GRILLED CORN + POBLANO SALAD WITH SHRIMP

Grilled Corn + Poblano Salad with Tiger Shrimp || Delicious and healthy summer salad recipe grilled on the bbq. Perfect for parties and hot days! Gluten free + pescatarian.  || creamandhoney.ca

Summer is here and I pray it's a long one. Toronto has been exceptionally rainy this year but the plants are lush and loving it. I spotted a few surprise mushrooms growing in my garden which I'm guessing is from the moisture. Their oblong tops are whimsical and look like they are from psychedelic posters with naked ladies and swirling colours.

Spicy, savoury, and a bit sweet– this meal is a perfect summer dish for rain or shine. It's not too heavy if it's hot out and your appetite is small. This recipe is adapted from Bon Appetit which on it's own is delicious. I marinated and grilled tiger shrimp and blended up an avocado-cilantro dressing for drizzling purposes. While we are at it, grill and caramelize some limes for cocktails (or mocktails) for a hint of smokiness. This paloma would be all the better for it.

Note about poblanos: Poblano peppers are a Mexican pepper originating from the state of Puebla. They are traditionally used in a dish called chiles relleños– poblano peppers roasted, stuffed with cheese, dipped in egg batter and fried. Served with salsa or tomato sauce, they are a delicious and gooey mess. Poblano peppers are green when picked fresh with a mild spiciness. They become ancho chiles when left to ripen to a red colour and dried. This recipe calls for fresh poblanos which can be difficult to find depending on where you are. If you must substitute, try mild jalapeños first, cubanelles if you prefer less heat, or green bell peppers if you desire no heat. I would not substitute ancho chiles. Although they are the same pepper, they taste completely different taking on a smoky flavour in their dried state.

Who knew corn husk could be so stunning. Isn't she beautiful?

Corn Husk || Grilled Corn + Poblano Salad with Tiger Shrimp || Delicious and healthy summer salad recipe grilled on the bbq. Perfect for parties and hot days! Gluten free + pescatarian.  || creamandhoney.ca
Roasted Poblano || Grilled Corn + Poblano Salad with Tiger Shrimp || Delicious and healthy summer salad recipe grilled on the bbq. Perfect for parties and hot days! Gluten free + pescatarian.  || creamandhoney.ca
Grilled Corn + Poblano Salad with Tiger Shrimp || Delicious and healthy summer salad recipe grilled on the bbq. Perfect for parties and hot days! Gluten free + pescatarian.  || creamandhoney.ca
Charred Corn Husk || Grilled Corn + Poblano Salad with Tiger Shrimp || Delicious and healthy summer salad recipe grilled on the bbq. Perfect for parties and hot days! Gluten free + pescatarian.  || creamandhoney.ca
Grilled Corn + Poblano Salad with Tiger Shrimp || Delicious and healthy summer salad recipe grilled on the bbq. Perfect for parties and hot days! Gluten free + pescatarian.  || creamandhoney.ca

Summer barbecues are the best. The smell of food and smoke, people gathered together cracking beers, and soaking in the sunshine. Sometimes the barbecue bleeds into nighttime and takes on a  new wild vibe. I love it all.

Years ago on a hot July day, my best friend and I moved into a new apartment on one of the most beautiful streets in Toronto, Palmerston Avenue. The street is lined with large lamp posts and old homes with mysterious attic windows and front hanging balconies. I heard a story years ago about these street lamps. It was that a rich couple used to live on Palmerston and one day the wife began falling ill with dementia. On walks she would lose sense of where she was and become lost among the streets. Her husband bought elegant lamp posts to line their street to help her find her way home during a spell. I don't remember who told me this story but I thought it was tragically beautiful and stuck with me. After much research, I have found zero evidence to prove this story is true. I'll call it folklore (or someone trying to take me home from the bar). When you say you live on Palmerston Avenue to someone from Toronto they go all “ooooo" and “aaahh" and “what a beautiful street, your place must be amazing!". Our place was amazing... when it was built in the early 1900s. Unfortunately no work was put into it in sixty years. It was the eyesore of the street.

