Sometimes the best meals are the ones you have to invent. I haven’t been to the grocery store since well before my trip to Austin and the fridge and pantry were looking a little sparse. I always keep some chicken sausages in the fridge for emergencies like this and I knew I had some corn tortillas, cilantro and frozen maize in the fridge. Once I know I’ve got tortillas and cilantro, I know tacos are on the menu.
Last night, the tacos were stuffed with habanero and green chile chicken sausage that I sauteed with frozen maize kernels. Maize (or Choclo) are pretty much giant, white corn kernels. They’re usually found in Chilean or Peruvian cooking, and are often served with Ceviche. Maize is also used to make hominy by soaking or cooking in lime-water. These kernels are not as sweet as regular corn, and have a starchier texture. I buy mine frozen off the cob (Goya Choclo Desgranado) in the frozen section of my grocery store. If you can’t find them at a Hispanic market, I’d use diced potatoes as a substitute to achieve a similar texture and flavor.
A dollop of plain Greek yogurt, a squeeze of hot sauce and dinner was done. I really loved the play of textures between the sausage and maize kernels and although the meal was unplanned, I can’t wait to make it again.
Sausage & Maize Tacos
12 small corn tortillas
1 tbsp. olive oil
4 chicken sausage links, chopped (I used Aidell’s Habanero & Green Chile)
8 oz. frozen Maize Kernels*
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 cup cilantro leaves, loosely packed
juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used 0%)
Hot sauce (Optional. I used Sriracha, of course.)
Heat a large skillet over medium high. Once it’s hot, add the olive oil, sausage and maize. Sautee, stirring occasionally for 10 – 15 minutes, or until the sausage and maize are brown and slightly crisp.
In the meantime, mix the onion, cilantro and lime in a bowl and set aside. Once the sausage and maize filling is done, remove from heat. Next, warm the tortillas. Wrap them in a paper towel and microwave for about a minute.
To assemble the tacos, stack 2 warm corn tortillas on a plate (so that the won’t fall apart when you pick them up), spoon the sausage filling onto the center of the tortillas, then a bit of the onion cilantro mixture. Finally, top each taco with about a tablespoon of the yogurt and as much hot sauce as you like.
*I used Goya’s Choclo Desgranado, but 2 diced potatoes can be substituted. If you’re using potatoes, you’ll probably have to start cooking them about 10 minutes before you add the sausage in a bit more oil so that they’ll soften.