Fresh sweetcorn shaved off the cob, cooked with Italian ‘nduja sausage and served on a bed of shredded lettuce. With crispy, spicy tortilla strips as a topping.
These are basically deconstructed tacos with sweetcorn flavoured with ‘nduja. Instead of whole warm tortillas, we have spicy tortilla chips here. Sweetcorn is shaved off the cob and cooked with spicy Italian sausage/paste, called ‘nduja.
All presented on piles of shredded iceberg lettuce, it makes a surprisingly nice and surprisingly wholesome dish.
Fresh vs. frozen sweetcorn
Unquestionably, fresh corn wins, unless it’s October onwards and the ears of corn look sad in their plastic supermarket cases, having travelled half the world by aeroplane.
Most of the year, in our geolocation, we ought to stick to the freezers in search of seasonal veggies. Especially as the costs of producing them locally outdoors, out of natural season, are prohibitively high.
And so for this dish use fresh sweetcorn when in season and frozen throughout the rest of the year.
How to cook the corn with ‘nduja
Shaving the corn kernels off the cob is a little tricky, but less so if you’re not afraid of making a mess. My tip is to use a really huge bowl – that way the kernels jumping off everywhere will be a bit more contained.
To use a serrated knife or not and to cut straight down or in sawing motions is a moot point in my view: either works, either will make a mess (see above).
Cooking sweetcorn kernels takes no longer than a few minutes if you add them to foaming butter in a saucepan. Make sure they are tender though before you season them with salt: salt will make them tough if applied too soon.
‘Nduja is a weird, spicy and wonderful Italian sausage which is great for flavouring meats, vegetables and pasta. A little goes a long way so once you’ve added some to the sweetcorn, taste to check whether you need more heat.
How to make spicy tortilla crisps
You can buy tortilla crisps, obviously. But it’s easy enough to make them at home, for a fraction of the price. And you can flavour them any way you like – below is just one suggestion.
I brush the tortillas with olive oil on both sides and sprinkle liberally with a spice mix: oregano, paprika and garlic in this instance. Then I cut them into strips and bake them in hot oven, tossing in the baking tray frequently.
Warning: the spices will partly burn off, especially if you want the strips super-crisp, so watch out for smoke billowing from the oven.
And add a sprinkling of Cheddar at the very end of baking, because why not? There’s never a good reason not to add cheese, is what I say.
That’s the dish: a bed of lettuce with a pile of red-tinted sweetcorn and a mound of crisps on top. Gorgeous, and ready in half an hour.
If you need a further protein fix added to the dish, toss the corn with shredded roast chicken.
More sweetcorn recipes
Roast chicken breast with butter fried spicy sweetcorn and crispy baked feta cheese crumbs, three great recipes in one wonderful dish.
Sweetcorn tart with cheese topping on a crusty, cheesy base of pizza dough. Vegetarian and gorgeous, for lunch or dinner. Shop bough dough is OKAY.
Enchiladas filled with a corn and bacon mixture, spiced with red salsa and smothered with cheese: bubbling, crisp and utterly delicious.