We were weak, sweaty and dehydrated after the ten hours of moving our stuff into the apartment. Our neighbours helped us with some furniture at the end like the lovely humans they were. This was good timing since we almost threw out a one of our beds from sheer fatigue. They invited us to join the barbecue they were having and we were eager to accept hunched over and expired from the heat and the day. We decided to take a quick shower before heading over so my roommate Alex got in first and one minute later started screaming. I ran into the bathroom to see the faucet from the bathtub had blasted clean off and there was water spraying out in every direction with Alex naked trying to shield herself from the explosion. “MEGAN MAKE IT STOP!!! MAKE IT STOP!!!" she screamed. “I'M TRYING!!! I'M NOT A PLUMBER!!! I DON'T UNDERSTAND TAPS!" I yelled back while shoving my hand on and around the water stream doing nothing to help it. I turned taps back and forth for awhile until the water was only a constant drizzle. We said fuck it and I took a trucker shower (washing my face and armpits in the sink) and went down to join the barbecue. They served us chicken and corn which we inhaled with a few beers each. An intravenous would have suited us just fine. Soon after this day we became very close with our neighbours, but I don't recall anyone speaking to us at this barbecue. Probably because we looked like sickly wet rodents huddled together shoving food into our mouths as quickly as possible. And that was the beginning of our life on Palmerston Ave. It only got weirder from there. But it gave us many memorable stories which include (but are not limited to):

  • a locked shed in the backyard with childrens' dolls and broken plates 
  • a bouncer/drug dealer called “Big Ron" who frequented out place at night unannounced looking for our neighbours who were always “out".
  • a creepy old man entering our apartment at 3 am because he heard the toilet running.

All true stories. Stories for another time.  

Charred Corn Husk || Grilled Corn + Poblano Salad with Tiger Shrimp || Delicious and healthy summer salad recipe grilled on the bbq. Perfect for parties and hot days! Gluten free + pescatarian.  || creamandhoney.ca
Grilled Limes || Grilled Corn + Poblano Salad with Tiger Shrimp || Delicious and healthy summer salad recipe grilled on the bbq. Perfect for parties and hot days! Gluten free + pescatarian.  || creamandhoney.ca
Grilled Corn + Poblano Salad with Tiger Shrimp || Delicious and healthy summer salad recipe grilled on the bbq. Perfect for parties and hot days! Gluten free + pescatarian.  || creamandhoney.ca
Paloma with Grilled Lime || Grilled Corn + Poblano Salad with Tiger Shrimp || Delicious and healthy summer salad recipe grilled on the bbq. Perfect for parties and hot days! Gluten free + pescatarian.  || creamandhoney.ca
Fresh Lime || Grilled Corn + Poblano Salad with Tiger Shrimp || Delicious and healthy summer salad recipe grilled on the bbq. Perfect for parties and hot days! Gluten free + pescatarian.  || creamandhoney.ca
Grilled Limes || Grilled Corn + Poblano Salad with Tiger Shrimp || Delicious and healthy summer salad recipe grilled on the bbq. Perfect for parties and hot days! Gluten free + pescatarian.  || creamandhoney.ca

Now go soak in the sunshine and enjoy the summer while it's here, okay? 

xx


GRILLED CORN + POBLANO SALAD WITH SHRIMP

the magic

inspiration:                           fresh corn + hot sweaty days

the feels:                              spicy, sweet, savoury, light, fresh

eat with:                               palomas, margaritas, cucumber water,                                               citrus/herb water, fresh squeezed juice,                                             corona or sol, sangria, roasted                                                         potatoes, potato hash, steak, chorizo,                                                 cheese (cotija or feta), clams, crab. 

might like if you're into:       cantinas, inflatable water toys,                                                         learning about corn, backyard                                                         barbecues, rainbows after a storm.

the science

serves 4 || cooking time: 15 mins prep + resting time: 40 mins

ingredients:

