For Platinum Chef Challenge Round 2, we were charged with the task of using corn, citrus, cheese, hot peppers, and blueberries. I found this combination to be extremely colorful and perfect for the summer palate.
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cinnamon stick
a few slices fresh ginger
zest from 1/2 of a lime
1 tbsp sugar
For the main dish, I made grilled mahi mahi over a roasted corn and pecan polenta cake, topped with a blood orange and avocado salsa. Wow! I love the colors here and it was really delicious.
For the polenta cakes:
-remove husks and silk from one ear of fresh corn. Butter & season with southwest seasoning. Wrap in foil and cook on the grill for about 10 minutes, then remove foil and allow the corn to darken up a little on each side. This charring really brings out the sweetness! Let cool and cut corn from the cob.
-bring to a boil 1 1/2 cups of water with a dash of olive oil. Whisk in 6 tbsp of cornmeal, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes until it thickens. Be careful, it splatters. I usually tilt the pan while stirring with a fork so that the heat is more indirect. Remove from heat and stir in a little salt and pepper, the corn, and a 1/4 cup of chopped pecans. Line a small baking dish with foil, and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Alternatively, I actually used a 5 or 6″ springform pan. Let cool on a rack, and then place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour to firm up.
-For the salsa:
2 blood oranges, peeled and chopped, remove as much of white parts as possible
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 tbsp chopped red onion
juice from half of a lime
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1/2 an avocado, chopped
Combine all ingredients above and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving, to blend flavors.
Season the mahi with salt and pepper. Grill for about 8 minutes on each side, or until fish flakes easily and is cooked through. Remove the polenta from baking dish and cut into for portions. Grill each slice for a couple minutes on each side. Serve each piece of mahi over a slice of polenta and top with the salsa. This will make enough polenta and salsa for four servings, so buy your fish accordingly!