Cucumber, Corn and Tomato Salsa

My co-worker gave me some cucumbers she and her husband had grown in their garden. I wanted to use them right away as they were so fresh. This is a variation on a classic cucumber and tomato salad. I added charred corn for sweetness and smokiness. I also added poblano and jalapeno for spice. 

2 small or 1 medium cucumber, diced
2 ears corn
3 vine tomatoes, diced
1 poblano, diced
1 jalapeno, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbls apple cider vinegar
2 tbls olive oil
2 tsps dry dill
1 tsp garam masala
2 tsps salt

I wasn't about to turn on the broiler to cook the corn. It's been in the 90's here. Instead, I used the same technique often used to char bell pepper. Put the shucked ears directly over a gas flame on the stovetop. If you don't have a gas stovetop you can broil them or use an outdoor grill. 

The corn will pop and make a bit of a mess on your cooktop, but it's worth it. 

Char the corn evenly all around. Allow to cool and them cut the kernels off the cob. 

Stir together all i…

Mexican Barley and Black Beans

Every so often Aldi sells mushrooms for really cheap. 8 ounces of baby bellas were 89 cents. A one pound bag of sweet mini peppers were $1.69. Cilantro bunch for 79 cents. The ingredients spoke to me and the word they said was Mexican. Also this dish was meant to pair nicely with my sweet pepper puree I'd made in the previous post, which it did.

1 cup cremini mushrooms diced
1 cup celery diced
1/2 cup sweet peppers diced
7 cloves minced garlic
3 ounces ice beer
2 ribs/seeds from a jalapeno and 1 from a habernero
1 tbl olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
dried paprika, red pepper flakes, basil, sage

1/2 cup dry pearl barley
1 can rinsed and drained black beans

To make the broth add the mushrooms, celery, peppers, garlic, beer, ribs/seeds, oil and salt and pepper to a large pot. Add enough water to cover by at least an inch.

Bring to a boil and then simmer at least 10 minutes. Taste broth.

Adjust salt and pepper if needed. Add 1 tsp each of paprika, pepper flakes, basil and sage. Add barely.

Cover and simmer. Allowing the barley to absorb the liquid. Add 1.5 cups more water after most has been absorbed.

Add beans.

Simmer again until barley is tender and liquid has thickened. Add cilantro leaves. Stir. Taste. Adjust seasoning if needed.

Let sit covered for 5 minutes before serving.