                                                                                                                                                                                                salad

  • 5 corn, in husk
  • 2 poblano peppers
  • oil, for grill
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey (or agave)
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons water, start with 2 and add more as needed
  • good pinch of salt 

shrimp

  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper chile flakes

method:

  1. Turn on barbecue. Clean grate if needed and oil well.
  2. Mix everything under the shrimp heading (except for the shrimp) together and pour into a resealable bag or shallow dish. Add shrimp and toss well. Keep in the fridge covered or sealed for minimum 30 minutes. 
  3.  Grill corn (dry and still in husks, no need to soak in water) and poblano peppers until charred, turning every few minutes once each side is blackened. The corn takes between 10 and 15 minutes and will be blackened/ dark brown on all sides. The peppers take between 8 to 10 minutes and will have blackened crispy spots and feel tender. Remove and let all vegetables cool. 
  4. Shuck corn and cut off corn kernels into a medium sized bowl. Cut open peppers and remove seeds. Chop and add to bowl of corn.
  5. Remove shrimp from fridge and stab onto skewers. Grill shrimp on barbecue for 2 minutes per side. 
  6. Add all remaining ingredients (from avocado to salt) to a blender/food processor and blend well. Keep adding water tablespoon by tablespoon depending on how thick (dipping consistency) or thin (dressing consistency) you prefer. 
  7. Serve all separately and let people do what they want or mix salad, shrimp and dressing/dip together. Garnish with cut limes and cilantro if desired. 

 

Shrimp marinade + dressing adapted from The Recipe Critic.

Corn and poblano salad adapted from Bon Appetit

 

 

AVOCADO EGG SALAD TOSTADA + ESCABECHE (PICKLED VEGETABLES)

Avocado Egg Salad Tostada + Escabeche (pickled vegetables)  || Healthy + delicious Mexican inspired dish. Great for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack.  A perfect recipe for summer that is easy to make and can be eaten at breakfast, lunch or dinner! A nice change from avocado toast and it's gluten free, plant based + dairy free without the cheese. || creamandhoney.ca

I went to Oaxaca, Mexico for two weeks. Since, I have been daydreaming of returning next winter to eat corn based snacks, wander amongst the bright coloured stone buildings and drink mezcal with strangers, (or friends –same thing in Mexico). We spent a week in Oaxaca City, two days in the mountains and a week on the coast in Puerto Escondido. It. Was. INCREDIBLE. I'm working on posts for Mexico so I won't go into too much detail. But I will  tell you about the day I saw some people vomit. You may be thinking, “Wow, what a great intro for a food post!". Yes. I only aim for the best here on my blog. I could write about something else like how delicious this meal is, but that seems cheap and repetitive sometimes. Because of course I wouldn't post something on here that tastes bad, so let's all assume I'm making good food for me and you. Also, this story  is much more interesting than listening to more food words like mouthfeel, paleo, or tasty. Don't even get me started on short form words or exact-same-length words like delish, yummers, or 'za. Only moms in the suburbs use these words because they heard them from a fellow suburban mom who only hangs out with her children, mom, and grandma (who is the most confused that we changed perfectly good words into slight variations that sound worse). I feel you g-ma. (The short form “g-ma" is okay because it sounds gangster and every granny is/was gangster in some way). Birthed nine children vaginally?! Gangster. Sipping on a bottle of sherry all day?! Gangster.  Saying whatever the f*$k you want all the time because you're 93 and don't give a sh*t?! Gangster. No no, this story has more adventure, mystery, and self reflection than food words. It also has vomit. You are welcome gentle human. (note: All badass grandma qualities are based on real life grannies I've known. Also, I love all my suburban mom friends! I was kidding. Kind of.)

We spent a night in the small town San Jose Del Pacifico in the Oaxacan mountains. Our next destination was Puerto Escondido and we were ready for the salty ocean breezes and beachside cocktails. The only way to get from this little town to the coast is by colectivo, large vans that operate all over Mexico. They are cheap and efficient and if you're lucky, they have tvs that play movies.

