Sunday, August 1, 2010

Smoky and Sweet Grilled Corn on the Cob

a mountain of corn
For some reason, the end of July is consistently the slowest cooking week in private cheffing.  Each year, I can expect a rapid slow-down in July and try to use the opportunity to read, relax, finish all those things that are pushed to the side all year, and dig through my cupboard.

After a year busy with cooking, wouldn't you know that the cupboard, fridge, and freezer are overflowing with opened packages held closed with clothespins, mysterious and exotic spice powders, and all sorts of odds and ends.  Now is the time I try to clear some open space and put all those interesting, rare, obscure, and, occasionally unpopular ingredients to good use before the season picks back up.

The timing is great for this style of menu planning because I find myself coming home with armfuls of produce from the greenmarkets and have no plan for it. Right now the corn is just perfect and it's coming in to the greenmarkets in mountains!  Here is a great way to spice things up a bit and enjoy fresh corn outside on the grill.  If you don't have outdoor space to grill, you can use the same seasoning blend and roast it (425 F, 20 minutes or so).

my odds, ends, spices, and potions

Smoky and Sweet Grilled Corn on the Cob 
This recipe is really versatile and should be used as an inspiration to mix stuff together and clean out the cupboards.
8 ears corn, shucked and split into short half-cobs if you like

seasoning blend:
2 T extra virgin olive oil or expeller-pressed sunflower/canola/peanut oil
1 T honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar
1 T vinegar (wine, sherry, apple cider, or rice vinegar are all fine here!)
1/2 t sea salt
1 T sweet paprika
1/4 t smoked paprika
1/2 t garlic powder
1/4 t onion powder
1/4-1/2 t cayenne pepper
(opt.) 1/2 t smoked Himalayan sea salt
(opt.) 1/2 t ancho chile pepper
(opt.) 1/2 t ground chipotle pepper
(opt.) 1/2 t dried thyme
lots of freshly ground black pepper

Rinse corn and pat dry. 

In a small mixing bowl, combine seasoning ingredients with a fork until uniform. Taste and adjust salt and honey measurements, if needed.  I like it to be fairly sweet to balance all the spice.

Line a large plate or sheet with foil.  Lay out corn in a row and drench with seasoning.  Roll the cobs around in it to make sure every bite with be really flavorful. 

Heat the grill to medium and grill for about 7-10 minutes, turn and give them 7-10 more.  The time may vary, depending on whether your grill preheated for a long time or the lid is open or closed.  The corn is done when the kernels are tender and sweet and there are some nicely charred edges. 

**Use this spice blend for fish, meat, and veggies, too!  It's so good.

1 comment:

Anderburf said...

This sounds so good! I just got some Himalayan pink salt, HimalaSalt, and organic peppercorns from Sustainable Sourcing and I'm going to use them in this recipe tonight. Yum!