Cafe Latte’s Chicken Salsa Chili (with Corn)

Cafe Latte on Grand Avenue is a place all St. Thomas students must visit within the four (or more) years at the University. I felt it would be a requirement, not an option as a Tommie to make my favorite item on Latte’s menu with corn: Chicken Salsa Chili. I substituted hominy (a heavily processed, sort of ground up white corn) for whole yellow corn kernels. You can choose to use whichever corn variety you prefer.

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ready in: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red chili pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh jalapeno chili peppers
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes, undrained and broken up
  • 1 can (29 ounces) tomato puree
  • 1 can (15 ounces each) dark red kidney beans drained
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice


I do apologize for containers used, again, think poor college student. I just had to use what was around the house.

Directions:

Warm 3 tablespoons olive oil in large stock pot over medium heat.

I started with this deep fry pan, and it was a terrible idea. There was hot oil flying everywhere. I had to grab a shield and (a hot pad and a pan cover) to fight off the hot oil. Lesson learned–hot oil requires a deep pan.

This pan was much more appropriate.

After you have warmed the oil, Saute chicken until cooked. I like to cut up the chicken as it cooks. I’d like to think the chicken retains its moisture better this way.

Add 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions and reduce heat. Cook for 3 minutes or until onions are tender. Onions become transparent when they are done cooking, so if you choose not to touch our eat the onions, you can tell by appearance if the onions are done cooking.

Add 1/2 teaspoon crushed red chili pepper flakes,

Add 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic,

Add 2 teaspoons minced fresh jalapeno chili peppers. The steam was overtaking this picture, but the smell during this photo was mouth-watering. Just wait until you make it!

Add 1 1/2 cups chicken stock

Add 1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes, undrained and broken up.  Just like the chicken, I like to break up the tomatoes as they cook.

Add 2 cans (15 ounces each) dark red kidney beans drained

Add 1 can (29 ounces) tomato puree

Add 1 can (15 ounces) hominy–or in my case whole kernels of yellow corn

Add 3 tablespoons chili powder (which I had to add last since I was borrowing it from a kind neighbor).

Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. While I waited, I practiced my pointillism on a left-over Valentine’s Day cookie.

The final product: Chicken Salsa Chili

To Serve:

Add chopped cilantro and lime-juice just prior to serving. Adjust seasoning to taste. Top with sour cream, chopped red onions, grated cheddar cheese and tortilla chips.

This is yet another meal I believe Chad Greenway would not be able to resist. Chad, I’ll make this corn-based meal for you at any time!

Enjoy!

Corn Pizza

Since I love pizza and corn I decided to combine the two and make Corn Pizza! For Valentines I am going to make a heart-shaped Corn Pizza and eat it while day dreaming about Chad Greenway. I bet Chad would like my Corn Pizza and I bet Martha Stewart would like it too. One of my friends came over to help me make this delicious creation. I’m sure you are thinking I’m crazy for putting corn on pizza but don’t knock it until you try it. . . it’s actually very good!

Prep time: 40 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Ready in: 1 hour

Pizza Ingredients:
1 can Hunts tomato sauce (I prefer Roasted Garlic flavor)
1 package Kraft pizza cheese
Pepperoni
Corn
(You may add any combination of ingredients…I added pineapple, red onions and banana peppers)

Crust ingredients: (cut in half – this recipe makes dough for two pizzas)
2 1/2 to 3 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. slat
1 package regular or quick active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
3 tbsp. olive or vegetable oil
1 cup very warm water

Directions:
In large bowl, mix 1 cup of the flour, the sugar, salt and yeast.

Add oil and warm water. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed for 3 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour until dough is soft and leaves sides of bowl. Use bread hook if you have a KitchenAid mixer and knead bread with hook on medium speed for 3-4 minutes. If you don’t have a KitchenAid, place dough on a lightly floured surface.

Knead 5 to 8 minutes or until dough is smooth and springy. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes.


Preheat your oven to 385 degrees.


Roll out dough with rolling pin and place on pizza pan. Spread the tomato sauce on pizza and top with a layer of pepperoni.

Scatter corn on top of pepperoni. (Feel free to add pineapple, banana peppers and red onions like I did or any other ingredient you like).

Lastly, cover pizza with cheese.

Bake for 18-20 minutes or…


until cheese and bottom of crust is golden brown.

Cut into eight pieces and enjoy!

Amazing Corn Cake

In honor of my very first corn-based food item, I thought it would be more than appropriate to make a cake to celebrate the occasion. I made Amazing Corn Cake also to celebrate the first week of school back at St. Thomas. Amazing Corn Cake has a delightful taste similar to corn bread and a muffin blended into one. Butter is a wonderful complement to this piece, although not a requirement.

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 30 min

Ready in: 50 min

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees F (or 175 degrees C)

Ingredients:

  • 1 (14.75 ounce) can cream-style corn
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

All Ingredients for Amazing Corn Cake

Note: I am still a college student, and had to get a little creative with my ingredient containers.

Directions

In a medium size bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

2 1/4 cups flour (I used whole wheat flour to be a wee bit healthier)

Flour for Amazing Corn Cake

1 tablespoon baking powder,

Baking Poweder for Amazing Corn Cake

1 teaspoon baking soda,

Baking Powder for Amazing Corn Cake

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Cinnamon for Amazing Corn Cake

and 1 teaspoon salt

Dry Mix for Amazing Corn Cake

I chose not to add salt, but always bake to your liking. Be sure mix dry ingredients first (except the sugar) to prevent lumps in the mixture.

In a mixing bowl, combine corn and sugars

1 (14.75 ounce) can cream-style corn

Cream and Corn for Amazing Corn Cake

My grocery store did not have the creamed corn the recipe calls for, so I made my own cream-style corn with a small carton of heavy whipping cream and a can of corn (how easy is that?)

1/2 cup packed brown sugar and

3/4 cup white sugar

Sugars for Amazing Corn Cake

Another advantage of being a college student is that I have no mixer, automatic or hand-held, so I am forced to whisk my ingredients together by hand.

Whisked Sugars and Corn for Amazing Corn Cake

Beat in eggs and oil till well blended. I like to beat my eggs before adding them to anything else so that the yoke doesn’t cause any trouble while mixing.

3 eggs

Eggs for Amazing Corn Cake

1 cup vegetable oil

Oil and Eggs in Amazing Corn Cake

The Oil is a little hard to see, but it’s there!

Mix flour mixture into batter.

Wet and Dry Ingredients Combined in Amazing Corn Cake

Now we’re starting to get a the perfect consistency of cake!

Stir in raisins and nuts.

1/2 cup raisins

Raisins for Amazing Corn Cake

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Chopped Walnuts for Amazing Corn Cake

The corn mixture is complete! Now to turn the batter into cake.

Reminder: Did you already preheat the over to 350 degrees Fahrenheit?

Oven Temperature for Amazing Corn Cake

Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan

Greased Pan for Amazing Corn Bread

Pour batter into greased 9 x 13 inch pan.
Batter in Pan for Amazing Corn Cake

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or till you can insert a tooth pick in the middle of the cake and remove the toothpick without wet batter dripping off. Another way to check if your cake is done is . . .

Baking Amazing Corn Cake

If it looks perfect when cut into like this:

Piece of Cake for Amazing Corn Cake

I hope you enjoy your Amazing Corn Cake. Celebrate corn with this tasty little treat!