Summer corn and butter. That is a classic combination enjoyed around the world. But in corn-country, the United States, more corn is consumed by people than anywhere else on the planet. And while that simple combo of corn and butter is the favorite, new ideas appear all the time.
A few years ago, Suzen and I would put butter on our corn, then sprinkle on chile powder and maybe even splash with lime juice. It’s an intensified flavor we love.
Now, we’ve discovered a new butter variation that is beautiful to behold and such a flavor enhancer. It’s Jalapeno Butter from Fresh Mexico, the little book of 100 recipes that I found and now fall asleep with.
The recipe is right below here. The picture above is from my slight variation. I did not grill the jalapenos; instead I used two canned chipotles with some of the sauce. That’s faster and hotter.
Second, I did not soften the butter first. I took a cold stick of butter and cut into ¼-inch cubes. I added the rest of the ingredients and mixed it with a fork. The result is that my version is not homogenous in color or texture. There are “pieces” of chile and parsley there that provide color and contrast.
And of course, I did not wrap it up in a tight roll so I could later cut perfect round of butter.
Other than that, I followed the recipe exactly.
The recipe was devised for corn. But, you have usage options:
- A grilled steak with blackened top
- A crispy baked potato
- Grilled bread, crusty and waiting the moisture of melting butter
- Or for whatever personal craving you might have
This dish can be classified as an indulgence. Go forth and feel no guilt.
Yield: ½ cup
- 2 jalapeno chilies
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 2 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Grill the jalapenos, turning them occasionally, until charred on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer them to a cutting board and let cool for 5 minutes.
Using a small paring knife, peel the jalapenos. Scrape out the discard the seeds and veins. Coarsely chop the chiles and transfer them to a medium bowl. Add the butter, garlic and parsley and mash together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the jalapeno butter onto the center of a square piece of plastic warp. Roll it up into a 1-inch diameter log. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, until set, or for up to 1 week.
Source: Fresh Mexico by Marcela Valladolid
Chicken. Chicken tastes like chicken. And that consistency is occasionally going to create culinary boredom. “Chicken, again!” someone at the table will moan.
This recipe is not just an antidote for boredom. This dish is for anyone who loves sweetness and heat. When I first bit into a piece, my eyes watered. Not from the succulent heat but from tasting something inspiring. This isn’t just chicken. This is CHICKEN. And no, you won’t be able to eat just one piece. The addiction here is automatic.
As summer just begins to edge away, this is a perfect weekend recipe. Add some fresh corn or green beans. Be inspired and get some arugula and heirloom tomatoes.
I would also suggest a pitcher of sangria. The chipotle here will have your mouth tingling.
Honey Chipotle Chicken
For the Chicken:
- 4 legs (with thighs attached)
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- ⅓ cup canola oil
For the Sauce:
- ½ cup wild flower honey
- 1 cup Frank’s Hot Sauce [or similar red hot sauce]
- 2 chipotles from the can in adobo
- ¼ cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
For the chicken, preheat the oven to 375°F. Combine all the dry ingredients in a shallow bowl. Heat a 16″ cast-iron skillet on medium-high and add oil.
Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture and place skin-side down and cook until well browned. Turn and cook the underside as well (2 to 3 minutes per side). Place the cast-iron skillet into the hot oven and bake approximately 15 minutes.
For the sauce, combine all ingredients over low to medium heat and simmer until thickened and has a syrup-like consistency. Remove from heat.
While cooking the chicken in the oven, preheat a stove-top grill. Once the chicken is removed from the oven, place the chicken in a large mixing bowl and add the sauce. Gently toss until well coated, then using tongs, place the chicken (skin-side down) on the grill pan and cook until the chicken gets a crispy skin again. Remove and serve.
Source: Adapted from Chef David Guas