Thursday, July 21, 2011

Corn and Black Bean Salsa with Fiery Pita Chips

Corn and Black Bean Salsa
with Fiery Pita Chips
First off, I need to say that I can hardly believe it but I have officially been keeping this blog for a year! Happy one year anniversary to Cook. Eat. Enjoy. Repeat.! Anyway, back to the food. There are four square meals that one must eat during the summer months: brunch, late lunch, happy hour and dinner. A fifth meal of pie should be incorporated as often as possible. My family takes happy hour very seriously, during those evening hours that are the most beautiful of the summer, when the air is cooler and the sky is just a tad dimmer. A cheese plate and bowl of tortilla chips are usually present, sometimes accompanied by olives or the occasional spinach dip. However, I was looking for a little something lighter and more refreshing than slices of brie cheese and chips. Thus, my corn and black bean salsa was born. This salsa contains so many of the ingredients that are perfectly in season in July and a few others to create the perfect, crisp appetizer. The recipe for the fiery pita chips came from my new signed and personally inscribed copy of Savoring the Hamptons by Silvia Lehrer :)

Six pieces of pita bread
Cooking spray
1 teaspoon dried garlic
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cucumber
2 cobs of corn
1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1 can black beans
1/3 cup minced red onion
2/3 cup plain yogurt
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
1 clove garlic
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit. Slice each piece of pita bread into six equal triangles. Lay these all out on a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray. Evenly sprinkle the dried garlic, dried thyme and cayenne pepper over the pita bread. Place in the oven for eight to ten minutes or until slightly browned and crisp. Allow to cool for thirty minutes.

Put a large pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil. Place the two ears of corn in the water and allow the water to come back to a boil. Remove the corn from the pot. Peel the cucumber and cut it in half. Chop half of the cucumber into large pieces and put in a blender. Add the yogurt, garlic clove and mint to the blender as well. Puree until smooth and then taste for seasoning. Add as much salt and pepper as you prefer. Once the dressing is prepared, transfer it to a bowl and allow to chill in the refrigerator.

Halve the tomatoes, mince the red onion, slice the corn off of the cob and drain and rinse the black beans from the can. Put all of these ingredients in a medium bowl and top with the dressing that has chilled. Toss with a spoon until all of the ingredients are evenly coated with the dressing. You may need to add a bit more salt at this point. By blending up the cucumbers in the dressing this salsa is especially refreshing! When you scoop it up with a fiery pita chip you get a delicious flavor profile that can't be beat during those summer happy hours. Enjoy!

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