Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Mexican Corn & Blackbean Salad with Coffee Chipotle Mayonnaise

Mexican Corn & Black Bean Salad

This recipe is an adaptation from the infamous Mexican food heavyweight Enrique Olvera. He’ll be gracing our shores for the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival in March next year and to celebrate his impending masterclass debut he kindly shared a corn recipe. A dish that he has become rather famous for. Said recipe calls for chicanta – that’s ground ants for you and I. While I definitely consider myself an adventurous eater I’ve had many a brief and torrid encounters with ants in my lemonade/ribbon sandwich/culinary picnic item of choice in the great outdoors over the years and ants are not for me. I’m being grossly presumptuous and assuming they are not for you either so I’ve swapped in chipotle into the mayonnaise instead. For the authenticity slaves among us, the original recipe is up verbatim on the blog. With this version I’ve no doubt bastardized a Mexican street food favourite but with the addition of black beans, coriander and avocado, this salad tastes great and won’t see you running around headless at specialty food stores asking where they might stock the dried ants.

425g corn, husks removed, quartered
250g baby corn
1 bunch coriander, washed, roughly chopped
1 avocado, deseeded, roughly chopped
1 450g tin black beans, drained
1 red onion, finely sliced

1 egg yolk
20g Dijon mustard
250 ml vegetable oil
20g finely ground coffee
5g chipotle powder (ground dried chipotle chillies)
1 tbspn lime juice, strained
1 tbspn salt

Add the egg yolk and mustard to a bowl. Whisk until they emulsify. Drizzle in the oil while whisking continually until a mayonnaise texture is achieved. Add the coffee, chipotle and lime-juice. Season with salt to taste and refrigerate until serving.

Char grill the corn pieces until cooked to your liking, starting with the quartered corn as this will take longer to cook and adding the baby corn for the last few minutes of cooking. Smear the mayonnaise over the corn, basting and turning the corn pieces until coated, reserving some of the mayonnaise for serving.

Place the coriander, avocado, black beans and onion in a large salad bowl and toss gently to combine. Add the corn and serve warm with the extra mayonnaise.

For more info on the festival you should check out the website and get in quick. The events sell out at lightening speed. I already have an unhealthy shortlist of chefs I'd love to see.

Here is the original recipe for the corn dish of Enrique's. If anyone knows where in Sydney we can get fried ants, please let me know, I really would like to try this dish using the original recipe. Also if anyone makes this, please do let me know how you get on.

*** Update on the Ants. Evidently green ants are part of our indigenous cuisine. Thanks to our friendly reader Claire, aboriginals include green ants with a tart and quite citrus flavour profile to food. Thanks Claire and if anyone finds out how we can get our hands on some ants let us know and I'll update the post.

|  SERVES 4  |


12 ears baby corn, cleaned

1 egg yolk
20g Dijon mustard
250 ml vegetable oil
20g finely ground coffee
5g ground chicatana ant
1 Tbspn lime juice, strained
1 Tbspn salt

totomoztle SALT

4 dried Totomoztle corn husks
1 Tbspn water
250g Colima salt


1 baby corn recipe
60g chicatana mayonnaise
4g totomoztle salt
1 Tbspn totomoztle


Roast corn ears on a comal griddle over medium heat until cooked and browned. Skewer ears on a small wooden stick and keep hot.

Beat egg yolks and mustard until they emulsify. Drizzle in oil while beating until the proper mayonnaise texture is achieved. Add coffee and ground ant, lime juice and salt. Keep refrigerated.

Moisten dried corn husk in warm water until it becomes flexible. Add water to the salt until a pasty consistency is achieved. Remove the husk from the water and fill it with the salt mix; close the husk tamale-style. Bake at 160˚C for 45 minutes to an hour, until salt is compacted. Remove the husk, crumble the salt and set aside.

Spread chicatana mayonnaise on the baby corn ears; dust with a bit of salt. Fill the lec gourd recipient with totomoztle husks.

With a smoking pipe/gun—lit and filled with totomoztle—fill the lec with smoke, add three ears baby corn, re-cover the lec and serve immediately. Repeat for the three remaining lecs.

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