(Family Features) Cinco de Mayo is, officially, a holiday celebrating Mexico's victory over France in the 1862 Battle of Puebla. In the U.S., where it is actually celebrated with more gusto than in its native country, the holiday has become a celebration of Mexican heritage and culture.
The holiday also provides a great excuse to make irresistible Mexican-inspired recipes for entertaining and, of course, a big batch of margaritas to wash it all down. Fresh sweet corn is an essential component of many Mexican dishes and a cultural staple.
Luckily, Cinco de Mayo falls right in the middle of Florida's Sunshine Sweet Corn season, meaning that the sweetest corn, available all year, arrives just in time to be a part of your Cinco de Mayo celebration. These naturally-bred varieties are grown by a group of family farmers who are committed to producing the finest sweet corn.
Get the fiesta started with this Fire Roasted Corn and Chorizo Dip and a big bowl of tortilla chips. Crunchy, spicy, sweet and creamy, this addictive dip will have your guests asking for more.
Next, be sure to serve Mexican Style Corn, a truly authentic and delicious Mexican street food. Crunchy ears of fresh sweet corn are charred to perfection then slathered with a mixture of cheese and mayo, sprinkled with chili powder and squirted with lime for simple flavor perfection.
Finally, no Cinco de Mayo celebration is complete without tacos. For a healthful twist on your typical taco, try this recipe for Charred Corn Tacos with Radish Zucchini Slaw that will have both vegetarians and meat eaters clamoring for seconds.
Incorporating more healthful whole foods and veggies into your Cinco de Mayo celebration this year makes it easier to justify one more margarita. No matter what you serve at your Cinco de Mayo celebration, make sure to incorporate the sweet and wholesome flavor of fresh spring sweet corn.
Discover more mouth-watering recipes for Cinco de Mayo and every time of year at www.sunshinesweetcorn.com.
Six Global Spreads for Sweet Corn
- North America: Maple Bourbon Butter - Combine one stick butter, 4 teaspoons bourbon, 2 teaspoons maple syrup and pinch of salt.
- South America: Lime-Avocado Crema - In a blender, combine one avocado, 1/4 cup lime juice, one garlic clove, 1/2 bunch cilantro, 1/2 cup sour cream and pinch of salt. Blend until smooth. Add water if necessary.
- Europe: Combine 2 ounces goat cheese, 2 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, and pinch of salt and pepper. Stir until smooth.
- Asia: Sriracha Butter - Combine 1/3 cup butter with 3 tablespoons Sriracha.
- Africa: Harissa-Yogurt Spread - Whisk together 1 cup Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice, 2 tablespoons Harissa sauce, one crushed garlic clove and pinch of salt.
- Australia: Honey-Ginger BBQ Sauce - In saucepan combine 1 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup honey, 1/2 cup ketchup, 1 1/2 tablespoons hot sauce, 4 minced garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons minced ginger and 1 teaspoon salt. Simmer, stirring occasionally until thickened and reduced to about 1 1/4 cup, 20 to 25 minutes.
Mexican Style Corn
- 4 ears fresh Sunshine Sweet Corn, husked
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 4 ounces Cotija or feta cheese
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 4 lime slices
- Preheat grill or broiler. Grill or broil corn, turning occasionally until hot and some kernels turn golden brown, about 5 minutes. Using knife, coat each ear of corn with about 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise. Crumble cheese on one side of each corn ear.
- Sprinkle with chili powder, dividing evenly. Broil until cheese starts to melt, approximately 1 to 2 minutes. Serve with lime.
Charred Corn Tacos with Radish Zucchini Slaw
- 4 ears Sunshine Sweet Corn
- Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, as needed
- 1/2 cup torn cilantro, parsley and mint leaves
- 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 cup radishes, cut into matchsticks
- 1 small zucchini, cut into matchsticks
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup (2 1/2 ounces) crumbled Cotija or feta cheese
- 10 to 12 small (6-inch) soft corn tortillas
- Brush corn with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Over hot grill or open gas stove flame, char ears of corn until well blackened but not completely burnt. Remove from heat; cool. With large knife, shave off kernels into bowl. Add cilantro, parsley and mint; reserve.
- In small bowl, combine onion and lime juice; let stand 10 minutes. Stir in maple syrup, radishes, zucchini, jalapeno and 2 tablespoons of oil. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.
- Heat your tortillas one of two ways: Wrap whole stack in foil and place in warm 250°F oven for 15 minutes, or coat cast-iron skillet with thin layer of oil and heat over high heat; warm each tortilla 30 seconds to 1 minute each side, until lightly blistered.
- To make tacos, fill each tortilla with 1/4 cup corn. Top with cheese and radish-zucchini slaw. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.
Fire Roasted Corn and Chorizo Dip
Serves: 8 to 12
- 3 to 4 ears Sunshine Sweet Corn
- 1 small onion, peeled and sliced into rings
- 1 small red bell pepper
- 1 cup cooked chorizo
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1(8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 pound spicy pepper cheese, like pepper-jack or habanero cheddar
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- Preheat oven to 400°F and preheat grill to high heat.
