Grilling Corn 411

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If ever there is a time, this is it — get to farm fresh ears of corn at your local farm stand or market this week. Buy extra to grill or roast; as leftovers they are an ideal addition to so many dishes. Cut leftover corn off the cob and use in salads, salsas, soups, taco, beignets, etc. Sufferin’ succotash - add grilled corn to lima beans and tomatoes. The charred kernels adds robust nutty flavor and a nice texture addition too. Fresh is where it's at. 

I am sure you have heard a version of this tale.

"My grandmother learned from a farmer how to cook the best corn, start the water boiling, run to the corn field, pick the corn, run back to the pot, cook the corn, and eat immediately."

A good tip is to stress freshness. But, how good is this advice if you don’t know how to select sweet and juicy tasting ears?

Here's The 411: When picking: The kernels should be smooth, plump and the juice inside the kernel should appear milky.  The kernels should not be too mature, soggy and doughy. The corn is good when there is a slight browning of the silks, it is cool to the touch, fullness of the tip kernels and firmness of the unhusked ears.

I’m still trying to figure out why people husk their corn at the market and leave husks all over the place. I may just have to ask why next time. It’s actually helps the corn retain it’s freshness by leaving the husk on until right before cooking. Ears of corn should also be chilled as soon as possible after picking to slow down the sugar in the corn, as it turns to starch. Think of corn like fresh whole fish, the ears should be firm, moist and kept chilled. I suggest taking a cooler with you to the market for the ride home.

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 - Begin by pulling the husks of the corn back, but do not remove them. Remove and discard the silk and then soak the whole cobs in a pot of cold water for 15 minutes. 

- Preheat the grill to a medium temperature. 

- Remove the corn from the water and brush the kernels with olive oil. Before you re-wrap the corn in the husks, add a little caramelized garlic, chopped onion, nutmeg and black pepper. 

- For an flavorful twist, try using herbs & spices such as cilantro, garlic, chipotle chili and fresh lime juice. 

- Then reposition the husks over the kernels and tie each ear with a piece of loose husk or twine. 

- Place the prepared ears of corn on a medium heat, turning every 2 minutes. 

- After a couple of turns, place the corn husk on an indirect heat or on the top shelf of your grill and close the cover. 

- Allow the corn to slowly roast for another 10 minutes. 

- You will know it is done when you press a kernel and it shoots out it’s sweet liquid.

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