Do you know epazote, the aromatic herb from Mexico that basically smells & tastes like tar or creosote? Also called Mexican tea and Wormseed.
Well, after you have brought it home, you’ll smell it from time to time and look puzzled and think it a little strange. Fascinatingly you will do that all day long. Then you will eat it and suddenly be a big fan of tar. It is an unusual and strange taste but savoury and gutsy, something that has been missing all the time. Maybe this is a coriander thing again, but I am with epazote. Apparently no black beans will ever taste acceptable without it. So far, I have not had the courage to ruin black beans for me forever.
This is a wonderful vegetable dish to go alongside the meatballs in chipotle-tomato sauce and serves 6.
Corn with epazote (Esquites)
adapted from the great Diana Kennedy’s The Essential Cuisines of Mexico
3 large ears of corn (there are only large corn varieties here, if you get smaller ones, lucky you, get more)
1 ½ tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons lard
1 teaspoon salt
fresh hot green chiles, finely chopped (I only had jalapeños)
2 heaped tablespoons chopped fresh epazote leaves
Cut each corn ear into 4cm (1/2 inches) thick rolls. Melt the fats together in a large shallow sauce pan, add the corn, salt and chiles. Cover with a lid and cook the corn for about 15 minutes until tender. Turn the corn over until all sides are slightly browned. Add the epazote for the last 3 minutes of the total time and cook with the corn.