BASIC METHOD FOR GRILLING THE CORN

In Mexico, street vendors grill corn and slather it with a creamy, spicy sauce, topped with lime juice and chili powder.  We find that grilled corn is the only way to go, with or without the sauce.  You can do it on a griddle as well, if you are snowed in, but it really should be done on the grill if at all possible.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4-6 ears of corn in the husks (one or more per person)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Butter

DIRECTIONS:

Soak corn, leaving it in the husk (simply removing any exposed tassels) in cold water for approximately 15 minutes in a large pot or bucket, if time permits, but this step can be omitted if the corn is very fresh and the husks moist.  Preheat grill to high.  Place the corn on the hot grill.  Tender in about 20 minutes (test one to see, but the husks will generally be blackened nearly throughout).

The husks will blacken and you may need to spray with water to reduce flames.  I use high heat on my grill, but if you have a really hot grill, you may need to reduce the heat or reduce the cooking time.  They are usually done when the husks are nearly burned all the way around.

FIRST WAY – SIMPLY WITH BUTTER AND SALT ON THE COB

Roll back the husks, wrapping them in a paper towel, which makes a convenient holder.  Roll in butter, salt and pepper to taste.

SECOND WAY – GREEN CHILE CORN SALSA

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 large Hatch chiles, roasted and diced
  • 3 large ears of corn, husked and kernels cut from cob (can substitute about 3½ cups frozen corn kernels, thawed)
  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • ⅓ c diced red onion
  • ⅓ c chopped fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Dash of cumin
  • Dash of smoked paprika
  • Salt to taste
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Grill corn, per instructions above.
  2. Stir in 2-3 tablespoons of the diced Hatch chiles, sour cream, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, cumin, and paprika in with the corn kernels. Salt to taste. If your salsa is too mild, add more diced chiles to taste.

 

THIRD WAY – GRIDDLE METHOD WITH MEXICAN DRESSING

Preheat a grill pan. Rub corn with oil and place on the grill pan, turning corn so all sides are charred, about 6 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mix together mayonnaise, chili powder, garlic salt, and black pepper. Remove corn from grill and brush with the mayonnaise mixture. Serve with lime quarters to squeeze over corn.  For the dressing brush it with:
melted butter, as needed
grated cotija cheese, as needed
For the chili mayo (makes enough for about 8 ears):
1/2 cup Mexican crema (or substitute 1/2 cup mayonnaise and 3 T. sour cream)
1/2 cup queso fresco (or substitute Pecorino Romano), grated
1 tbsp ground ancho chili powder or cayenne
1 tsp smoked paprika
Kosher or French sea salt
juice of one lime salt to taste if needed

[ALTERNATE DRESSING]

  • 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons finely grated orange peel
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili-garlic sauce
  • 6 ears white corn, husked, and rinsed
  • chopped fresh cilantro

Mix all ingredients.  Baste  in a final few minutes of cooking on the grill, after de-husking.