As the heat rises, June’s recipe takes its inspiration from Mexican ingredients; a soup of sweetcorn that also uses the unusual ingredient ‘huitlacoche’, also known in English by the curious name of “Corn Smut” or “Devil’s Corn”. Without getting smutty, this is an extremely odd and unusual looking ingredient. It is actually a fungal disease that infects the corn and stunts the growth of its kernels. It has been revered as a culinary delicacy since the days of the ancient Aztecs who believed it possessed mystical and even aphrodisiacal powers. Surprisingly for a fungal disease, it also has nutritional benefits!*
The fungus, which we shall call truffle-corn, has notably more protein than healthy corn and a far greater portion of lysine… an essential amino acid. So, it seems a little bit of smut perhaps can be good for us!
Despite the Mexican influence, this recipe will not send you rushing for the fire extinguisher as it is peppered only with a hint of jalapeño and a Peruvian yellow pepper paste. It is however absolutely delicious and was a sure winner in our recent tapas menu at ‘Gourmet Knights’ (Fridays and Saturdays in La Ola Fresca). Yet another spectacular creation of our Gourmet Knight, Alberto Corella.
SWEETCORN SOUP WITH LICHIS AND HUITLACOCHE
INGREDIENTS FOR 4 PEOPLE:
2 corn cobs
1/2 glass of water
1/2 litre of oat milk (you can use soya but make sure it is not sweetened)
1 small teaspoon of ‘ají amarillo’ (Peruvian yellow pepper paste).
1 soup spoon of ‘huitlacoche’
Huitlacoche is sold either fresh, canned or frozen and you can find in the Mercado Central at La Dispensa de Frida and good delicatessens shops. * If you are pregnant you should be aware that it was once used to induce labour.
-A little pinch of jalapeño.
Roast the cobs for forty minutes in an oven at 170°.
Blend with the rest of the ingredients (except the lichis and the huitlacoche).
Add salt and pepper.
Bring the mix slowly to the boil.
Sieve well and leave to cool.
When you are ready to serve, add four halves of the lichi and one piece (in the centre of the plate) of the ‘huitlacoche’.
Come to Gourmet Knights on Fridays and Saturdays from 19h to 23h and discover more innovative recipes to spice up your nights!
LA OLA FRESCA
C/ Musico Magenti, 11
Tel:610 026 305