Sweet Corn, Chorizo, and Date Hash

This is the sort of dish that happens in my kitchen the day after I do groceries. Especially during the summertime, when the bounty is particularly inspiring.

This is also the sort of thing that makes Eugene say, "You're using up all the delicious things at once!"

Damn straight, I am! (And I won't apologize for it!)

What we have here is THE perfect summer side dish: a Sweet Corn, Chorizo, and Date Hash. There are also capers and onions in it, but the name was getting too long. The capers are actually quite key to the whole dish, so don't even think about skipping them. They add this incredible briny, salty flavor that pairs beautifully with the milky corn and sticky dates. Every single time I took a bite of this that had the caper in it, I re-surprised myself with how perfectly they worked.

Maybe I should rename this recipe and give the capers their due...

I don't mean to be pushy, but I really want you to make this recipe.  The flavors are incredible! It's bright and colorful and the perfect balance of salty, spicy, and sweet, and you pretty much just make the whole dish in one skillet. I served this with broiled wild coho salmon, but I bet it would also be great with thin pan-seared chicken breasts or grilled shrimp or even just a couple runny poached eggs!

Oooh...I bet you could even add a little sour cream or Greek yogurt, and roll this into soft tortillas for a bad ass taco.

Now...let's talk about the colors! I found these gorgeous ears of local sweet red corn while browsing Fresh Direct last week, and decided to add a few to the cart just for fun. They were a little pricier than the regular yellow corn (about $1 per ear), but the description indicated that the corn changes colors depending on the cooking method. They said it turns maroon when you roast it, blue if you boil it, and purple in the microwave.

And...yeah...I just couldn't resist the possibility of rainbow corn.

In hindsight, I should have bought three and tested the different methods, but I didn't. Maybe I'll do that next week. I'll post a pic on my Facebook page if I do.

Anyway, I bought these, along with a few bi-color sweet corn and knew that I wanted to do something a little bit more fun with them to celebrate the gorgeous color. I had the broiler on for the salmon, so I just rubbed them with a little bit of olive oil and placed them under the flame for a few minutes until charred.

You could also just put it right over the flame of your gas stove, roast them in the oven, or char them on a cast iron grill pan. Whatever you prefer!

I'm so glad I made extra. I'll be having the leftovers for breakfast today.

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Sweet Corn, Chorizo, and Date Hash Recipe
Serves 4 as a side 

4 ears sweet corn
Extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 pound Spanish chorizo sausage (about 3 links)
1/4 cup sherry (substitute vermouth or chicken broth)
1/4 cup dates, pitted and diced
3 tablespoons capers in brine

Preheat broiler. Rub corn with oil and place on a baking sheet under the broiler, turning every 4 minutes until cooked and slightly charred. (You can also grill or roast the corn, if preferred.) Let corn cool slightly and use a knife to cut kernels off cob. Set aside.

While the corn cooks, place a large heavy-bottomed skillet (such as cast iron) over medium-high heat and add two tablespoons oil. Add the diced onion and saute until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the diced chorizo and continue to cook until heated through and slightly charred. Stir in the sherry and dates and let cook until the liquid reduces.  Remove from heat. Stir in the capers and the corn kernals, and season with kosher salt and black pepper, to taste.

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