Corn & Blueberry salsa/relish
Just under 2 years ago my wife and I were on our honeymoon and while at Clyde Common in Portland OR we had a delicious dessert involving sweet corn ice cream and blueberry sauce. The dessert became an instant tradition, and I'll be making the summer's first batch this week. Indiana may not be a culinary mecca, but man-oh-man do we know how to grow ourselves some corn! :D
Anyway, I am convinced that there must be more ways to use this flavor combo, and I've been experimenting with a blueberry & corn salsa/relish that would be good with pork chops. I'm having trouble getting what I want, though, and I thought I'd ask for any input others might have.
So far, the best I've come up with is a mixture of raw corn (good sweet corn is tasty even when raw), blueberries, a bit of red onion, a bit of jalapeno, mint, lime, salt, and pepper.
The biggest problem is that it's hard to eat properly - the blueberries are too big to fit on the fork with a bite of pork chop, and the whole mixture just doesn't gel together. It's not like a salsa (even pico de gallo) where you get the flavors all mixed together. It's more like a pile of corn with the occasional blueberry.
So: raw may not be the way to go, then. Blueberries can't really be cut in half, so it's whole or not, and I think if everything cooked down a bit it would give the flavors a chance to meld.
But if I'm cooking the ingredients into more of a sauce, I feel more inclined to skip the red onion/jalapeno/mint/lime and head more towards some thyme and...? I like thyme with berries, but I'm open to other herbs. I feel like some wine could be worked in there, but I'm only now discovering the joys of cooking with vino, and I'd be afraid that a white wine would be overpowered while a red wine would itself overpower the sauce.
Anyway: that's my late-night rambling about some ideas I've got.
Anyone else made something similar or have suggestions?
Okay, first, salsa means sauce, which could be cooked or raw so I would blanch the corn 1-2 minutes and once I took the corn off the heat, I'd toss in the blueberries for about 1-2 minutes then remove both the corn & blueberries with a slotted spoon into a bowl. I'd add chopped red or even a sweet Vidalia onion, chopped poblano chile, freshly grated lime zest, ground cumin, cilantro and/or a juilenne of fresh lemon basil, a pinch of salt. Set aside for the flavors to meld.
If you really wanted to go with a raw sauce, I'd suggest using frozen, thawed blueberries which, unlike fresh berries, would cover your corn nicely and not kind of roll off to the side.
I'm not feeling the wine with the corn in this dish but thats JMO
Corn blueberry salsa sounds really good, I might have to try that sometime when I can get local corn.
You could try wild blueberries (is that what they're called? I just know there is a variety that is considerably smaller) or maybe even just smashing up the blueberries if you aren't too concerned about the color. Or perhaps you may want to have the pork with the corn salsa and just drizzle a blueberry reduction around it.
And I would definitely go with the aforementioned cilantro as opposed to mint.
I make a corn & tomato relish that is very similar to the recipe that you are using, substituting blueberries. I agree with Cherry that you should cook the corn briefly. I'd use both mint and cilantro. In addition to lime juice, add a bit of rice wine vinegar (rather than wine). Like in a ceviche, the lime juice & vinegar will "cook" the blueberries, provided you let the dish sit for a few hours before eating.
Thanks for the tips!
The next farmer's market is on Weds, so I'll pick some some goodies and give it a shot with (slightly) cooked corn. I might check with a few, but I suspect that smashed up raw blueberries would leave unappetizing skin pieces everywhere. I think it'd taste fine, but I just don't know how it'd look. So I don't think I'll smash up the blueberries, but giving them a bit of a cookdown can't hurt, either. (Using the frozen/thawed berries would probably work really well, but I just can't in good conscience buy frozen blueberries in July!)
That said, I suppose deconstructing things a bit with a blueberry sauce and a corn salsa would actually work just fine. All things considered, that might actually be a lot more attractive on the plate - I'm hardly an artist with my cooking, but I have some squeeze bottles and it's be fun to actually use them to fancy up a plate. :D (And that would lend itself well to a similar dish with blackberries as well. Mmm.)
I suppose I could consider myself particularly cool if I make a rustic version for the wife and I but tart it up a bit for company, heh.
I'll report back with my findings later in the week!