It never ceases to amaze me that the simplest thing is often the most enjoyed by many people. I guess I have had my head in the clouds for far too long, thinking that top end food is the key to success in this field but I am constantly reminded that people just want “good food”.
Last Saturday I had the pleasure of cooking for Eat.Drink.Blog conference. I nervously cooked for seventy odd bloggers.
When I was approached to cook for this event, I didn’t really think about the bloggers, I was more thinking about having fun with the food, cooking the food I enjoy cooking and more importantly, cooking the food I enjoy eating! My mind raced away with so many ideas but in the end I was hooked on a South American fiesta. I have never been to South America and it is a wish of mine to one day do a food safari there but I have tasted so many flavours from that part of the world. I have been taught by people from these countries how to cook these things authentically and only stayed within the “flavour” realms I know and was comfortable in. But I had a vision – fairy lights on the pool deck, an outdoor fiesta away from the stiffness of a restaurant, open to the elements, with shared platters of Latin American flavours, lamb on the spit, meat off the grills and the theatre of it all being done right in front your eyes! I imagined the smells, the noise and all of it being played out in front of guests mingling and enjoying the atmosphere and I was instantly excited at the idea of cooking this “fun” meal. I thought about me, I thought about how much fun I was going to have, to be free to cook, until that night when I had to actually cook! I was so stressed out. It dawned on me that I was cooking for people who “write” about food and have probably been to millions of these things and upon realising this, the pressure was on!
So many things went through my head, what if they don’t like it, what if I don’t say the right thing, what if I mucked it up and so on and so on! I have cooked for presidents, princes, movie stars and rock stars and never have I been more nervous. In my mind, it was like having seventy food reviewers about to review my restaurant but instead of waiting for that review in weeks time to be published, it would be written about and published with every bite they take, horrible thought for a chef! WORST NIGHTMARE! But alas, the night was actually fun. People enjoyed them selves and more importantly the food. I met passionate foodies with so many stories to share and for an amateur blogger like me, I was keen to find out more about their expertise, I could only wish that perhaps next time I will be a guest at this function (that was a hint by the way).
This is the a recipe of the grilled corn served that night. As mentioned, it is easy but very tasty. I hope you enjoy it as much as the bloggers did!
Grilled Corn with Roasted Garlic Aioli and Parmesan
20 Corn on the Cob steamed for 15minutes husk on
For the Aioli
2 Whole Eggs
2 Egg Yolks
1 tbspn Dijon Mustard
¼ Cup White Vinegar
500ml Vegetable oil
¼ Cup Garlic Cloves peeled
3 Limes juiced
200gr Parmesan Cheese
1 Bunch Coriander finely chopped
6 Limes cut into cheeks or wedges
For the corn
- Once you have steamed the corn, pull the husks back and tie them back using raffia, clean off the corn “hairs”
- Grill on the char grill until evenly darkened, slightly black. Try not to grill the husks and make sure the husks are always wet, so it doesn’t burn
- Once grilled, place on a platter ready for the aioli
For the Aioli
- Pre Heat oven at 180 degrees Celsius for the garlic
- Meanwhile, place the eggs, egg yolks, mustard and vinegar into a mixer and blend on high for about 30-45 seconds
- Slowly add or “stream” the oil into the mixer whilst it is still on high speed. Add about 50ml then allow it to blend for another 30-45 seconds with out adding any more in
- Once the added oil is fully emulsified, add the rest by slowly “streaming” it in. Adjust more or less oil depending on the thickness of the end product (some eggs are bigger, fresher etc which will change the amount of oil needed) then turn it off in readiness for the garlic
- Heat up an oven proof pan for 1 minute on high
- Add a little oil and brown the garlic evenly on all sides
- Place into the oven and roast until almost black
- Cool then puree in mortar and pestle
- Add the garlic to the mayonnaise then blend until evenly mixed through
- Finish by adding freshly squeezed limes and check seasoning
- Place the aioli in a squeezie bottle
- Squeeze the aioli over the corn relatively high up to form thin a strip and zig zag all over the corn until well covered
- Micro-plane the parmesan into whispy thin shavings all over the corn until completely covered
- Sprinkle the chopped coriander on top of that
- Serve with lime cheeks or wedges