There are few things that evoke summer quite like grilled corn on the cob. While butter and salt are most often the go-to seasonings on this classic picnic delight, consider livening things up a bit this year with some new flavors that put the "Wow!" in your corn on the cob experience.
Grilled Corn Basics
There are two prevailing schools of thought for grilled corn on the cob. The first is that the corn in its husk is a perfect vessel for stand-alone grilling, while the other prefers to remove all outer husks and opts to wrap the cob in aluminum foil for grilling. Whichever option you prefer, liven it up by adding some herbed butter to the corn before grilling to cook in the flavor. You can try Jalapeno butter, mint butter, thyme-lemon butter or horseradish butter, for instance. If you are using the husk-on method, pull it back gently so that you can remove the silk. After doing so, remove about half of the husk pieces and pull the rest back to slather the cob. Put the husk back in place, or wrap the cobs in aluminum foil if you prefer to remove the husk entirely, and grill the corn with butter on it to lock in flavor and moisture.
Reach for some coconut cream and slather it on a cob of corn before grilling along with some diced basil and chili powder for a spicy, Thai-style ear of corn teeming with moisture. Spread a cooked ear of corn with guacamole to make Mexican-fusion grilled corn. Cover a cooked ear with mayonnaise and sprinkle it with chili powder for a spicy, yet well-balanced, ear of grilled corn. Blend pure maple syrup together with a chipotle chili in adobo sauce and spread the sweet and spicy mixture on a cooked ear for a mildly spicy, yet fantastically sweet, flavor.
Use any number of prepared spice blends to lend flavor to your corn after grilling it. Lemon pepper, tomato basil and garlic salt all give a piece of corn a nice kick when combined with butter. Mix your own seasonings to create a Cajun blend to sprinkle on your corn or add lime juice to your corn and top it with chili powder for a spicy bite. Use store-bought ranch seasoning mix sprinkled on an ear for a savory-sweet topping that is a crowd pleaser.
Skip seasonings altogether and add toppings to already-grilled ears of corn. Slightly messier than other options, you will want to have a plate and even fork nearby when eating these. Spread butter on hot ears of corn and roll the cob in some crumbled queso fresco or Parmesan cheese for a delicate, yet noteworthy, flavor. Dress a hot ear of corn up like you would a baked potato by brushing it with sour cream and rolling it in crumbled bacon, green onions and cheddar cheese for a taste explosion and a near-meal in itself. Sprinkle an ear of corn with curry powder and roll it in Feta cheese or plain goat cheese for contrasting, yet complementary, flavors.
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