Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Grilled Corn with Romesco Sauce (made with Nut Butter) - Daring Cooks July '10

There's a goofy Southern insult that goes: "He was so bucked tooth, he could eat corn on the cob through a picket fence". Being the food-driven gal I've always been, when I heard that saying all I thought was, "Lucky guy, I love corn!"
Grilled Corn on the Cob
with Romesco Sauce

(made from Nut Butter)
The July 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Margie of More Please and Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make their own nut butter from scratch, and use the nut butter in a recipe. Their sources include Better with Nut Butter by Cooking Light Magazine, Asian Noodles by Nina Simonds, and Food Network online.

This month's Daring Cook's Challenge was about making your own Nut Butter. Well, I can't imagine a more satisfying and yet simple food. There is essentially ONE step: Pulverize your choice of nuts into a smooth butter in the food processor.
If the nuts are dry (ie. almonds, peanuts) you'll need a drizzle of neutral oil (think canola, etc) to get it really smooth and spreadable. If the nuts have a lot of their own fats (ie. cashews, pistachios, etc) you can even skip that addition. Toasting the nuts first gives them a rich and sweet flavor.

In a matter of moments, you end up with not only a protein filled main event (sandwiches, fillings, etc.), but also an amazingly diverse addition to foods from South Africa to Asia, to South Texas, USA.

Part of our challenge was to use the nut butter in a SAVORY dish. I almost slobbered myself just thinking about all the SWEET dishes I could make with Nut Butter; That was easy. After a few minutes of mourning all the baked goods I was already tasting in my mind, I realized how many savory dishes could be knocked up a notch with nuts.
I chose an easy one (or my schedule chose it for me), and it reminds me of times when I lived in Houston, Texas. It seemed like everything had barbecue sauce, or chili peppers on it, and that was fine by me. I did a little "culinary upgrade" on the regular barbecue sauce and made ROMESCO; A warm, peppery, earthy Spanish sauce that needs to be on your "use with everything" list.

Romesco originated in Spain and often uses Ancho (pronounced Aahnn-cho) peppers, which are dried Poplano. You can make it spicier with Chipotle, or bring it way down, but hearty with roasted red peppers. Romesco gives fish, grilled veggies, soups, chicken, steaks, pasta and sandwiches a "mumble" factor. That's when something's so good, folks want to talk about it while they're chewing, so all they can do is mumble.


3 Tbls. Nut butter (from 1/4 cup Almonds, and 1/4 cup peanuts)
2 Ancho chilis
2 pieces of stale bread, in pieces
3 cloves garlic
2 tomatoes
1 Tbls. lemon juice
1 Tbls. brown sugar
few sprigs of parsley
salt/pepper to taste
1/4 cup Olive Oil

1) Place the dried Ancho chilis in a cup, add boiling water, cover and soak to reconstitute for 30 minutes.

2) While they soak, place the tomatoes and peeled garlic cloves on a parchment lined pan and roast in the oven 350F, for 30 minutes. (Or use these from your MISTO FORNO in a previous post.)

3) Remove the chili from the water, seed and chop large. Let the tomatoes and garlic cool.

4) In a food processor, add the chilies, tomatoes, garlic, salt, pepper, parsley, lemon juice, nut butter, brown sugar and bread. Process til smooth.

5) Pour in the oil, continuing to process until you have a nice spreadable paste. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

1) Remove silks, but replace husks on 4 Corns.
2) Soak the corn in water for 30 minutes.
3) Soak the skewers in water for 30 minutes (this is so they don't burn dry)
4) Grill the husk covered corn for 20 minutes in a covered grill on Med/High. Check often and turn to all sides.
5) Cool the corn, remove husk and cut into individual pieces.
6) Skewer each piece and slather on the Romesco Sauce.
Grill to reheat and warm up the sauce.
Serve warm.

One big bite of this Grilled Corn with Romesco and the tip of your tongue jumps up in attention, then is calmed by a little sweetness on the side. Ahhh, summer.


Tickled Red said...

Girl do I ever know that joke, it's on my list of Southernisms :) I love your nut butter...great idea. I can't wait to give it a try.

Audax said...

Positively stunning idea I just love the photo it is mouth watering superb result and the sauce sounds extra special. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

Jenni said...

This looks delicious!! I never would have thought about turning a nut butter into a dipping sauce for grilled corn, but it sounds delicious!!

Khali//Bandit and the Scene Stealers said...

mmmmmmmmmm. delicious! Great summer time idea!

chef_d said...

First time I heard about this romesco sauce and it looks really good! Will definitely try this next time :)

Nicole@The Dirty Oven via twitter @ovenloving said...

What a great idea. Thank you for sharing. I am going to have to try this out very soon.