Saturday, January 24, 2009

Healthy Food Demonstration at The Farmer's Market

Fresh Cucumber and Roasted Corn Salsa with FRESH Corn Tortillas! We had a crew of helpful volunteers this Saturday. Thanks to Aloun Farms for generously donating the sweet corn and cilantro used for this demo. Lets not forget the USDA grant that helps to underwrite these demonstration. You can find the recipes below in the comments section. 


1 comment:

slowfoodies said...

Roasted Corn and Cucumber Salsa
In this recipe the corn is roasted to bring out its natural sweetness and paired with cucumber to temper the heat of the jalapeño and add crisp texture.
Makes 8-12 servings as accompaniment

Step 1: Roasting Corn
Corn 3 ears shucked
Vegetable Oil 1 Tablespoon
Salt and Pepper to taste

Rub shucked corn with oil, salt and pepper. Place on hot grill and allow corn to get slightly charred. If using oven, preheat broiler then place corn on a baking sheet in oven and broil until lightly charred, turning once. Remove from heat until cool enough to touch. When corn is cool, cut corn from cob and place it into a mixing bowl.

Step 2: Cut Vegetables
Cucumber 3 medium – deseeded, diced small
Onion, sweet yellow ¼ - minced
Jalapeño ½ to 1 whole – seeds and veins removed, minced small
Cilantro leaves 1 cup loosely packed- roughly chopped small

In a mixing bowl with the corn, mix together all of your chopped vegetables.

Step 3: Flavoring
Lime juice 1 Tablespoon (approximately 2 small limes)
Cumin 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Mix well. Refrigerate for at least half-an-hour before serving to let the flavors meld. Stir and serve with fresh tortillas or chips!

Fresh Corn Tortillas
Masa Harina or instant corn masa flour is available in the flour section of most supermarkets.
Makes 8 large or 16 small tortillas

Masa Harina 1 Cup
Water ¾ Cup
Salt ¼ tsp

Mix masa harina and salt together, then add water until dough is soft and hydrated. If it is crumbly add water a tablespoon at a time until it comes together. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow to sit for at least 1 hour. Dough can be made up to a day in advance and refrigerated. When you are ready to cook tortillas, divide dough into equal portions and roll them into a ball. Cover formed balls of dough with a damp towel while you work with the other ones. Using a tortilla press, your hands, or the bottom of a soup bowl, flatten the tortillas into ¼ inch thick rounds.

Cooking Tortillas
Heat a flat ungreased griddle (preferably cast iron) to med-high heat. Cook one side of your tortilla about 50 seconds, flip it and cook the other side. Place on a plate and cover with a towel. Repeat and enjoy with salsa, beans, meat or just by itself!

Corn and Cucumbers… SLOW…

7000 years ago marked the beginning of domestication for maize, an edible tall grass indigenous to Central America, into what we know as corn, followed soon after by worldwide proliferation and its place today as arguably one of the most important crops grown. Prized as much for its delicious and nourishing kernels as for its contributions to fuel and fabrication the world over, in Latin America corn remains a mainstay of the diet for many.

Whether in Guatemala, Mexico, Ecuador or Peru, a cook can be found soaking cooked corn in calcium hydroxide or pickling lime, then grinding it into dough or masa. With the masa, experienced hands slap out perfect fresh tortillas and cook them on a cast iron skillet known as a comal. A staple, soft, hot tortillas are to be eaten fresh at all times of day as accompaniment to beans, vegetables and meat.

The cucumber has made the journey from India, domesticated around 1500BCE, to our table with no fewer stops along the way, imparting its crisp, refreshing and cooling properties on cuisines in every continent as a perfect foil for spicy foods and a hydrating addition to cold dishes.

Here in Hawaii, both corn and cucumbers grow abundantly under capable hands like those of Aloun Sou, owner of Aloun Farms who has travelled almost as far from his original home of Laos as the origins of the vegetables he and his family now cultivate on 6000 acres of Oahu farm land. Sweet corn and Japanese cucumbers are just a few of the many fruits and vegetables grown with pride by the farm whose vision is to “reduce Hawaii's dependency on imported produce.”