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April 29, 2010

Canola oil (Recipe: spicy corn with poblano peppers) {vegan, gluten-free}

Spicy corn with poblano peppers 

On our route to visit family in Ottawa, Ontario, we usually drive north to Montreal and hang a left.

It takes a little while, but not as long as you'd imagine, to leave the cluttered outskirts of the city behind. As soon as we cross from Quebec into Ontario, we drive through miles and miles of farm land. If we were to keep going, past Ottawa, beyond Ontario altogether, we'd be driving through canola land.

Yes, there really is such a thing as a canola plant. In fact, in the western provinces there are millions of acres of yellow-flowering canola plants, the result of conventional plant breeding to lower the eruric acid in rapeseed (and subsequent genetic modification for improved tolerance to herbicides, though not all canola is genetically modified).

Canola was invented out there in Western Canada, which is still one of the largest producers of canola oil.

My Canadian husband likes it, but not as much as he likes maple syrup. Or hockey.

What is canola oil?
A neutral-flavored vegetable oil made by pressing seeds of Brassica campestris, a cultivar of rapeseed. Canola oil is low in saturated fat and high in monounsaturated fat and Omega-3 fatty acids. Because of its relatively low smoke point, canola oil isn't good for deep frying, but it's perfect for quick stir-fry dishes and other cooking when you want a more neutral flavor than olive oil (Mexican or Asian dishes, for example).

How/where to store:
In the cupboard, in its original bottle, for up to one year.

More facts about canola oil, and ingredient photos, on The Perfect Pantry:
Canola oil (Recipe: spicy green beans)

Poblanocornsalad1

Spicy corn with poblano peppers

From The Heart-Smart Diabetes Kitchen: Fresh, Fast, and Flavorful Recipes Made with Canola Oil, published by the American Diabetes Association with the Canola Council of Canada, who kindly sent me a copy of the book. I made a few changes to the original recipe; I didn't seed the tomatoes, but instead increased the amount of spice to compensate for the additional liquid from the tomatoes. This would be a great warm side dish with grilled fish or chicken, and delicious as part of a cold picnic lunch. Serves 4; can be doubled.

Ingredients

1 Tbsp canola oil
1 medium poblano pepper, stemmed, seeded and diced
1 medium red onion, diced
1-1/2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 heaping tsp chili powder (I use Penzeys Chili 3000, a mild, full-flavored chili powder)
1 tsp ground cumin
6 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 tsp kosher salt

Directions

Heat oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium high heat. Add poblano and onion and cook, 4-5 minutes, until onion is translucent and pepper is softened. Stir in corn, chili powder and cumin, and sauté 1-2 minutes.

Remove pan from heat, and toss in the tomato and salt. Let stand 2 minutes so flavors will combine. Stir before serving, or let cool and refrigerate; can be served hot or cold.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]


More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Potatoes with aioli dressing
Salmon croquettes with sesame-lime sauce
Roasted salmon teriyaki
Cubano quesadillas
Chicken or turkey fried rice
Asparagus, pepper and peanut soba

Other recipes that use canola oil:
Perfect popcorn, from Simply Recipes
Easy basic white sandwich bread, from A Year in Bread
Asian chicken salad, from Cafe Lynnylu
Thomas Keller's roast chicken with root vegetables, from The Amateur Gourmet
Thai-marinated fried chicken, from Chez Pim

Comments

Sounds like a great recipe. I just transplanted "Poblano" peppers yesterday at the greenhouse. I have never grown them, but I may have too this year to try out this recipe. I love seeing new post. I get ideas for new recipes I never would have even thought of.

I use canola for everything (even deepfrying). It's a great all-purpose oil... and unlike peanut, I don't have to worry about allergies.

I have always wondered where canola oil came from!!

Yum! I've got poblano starts in the greenhouse.
This recipe would indeed compliment chicken or fish. I would also pack it up and take it to the beach for our Wednesday night dinners. Thanks for the info on canola. I knew it was a plant, but you really fleshed out the whole picture.

Thank you for not seeding -- your tomatoes, that is. That effete habit takes away a lot of the tomato flavor.
I blend canola and olive to balance the good qualities of each, and raise the smoking point of the olive.

CattleCallFarm, Christine: you're so lucky to have poblanos in your greenhouse. It's not easy to get beautiful poblanos here, in any season.

Julia, canola is a great alternative for people with peanut allergies.

Pam, it's from Canada!

Susan, I have never gone in for peeling tomatoes, though I do occasionally seed them (by sticking my thumb in the cavity and pushing the seeds out). I happen to like the taste of tomato skins.

Love the combo of ingredients here. I think I could have this for lunch and not need anything else.

Sounds awesome!

I bookmarked this, and I'm sure it will make it into my summer rotation. Can't wait!

I made this tonight and it was delicious. I subbed what I had on hand, which were jalapeno and fire-roasted tomatoes. Thanks!

I think this would be terrific mixed with rice!

I make something similar with corn, onion, sweet bells and/or pasilla peppers and zucchini. Makes a great quesadilla, crepe or omelet filling. Or in a burrito with beans. Or a side with protein. Just great and flavorful. Especially good with the Trader Joe's frozen roasted corn.

This looks great!

I will be taking it to a Super Bowl party this Sunday. I'll need more than 12 servings so will probably double or triple it and also tweek it a bit, because I never can just follow a recipe, I'm sure it will be very good. (I'm thinking garlic, white or garbanzo beans, cilantro...who knows?)

Just to add to the confusion, as with a lot of peppers, "poblanos" and "pasillas" are the same thing, depending on where you live or where you're from. I live in southern Nevada and see them labelled either way in the fresh produce section of markets. Fresh, they are heart-shaped and similar to sweet bell peppers but larger with a much darker green color and a bit more bite, but still mild. Wikipedia says, "A true pasilla is the dried form of the long and narrow chilaca pepper."

It doesn't really matter, they all taste wonderful, don't they?

Thanks for the inspiration!

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  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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