The van pulled up and the driver told us it would be 200 pesos each ($14 CAD) for the four hour ride to Puerto Escondido. Within a minute of being in the van we noticed a very robust smell. Like fresh sliced garlic mixed with overripe onions. “Wow. That. Is. Pungent." I whispered.  For some reason, I couldn't get used to the smell. It stung my nostrils on each breath. It became so intense that I dug out a long sleeve shirt from my bag and tied it around my nose and mouth. I imagined myself a bandito. The driver looked at me through the rearview mirror and made gestures like, “are you okay?". I gave him a thumbs up and he smiled. This long drive has over 200 turns, many of them 180°, while teetering on the brink of high cliffs. People began feeling sick and one guy asked them to pull over so he could throw up but instead they handed him a plastic bag without even slowing down. A woman started vomiting, sweat rolling down her face. People had told us this was a bad bus ride, but I assumed they were being dramatic or prone to motion sickness. I love fast bumpy rides so I figured we'd be just fine. Turns out, they were correct. I wouldn't wish the ride upon my worst enemy. Well maybe I would. But only because it's mostly harmless. 

Without being there, you can't fully comprehend the amount of severe turns. So here are a few Google map images of the ride itself with drawings on top from Paint (yes, it's still around) of my feelings/thoughts along the way. (more food photos + recipe at the end)

Yay!!!! On our way to ocean and margaritas!

Yay!!!! On our way to ocean and margaritas!

Weeeee!!! This is like a rollercoaster! 

Weeeee!!! This is like a rollercoaster! 

Oh okay, this IS a very winding road. I get it now. “Sorry for falling on you señor!"

Oh okay, this IS a very winding road. I get it now. “Sorry for falling on you señor!"

Two hours pass and vomit fest begins. 

Two hours pass and vomit fest begins. 

“Seriously though. Who brings stinky garlic and onions on this ride anyways?! I wish an permanent itchy butthole upon them."

“Seriously though. Who brings stinky garlic and onions on this ride anyways?! I wish an permanent itchy butthole upon them."

“Did we drive off a cliff and now I'm unknowingly in hell?!?! Will I forever be amongst vomit and the smell of alliums??!"

“Did we drive off a cliff and now I'm unknowingly in hell?!?! Will I forever be amongst vomit and the smell of alliums??!"

*Three hours have passed. Wonder if oxygen has always smelled like garlic and onions. Brain starts torturing me with thoughts of fish markets, dogs pooping, and that time I got food poisoning from Chinese food when I was 6. And then again when I was 12.*

*Three hours have passed. Wonder if oxygen has always smelled like garlic and onions. Brain starts torturing me with thoughts of fish markets, dogs pooping, and that time I got food poisoning from Chinese food when I was 6. And then again when I was 12.*

*Acceptance phase. Consider that maybe I entered an infinite time/bus loop and may never get out.*                     “I guess this is where I live now?" 

*Acceptance phase. Consider that maybe I entered an infinite time/bus loop and may never get out.*                     “I guess this is where I live now?" 

We finally make it onto straight road for the last hour and I consume three snacks.                                                   “YOU CALL THAT A BUS RIDE?!"

We finally make it onto straight road for the last hour and I consume three snacks.                                                   “YOU CALL THAT A BUS RIDE?!"

