Saturday, August 4, 2007

The Ultimate Salad

I don't know if I mentioned this before but the house I grew up in was not culinarily inclined in the least. The worst meal my father used to make was those little sausages with canned cream corn and dry mashed potatoes. This meal came from a line of economy cooking along with other such delicacies as hamburger patties in mushroom soup.

When I was in highschool my parents didn't mind a bit if I cooked. I liked cooking. I liked how it was calming, methodical, and how you needed to be organized to get it all together. It's in those days that I discovered that grilling sweet corn without he husk and spreading barbecue sauce between every kernel was simply a great idea.

Seeing as corn is coming into season, I grilled some corn in this fashion for my girlfriend. At first she thought it would just be like all my other quirky food preparations and prefered to stick to her boiled corn with butter, salt and pepper. But after she took one bight of my corn, which I'd slathered with Jamaican jerk bbq sauce, she was cooked.

The next day, I figured I'd use the rest of the corn to make a salad. The result was one of the best salads I've ever eaten although with the amount of ingredients in it, I'm not sure it still qualifies as a salad. We piled the leftover corn kernels all sticky with barbecue sauce along with chunks of cheddar, mangos, apple slices, tomatoes, cucumber, barbecued chicken, grilled red and green onions, grilled mushrooms, and California trail mix over romain lettuce and drizzled the whole with a honey balsamic vinaigrette. The result was really delicious and filling.

Like soups, stews and sandwiches, I find salads have a great potential for variety. You have the form and the basic elements and then you could just keep adding till you satisfied. For salads you know you have a vinaigrette with some vegetables. For a soup you know you have stock with whatever else you want. For sandwiches you have bread, a sauce and some fillings. The options are unlimited and the form is so easy to work with.

Anyways, that's that. Grill your corn with barbecue sauce.

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