Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Family Dinner Night #3: Lore's birthday!

Another party+family dinner night, and for a great reason! Our Lore is 20 years old! Happy Birthday to the best Mexican import since Modelo Especial!

Her birthday feast was a tribute to Mexico, and boy, did we have fun! The adults in the group kicked things off with Pink Grapefruit Margaritas. Woot!

The Menu:

Pico de Gallo

Mexican Pot Roast Tacos
Rice Salad with Herbs and Grilled Veggies
Grilled Corn, Mexico-Style
Cold Beer and Lemonade

Homemade ice cream

The pot roast tacos are a Tyler Florence recipe. I made some adjustments. I cooked the meat the day before the party (mine had to simmer for 3 1/2 hours, not 3), took the meat out to cool, shredded it, and removed any excess fat from the meat and the sauce. Then I reduced the sauce down, gave it a whiz with the immersion blender and plopped the meat back in. Can I just say that it turned out heavenly? The Carnita God had smiled on us. Moist, flavorful, scrumptious meat heaven. I think some of the men actually swooned.

I'd made grilled corn before, but not Mexico-style. I did some research and came up with something that Lore said was a pretty good facsimile.

Grilled Corn, Mexico Style
serves 8

8 ears corn
1 cup reduced fat sour cream (feel free to use full fat if it floats your boat
1/2 cup good quality mayo (I did not use low fat because I don't like it)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 limes
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced
1 cup queso fresca, crumbled (Mexican white cheese)
Cayenne pepper

Shuck corn and remove the silk. In Mexico, they usually leave the husks attached--they make a cool little handle for easy eating. I didn't want to fuss with husks, so I took them off completely. Soak the corn in cold, lightly salted water for about 25 minutes to prevent from burning and drying out on the grill.

Grill the corn on a hot grill for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally so it cooks evenly all over.

Meanwhile, mix mayonnaise, sour cream, salt and cilantro in a bowl. Spread over the hot corn.

Top corn with a hefty squeeze of lime, a tablespoon of queso fresca, and some cayenne pepper.

For people who don't *do* sour cream (hello! hubby) I made this compound butter to go on the grilled corn.

I really wasn't sure about the creamy sauce on the corn. It sounded kind of revolting, to be honest. But Lore and her friends went NUTS when they saw it.

"Just like they do it at home!" they squealed, and their smiles made the little bit of research I'd done completely worthwhile.

Corn, Mexican-style is surprisingly delicious! The richness of the sauce is cut by the lime and the cayenne, and the salty cheese and smoke from the grill add depth. Somehow it just works.

As the party wound down, one of Lore's friends said, "What a great party. And that corn? Best I've ever had."

Pow! I am the corn Superstar!

And you can be too. Run down to your farmer's market, shuck some corn, fire up the grill and give it a go yourself. Now.


  1. Love it! I've made it with greek yogurt instead of sour cream, too, just since I had it on hand. Yum.

  2. That sounds friggin' awesome! I am whipping down to the store and getting myself some corn- thanks!

  3. That corn sounds yum!!! Might give it a whirl... Happy Birthday Lore!!! xxx

  4. Why can't you live in DC? I need you to teach me how to cook!

  5. Pot roast tacos!!!!

    I am going to our Farmer's Market tomorrow and I must get some corn!

  6. yeah, that corn sounds gross but is the best. i love it.

  7. Delicious! The combo of lime and corn is a match made in heaven. Sounds like a wonderful party!

  8. Ahhhhh, pink grapefruit margaritas... Although one day you'll have to get yourself to Israel and have the red grapefruit margaritas at Chimichangas.

  9. did you know that this mexican (or maybe it was another country, one from s. america) corn was featured as part of a big party menu in last month's issue of Gourmet magazine? I don't usually like corn on the cob and the Gourmet magazine recipes are usually a pain in the neck to make . . .but there were a lot of grilling recipes in last months. But anyway I'm really glad you posted about the actual prep of it and the responses you had and that you liked it - i'm going to make it now. Thank you! I'm looking forward to this dish for the summer :)

  10. Hey, seriously? I am totally with you on the recipes in Gourmet. Even their "easy/fast" recipes seem overly time-consuming. But if the new issue is about all things grill, I may have to check it out.

  11. We had this corn for the fourth of July and it was DELISH. Even the kids ate it! (Well, not my kids. But other kids. Reasonable kids.)