Avocados || Avocado Egg Salad Tostada + Escabeche (pickled vegetables)  || Healthy + delicious Mexican inspired dish. Great for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack.  A perfect recipe for summer that is easy to make and can be eaten at breakfast, lunch or dinner! A nice change from avocado toast and it's gluten free, plant based + dairy free without the cheese. || creamandhoney.ca
Avocados || Avocado Egg Salad Tostada + Escabeche (pickled vegetables)  || Healthy + delicious Mexican inspired dish. Great for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack.  A perfect recipe for summer that is easy to make and can be eaten at breakfast, lunch or dinner! A nice change from avocado toast and it's gluten free, plant based + dairy free without the cheese. || creamandhoney.ca
Avocado Egg Salad Tostada + Escabeche (pickled vegetables)  || A healthy and delicious meal with fresh ingredients inspired by Mexico. A perfect recipe for summer that is easy to make and can be eaten at breakfast, lunch or dinner! || creamandhoney.ca
Avocado Egg Salad Tostada + Escabeche (pickled vegetables)  || Healthy + delicious Mexican inspired dish. Great for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack.  A perfect recipe for summer that is easy to make and can be eaten at breakfast, lunch or dinner! A nice change from avocado toast and it's gluten free, plant based + dairy free without the cheese. || creamandhoney.ca
Avocado Egg Salad Tostada + Escabeche (pickled vegetables)  || Healthy + delicious Mexican inspired dish. Great for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack.  A perfect recipe for summer that is easy to make and can be eaten at breakfast, lunch or dinner! A nice change from avocado toast and it's gluten free, plant based + dairy free without the cheese. || creamandhoney.ca
Avocado Egg Salad Tostada + Escabeche (pickled vegetables)  || Healthy + delicious Mexican inspired dish. Great for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack.  A perfect recipe for summer that is easy to make and can be eaten at breakfast, lunch or dinner! A nice change from avocado toast and it's gluten free, plant based + dairy free without the cheese. || creamandhoney.ca
Avocado Egg Salad Tostada + Escabeche (pickled vegetables)  || Healthy + delicious Mexican inspired dish. Great for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack.  A perfect recipe for summer that is easy to make and can be eaten at breakfast, lunch or dinner! A nice change from avocado toast and it's gluten free, plant based + dairy free without the cheese. || creamandhoney.ca
Avocado Egg Salad Tostada + Escabeche (pickled vegetables)  || Healthy + delicious Mexican inspired dish. Great for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack.  A perfect recipe for summer that is easy to make and can be eaten at breakfast, lunch or dinner! A nice change from avocado toast and it's gluten free, plant based + dairy free without the cheese. || creamandhoney.ca
Avocado || Avocado Egg Salad Tostada + Escabeche (pickled vegetables)  || Healthy + delicious Mexican inspired dish. Great for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack.  A perfect recipe for summer that is easy to make and can be eaten at breakfast, lunch or dinner! A nice change from avocado toast and it's gluten free, plant based + dairy free without the cheese. || creamandhoney.ca
Corn Tostadas || Avocado Egg Salad Tostada + Escabeche (pickled vegetables)  || Healthy + delicious Mexican inspired dish. Great for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack.  A perfect recipe for summer that is easy to make and can be eaten at breakfast, lunch or dinner! A nice change from avocado toast and it's gluten free, plant based + dairy free without the cheese. || creamandhoney.ca
Avocado Egg Salad Tostada + Escabeche (pickled vegetables)  || Healthy + delicious Mexican inspired dish. Great for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack.  A perfect recipe for summer that is easy to make and can be eaten at breakfast, lunch or dinner! A nice change from avocado toast and it's gluten free, plant based + dairy free without the cheese. || creamandhoney.ca

At one point we stopped for a bathroom break and I realized who it was. An old man sitting by himself with a large bag in front of him filled with his aromatics. He wore sandals and his feet were so dirty and cracked they looked like actual stone. I immediately felt a pang of compassion and shame wash over me for being so angry. Oh god, was my white privilege showing? 

