It doesn’t get much more summer than corn and peppers. Lucky for us, there are dozens of sweet corn varieties to choose from, each with its own flavor profile and verdant shade of white, yellow, blue, purple and red. They’ve got great names too: golden cross bantam, silver queen, honey and cream, quicky, bloody butcher, cloud nine. At his newly opened restaurant in downtown Los Angeles, Miro, Chef Gavin Mills likes the bicolor varieties that come from cross-pollinating white and yellow plants. He goes through 65 ears of it a week at the restaurant. I’m looking forward to trying Gavin’s recipe for corn and tomatillo salad with — wait for it — crispy pig ears. Fancy! If you want a vegetarian version, the salad stands up just fine on its own without the pig ears.
Chef Gavin Mill’s Summer corn and tomatillo salad with crispy pig ears
Yield: Serves 4
Crispy Pig Ears (recipe follows below)
Corn and Tomatillo Salad (recipe follows below)
Green Harissa (recipe follows below)
Cilantro, for garnishing
Arrange the Corn and Tomatillo Salad on a plate. Top with Crispy Pig Ears and garnish with cilantro. Drizzle the Green Harissa on the plate to finish.
6 Serrano peppers, seeded
1 bunch fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander seed
⅓ cup orange juice
⅓ cup lemon juice
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp garlic, chopped
1 tsp salt
Remove the parsley stems and transfer the leaves to a blender. Add the remaining ingredients and blend to a smooth purée. Reserve in the refrigerator.
Crispy Pig Ears
4 fresh pig ears
2 cloves garlic, smashed
¼ cup salt
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp black peppercorns, crushed
A sprig of fresh thyme
6 cups water
2 cups white wine
1 lime, cut into halves for juicing
A pinch of cayenne pepper
Day One: Place the pig ears in a plastic container (with lid). Rub the ears with the salt, sugar, pepper, garlic and thyme. Cover with lid and refrigerate for 24 hours.
Day Two: Rinse the ears off and transfer to a large stock pot. Fill the pot with 6 cups of water and simmer for 3 hours, making sure that the ears remain submerged. Drain and set aside the ears to cool.
Next, cut the ears into 2-inch wide triangular wedges and deep-fry until crispy. Finish with freshly squeezed lime juice and a dusting of cayenne pepper.
Summer Corn and Tomatillo Salad
2 ears fresh corn
5 tomatillos, pan-roasted and diced
½ red onion, finely diced
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsps fresh lime juice
¼ tsp ground coriander
2 tsps extra-virgin olive oil
Salt, to taste
Prepare the corn: Grill the corn and season with salt.
For the dressing: In a large bowl, macerate the red onions in the red wine vinegar. Leave for 15 minutes.
For the salad: Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and mix well, then season with salt, to taste.