- Remove cornhusks and corn silk, and place fresh Florida Sweet Corn, onion slices and red bell pepper on grill.
- Grill corn and bell pepper for 8 to 10 minutes, turning every 2 minutes until all sides are slightly charred.
- Grill onion slices for approximately 3 minutes per side. When veggies are cool enough to handle, cut corn off cob. Then chop onions and pepper, removing pepper seeds. In 8-by-8-inch baking dish or one-quart souffle dish, mix all ingredients together until well combined.
- Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until edges are bubbly. Serve warm with tortilla chips.
Source: Sunshine Sweet Corn
(Family Features) Corn on the cob with some butter is a popular side dish, but there’s so much more you can do with fresh, juicy corn. These recipes make the most of sweet corn from Florida and will have your family asking for more.
“Sweet corn is a really versatile ingredient,” said Justin Timineri, Executive Chef and Culinary Ambassador, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. “From fritters and soup to enchiladas and corn on the cob with some surprising toppings, there are plenty of ways to enjoy this healthful grain.”
Chef Justin’s Kitchen Tips for Kids
Get the kids involved in buying, prepping and cooking corn. Here’s what they need to know to help you in the kitchen:
- Look for fresh sweet corn with the husk still attached. They should feel and look moist and plump, with the kernels inside fat and shiny. The silk of the corn should be a little sticky and should look glossy, stiff and moist.
- To shuck: Grasp the husks and pull down to expose the kernels. Continue until all the husks and silk-like hairs have been removed.
- To remove kernels: Hold corn cob upright by the tip, with the large end solidly down on the table. Take a small sharp knife and cut down, removing the corn kernels. Be careful not to cut too deep and remove parts of the cob.
To get more fresh ideas for cooking with corn, visit http://bit.ly/floridacorn.
Sweet Corn with Southern BBQ Butter
Yield: 4 servings
- 1/4 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce (sweet, spicy, etc.)
- 1/4 stick butter
- 4 ears fresh Florida sweet corn, shucked
- Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
- Chives, for garnish
- Preheat oven broiler on high.
- Add barbecue sauce and butter to small saucepan.
- Stir over low heat until melted and smooth.
- Season corn lightly with salt and pepper. Place sweet corn in a medium-sized baking dish and pour barbecue mixture over sweet corn. Broil 4 inches from broiler, being sure to watch the whole time. Turn and baste for 6 to 8 minutes, or until golden.
- Garnish with chives. Serve warm.
Here are some other great ways to top Florida sweet corn on the cob:
- Garlic and basil butter
- Cilantro, lime and honey
- Parmesan and pesto sauce
- Cinnamon, sugar and butter
Sweet Corn and Black Bean Enchiladas
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 1 cup fresh Florida sweet corn kernels
- 2 bell peppers, diced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 cup salsa
- 1 can low sodium black beans,
- rinsed and drained
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 10 6-inch corn tortillas
- 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
- 1 8-ounce can enchilada sauce
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Lightly spray an 11 x 7-inch (2-quart) baking dish with pan release cooking spray.
- Add vegetable oil to a medium pan. Cook onion, corn and bell peppers over medium high heat for 3 minutes. Add cumin, salsa and black beans, and continue to cook for two minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove pan from heat and let cool slightly.
- Place an even amount of the filling mixture in each tortilla. Using 1 cup shredded cheese, evenly distribute it on top of each tortilla. Carefully roll up each tortilla, and place seam side down in sprayed baking dish.
- Pour enchilada sauce over rolled enchiladas, spreading to coat all tortillas. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese.
- Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly around edges. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
- Serve with diced avocado, salsa and sour cream, if desired.
Sweet Corn and Ricotta Fritters
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
- 2 ears fresh Florida sweet corn, kernels removed
- 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped fine
- 4 ounces low-fat ricotta cheese
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1/3 cup self-rising unbleached or whole-wheat flour
- Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
- Olive oil (for shallow pan frying)
- In medium-sized bowl, combine corn, cilantro, ricotta, eggs, flour and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Add a small amount of olive oil to a medium-high preheated sauté pan. Carefully add spoonfuls of corn mixture to hot pan. Cook on both sides until golden brown. Test the first done fritter, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve with low-fat sour cream if desired.
Sweet Corn and Tomato Bisque
Yield: 4 servings
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 4 ears fresh Florida sweet corn, kernels removed
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 4 cups low-sodium broth (vegetable or chicken)
- Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- 1 scallion, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped, plus more for garnish
- Melt butter in large, heavy pot. Add onion and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until lightly browned, for about 6 to 7 minutes.
- Stir in corn and garlic, cooking until corn is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add broth and simmer until corn is tender, about 15 minutes. Lightly season with kosher salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer half the soup into blender or food processor; purée until almost smooth. Add blended soup back into unblended soup; stir to combine.
- Add tomatoes, scallion and 1 tablespoon cilantro; bring to a boil. Serve hot and garnish with cilantro.
Source: Fresh From Florida