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Esquites

Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Yields Serves 8 to 10
Esquites
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times )

Corn sauce

1

In a heavy pot, melt the butter over low heat. Stir in the corn, onion and chiles. Cover and very gently cook, over low heat, until everything is tender, 30 to 40 minutes.

2

Transfer the mixture to a blender and purée for a few minutes until well blended and smooth. Pass the sauce through a very fine strainer. Season with ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste. This makes a generous 2 cups sauce.

Pickled blueberries

1

In a nonreactive container or bowl, combine the blueberries and onions. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar and salt until dissolved. Pour the vinegar mixture over the blueberries, cover and refrigerate, stirring occasionally (the liquid at first may not seem like it is enough, but the blueberries will begin to soften and release their juices after a few hours). This makes about 4 cups pickled blueberries; more than is needed for the remainder of the recipe. The blueberries will be ready after 24 hours but are best after 1 month.

Spiced almonds

1

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the almonds on a rimmed baking sheet and toast until golden-brown, 6 to 8 minutes.

2

Remove from heat and place in a bowl. Toss with the oil, spice blend and ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste.

Avocado leaf powder

1

Place the avocado leaves in a dehydrator on high until dried, several hours. Remove the leaves and blend to a fine powder.

2

Alternatively, substitute dried avocado leaves (often found with packaged dried herbs and spices in Latin markets), finely ground to a powder.

Final dish

1

In a large, heavy-bottom skillet, combine the grilled corn kernels and corn sauce. Gently simmer, stirring frequently, until the mixture is hot. Stir in the lime juice and chives.

2

Place the mixture in a serving bowl and garnish with the pickled blueberries, grated cheese, spiced almonds, avocado leaf powder, cilantro and mint. Serve immediately.

Adapted from a recipe by Broken Spanish restaurant. Poblano chiles can be substituted for the manzano chiles if they are not available. Raw almonds or other nuts can be substituted for the sprouted almonds if they are not available. Vadouvan is available at well-stocked spice stores, as well as online; madras curry powder can be substituted.

Amy Scattergood is a staff writer for the Food section of the Los Angeles Times.
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