Labor Day was yesterday, marking the end of summer, and the hubs and I went over to my parents' to do a little celebrating. My dad just got a brand new smoker a couple of weeks ago and he wanted to fire it up for the first time, so I wanted to make a side that would let him use his smoker (even though he was already using it to make some delicious ribs!).
Mexican street corn screams summer to me with the sweetness of the corn, the seasonings, and of course, cilantro (probably my all-time favorite herb). The only thing I hate about eating corn on the cob is that the stinking kernels always get stuck in my teeth so I decided on doing a little twist on the street corn and making a salad. I used all of the same spices as traditional Mexican Street corn (chili powder, garlic powder) along with the cilantro and queso fresco, but I just added a few vegetable friends to make a nice tasty salad. Cooking the corn in the smoker added such an amazing smoky flavor to the salad that mixed so well with the other flavors. However, if you choose, you can always bake the corn in the oven instead.
Yesterday was such a perfect day full of cooking together, eating, playing games, and chatting. I vote to make every Monday like Labor Day!
MEXICAN STREET CORN SALAD
*This serves a lot of people! Probably about 8 to 10-ish
- 4 ears of corn
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 28 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 2 avocados, diced
- half a large red onion, diced
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- juice from one lime
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- handful of queso fresco for sprinkling
- Heat smoker to 250°F. Shuck your ears of corn, rub them with olive oil, and sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper on each ear of corn. Place in your pre-heated smoker for about 30 minutes (rotate after 15 minutes).
- Take your corn out of the smoker and let sit until they are cool enough to be handled. With a sharp knife, cut the corn off the cob.
- Place corn, beans, tomatoes, avocados, red onion, and cilantro in a bowl and gently stir to combine.
- In a small bowl, mix the lime juice, chili powder and garlic powder and pour over the corn mixture. Gently toss to combine.
- Sprinkle a handful of the queso fresco on top and serve immediately.