Grilled Corn, Poblano and Black Bean Salsa

Take advantage of your outdoor grill during summer months by adding incredible flavor and depth to this unique salsa. Enjoy! It’s well worth the extra effort.


4-6 cobs fresh corn, soaked in cold water with silk removed (keep the husks!)
1 large poblano pepper, cored and washed
2 serrano peppers, stems removed and minced
3 ripe roma or 1 large garden tomato, cored and halved
1/2 red onion cut into planks
1 small can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cloved peeled garlic, minced
1/4 cup washed cilantro leaves, minced
2 tsp. salt, or to taste
Juice of 1/8 lime wedge
XV olive oil

Charcoal for grilling
Paper lunch bag
Tortilla chips


Preheat your outdoor grill with enough charcoal for a medium fire. (You can try this recipe on a gas grill, but it will not turn out the same.)

Prep the vegetables. Let the corn soak in cold water for at least an hour.

When the coals are white hot (use direct heating method), place the corn cobs with husks on the grill and cover, rotating for about 45 minutes until slightly charred. During this time, keep the corn moist by adding a small amount of water over the cobs after turning. Remove and set aside to cool.

Check the temperature of your fire and re-stoke if necessary.

Working quickly, place the poblano pepper, the tomato and onion planks to the grill. Brush with olive oil and allow to char evenly. Rotate to avoid overcooking. When done, remove and place the poblano pepper in a sealed paper bag. Allow to stand for 15 minutes. The pepper’s tough outer skin will sweat and blister off.

Cut the kernels off the cobs and place the corn in a bowl. Add the salt, lime juice and minced cilantro. Dice the skinned poblano, tomato and onion. Add to the bowl. Add the minced serrano pepper. Use the serranos to control the heat to your preference. Add the black beans (about a cup), and the garlic. Stir well.

Allow to sit for at least 1/2 hour, taste and correct the seasoning if necessary. Serve and enjoy!

Serves 4-6

I highly recommend blue corn chips with this recipe.

The Dark Horse Bloody Mary

Mike's Dark Horse Bloody Mary | Culinary Compost RecipesThe Bloody Mary is in a class by itself. Here is my killer version; it is sophisticated and refined. Enjoy!


2 shots premium Vodka
1 4oz. can Sacramento® tomato juice
Dash of Lea & Perrins® Worchestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. celery salt
1/4 tsp. Silver Spring® prepared horseradish
3 drops liquid smoke hickory seasoning
Dash of Tabasco® sauce
Dash of fresh-squeezed lemon juice

Large rock glass

Garnish: garlic or jalapeno-stuffed olives, cherry tomatoes, celery stalk or my Dastardly Dilly Beans



Add the contents to a pint mason jar and seal tightly. Shake vigorously. Serve in a cocktail glass with your choice of vegetables.

For a Clam Digger, substitute Clamato juice for the tomato juice.

Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried Green Tomatoes | Culinary Compost Recipes
Tart and crisp – these wonderful fried green tomatoes make the perfect side dish for an end-of-summer dinner. It’s a great Southern recipe for using garden tomatoes that drop before they’re ripe.

Serve with Ranch or Bleu Cheese dressing and Tabasco® sauce on the side.



1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. finely-ground black pepper
3 firm green tomatoes, sliced 1/2″ thick.
1 cup crushed saltine crackers
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil for frying

Bleu cheese or ranch dressing
Tabasco® sauce



Wash and core the tomatoes. Slice in 1/2″ thick rings. Set aside on paper towel to draw the excess moisture out. This will ensure that the batter sticks.

In a small bowl or plastic shaker bag, combine the flour, salt and pepper. Mix well.
Crush the saltine crackers very fine by either using a mortar and pestle, or by placing them in a plastic food storage bag and hitting them with a rolling pin.
Place the crackers aside.
Beat the eggs and place in a third bowl.

Heat a medium-sized cast-iron skillet over moderate heat and place the cooking oil in the pan. Heat to 375-degrees F. When ready, a drop of water should sizzle on contact.

Dip the tomato slices in the egg, then the flour mixture, then the egg again, and finally in the cracker crumbs.

Fry in the pan until golden brown on each side; about two to three minutes per side. Turn them carefully so the batter doesn’t flake off.  Remove and drain on paper towel.

Serve hot with your choice of dressing and Tabasco sauce on the side.


Note: If the batter fails to evenly stick to the surface, simply re-dredge in egg, and again in the cracker crumbs.

Golden Tomato, Ginger & Chipotle Salsa

From Mark Miller’s Great Salsa Book

A very good recipe; the ginger adds complex flavor for a nice change of pace.


3 yellow tomatoes (about 1 pound), roughly chopped
1 chipotle chili en adobo (San Marcos brand)
1 tbs. chopped fresh ginger root (washed and peeled)
2 cloves roasted garlic
1 tbs. fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt


In a food processor or blender, purée 2 of the tomatoes, the chipotle chili, and ginger. Remove and place in bowl.

Add the remaining tomato and all other ingredients to the food processor and pulse just enough to create a chunky mixture. Add to bowl, mix well and serve.

Serving suggestions:
With grilled tuna, swordfish, salmon, pork or duck.

Makes about two cups.

Heat: 7

Tomato Cucumber Salad with Spicy Vinaigrette

This is a really great recipe on a hot summer day. Goes well with grilled corn.


3 huge garden beefsteak tomatoes
1/2 cucumber, peeled
6 red onion slices

1/3 cup XV olive oil
2 tbs. fresh lime juice
1 tbs. red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, chopped fine
1/3 cup washed cilantro leaves
1 tsp. honey
Hot pepper sauce
Pinch of salt
Fresh ground black pepper


Slice tomatoes, cucumber and onion.

Combine all other ingredients in a food processor and puree. Pour mixture over the salad in a nice serving dish and place in fridge, covered for 3 hours. Serve.

Serves 4-6.

Side note: Tomatoes don’t do well when stored in the fridge overnight… they get tasteless and mushy. Try to use them up the day they were prepared.