Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Baby Mielies with Smoked Butter, Chillies, Lemon and Garlic

A flavour-packed cold butter dabbed on hot-off-the-braai baby mielies. Baby mielies are a vegetable I don't often buy because I've found they tend to be somewhat tasteless, even soapy. All that has changed recently, as I discovered when I bought a punnet of dear little ears of corn on impulse. My goodness, they were good: packed with nutty, sunshiney flavour, and so good I ate most of them raw.

Plate and espresso cup by David Walters

I imagine that this new breed of super-tasty mielie is the product of careful hybridisation. Whatever the case, I'm going to be buying them by the bucketload from now on.

They're lovely with plain butter and plenty of salt, but I'm such a fan of flavoured butters that I thought I'd add some vibrant Mexican flavours. Please try to get hold of some smoked butter, which adds a most delicious tweak to this dish. It's not something that's readily available; enquire at your local deli (or order in from Cape smokehouse Aphrodisiac Shack). If you can't find it, use 200 g salted butter.

This is lovely with boiled mielies, but there's something about the nutty taste of a braaied mielie that just cannot be matched. If you're not in the mood for firing up the braai, cook the mielies on a ridged, oiled griddle pan, over a high heat.

Baby Mielies with Smoked Butter, Chillies, Lemon and Garlic

two punnets of baby mielies, or 6 whole mielies cut into thirds

For the butter:

100 g salted butter, softened
100 g smoked butter, softened
2 red chillies, seeds removed, finely chopped
the finely grated zest of a lemon
a squeeze of lemon juice
a big clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
4 Tbsp (60 ml) finely chopped fresh coriander
salt and milled black pepper.

To make the flavoured butter, combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Go easy on the salt, though, as the butter is already salted. Pack the butter into a pretty little bowl and place in the fridge to firm up.

Braai [barbeque] the baby mielies over a medium flame, until just tender, or cook in a ridged griddle pan (see above).

Serve piping hot, with nuggets of cold butter.

Serves 6 as a starter or side dish.

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Nina said...

What a clever snack jane, I love the idea!!!

Kitchenboy said...

Looks SO delicious!

I must confess, I've never heard of or seen smoked butter. But then again, I live in the Armpit of Asia! :)

Wanderlust said...

I absolutely LOVE your blog! I must confess that I check in on it regularly to drool over the pictures and dream of food from home:)

Koek! said...

Oh man, I NEVER buy those baby mielies because they just seem kind of boring, but I am SO going to now! Beautiful pic and recipe. You just keep getting better and better x

Jane-Anne said...

Thank you my friends. Kitchen: classic case of *sorry for you*.

Wanderlust: thank you! I'm off to look at your blog now.

Koek: How kind of you to say so.

Marisa said...

Fantastic styling Jane-Anne - the colours work beautifully to complement those petite little mielies.

PinkPolkaDot said...

Scrumptious...and it is looking beautiful!!

Jess said...

Super cool and different! I love the plating on it, too.