Corn and Poblano Summer Salad

I was not going to post about this. It was supposed to be an afterthought to the amazing ribs my husband and I were smoking all day. We just needed a quick side dish. No big deal. 

It was a big deal. It turned out so good I just had to make a post about it! This salad will no doubt become my go-to summer side dish. It can be served cold or at room temp. Also, since it isn’t a mayonnaise-based salad, it lends itself really well to BBQ buffets because it can sit out for longer periods of time.

And the best part? It is SO EASY! 

Corn and Poblano Summer Salad 

1 bag frozen corn

2 Poblano peppers 

1 medium avocado 

Handful of cherry tomatoes 

1 lime

3 T olive oil 

Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the corn according to package directions, usually in the microwave. You can use fresh corn too if you want, just grill them and cut it off the cob. I just find the frozen much easier and the taste is still great.

After the corn is cooked, add it to a dry skillet over high heat. The goal here is to just char it up a little bit. Set aside to cool. I put it in the fridge to bring the temperature down to warm/room temp. I prepped the rest of the salad in the meantime.

Put the Poblanos over the flame on your stove, turning until charred on all sides.

When done, put the peppers in a plastic bag and seal. Let them steam for about 10-15 minutes. 

Remove from the bag and the skin will just wipe off with a paper towel. Open up the peppers and remove the stem and the seeds. Dice the pepper.

In a bowl, add diced avocado, halved cherry tomatoes, diced pepper, and cooled corn.

In a small bowl, mix your dressing which is just the zest and juice of 1 lime, olive oil, a dash of pepper and 1t salt. Whisk together with a fork and pour over the veggies. Careful toss the veggies to coat. Add a little more salt if necessary.

That’s it! So easy and so much flavor! It was the perfect side!


Summer Berry Trifle

Ah Summertime. Sweet, sweet summertime. The skies are blue, the sun is shining. It gets a little hot, but that’s what the pool and slip ‘n slide are for, right? Most important, it’s perfect BBQ weather!

Even though the first official day of summer isn’t until June 21, we usually consider Father’s Day our first BBQ of the Summer. 

This year, we weren’t going to be able to spend Father’s Day with my dad and the rest of my family, so my parents came up to our house the day before. We threw a tri tip on the smoker and I made my slow cooker baked beans, some cornbread, and cut up some watermelon. 

It was all delicious and led up to this super yummy dessert. Fruit this season has been so good here in SoCal, so I asked my husband if I should make a peach cobbler or a berry trifle. His answer was a resounding yes for the berry trifle.

This looks really pretty and people will think it was a lot of work, but it really isn’t. And it is so yummy! The fresh berries are so sweet and refreshing, so there isn’t really a lot of added sugar. You can make the vanilla custard from scratch, which is so good, but if you wanted to make it even easier you could use instant pudding and it would still be just as delicious.

For the pudding:

1/2 cup sugar

5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 cups whole milk

4 egg yolks

2 tablespoons butter

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the berries:

1 lb of strawberries 

1 small container each of blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries (I think they are about 6 oz)

1-2 tablespoons sugar, depending on the sweetness of the berries

For the cake:

Store bought pound cake

For the whipped cream:

1 pint heavy whipping cream

1/4 – 1/2 cup powdered sugar, depending on how sweet you want it

Start with the custard:

In a saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt.

Add the milk, and whisk together so everything is very well combined. Turn the heat in medium-high. Let the mixture come to a boil for about 30 seconds. It will become thick.

Put your egg yolks (make sure it’s yolks only… Don’t ask…) to a bowl and add a little bit of the hot milk mixture to temper the eggs. Whisk together and then add that back into the rest of the milk. 

Add your butter and vanilla and pour into a bowl to let cool completely.

While you wait for the custard to cool, you can prep your berries. I left the blueberries and raspberries whole, but I cut up the blackberries and strawberries. You can really use whatever berries and fruit you like.

Sprinkle with a little sugar and let sit until ready to assemble.

To assemble:

Cut the pound cake into 1″ cubes. Put 1/3 on the bottom of a trifle bowl. Top with 1/3 of the custard. I thinly sliced some strawberries and put them around the side of the dish. This is decorative and optional, but easy enough. Then add 1/3 of the berry mixture on top of the pudding.

Repeat your layers, ending with the last of the berries.

Just before serving, whip the heavy cream and powdered sugar together until stiff peaks form. Top the trifle with the whipped cream.

This was so good. Really… SO GOOD!! We all had seconds… and maybe little bites here and there as I walk past the fridge. Maybe.

The berries are sweet and refreshing. The pudding gets slightly absorbed into the pound cake and it all just comes together in the most delicious way possible.

And the main component is berries, so you know, it’s practically good for you. 

Strawberry Balsamic Dressing 

Sometimes I think this recipe came out of thin air. I made a salad but I had no dressing in the house. I usually do, but this time I didn’t. Lately I’ve been making this ranch dressing, which is delicious, but I didn’t have it or the ingredients to make it. Luckily, I had what I needed for this dressing. It only has three ingredients and it is really yummy!

Vinaigrettes (a mixture of vinegar and oil with seasonings) come from the French word for Vinegar (obviously), but they are a pretty universal staple in most kitchens. They are most often used as a dressing, but can be a marinade as well. Generally speaking, the ratio is 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar, but I didn’t do that since I just sort of tossed everything into the blender until it looked good. And since I didn’t follow the vinaigrette rules, I’ll just call mine a dressing.

Traditionally, vinaigrettes are pretty basic: vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. In the US, we tend to add a lot of additions, like truffles, berries, garlic, blue cheese, etc. Seems pretty typical of the US, but also pretty yummy!

Strawberry Balsamic Dressing

1-1/2 cups chopped strawberries
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Put all ingredients in a blender and mix until well combined.