Sautéed huitlacoche with sweet corn, garlic, and peppers

June 30, 2007

Sautéed huitlacoche with sweet corn, garlic, and peppers

India and Jerome Hesse, Tucson CSA

1 ear of huitlacoche-carrying sweet corn
1 ear plain sweet corn
2 cloves of garlic
½ a habanero pepper, or more or less to taste (can substitute 1 fresh jalapeno)
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt to taste

Dehusk and desilk corn, then rinse. Remove all kernels and huitlacoche fungus from both cobs. Dice the huitlacoche pods.

Finely chop the garlic and pepper.

Sautee all ingredients in olive oil on medium-high heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Add a tablespoon of water and cover to let steam for 1 to 2 minutes (or until water has evaporated).

The huitlacoche has a very delicate, slightly mushroomy/earthy flavor!

About huitlacoche [wee-tlah-KOH-cheh] (from gourmetsleuth.com)
Mexican Corn Truffle:
Huitlacoche (also spelled cuitlacoche) is a fungus which grows naturally on ears of corn (Ustilago maydis). The fungus is harvested and treated as a delicacy. The earthy and somewhat smoky fungus is used to flavor quesadillas, tamales, soups and other specialty dishes.

American farmers call it “smut” and “devil’s corn” and consider it a disease to be eradicated. The peoples of Mexico as well as the American Hopi Indians consider the fungus a delightful delicacy.

According to Betty Fussell in her book The Story of Corn, the Hopi call the corn fungus nanha and collect when it is young and tender, par boil it for 10 minutes then sautéd in butter until crisp.

The Zuni Indians call the corn fungus corn-soot and say it symbolizes the “generation of life”.

Today in Mexico the product is actually cultivated each season providing an ample supply to be eaten fresh, then frozen and canned. While the product is not easy to find in the U.S. most typically it can be purchased canned.

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