Life has gotten busy. Not full time job, family, and puppy busy; but full time job, family, puppy, mid-escrow on our first home, and 4 weeks from my wedding crazy. Oh wait…did I mention my munchkin also turns 5 tomorrow?!
Needless to say that quality time in the kitchen has been few and far between. Cherished all the more for the lack of it, but it’s been really, really, tough to find the time to put down any sort of cohesive recipe on paper and take pictures of something I feel really happy with.
I love this blog and feel terrible that things have slipped in the past month, and to be honest I don’t know how much I will be able to churn out in the next month to come. I haven’t forgotten you blog, I promise. I literally dream about our new house and the dinner parties to come….gutting out the kitchen and creating my cooking mecca, backyard BBQ’s, and dinner under the stars. We will get there….slow and steady…
For now, two perfect summer side dishes; quick, easy, and delicious (exactly what I need right now). I served these alongside my grilled sirloin flap with strawberry salsa and they both feature one of my fiancé and I’s favorite ingredients; queso fresco. And I don’t mean the stuff you find in the supermarket (but by all means if that’s your only source go for it!) I mean the stuff cut fresh from the giant wheels behind the counter in the Latino markets. Really, I would argue one of the biggest perks of living in southern California is the abundance of Latino markets. All good locals have their favorite, mine is Mercado Guadalajara, best marinated carne asada (seriously I would never make my own because theirs is so good, and that says a lot), delicious real-deal queso fresco, and to top it off they carry an abundance of my beloved Goya seasonings (I am Puerto Rican after all).
So here are two sides that celebrate summer, southern California and all of the cultures that come with it, and the need for delicious food that is quick and easy.
Watermelon and Queso Fresco Salad
½ of a small to medium watermelon, cut into bite sized cubes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
4-6 oz queso fresco, crumbled into chunks
juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Toss all of the ingredients together and serve immediately, or within 1 hour. I like to use watermelon that is already cold so that it is even more refreshing.
Grilled Oaxaca Style Chipotle Corn
4-6 corn on the cobs with husks on
1 tablespoon chipotle in adobo
1 stick room temperature butter
queso fresco, crumbled
salt and pepper
juice of 1 lime
Soak your corn in water for 1 hour, then peel back the layers of husks until you get to the silk. Remove all the silky threads and discard. With a fork mash up the chipotle and butter until it is an even consistency. Spread the butter over the corn and then cover it up again with all of the husks.
Preheat your grill on medium high, then place all of the corn on the grill. Cook until all sides of the husks are evenly charred, about 20 minutes.
To finish it off, peel back the husks again, brush with a little extra butter, sprinkle with salt and a squeeze of lime, then crumble the queso fresco over the top of it all….and enjoy.