Mexican Street Corn Veloute

I’ve really gotten into soup lately.

Maybe it’s a natural function of getting older– as I’m about to turn 30 I find myself thinking things like “10 p.m.?!  That’s so late to go out..” or “Saturday morning would be a nice time to clean the house” or “a nice soup and salad for lunch/dinner sounds perfect.”

Or maybe it’s simply because it hasn’t been until recently that I discovered what soup could really be.  Like most of us, I was a happy child of Campbells tomato soup and bean with bacon, I wasn’t aware the nuanced and sophisticated flavors that can exist in a soup.

Enter velouté – a French term for soup that translates to “velvet.”  This is that soup that has a slightly creamy, smooth — almost broth-like – consistency.  It seems simple until you take a sip and are smacked with a real punch of flavor.

The basic technique for any velouté  is the same: make a simple stock from the scraps of your ingredients.  Sauté main ingredients and simmer in broth.  Add cream and puree.  Strain through mesh sieve.  I decided to play a little and use this technique with the flavors of Mexican street corn.  Street corn is grilled corn that is then rolled in a sour cream/mayo mixture and then rolled in cojita cheese and cayenne pepper.  It comes with a wedge of lime and is sometimes sprinkled with cilantro. It’s spicy, sweet, crunchy and smoky.

Here’s how I got it all into a soup.

IMG_4915

Ingredients assembled. This is for about 4 servings of soup — and a good broth ratio is about 2 cups of water for each ear of corn. Pictured here: sweet corn, dried hot pepper, garlic, cilantro, poblano pepper. In my final recipe, I omit the dried hot pepper as I think it makes the soup just slightly too spicy. 

 

The stock: after removing the kernels from the corn, put the cobs in water with smashed garlic and simmer for 20 minutes

The stock: after removing the kernels from the corn, put the cobs in water with smashed garlic and simmer for 20 minutes

IMG_4919

You will end up with a light yellow, clear broth.

Saute corn kernels, onion, poblano pepper and garlic in butter and add stock,

Saute corn kernels, onion, poblano pepper and garlic in butter and add stock,

Blend soup, infuse with cilantro and strain.  Garnish with some sauteed corn kernels and cojita cheese.  Serve with a lime wedge.

Blend soup, infuse with cilantro and strain. Garnish with some sauteed corn kernels and cojita cheese. Serve with a lime wedge.

 

The recipe: Mexican Street Corn Velouté

4 Servings

Equipment needed: Large pot, mesh sieve, blender (an emersion blender works just fine)

Ingredients:

  • 4 ears of corn – stripped of their kernels and cobs cut in half
  • 8 cups of water
  • 1/2 poblano pepper, sliced
  • 6 cloves of garlic– 4 smashed for broth and the other 2 minced and set aside.
  • small bunch of cilantro
  • 1/2 white onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Cojita cheese (feta is an acceptable substitute)
  • Lime Wedge
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Chili powder
  • Salt and white Pepper

Steps:

  1. In a large pot, add the stripped corn cobs, water and 4 cloves of smashed garlic.  No need to peel the garlic, just chuck it in there. Add a pinch of salt. Bring this to a boil and then reduce to simmer for 20 minutes.  When done, strain this mixture into a bowl
  2. While the stock is going, prep your other ingredients: slice the poblano and onion and dice the other 2 cloves of garlic.  Set some corn kernels aside for garnish.
  3. On a medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of butter and wait until it’s foamy.  Add the corn, onion and poblano and slowly saute until the onions are translucent but not brown. Add the garlic and cook a little longer until fragrant.
  4. Add the stock to this mixture and bring it to a boil.  Then reduce to a low simmer and cook for 25 minutes.
  5. After 25 minutes, add cream to the pot.  At this point, you will puree the mixture.  You can either blend in a blender in several batches OR (my preference) use an immersion blender.  Just make sure you get it real smooth.
  6. Turn off the heat, but leave the pot on the hot burner.  Return the pureed mixture to the pot.  Take the cilantro and bruise it up with the handle of your knife–you should be able to smell the cilantro in the air as it releases its scent.  Add this to the soup and let it infuse for 30 minutes.
  7. Going about 3 ladles at a time, strain the soup through a mesh sieve.  Press on the solids to release as much liquid as possible.  Taste and season.  The sweetness of the corn will dictate how much salt it needs.  Add some pepper, cayenne to your heat preference and a sprinkle of chili powder.
  8. Saute the reserved corn kernels in butter until browned.  Pile these in the middle of your bowl and ladle the soup around.
  9. Sprinkle cheese on top and serve with a wedge of lime.
Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Categories: Recipes, Soup

Author:apointgourmet

A former English teacher living in Stuttgart, Germany who finds some sanity and peace through cooking.

Subscribe

Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: