Spicy Grilled Corn Salad with Black Beans and Queso Fresco

Spicy Grilled Corn Salad with Black Beans and Queso Fresco

We lost a lot of good men out there today… at least they pummeled to their fateful end, inhaling the delicate perfection that is charcoal.

I’m referring, of course, to the several onion rings that fell through my grates as I was grilling up today’s corn feature.  Use a grill pan friends, it will keep your guys intact.

Onions are not my jam, I can usually only stomach them fried, and in small doses.  However, grilling them brings out a smoky sweetness that can convert even the staunchest onion hater, i.e. ME!

Utilizing the grill for something other than meat products is something I don’t do enough of.  Nothing unlocks nature’s sweetness quite like a flame.

If you’ve never had the pleasure of roasting your own red peppers, you’re in for quite the treat.  Coupled with a certain sense of accomplishment, they’re cheaper than the stuff in the jar, and a million times yummier.

I’m gonna start a movement for recipes that call for an entire jar of chipotles in adobo sauce, or companies to make jars that contain only one pepper, and a tablespoon of sauce.  I’ve never seen a recipe that called for more, so I’m stuck with a can that I have no idea what to do with.  I guess I’ll just force myself to add it to more dishes.  I love its smokiness!

I half wish that I’d saved this for Football season and Touchdown Thursday’s because this would make a great addition to your game-day spread.  Oh well, make it now and then all season, cause it’s soooo good!  Seriously, it’s awesome.  Serve it with chips, or as a side to a great grilled meal.

Spicy Grilled Corn Salad

Spicy Grilled Corn Salad with Black Beans and Queso Fresco

Ingredients:

3 ears fresh corn, husked

1 medium red onion, cut into disks about 1/3 inch thick

1 large red bell pepper

1/2 cup olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 small canned chipotle, seeded and minced, plus 1 Tbs. adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles in adobo)

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

One 15-1/2-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed

5 ounces queso fresco or feta, crumbled (1 cup)

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

Directions:

Prepare a medium charcoal or gas grill fire. Put the corn, onion, and pepper on a large rimmed baking sheet and brush with 2 Tbs. of the oil. Season with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Grill the corn and onion, flipping occasionally, until beginning to brown (the onions should still be a little crunchy), 6 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board to cool slightly. Grill the pepper until charred on all sides, about 12 minutes. Put the pepper in a bowl, cover, and cool slightly.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the remaining 6 tablespoons oil, the chipotle and the adobo sauce, vinegar, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper.

Coarsely chop the onion and put it in a large bowl. Cut the corn from the cobs and add to the bowl. Skin, seed, and coarsely chop the pepper; add to the bowl, along with the beans, cheese, cilantro, and oregano.

Rewhisk the dressing, add it to the corn mixture, and toss well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (The salad may be made up to 1 day ahead. Refrigerate and return to room temperature, adding the fresh herbs just before serving.)

From Fine Cooking

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