Thursday, May 29, 2014

THEE Salad

The Corn and Risoni Salad I'm Obsessed with may also be referred to as...
Southwest Cornsoni Salad  
(see what I did there?)
8 Large Bowl Servings / 16 side-serves 
15-20 minutes preparation

Ingredients that matter:
1 cup risoni/orzo pasta
2 cups(+) frozen corn kernels ("Supersweet" is the best of the frozen variety, but cut fresh off the cob is my favourite)
1 brown onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 -3 Verkerks chorizo
Parsley (fresh is tops, but I work with what I have on hand)
Optional (it'll make it even better):
Shallots in place of brown onion
Capsicum (I think red is great in this)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Eta Southwest Chipotle Flavoured Dressing
Feta (I prefer the sundried tomato flavoured feta)


My Method
  1. (If fresh corn is unavailable) Pour at least 2 cups frozen corn kernels into a microwave-proof dish and start that humming away in the microwave with the timer set for 12 minutes (or as per the packet directions).
  2. Fill a large pot with very hot water, put it on an element at high heat and add salt.
  3. Begin sautéing the onion in olive oil over medium heat in a small frying pan.
  4. While the water is coming to the boil and the onion is cooking, split chorizo in half longways and then slice it along its length into semi-circles.  Chop up any other ingredients you plan to add (capsicum, fresh parsley etc).
  5. Once the onion is clear, reduce the heat to low.  Add chorizo pieces to onion and stir for approximately one minute, then turn off the element, leaving the frypan over residual heat so the onion continues to infuse with mmm-mmm chorizo flavour.
  6. Place a colander or fine strainer in the sink.
  7. Add risoni to water and set a timer, as per packet directions (varies from 9-13 minutes).  Keep a close eye on the risoni with a slotted spoon -- when it is part-way cooked it will have patches that remain opaque while other parts are transparent.  When the pasta colouring is consistent and al dente, pour into the colander and refresh with cold water to halt cooking.
  8. Remove chorizo and corn from their respective heat sources.
  9. Peel away any starch that has formed a ring around the top of the risoni pot.
  10. Return risoni to its pot and add corn, onion, chorizo, and parsley (and capsicum, if you're adding it).  The heat from these ingredients should make for a warm pasta -- the way I think it is served best...by far.
  11. Serve as much pasta as you feel will be eaten, stirring through dressing until ingredients are coated (approximately three tablespoons to a large bowl), garnishing with crumbled risoni on top.  If all of the pasta will be served, the entire bottle can go in, along with around 150g feta.
NB:
  • You can make your own Chipotle.  I have twice.  I confess, I don't often...I just buy up the Eta bottles when they're on special.
  • When eating left-overs, we have found a bowl is suitably warmed after 1:40 in the microwave  (then add dressing and feta).  It is also fantastic with a Milo.  /sigh
  • "Obsession" is an accurate description for this.  I can make this and eat two bowls for dinner, half a bowl for a late night snack, a bowl for breakfast, a bowl for lunch, and a bowl for dinner (all in a row) and I am sad when it is gone.  I eat out every last piece or risoni.  I then make it a week later, and repeat the process.  Haki gets one or two bowls somewhere in there.  I have craved it and made it regularly for one year now, and I see now sign of the desire waning.  Haki has however, put on the brakes.  I have to cut down. /hanging head
  • Esky, Mia, Haki and I all enjoy it, but it is a bit too spicy for Ivy's taste.  Everyone I have served it has liked it, but I wouldn't say they rave about it the way I do. 



Adapted from: http://www.foodinaminute.co.nz/Recipes/Southwest-Pasta-Salad
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