Welcome to On Board in 20: a recipe series where we share wholesome, family-style meals you can prepare in about 20 minutes. The recipes always contain whole food ingredients and are intended to be brought to the table for family members to build and construct their individual plates as their senses guide them. Along the way, we bring you tips and tricks for speeding up prep and clean up for those busy weeknight meal times.
This month's On Board in 20 is sponsored by Produce Made Simple.
September may be just around the corner but there's still plenty of summer left, so this month we're taking the family meal outside. With a special spotlight on corn, and in partnership with Produce Made Simple, we're firing up the grill to cook some turkey wieners accompanied by seasonal corn two ways: raw with a quick pickle relish and grilled, Mexican street-style.
Corn is at its finest when it's in season because the sugar in corn actually starts converting to starch as soon as it's picked (get all the facts on how nutritious these gems are!). You'll want to take care selecting and storing your corn and once you have your fresh corn, you're going to want to eat it within a few days or prepare it for freezing. If you're using it soon, keep it in the husks and in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
There's no shortage of ways to cook corn -- boiled or grilled (in the husk or out), steaming, microwaving and even roasting are all suitable methods. Corn on the cob is a great pick for a quick family meal (see last month's On Board in 20 here) because it needs very little prep and cooking supervision. (And, kids make great corn huskers!) One tip for preparing corn for a crowd if you're short on grill/stove space is simply to fill a clean, small cooler with two kettles of boiling water. Toss in the husked corn and shut the lid; 30 minutes later you'll have perfectly cooked corn.
The window for fresh corn always seems to open and close quickly so it's best to stock up when the harvest is abundant. Corn freezes so well and you can freeze it on or off the husk. Simply blanch the husked corn about five to seven minutes in boiling water and then put it into an ice bath or very cold water. The corn can be frozen on the cob in airtight freezer bags or you can use a knife to scrape the kernels off. If you want more of a creamed corn, after you've scraped off the kernels, use the back of the knife to scrape the rest of the juice off the cob and freeze with the corn. Some people find standing the corn cobs up in a bundt pan and then scraping them off works well.
Now the absolute quickest way to prepare corn is to enjoy it raw. When corn is fresh it's crunchy, sweet and juicy right out of the husk. In this month's edition, we scraped the kernels off the corn and mixed them with a little vinegar, sugar, red onion and lime juice for a bright and colourful quick relish for the turkey dogs. If you have leftovers, this relish will last a couple weeks in the refrigerator and only get better over time. The traditional toppings for corn on the cob are butter and salt but Mexican street-style is equally quick. A few tablespoons of mayonnaise, a grated garlic clove and some chilli powder will transform the cob into something truly spectacular. If you're looking for more ideas of what goes well with corn, check out these ideas from Produce Made Simple.
So in these final days of summer, take advantage of the corn harvest and cooking outside with these grilled Turkey Dogs with Corn Relish and Mexican Street Corn.
- 4 turkey dogs
- 5 cobs of corn
- 3 tbsp mayonaise
- 1 garlic glove, finely grated
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 2 tbsp Cotija cheese (or feta will work)
- ½ cup cilantro, finely chopped, divided
- ¼ cup red onion, minced
- 1 small red jalepeno pepper, minced
- 1 tsp white sugar
- 2 tsp white vinegar
- ½ tsp cumin
- 1 lime, quartered
- 4 hot dog buns
- Heat BBQ to medium-high heat. When grill is hot, add turkey dogs and cook about ten minutes until done. Move to indirect heat or tent with tinfoil to keep warm.
- Prepare corn. Husk four cobs for the grill. You can remove husks completely or tie them back with twine. If you leave them on, they make handles for rotating the corn. Ensure the husks are not on the grill (they will catch fire) but rather sticking off the BBQ. Rotate every 3 to 5 minutes until done, about 12 minutes total. Meanwhile, combine mayonnaise, garlic and chilli powder in a small bowl and set aside. When corn is done, brush mayo mixture onto cobs and sprinkle with cheese, ¼ cup cilantro and juice of ¼ of one lime.
- Prepare the relish. Using a sharp knife, remove the kernels from the fifth cob (raw) and place into a medium size bowl. Add the red onion, jalepeno, sugar, vinegar, cumin, remaining cilantro and the juice from a ¼ of the lime. Stir to combine.
- Prepare board. Place four corn cobs on board. To each bun add a turkey weiner and a generous serving of corn relish.(Add other hot dog condiments as desired.) Garnish board with remaining lime wedges.
Looking For More 20 Minute Meal Ideas?
- Lamb Kofta with Arugula Gremolata
- Mini Ricotta Meatballs Over Lemon Rice and Peas
- Soy-Glazed Salmon, Veggies and Rice Noodles
Lisa Bolton is the creator, writer and photographer behind Food Well Said, her blog about bringing thoughtfully prepared, whole food recipes. She lives in the Lower Mainland of BC and you can reach her on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.