Twist on Native Cuisine Yields Local Recipe
for Grilled Corn Fish Wraps

As sponsor and participant in the 2012 OpSail Virginia Fleet Chef Challenge, Culinary Institute of Virginia's chef/instructor Greg Burroughs was inspired by a dish from Ecuador. He has since created his own twist on the country's native leaf-wrap.

Using fresh local corn, Burroughs incorporates not only the leaves, but the husk as well. Splitting the leaves and husk from tip to about one-half inch above the base, he gently cuts into the cob, twists the knife and breaks the cob in half for easy removal from the husk. He then fills the husk and leaves with fresh local fish - from tuna or mahi filets to whole croaker or spot - complemented with lemon, salt, pepper and seasonings of choice. He then wraps the fish-filled husk and leaves in tin foil and lets the grill do the rest, yielding a rich tasty summer treat. The remainder of the corn cob can be mixed in a vegetable medley or served Mexican street vendor style with Cotija cheese as detailed in the recipe below.

"Native cultures have been using banana and other indigenous leaves for wrapping fish and other foods for centuries, and it's great here too," says Burroughs, who has worked at ECPI University's Culinary Institute of Virginia (CIV) in Norfolk for five years and has more than 30 years experience in the industry. "If using whole croaker or spot, you can simply hold the tail and pull the bones right out of the whole fish, fresh off the grill. Tuna or mahi filets makes the meal even easier and equally delicious. You can choose a range of ingredients to taste, and as corn, vegetables and other local seafood go into prime season, the combinations are almost endless."

Burroughs has cooked the new dish to rave reviews from his family and also shared with his students. Below please find CIV Chef/Instructor Greg Burroughs's recipe for Grilled Corn Fish Wraps and also his recipe for Mexican Street Corn:

Grilled Corn Fish Wraps

Chesapeake Croaker in Henley's Sweet White Corn Shells

  • 4 Local sweet corn, (we used the early crop Sweet White from Henley's farm in Pungo).
  • 4 Local Croaker, average to small, dressed, guts, head, scales, fins removed, leave tail.
  • 1 Lemon, quartered salt and pepper to taste

Method of Preparation

Split corn husks from the tip to 1/2 inch from the base with a paring or boning knife. Gently separate husk at the base to allow you to insert your paring or boning knife into the cob and twist to break and remove. This will allow you to have corn husk shell that can be utilized for stuffing.

Score the Croaker on each side, season with salt, pepper, and lemon. Place dressed fish inside the corn husk shell wrap in tin foil and place on grill. Turn often, fish should be cooked in 10 minutes or so depending on size.

Remove corn husks from foil, open along the slit, grasp the tail and gently pull up to remove the bones. Flake fish and serve in husks.

Mexican Street Corn

This is an amazing street "treat" that you can bring home to you back yard grill. The basic ingredients are the same but be adventurous as every street vendor has their own special version. What makes this so good is first the cheese. Cotija is an aged cow's milk cheese that is something akin to feta and can be found at most Latino food stores, I got mine from Grand Market on Newtown Road. Its' dry texture resembles a Parmesan when you buy it already grated and the aging adds a wonderful bite that hits me right in the jaw, in a good way. The second facet of this dish that sets it apart from the crowd is the use of mayonnaise instead of butter to pick up these rich flavors and hold them down on the corn and your palate.

Basic ingredients

  • 6 ears of corn, soaked in water for a few minutes
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 to 1.25 cups Cotija cheese, shredded
  • 12 lime, squeeze the juice!

Additional ingredients for when you are feeling adventurous, add all or any combination of these.

  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin, toasted and ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, fresh chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chilis, smashed into a paste

Method of Preparation

Place the soaked corn on the grill to char the husks briefly. Peel the husk back but leave on the corn cob to provide a handle. Grill until some caramelization occurs, but do not burn, big difference. While this is happening, combine remaining ingredients into a paste. Remove corn from grill, liberally apply the Cotija/mayo paste to the corn and enjoy.

For more information, contact Scott McCaskey at Goldman & Associates at: scott@goldmanandassociates.com or at 757-625-2518. The Culinary Institute of Virginia is located at 2428 Almeda Ave. in Norfolk, VA. The website is: www.chefva.com

About The Culinary Institute of Virginia

Culinary Institute of Virginia, the School of Culinary Arts at ECPI College of Technology, opened for enrollment in fall 2006. Graduates can earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in culinary science in less than two years. The curriculum offers a European educational model that combines classroom instruction with hands-on [ Continue Reading... ]

Culinary Institute of Virginia, the School of Culinary Arts at ECPI College of Technology, opened for enrollment in fall 2006. Graduates can earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in culinary science in less than two years. The curriculum offers a European educational model that combines classroom instruction with hands-on externships in the community. For information call 757-858-CHEF or visit the Culinary Institute of Virginia

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About ECPI University

ECPI University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate, baccalaureate, and masters degrees and diploma programs. With campuses in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia, ECPI, a private university established in 1966, offers convenient classes during the day, evening, [ Continue Reading... ]

ECPI University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate, baccalaureate, and masters degrees and diploma programs. With campuses in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia, ECPI, a private university established in 1966, offers convenient classes during the day, evening, and online; graduate employment services are provided. Continuing education certification classes and testing are also available.

ECPI's fields of study include:

TECHNOLOGY


BUSINESS AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE

HEALTH SCIENCES

CULINARY

(Program field availability varies by campus.) For more information, visit http://www.ecpi.edu

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