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…

Thai Basil Chow Mein

A small grocery recently opened right by my home. It's run by an Asian family and has some great authentic Asian foods as well as a nice assortment of fresh produce. There's also a Thai takeout close by that has the most amazing food. It's wicked spicy and heavy on the Thai basil. Which I love. These were my inspirations to do my own spin on a noodle stir fry.

Veggie Mix
10 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
1 lb red, yellow and orange baby bell peppers, sliced into small strips, veins and seeds removed
1/2 small red onion, sliced into half circles
1/2 cup white wine, divided into 1/4 cups
1/2 cup water
a few bunches chopped fresh Thai basil
1 tsp each salt and pepper

1 six ounce package dry chow mein noodles

Sauce
2 tps soy sauce
2 tsps sriracha
2 tbls canola oil
zest and juice from one large mandarin orange
5 small cloves garlic, sliced thin
1 jalapeno, minced
1 habernero, minced
2 tsps crushed pepper flakes
a few bunches fresh Thai basil, chiffonaded, more for garnish

In a small bowl whisk together the sauce ingredients. Set aside.

Cook noodles according to package directions. Set aside.

Saute mushrooms in 1 tbl  oil and with 1 tsp salt until just tender and slightly darkened. Add 1/4 cup wine and the sauce mix. Continue cooking over high heat until mushrooms turn dark and half of the liquid is absorbed.

Add noodles. Other 1/4 cup wine. Lower heat to medium. Toss noodles to combine with mushroom mixture. Let noodles absorb the sauce for a few minutes.

Add peppers, onions and 1/4 cup water. Toss to mix all ingredients thoroughly. Heat through 2 minutes. Turn off heat. Add Another bunch of basil. Toss. Let sit 2 minutes before serving.

Sweet orange and slight heat combine for a very clean Asian stir fry. I kept the flavors simple and the ingredients minimal, so each component is able to shine. Fresh basil and orange provide the big punch of flavor.