet. A lot of corn is used in this recipe: whole corn in the bread base, the hair of corn, corn kernels and baby corn for presentation. Combine them together for a gastronomic surprise!"

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