The weather was beautiful last weekend here in North Carolina, that is until just after the guests arrived for my daughter's fourth birthday party. As the last people were coming in I looked up to see ominous black clouds blowing in from the West. That's when I thought "I better get the food on the grill!" It began to rain just as I put the first of the marinated chicken breast and pork chops on the grill. Within minutes the wind was whipping up and the TV was broadcasting tornado warnings for our area! I thought briefly of cooking everything in the oven, but with over 35 pieces of meat to cook and a cold oven I knew that this option would take way too long. Luckily my brother handed me an umbrella after I came in the house, because when I went back out to flip everything it began to hail.There I was holding the umbrella in one hand a spatula in the other while nickel sized hail clanged off of the grill hood and bounced three feet off of the deck to pelt me in my uncovered legs. With18 hungry people waiting for dinner I didn't even consider letting the meat burn, so I ended up being outside during the worst of the 20 minute storm scanning the horizon for a funnel cloud (luckily I didn't see one).I may have gotten wet and a bit bruised, but hey, I spent too much time and effort planning this dinner to let a little weather get in the way! I'm happy to report that once everything was served dinner went off without a hitch and was enjoyed by all.
(photo: me grilling in the hail storm)
The corn with roasted red pepper recipe is one I created for this party. Ever since staying for a summer in New Mexico when I was 20 years old, I have loved the combination of corn, cumin and chili peppers. In this recipe the spicy chili pepper is replaced with the sweet and rich, (but still peppery) flavor of the roasted red pepper. Like many of the dishes I make these days I've eliminated the spicy element, but didn't compromise flavor.
(photo: the back deck littered with hail after the storm)
I would normally add a bit of cilantro to this dish, but this time I left it out because I realized that my brother (who somehow blames an incident involving me and toothpaste for his dislike of cilantro!?) would be eating with us and many of the other dishes were already infused with the tasty herb. Evidently my brother is not the only one who does not like cilantro, it seems like many people have strong feelings about this strong tasting herb, I found a interesting poll and discussion on the subject at veggieboards.com ,It seems that there are many more people who like it, but the few who don't really hate it!I'll leave it up to you whether you add it or not, either way this recipe makes a quick and delicious side dish!
Corn with Roasted Red Pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb. package of frozen yellow corn
1 roasted red pepper- skin and seeds removed and chopped
1/4 sweet onion (or red onion) - chopped
juice of one lime
1 tsp ground cumin
Sea salt and fresh crushed pepper to taste
1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro- optional
• Heat a pot with the oilve oil to medium heat , add the corn
•Cook the corn for 3 or 4 minutes until thawed, stirring occasionally
•Stir in the the chopped red pepper, onion, cumin, salt and pepper
•Stir well can cook for another minute or two then remove from heat
•Squeeze the lime over the mixture and add the cilantro, stir, serve and enjoy!