It is believed that corn was first cultivated in Mexico around 7000 years ago. It morphed into the corn of of today from a wild grass known as teosinte. It was then brought up to North America and has been a staple in the lives of Native Americans ever since. To the Native Americans, corn is known as maize. Corn comes in all colors of the rainbow. Each variation has a slightly different taste and subtly different characteristics, but in the end, they are all good.
In many parts of the world, corn is used as grain for stock animals’ food. It is also used to produce ethanol fuel. It is also used to make starch, sweeteners, corn oil, beverages and industrial alcohol. And believe it or not, it is loved and enjoyed by most Americans, whether they are are from North America, Central America or South America, just for the pure, delicious, goodness of this sweet grain. We love and eat a lot of corn, prepared in many different ways, though I have to admit, one of my absolute favorite ways to enjoy it is POPCORN!
When I made my Southwestern BBQ Chicken pizza Southwestern BBQ Chicken Pizza with Blue Corn Crust I had a lot of the sauce leftover. I used it as a marinade for some chicken breasts. I wanted something with a Southwestern or Spanish personality to go along with it as a side dish, so I made some wild rice and my maize a la Mexicana to serve with my chicken. It was a quick, easy-peasy, delicious meal that was full of color and full of flavor.
I was making up my maize a la Mexicana as I went along and didn’t think about taking pictures until later. I boiled the corn or maize and lima beans or habas together until they were cooked. While they were cooking I started preparing the spice mixture.
Maize a la Mexicana
2 cups frozen corn
1 cup frozen lima beans
1 shallot, diced fine
1 TBSP garlic
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried orgeano
1 tsp chili powder or specialty chili powder – I think I used adobo chili
1 jalapeno diced fine
salt & pepper to taste
a dash of cayenne pepper
olive oil and/or lime infused olive oil
toasted pecan pieces, optional
crumbled cotija cheese, optional
Combine the corn, lima beans and enough water to completely cover the corn. Bring to a rapid boil on high heat, then turn the heat down to a medium heat and continue to cook for about about 10-15 minutes, or until they are done. When the are cooked, drain the liquid off and set aside.
While the corn and beans are cooking, in a separate pan, start the spice mixture. Get the pan very hot then add the butter and oil. Combine all the rest of the ingredients into the pan and saute for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Once the spices are cooked and the onions and peppers are softened, add the whole mixture to the corn and mix together thoroughly. You can also use red bell peppers, but I didn’t have any at the time. Once everything was done, I added some toasted pecan pieces as a topping too.
Serve alongside your favorite main dish and a tasty dinner is served.
I like color and I like texture so I am always mixing and matching things until I get them just right. As I always say, don’t be afraid to play with your food. You just never know what you’ll create. 🙂
Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.