Thursday, July 7, 2016

Recipe: Jalapeno Popper Corn Salad

With July here, it's really sinking in that it's summertime. Other than the fact that I hate being hot, this time of year is one of my favorites, particularly because of childhood memories spent at our cottage on Lake Ontario. We'd move up there for the summer, and spend our days swimming, boating, fishing, curled up in a tree swing with a good book, gathered around a bonfire, creating games with the neighbor kids, and eating almost all of our meals outdoors at the picnic table.

Our cottage was next door to my grandmother's year-round home, and our family would dine together almost every evening at that picnic table. There was always the red and white checkered tablecloth, good food, and plenty of laughs as the long summer days came to a close. That's why that area of NY will always be special for me, and I've been clinging to pieces of "home" as I settle here in Cleveland for the long haul. Recently, this included taking that worn, well-loved red and white picnic tablecloth back to CLE after a visit with my family. I think it will continue to make memories as Mr. H and I use it, but it will forever remind me of my childhood and those summer nights spent on the lake.

Another hand-me-down item that I took last year was a set of vintage corn plates. I just couldn't let my dad sell them, as I flashed back to MANY summer meals of corn on the cob. It's just one of those foods that means "summer" to me.

What food or recipe reminds you of summer the most?

Heinen's Grocery Store wants to know, as they've launched a social campaign, #SummerwithHeinens. When they asked me to partner with them by sharing a recipe associated with a special summer memory, I didn't hesitate. Summer meals with my family are some of my favorite, still to this day. And for me, that often meant corn on the cob.

Jalapeno Popper Corn Salad (yields 4 servings)

4 ears of corn
2 jalapeƱo peppers (remove seeds/stems, diced)
2/3 cup of chopped cooked bacon (crispy)
1 oz cream cheese (softened)
1/8 cup sour cream
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice (optional)
salt/pepper (to taste)

Remove silk and husk from corn.
Coat each corn cob with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Place corn cobs directly on grill, cover.
Grill 10-15 minutes, rotating halfway through for even char marks.
Remove corn from grill and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
Cut kernels off of cobs (should yield approx 4 cups).
Mix kernels with chopped jalapeƱos (leaving some aside for garnish), crumbled bacon pieces, cream cheese and sour cream.
Stir in shredded cheese, lemon juice, and salt and pepper.
Garnish with remaining peppers.
Serve at room temperature.

We served ours as a side to steaks, and used our salt block on the grill for the first time. Any tips for salt block cooking?
This corn dish had all of the hints of my childhood summers, while being interesting and elevated. It's "fancy" corn on the cob!
I gobbled it up for lunch the next day too. This recipe was adapted from here, and it was a real winner. It would be a great dish to bring to a potluck, and one that we'll certainly be making again.

What summer recipes are classic in your household? Share them by using #SummerwithHeinens on social media.

Disclosure: I was provided with a Heinen's gift card in exchange for this blog post. All opinions stated are 100% my own.