The Big Lie – Charred Corn and Chile Dip

Sometimes I get a great idea. Sometimes that idea is greater than me. Usually it involves a recipe of some sort. And my GOD can I complicate things. I once made a potato skin appetizer that had, wait for it, EIGHTEEN ingredients. And it had a bajillion steps. Those were some damn good potato skins, but my GOD! I swore I’d never do anything like that to myself again. And then I came up with this gem. And I hate myself because, despite the complexity, it’s REALLY REALLY good so I keep making it over and over again. If you try it, I think you might too. I’m sorry.

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When I created this recipe, it was meant to be a casserole. Corn was still in season. Hatch chiles were in. Life was good. But then I started planning and cooking. Once it was cooked, I realized it was WAY too rich to be a casserole. And frankly it’s way too complicated to be a dip. But it’s SO worth it. Really it is.

In this particular recipe, I char most of the ingredients on the grill, but you can ABSOLUTELY roast your peppers under the broiler and char the corn in an iron skillet. The ingredients are the same in both methods. If you are feeling like a culinary bad-ass, you have plenty of time, and it’s not raining outside, go for the slightly more complicated one. Otherwise, well the other one isn’t a cake-walk either but they both taste damn good and you will be the WINNER at your next gathering. Guaran-damn-teed.

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I know I’ve said I’ll make your life easier and make you like cooking. Well, today I lied. Life is sometimes hard but the rewards are usually worth the effort. This is one of those times. Be proud and just go for it. Trust me.

Charred Corn and Chile Dip 

  • 1 C Mayonnaise (Duke’s if you can get it and never EVER fat free or low fat!)
  • 1 C Sour Cream  (low or nonfat will not work)
  • 2 C Grated Monterey Jack Cheese, divided
  • 1-2 T vegetable oil
  • 3 Hatch Chiles (when not in season, Cubanelles will work fine – I used Hatch Chiles that I roasted and froze last season)
  • 2 Poblano Chiles
  • 2-3 Jalapeno chiles
  • 1 small red bell pepper
  • 4 ears of corn in husks
  • ½ large onion with root end and skin still attached
  • Juice of 1-2 big limes, to taste
  • 1 t kosher salt
  • Chopped Cilantro (optional)
  • Chopped Scallions, green parts only (optional)
  • Tortilla chips for serving

Preheat oven to 375.

Heat charcoal or gas grill to medium high heat with coals on one side. Put corn over coals and turn often for approximately 20 minutes. While corn is cooking, wash and dry all chiles and rub with vegetable oil just to lightly coat. Move corn to cooler side of grill and arrange all peppers over hot coals. Put the lid on the grill. Cook peppers, turning often, until skin begins to blister and blacken, 10-15 minutes. Corn will continue roasting on cooler side of the grill until peppers are done. You can tell corn is becoming soft and juicy (just give it a little squeeze). It’s okay if everything isn’t done at the same time. It’s all going to have to cool down a bit before you can handle it anyway.

In the meantime mix together mayo, sour cream and all but about ½ C cheese in a large bowl.

When chiles are blistered, put in paper bag to cool and steam for about 15 minutes (a gallon zipper bag will work as well). Remove chiles from bag and, using a paper towel, rub and peel off bitter and blackened skins. Discard seeds and stems. Dice chiles into 1/4 – 1/2 inch pieces.

Peel off charred outer skin of onion and dice into 1/4 – 1/2 inch pieces.

 When corn is cooked, allow to cool for a few minutes, then cut kernels off and add to bowl with sour cream mixture. GENTLY fold in chiles (you don’t want to break them up too much and they will be very tender). Add salt and lime juice, tasting after each addition. 

Grease a shallow casserole dish with butter or cooking spray and then spread chile-corn mixture into it. Sprinkle reserved cheese over top and bake for 20-25 minutes or until brown and bubbly.

 Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and scallions if desired. Serve warm with tortilla chips. 

(If you want to do this inside, here’s how: First, char your peppers under a hot broiler for 5-7 minutes and put them in a bag to steam. Then peel and dice as above. While this is going on, you can cut kernels off the corn cobs and cook them in a little vegetable oil in a hot iron skillet, stirring almost constantly, until hot and slightly charred. Mix corn and chiles with mayo as above and bake as directed.)

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Yeah, baby.

 

Also, full disclosure here, this makes a LOT more than shown in this casserole dish. But there was no way I could justify making this much dip just for me and my family. This basically filled two pie plate sized dishes. A “regulation size casserole” works just perfectly.

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I was actually able to resist until the bubbling stopped.
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