Sunday, July 31, 2011

Weekend Roundup: corn, pie crust, and more pie crust

I had a crazy hankering for CORN this weekend. Corn in India (well, in Hyderabad) is often more chewy and less sweet than corn in the US. When we first arrived here last year we were told repeatedly "It's impossible to get sweet corn here, you might as well not try!"

WRONG! Once again, India has delivered, and proven that if you know where to look you can get almost anything.

Sweet corn (sometimes called American corn) is often easily found. In the malls here, there are kiosks that sell "American Corn" as a snack. At first I thought it was weird, but then I realized it's an awesome idea. Little cups of corn with masala, pepper, or sugar flavoring.... delicious. And much more healthy for you than the Auntie Ann's 800-calorie pretzel bites dipped in garlic butter you can buy in American malls in the States. (mmmm now I want Auntie Ann's..... nom nom).

(SIDENOTE: The best thing ever about the kiosks though is that we once saw one in Inorbit Mall in Hi-Tech city with a picture of a guy in a University of Iowa swetshirt on the side of the corn kiosk. It looked like it had been randomly downloaded off of someone's Facebook pictures. Awesome.)

Anyway, back to corn. You can sometimes find it easily at your local store. Friday I had no such luck and went instead to Takari, the vegetable shop on Road 1 I always rave about.

Friday night we had a friend over so I bought a bunch of corn to make corn salad (or did we invite him over so that I could by corn and make corn salad?? hmmmmm....).

It was an absurdly easy salad- my favorite kinds. I put the "recipe" (aka "the list of ingredients I felt like putting into the salad) below.

And, a staple in our house, eggplant marinara with fresh tomato sauce.

... and apple pie for dessert. Probably the easiest pie to make in India, since apples are available all year round. I love this crust recipe- if you take the time to ensure the butter is really cold when you cut it into the flour, and rechill it again after you've put it into the pie pan and before you put it into the oven, it comes out deliciously flaky every time.

This is all that was left after I finally remembered to take a photo of it.

Saturday we had about a cob of leftover corn and made simple tacos for dinner (with atta chapatis)

With fresh papaya and guava... YUMMMMMMMMMM.

The next day I almost started cooking a plain old omelet when I remembered...


I have been known to throw out the last bit of pie crust, but I will NEVER do such a sinful thing again. Ever. Why throw out leftover dough? Quiches, mini-pies... the list of uses is endless.

So, I'm sorry dough, that I've done that to your kind before. Never again.

Mini-quiches were a good chance to use up the little bit of cheese, peppers (Hindi: mirchi) and tomato that were still hanging out in our fridge after the corn salad.

Chop chop chop.

Pressed the dough into little muffin cups.

Filled with quiche materials.

Twenty-five minutes later.... done.

Hello mini quiches! Hello breakfast!

Corn Salad
Fresh corn kernels, cut off the cob
Tomatoes, diced
Bell Pepper/capsicum, diced
Red onion, diced
Freshly ground black pepper
Tiny bit of olive oil

Pie Crust (makes enough for two "layers"- two pie crusts or top and bottom of one pie)
1 cup unsalted butter, chilled
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tbs of white sugar (omit if you are using this for a savory crust)
1/3 c of ice water

Combine flour and sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or food processor until crumbly. Add ice water slowly, mixing with hand or blender until it starts to clump. Lightly knead into a ball, but don't overwork dough. Divide dough into two parts, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes before using. Can be frozen for up to a week or two.

When ready to use, roll out and arrange in pie pan. Refrigerate again for 10 minutes before baking.


  1. What a great use for left-over pie crust. I'm going to have to try that next time. I miss American corn too. We only get it sometimes and when we do, it's not that great.

  2. You are an amazing cook! Everything looks so good! I think cooking here is challenging (at least for me...) because you never know (at least in Gurgaon...) what the grocery store is going to have, be out of, not in season, etc. I always buy my corn out of a can... how sad is that?

  3. LOVE IT! you are my inspiration, Amy!