Mexican-Style Grilled Corn

Corn is such a simple one ingredient side dish that it's hard to imagine deviating from the old standard. And yet, an uncontrollable sense of urge for variety amongst us foodies drives up to do insane things such as douse it in chili oil, give it a good sear on the grill and rolled in creamy herbed sour cream. Crazy right? But oh so delicious! Sometimes it's good to dress up and go out to town, even better when it is for absolutely no reason, and this summer's corn crop shouldn't be left out. 

Oh Mexican corn, how did our paths not cross until now? Well it may have taken a while for me to discover you but I am more than making up for lost time.

What is the secret to good Mexican corn? According to Cooks Illustrated cooking corn over a very hot charcoal grill will do wonders for the flavor. Massaging it with oil will help keep it from drying out. And then rolling it in a luscious cheesy sour cream sauce will lift you one step closer to heaven. 

While I do not have a charcoal grill at home, the corn did well enough on a gas grill. The recipe also calls for Pecorino Romano, but if you can get a hold of Cotija or queso fresco the final result will be closer to the real deal.

Mexican-style Grilled Corn
From Cook's Illustrated via Buck's County Taste
Ingredients
Vegetable oil for cooking grate
1/4 cup regular or light mayonnaise
3 tablespoons sour cream
3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves
1 medium garlic clove , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 teaspoon)
3/4 teaspoon chili powder (1/4 tsp, then 1/2 tsp)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
4 teaspoons juice from 1 lime
1 ounce Pecorino Romano or Cotija cheese , grated (about 1/2 cup)
4 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/4 teaspoon table salt
6 large ears corn, husks and silk removed

HOW TO: Charcoal Grill
1. Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal (6 quarts, about 100 briquettes) and allow to burn until coals are fully ignited and partially covered with thin layer of ash, about 20 minutes. Arrange all coals in even layer over half of grill, leaving other half empty. Position cooking grate over coals, cover grill, and heat grate until hot, about 5 minutes; scrape grate clean with grill brush. Dip wad of paper towels in vegetable oil; holding wad with tongs, wipe cooking grate.
2. While grill is heating, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, cilantro, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon chili powder, black pepper, cayenne (if using), lime juice, and cheese in large bowl; set aside. In second large bowl, combine oil, salt, and remaining ½ teaspoon chili powder; add corn and toss until coated evenly.
3. Grill corn over coals, turning occasionally, until lightly charred on all sides, 7 to 12 minutes total. Remove from grill and place in bowl with mayonnaise mixture; toss to coat evenly (Note: I placed corn on cookie sheet, poured mayonnaise mixture over corn and rolled it around to cover). Serve immediately.

HOW TO: Gas Grill
1. Turn all grill burners to high and heat grill with lid down until very hot, about 15 minutes. Scrape grate clean with grill brush. Dip wad of paper towels in vegetable oil; holding wad with tongs, wipe cooking grate.
2. While grill is heating, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, cilantro, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon chili powder, black pepper, cayenne (if using), lime juice, and cheese in large bowl; set aside. In second large bowl, combine oil, salt, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon chili powder; add corn and toss until coated evenly.
3. Leave burners on high and cook corn with lid down, turning corn occasionally, until lightly charred on all sides, 7 to 12 minutes total. Remove from grill and place in bowl with mayonnaise mixture; toss to coat evenly (Note: I placed corn on cookie sheet, poured mayonnaise mixture over corn and rolled it around to cover). Serve immediately.

29 comments:

Angie's Recipes said...

Didn't expect a simple humble grilled corn could have looked this great and sexy!!!

A Canadian Foodie said...

Well, this will throw the entire weekends worth of "extra" calories into a tizzy! YUM!
:)
V

tasteofbeirut said...

I would totally go for dressing corn up like this!

bellini said...

I can taste the juicy corn now!!!

La Table De Nana said...

Your colors are divine..Just learned the microwave way and have mot tried it yet..But oh how colorful this is!

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

I can almost taste it from here Christine. You've grilled it to perfection! And, I love the idea of the Mexican cheese.
Sam

Belinda @zomppa said...

My goodness that butter looks amazing!!

Barbara said...

I absolutely LOVE this, Christine!

Simply Life said...

oh my gosh, this looks incredible! I NEED to try corn like this!!

Fun and Fearless in Beantown said...

Grilled corn has been a staple in our house this summer.

Cathleen said...

I love corn. Love love love. But I have never tried it grilled!! (*Gasp*)
I don't know why not, this looks perfect!!

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

I love grilled corn!
This would be one step closer to paradise...

Gloria said...

Christine these look yuumm!!
(psst ! and the baby pics?)love him

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

Oh my, that corn looks fabulous! Rolled in mayo? Goodness gracious that must taste amazing.

Ko said...

They look very delicious! I agree with you using Cotija. Pecorino Romano is sheep's milk cheese and flavor and smell is too strong for the recipe(my opinion). However I had once grilled corn with a blue cheese made from sheep's milk (Cabrales) in Spain. It was was very delicious.

Megan said...

Grilled corn with lots of cheese... sign me up! Looks incredible!

lostpastremembered said...

Num, I want to make this. It looks spectacular and I imagine it takes humble corn to a whole new level.

About Last Weekend said...

I always forget to grill corn instead of my usual boring boiling but I'm going to try this next time!

Lori Lynn said...

Looks fabulous. So August-y!
LL

Amy (Savory Moments) said...

This corm looks delicious! I absolutely love Mexican flavors with corn, but have not done it on the whole cob before. I must try it before corn season is over!

Hotly Spiced said...

What a great way to cook corn and it is so very yummy looking. I'm a big fan of corn so I must learn to cook it the Mexican way.

Victoria said...

Yummy!!! I love grilled Mexican corn! Had some in NYC but never made it myself. It's the perfect time of year to remedy that :) Looks great. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

nancy at good food matters said...

I love this way of grilling and seasoning corn. You're right---Find and use the Cotija cheese for the authentic (and tastier) way. Fresh lime juice brings it all together. Delicious!

OysterCulture said...

You had me at "hello" - I love this stuff!

OysterCulture said...

You had me at "hello" - I love this stuff!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Something about the sweetness of fresh corn turns into magic on the grill. You've got me salivating!

Velva said...

Love corn on the cob when it is dressed to party. Love the flavors! Delicious!

Hope all is well.

Velva

Velva said...

I love corn on the cob when it is dressed up to party. Love these flavors. Delicious!

Hope all is well.

Velva

Diana said...

Now that looks a heck of a lot better than the usual mayonnaise they shlep on at the taquerias around here. I'll have to share this recipe with Gabe. He'll love it!