Monday, August 15, 2011

Mexican Corn Chowder w/ Sweet Potato + Black Bean Quesadillas

One of my favorite things in the world is a dish known as elote con mayonesa. It's Mexican street food at its best: boiled corn brushed with mayo, then sprinkled with cotija cheese, chili salt, and a squeeze of lime. I developed this chowder recipe with the same flavor combination. We really, really enjoyed it. This is something I will make again and again.

Corn Chowder:

8 ears of corn (boiled, cooled, and kernels removed)
1 onion (diced)
4 cups vegetable broth
1 chipotle pepper (minced
3 cloves garlic (smashed)
olive oil
chili salt (equal parts ancho chili powder and salt)
cilantro leaves
cotija cheese
lime wedges

Over medium high heat, sweat the onion in a few tablespoons of olive oil. Once the onion starts to brown, add the broth, pepper, and 3/4 of the corn kernels. Heat through and then blend smooth with an immersion blender. Strain the solid parts out of the soup using a mesh sieve. Return soup to the pot and add the remaining corn. Ladle some into a bowl and top with a sprinkle if chili salt, a touch of cotija cheese, a few cilantro leaves, and a squeeze of lime.

Sweet Potato + Black Bean Quesadillas:

1 large sweet potato (baked until tender)
1/2 onion (diced and rinsed in cold water)
1 cup prepared black beans
1 small chipotle chili (minced)
1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves (chopped)
1/2 lime (juiced)
2 large wheat tortillas
olive oil
chili salt (mix equal parts ancho chili powder and salt)

Mash sweet potato with a fork and divide between two tortillas. Toss onion, beans, chili, cilantro, and lime juice together in a large bowl. Sprinkle mixture over sweet potato spread. Add chili salt to taste. Fold tortilla in half and brush with a tiny bit of olive oil. Grill in a frying pan over medium heat until lightly browned. Cut in half and serve with corn chowder.