Recipe: Grilled Corn on the Cob in the Husk with Chipotle Butter
Grilled corn is a summer favorite, and this chipotle butter adds great flavor.
One of summer's culinary high points is enjoying fresh, just-picked corn, with the husk still attached so you can enjoy its garden-fresh sweetness. I love to make corn salsas, puddings, and soups, but grilling the corn is what I do most. There are a number of ways to accomplish this.
Corn on the cob, grilled in the husk with chili butter, enhances the smoky-sweet corn flavor.
Chipotle chilies are smoked jalapeños and are often packed in adobo sauce. It's best to add the chili purée in small increments to the butter until you find the perfect amount of heat. You can use the peeled-back husks to hold the corn or detach the husks and use corn holders or your hands. Corn that has been husked (naked) is quick to prepare and tends to be sweeter since the corn kernels are grilled directly on the heat and become caramelized. Remember that husked corn cooks much faster than corn in the husk.
Olive oil and a splash of fresh squeezed lime juice impart a complementary flavor. Each of these recipes is delicious in its own way. Try both and see which you prefer.
Selection and Storage Tips:
• Don't buy ears with gigantic kernels.
• Look for fresh green husks and tender milky kernels that are plump and leave no space between the rows.
• Store corn very cold and for only a short time, since it does not keep well and its delicious sugar will quickly turn to starch. — If at all possible, eat corn the same day it is picked.
Grilled Corn on the Cob in the Husk with Chipotle Butter
Makes 6 servings
1 teaspoon or to taste, chipotle chili purée (see below)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 whole ears of white or yellow corn, husks left on
1. To make the chili butter: Combine the chili purée, butter, and salt in a small bowl. Beat together until thoroughly blended. Taste for seasoning. Add more purée, if desired.
2. Pull back the husks, being careful not to break them off. Remove all the silk inside. Soak the corn in a large bowl of cold water for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
3. Drain and pat the corn dry. Rub with some of the chili butter. Replace husks.
4. Prepare the barbecue for medium-heat grilling. Grill the ears for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on their size, turning to cook evenly.
5. Remove from the grill and, using a potholder glove, remove the husks. Serve immediately with more chili butter, if desired.
Chipotle Chili Purée
Makes about 1/4 cup
I keep this spicy, smoky flavor enhancer in my refrigerator. Add it to dressings, sauces or anything you want to have an undertone of smoky heat. Transfer purée to an airtight container — preferably glass, as the sauce tends to stain plastic — and refrigerate.
1 can (7 ounces) chipotle in adobo
In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process the chilies until puréed. Place in an airtight container and refrigerate.
Grilled Husked Corn
Salt and pepper
6 ears corn, husked and cleaned
3 limes, halved
1. Prepare the barbecue for medium-high-heat grilling.
2. Brush corn with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill the ears until charred in spots, turning occasionally to cook evenly, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a large platter and serve immediately with lime halves to squeeze over the corn.
(Diane Rossen Worthington is the author of 18 cookbooks, including "Seriously Simple Holidays." You can contact her at seriouslysimple.com.