Tex-Mex Vegetables

The corn in Uganda is not like the corn in America.  It’s maize corn, not American sweet corn.  This is not something they taught us in training.  When I first got to site, I was so excited to see road-side vendors grilling and selling corn.  I love grilled corn!  The sweetness of corn always comes out best, I think, when grilled.  Plus it’s just cool.  I quickly bought myself a gigantic ear of this grilled corn.  I smiled at the kid when he called it “maize”…this must be some Uganglish word for corn, I thought.  But no.  It’s not a Uganglish word for corn.  It’s not the corn I know and love.  It’s maize.  Tougher, chewier, and not sweet.  It’s an acquired taste, one that I’m still acquiring.

You can imagine my delight when I walked into the “Meat Store” (I think they might actually sell meat…) and saw a shiny can of American Garden brand sweet corn staring me in the face.  So what if it was 3,200 shillings?  It’s SWEET CORN!  I. Must. Have.  So I bought it.  And a Snickers bar.

The only reasonable cooking option I could think of was to combine this magical sweet corn with fresh veggies (market day!) and a few tablespoons of taco seasoning that arrived in a package my parents sent (thanks mom and dad!) a few weeks ago.   And thus, “Tex-Mex Veggies” was born.

I ate this plain, as my rice developed a case of the weevils a few weeks back and I haven’t managed to purchase a new bag yet.  However, when I make this again, I’ll be sure to serve this over brown rice.  This would also be good mixed with cheese and stuffed into enchiladas!

Tex-Mex Vegetables

2 teaspoons Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Butter
2 cloves Garlic, Minced
1 whole Shallot, Minced
1 cup Tomatoes, Diced
1 cup Carrots, Diced
1 cup Green Pepper, Diced
1 cup Sweet Corn
2 Tablespoons Taco Seasoning

Begin by mincing the garlic and shallots and cubing the tomatoes, carrots and green peppers. Set these aside.

Heat two teaspoons of olive oil and one tablespoon of butter in a pan and lightly saute the garlic and onions on medium-low heat until the onions begin to turn translucent, not letting them brown.

Next, add the carrots and green peppers, stir well to coat the vegetables in the oil, raise the heat to medium and cook for 3-4 minutes until the carrots begin to soften. Add the corn and tomatoes and continue stirring.

After the tomatoes have begun to cook down, approximately 4 minutes, add two tablespoons of your favorite taco seasoning and stir well. Cook an additional 5 minutes on medium to medium-low heat. Taste the vegetables and add a dash of cayenne pepper if you want more spice.

This can be served as a side-dish or as a meal over brown rice.  Or, if you cut the veggies smaller, this could work out pretty well as a dip for tortilla chips.

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