Just did the annual BBQ last weekend, a fun gathering of friends far and wide. Its origins began when I was but a wee-young chef, looking to advance the ol' repertoire. I'd pick dishes I had never cooked before, to test out on forgiving friends. Some think it is crazy to try out new dishes at a party, but why not? That's part of the party ? part of the fun. Guests know their "job" is not just to taste and say if they like it, but why or why not. Crazy maybe, but now there's a list of great appetizer creations, because of the gutsy process.
Most of this year's experiments will not make the cut and live on to future parties. But one went over really well, Thai Glazed Corn. Interestingly, I saw a recipe in a reputable food magazine but when we made it ? it was terrible! So here's my variation, easy to make and a big hit.
In sum ? this week's Food Party! reminds us that not all recipes in print are good ones. As you try out new things, remember you may have to adapt and adjust along the way.
And who knows? Because of your plucky spirit? you might just end up with something better.
Thai Glazed Corn
Makes approximately 20 pieces
4 corn on the cob, cleaned, washed, and sliced into 5 - 6 pieces
Ghee (clarified butter) and salt
Dang crispy coconut chips
½ cup fresh garlic, coarsely chopped
2 jalapeno pepper, coarsely chopped
½ cup cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon lemon grass, tender part only, finely sliced
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
1/3 cup granulated sugar (can substitute coconut or date sugar, but the color is darker - the result not as vibrant green)
Place glaze ingredients in a food processor and puree. Set aside in refrigerator. I thought this sauce was even better the next day ? so it's perfect to make ahead.
Blanch corn pieces 30 seconds in boiling water. Drain and set aside.
Right before serving, brush corn with ghee and sprinkle with a little salt. Grill a few minutes, turning to get some color on the corn. Serve each piece with a dollop of glaze and top with a coconut chip.
P.S: The picture doesn't show it, but I suggest you place the coconut chip into the glaze on it's edge, standing up. If you have enough glaze, it should hold the chip in place. Chef's Tip: Height in food presentation is almost always the better choice.