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Sunday 26 May 2019
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A-maizing corn

CORN season is here, no Carnival fete or function will be without corn soup vendors.

Corn soup is a good, reliable cup of goodness which has intrinsically wove its way into our culinary landscape. Alongside the pot of corn soup one can often find boiled corn, and if you are really lucky roasted corn.

Growing up in San Fernando corn was only served up boiled in my home. It was on the homebound trip out of Mayaro, in the vicinity of the Mayaro market, on a Sunday afternoon, were we treated to roast corn from one of the vendors, and what a treat it was. Chewy, with a delightful roasted flavour, kernels perfectly cooked with the distinctive taste of charred corn.

We as Trinis have added many corn recipes since then and now one can find corn curried, boiled in coconut milk, in salads and even as a topping for pizza.

Whatever your desire, here are some delicious ways for you to enjoy corn this season!

Fresh corn and tomato salad

6 ears of corn, cleaned

½ small red onion, finely chopped

4 medium tomatoes or 2 large, cut into small dice

1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 tsp minced garlic

⅓ cup salad vinegar

⅓ cup olive oil

Salt to taste

6-8 blades of chadon beni, finely chopped

Boil corn in water for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Remove and cool.

Slice the niblets off of the husk.

Place in a mixing bowl, all the onion, tomatoes, pepper and garlic.

Pour on the vinegar and oil, combine, add salt to taste and stir in chadon beni.

Refrigerate until ready for use.

Serves 4 to 6

Trini corn soup with dumplings

8 cups beef stock or vegetable stock

3/4 cup yellow split peas, washed and picked over

1 pound English potatoes, peeled and quartered

2 onions, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 carrots, diced

⅓ cup fresh thyme, chopped

1/4 cup chopped celery

⅓ cup chopped chives

1 habanero pepper or hot pepper

4 pimento peppers, chopped and seeded

6 ears corn, cut into 2-inch pieces

½ cup chopped chadon beni or cilantro

½ cup coconut milk (optional)

In a large soup pot or Dutch oven heat stock, add split peas, potatoes, onions and garlic, carrots, thyme, celery, chives, and peppers, bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for about one hour until peas are soft.

Puree soup to a thick and creamy consistency, return to pot.

Add corn and dumplings and coconut milk if using,

Continue to cook for a further 20 minutes until cooked and dumplings float to the surface.

Add chadon beni, remove from heat, taste and adjust seasonings.

If soup seems too thick you can add a little water.

Serves 6 to 8

Curried corn

2 tbs coconut oil

1 tbs minced garlic

1 hot pepper seeded and chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

2 tbs curry powder

¼ cup water

6 ears of corn, cleaned and cut into 2-3 inch pieces

2 cups coconut milk

1 cup water

Salt

4-6 blades chadon beni, chopped

Heat oil in a medium-sized sauce pan, add garlic, pepper and onion, cook until fragrant and onion is almost brown.

Mix curry powder with water and add it to the pot, stir until all the water has dried.

Now add the corn, stir well and add the coconut milk and water.

Add salt to taste, bring to a boil, and then simmer until corn is tender, 20-30 mins.

Stir in chadon beni.

Serves 6

Boiled corn in coconut milk

8 ears corn, cleaned

4 cups coconut milk

4 cups water

2 onions, finely chopped

1 tbs minced garlic

1 hot pepper, left whole

Salt to taste

1 bunch chadon beni, finely chopped

Smoked bones may be added or pig tail for a smoky flavour.

Place corn into a large sauce pan, add all the ingredients.

Bring to a boil cover and continue boiling for 20 to 30 minutes, until corn is tender.

Makes 8

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