On Your Table: From the husk to the grill

If you grill it, it will come…

By Cathy Branciaroli, Food Correspondent, The Times


Add a little spice to your summer meals by grilling your corn instead of steaming it. Using different methods of preparation, you can unlock different flavors and textures in the late summer staple.

All the farm markets are offering fresh corn right now and there are so many ways to prepare it. Of course everyone always enjoys the lightly steamed fresh ears slathered with butter and salt/pepper. Don’t boil them. You can put the ears in a ziplock bag, a little water and microwave for ~8 minutes.. They are just the very best side dish served for for dinner with grilled meats. There is nothing like biting into the ears and enjoying the crunch of those kernels.

But there is so much more that can be done.

Corn can take on many personalities, especially when you hit the ears on the grill in their husks after basking in water for about an hour, shake them off, put them on the grill, until you get a smoky char, and blister the kernels a bit. The Mexican street vendors do this and then dress the corn with mayonnaise, freshly squeezed lime juice and spices. Or you can make a corn salad maybe with grilled onions, tomatoes and herbs. Grilling until the kernels are blistered brings out caramelized flavors

The best way to prepare the grilled corn ,unless you want to pull the husks off and gobble them off the ears, is to find a bowl, set the ears upward in it, and use a kitchen knife to slice off the kernels from the cob. Use a downward slicing motion and the kernels end up in the bowl with a minimum of fuss. Slice down from the top and use a non- serrated knife for best results.


Grilled Corn, Mexican Style



4 ears of corn in the husk, marinated in water for at least 1 hour, 2 tablespoons of Mayonnaise, ½ cup cojita cheese,1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, ¼ teaspoon chili powder or flaked red peppers, Salt and pepper to taste.


Prepare the grill to medium-high heat. Put the corn in the husks on the grill and cook until the husks begin to char, which should be about five minutes. Continue cooking and turning the ears until all sides are charred. Mix together the mayonnaise, lime juice, cheese, chili pepper and salt & pepper in a small bowl. Taste to adjust seasoning. Pull back the husks. Paste the dressing on the corn and serve while warm.


Grilled Corn Salad


1/3 cup red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 2/3 cup olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons divided, 8 ears of corn, ½ cup diced onions, ½ cup diced scallions, ½ cup chopped tomatoes, 1-2 tablespoon minced herbs including basil and parsley.


Heat the grill and husk the corn, drizzling the ears with olive oil. Cook until the corn ears are charred, about 15 minutes. Let the corn cool and remove the kernels. In a large bowl, combine the warm kernels with the vinaigrette. Add all the remaining ingredients, toss. And serve at room temperature.


Cathy Branciaroli also writes about her adventures in the kitchen on her blog Delaware Girl Eats

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