On our last grocery run, my son picked out these beautiful fresh sweet corn. Which kid doesn’t love corn, right? Its beauty lies in its simplicity. While there is canned corn or frozen corn, nothing beats the fresh kind. And it is really easy to cook too. Cook corn just enough to take the rawness out, sprinkle some seasoning on it and enjoy. It also comes with its own utensil, there’s nothing more fun than eating it right off the cob. Like nature’s own skewers!
Once you pick the perfect tender ears of corn, it’s time to decide how you want to cook them. You can boil it, steam it or grill it. Unfortunately, I do not have an outdoor grill, but that doesn’t mean I cannot have grilled corn. I’ll tell you how.
It begins in the microwave. I usually microwave them with the husks still on, so the corn kernels kind of get steamed and tender. Remove the husks and the corn is actually ready to eat right then.
But let’s go a step further and quickly grill them on the stove-top, shall we? What you need is a really hot skillet. A ridged grill pan would be perfect. See, you cannot have grilled corn without some special utensils now, can you? You can quickly grill the corn on the hot grill pan with a touch of olive oil and salt.
But before you do all that, just think about what goes on your grilled sweet corn. How about butter? Absolutely! How about an herb compound butter? Even better! See what I did there? Butter, better, Betty bought a bit of butter…rhyming words and tongue twisters.Ha!!
You can make compound butter with basically anything. Just add your favorite herbs and seasoning to softened butter.
I used fresh mint leaves, red chili flakes and some quick-roasted garlic. Perfectly roasted garlic heads can take almost an hour in the oven. But if you are in a hurry, just use the microwave. In a bowl, throw in a couple of garlic cloves with a bit of oil, salt and pepper, sprinkle with water, cover lightly and microwave for maybe a minute. Test to see if the garlic cloves are tender, if not, just zap them for a few more seconds. It is not an exact replacement for the slow roasted whole heads of garlic (which is just divine, by the way), but it is a decent substitute for quick recipes such as this. This quick microwave “roasting” takes away the bite of raw garlic and makes the sauce or whatever condiment you’re making a bit more shelf-stable.
Once you have the piping-hot grilled corn, squeeze some fresh lime juice on top,and slather the mint butter generously to melt the goodness right into the corn kernels. So, so good!
Here’s the mint-chili-garlic butter for you. Take it all in. Isn’t that simply gorgeous? I used some of this leftover butter to make a grilled cheese sandwich. I think I will be making compound butters for sandwiches now!
Enjoy this delicious grilled corn as a last summer hurrah. Before you know it, the days will be shorter again and fresh sweet corn will be a distant summer memory. So, take advantage of it while it’s still here! Read on for the recipe.
GRILLED SWEET CORN WITH MINT-CHILI-GARLIC-BUTTER
You will need: (Serves 4)
For the compound butter,
- Unsalted butter – 1/2 cup, softened
- Fresh mint leaves – 8-10, finely chopped
- Red chili flakes – 1/2 tsp (more or less as per taste)
- Garlic – 2 large cloves, roasted (see how-to below)
- Salt – 1/4 tsp
For grilled sweet corn,
- Fresh sweet corn – 4
- Olive oil – 1-2 tbsp
- Salt – to taste
- Lime – 1, large
- Mint compound butter – 1/2 cup (see above)
- Microwave roasted garlic: Cut off a small portion from the head side of the garlic cloves. Take the garlic in a microwave safe bowl, drizzle a little olive oil on top and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle some water in the bowl, cover lightly and microwave on high for a minute. Remove and check tenderness with a fork. Continue microwaving in 15 second increments till garlic is tender. Once done, peel garlic and mash or chop finely. Set aside.
- Mint-Chili-Garlic Compound Butter: In a bowl, mix together the softened butter, mint leaves, red chili flakes and garlic with a fork or spoon. Season with salt if using unsalted butter. Set aside. This can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for a few days.
- Grilled Sweet Corn: Cut off the tops of the corn. Microwave them (still in their husks) for 4 minutes. The corn will be tender, but don’t worry if they are not fully tender. We will finish cooking them in the grill pan. Peel off the husks and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat a grill pan till almost smoking. Brush grill pan lightly with olive oil.
- Brush olive oil on the corn, sprinkle lightly with salt and place on the hot pan. Cook for 4-6 minutes, turning them around every 2 minutes to develop the sear marks.
- Remove corn to a serving platter. Squeeze some fresh lime juice over them. Dab the mint butter generously all over the corn and serve immediately.
- Make any kind of herb butter using your favorite fresh or dried herbs. You can use cilantro, parsley, oregano, basil or dill. Omit the red chili flakes if you do not want any sort of heat.
- If you have an outdoor grill, throw the ears of corn right onto the hot grill and cook as you would any vegetable.
- Remove the corn kernels with a sharp knife if you want to make a grilled corn salad with more fresh vegetables and herbs thrown in. Here’s one delightful recipe.
So, there you have it – beautiful grilled corn on the cob to be enjoyed with a minty butter. Ah, life’s simple pleasures. So good!
So, tell me, how do you take your corn? Tried any compound butters? Do share.