His bag smelled no less after, but the sharp corners of the mountains were behind us and people weren't vomiting anymore. I told myself stories of why he would be carrying a rotting bag of vegetables so I could have more understanding for him. Here are the viable options I decided on:

  1.  This bag of garlic and onions were his great-great grandfather's vegetables and passed down for generations. They bring good luck. But also turn your feet to stone. 
  2. There is a vampire hunting him so he must carry the most potent garlic everywhere he goes. 
  3. He has lost his sense of smell so he has no idea the torture he's putting everyone through. 
  4. He has a sick sense of humour and likes to rides colectivos carrying only the stinkiest items he can find. Last time he brought jars of cow farts and released them incrementally every 10 minutes. Before that, 2 dozen freshly peeled boiled eggs. The time before that it was a pillow peed on by ten cats. He's currently working on bottling an old-age-home smell of moth balls, bad perfume and undigested medicine breath. (Patent pending). 
Avocado Egg Salad Tostada + Escabeche (pickled vegetables)  || Healthy + delicious Mexican inspired dish. Great for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack.  A perfect recipe for summer that is easy to make and can be eaten at breakfast, lunch or dinner! A nice change from avocado toast and it's gluten free, plant based + dairy free without the cheese. || creamandhoney.ca
Avocado Egg Salad Tostada + Escabeche (pickled vegetables)  || Healthy + delicious Mexican inspired dish. Great for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack.  A perfect recipe for summer that is easy to make and can be eaten at breakfast, lunch or dinner! A nice change from avocado toast and it's gluten free, plant based + dairy free without the cheese. || creamandhoney.ca
Mexican hot sauces: Tapatio + Cholula || Avocado Egg Salad Tostada + Escabeche (pickled vegetables)  || Healthy + delicious Mexican inspired dish. Great for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack.  A perfect recipe for summer that is easy to make and can be eaten at breakfast, lunch or dinner! A nice change from avocado toast and it's gluten free, plant based + dairy free without the cheese. || creamandhoney.ca

 Tapatio or Cholula? Which one is your favourite?


AVOCADO EGG SALAD TOSTADA + ESCABECHE (PICKLED VEGETABLES)

the magic

inspiration:            my trip to Oaxaca + all the escabeche I ate

the feels:                soft, crunchy, creamy, sour, savoury, fresh  

eat with:                 mezcal, agua frescas, agua de jamaica,                                             horchata, sparkling water, margarita,                                               michelada

might like if you're into:     antojitos, avocado toast, street food,                                                 other pickled things, messy foods,                                                     meals that work for breakfast, lunch                                                 or dinner, lucha libre, curried egg                                                     salad on naan

the science

makes 6 tostadas || resting time: 2 hours (for escabeche, make in advance) prep + cook time: 20 minutes

ingredients:                                                                                                              

mexican escabeche (pickled vegetables)

  • 2 large radishes or 4 small, thinly sliced
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and kept whole
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp peppercorns

guacamole egg salad tostadas

  • 6 tostadas (or tortillas to bake into tostadas)
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 limes (1 juiced + 1 cut up for topping tostadas if desired)
  • 2 tablespoons of finely chopped cilantro + extra for garnish
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 - 2 green onions, finely sliced
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, depending on preferred thickness
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, depending on taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Optional Toppings                                               
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cotija cheese (feta or goat works too)
  • salsa of your choice
  • hot sauce of your choice

method:

  1. Escabeche – Add sliced vegetables, garlic cloves, peppercorns and coriander seeds to one large jar/container or 2 smaller jars. Add water, vinegar, salt and honey to a medium pot and bring to a simmer. Mix with a spoon to ensure honey is completely dissolved. Pour into jar(s) over vegetables. Let cool for an hour. Seal and refrigerate, you can use them in one hour but it's better to make them a day or two before. Will keep for up to three weeks in the fridge.
  2. Begin making hard boiled eggs
  3. In a medium bowl add avocado, juice of 1 lime, cilantro, garlic, green onions, cumin, salt, pepper and olive oil. When eggs are ready, dice them up and add to avocado mixture. Mash/mix together with fork. 
  4. If making tostadas from tortillas – Preheat oven to 450°F. Place tortillas on baking sheet and brush both sides with oil. Sprinkle a little salt over top of them. Bake for 4 – 8 minutes or until golden on edges, check oven at 4 minute mark. 
  5. Layer avocado egg salad on to tostadas. Top with pickled vegetables, cherry tomatoes, cotija cheese, salsa, hot sauce, and extra cilantro + lime squeezes if desired.