When it comes to Summer cooking, all I want to do is grill, grill, grill. I actually enjoy grilling all year round, however it’s much more enjoyable to do under the hot sun, Corona in hand, than bundled up in a snow suit.
More importantly summer brings fresh, local fruits and vegetables that make for perfect grilling sides. Pineapple, peaches, asparagus, potatoes… and sweet, juicy corn on the cob. Mmm. Now, as much as I love corn on the cob boiled, smothered in butter with salt and pepper, you really haven’t lived until you’ve had corn grilled in the husk. The husk steams the corn to perfection, and cooking on the grill brings a smoky aroma and flavour that just can’t be beat. There’s a little more to it than just picking up some corn and throwing it on the grill though, so here’s how to get perfectly grilled corn in the husk, with 5 different flavours that are sure to impress your friends and kick up this classic for you this grilling season.
Let’s start with how to choose your corn before purchasing. Look for corn that’s large, firm and has a bright green husk. Most places will allow you to peel back a bit of the husk to expose some of the kernels. That’s all you need to see, don’t pull up more then an inch or so. Look for full, juicy, milky kernels.
Once home, submerge corn in water for at least 20 mins. Meanwhile, start the grill and heat to 375 degrees.
Remove corn from water, and snip off the ends so that the “hairs” don’t catch when grilling. Cut off any fly away pieces of the husk as well, they’ll just end up completely burnt. This being said, you may want to have a squirt bottle of water close by, just in case. Place corn directly on the grill, I find vertical is best. You’ll be rotating the corn and it just stays in place better this way. Close the grill and set a timer for 5 minutes. You want to rotate the corn every 5-7 minutes to prevent husk from burning and for even steam, for 25-30 mins.
When corn is equally charred on all sides, remove from grill and let sit for a few minutes. Use this time to prepare your flavours for your corn. The combinations are endless. Here are a few suggestions.
- Strawberry Basil and cracked black pepper
- Prosciutto Wrapped
- Classic Garlic butter w sea salt and crack black pepper.
- Mexican style- smothered in Mayo, fresh Parmesan and chili flakes
- Cool Lime, Mint & Feta.
Very carefully start to pull back husk. Just like removing a cover off a hot pot, be careful with the release of steam. I held the end with paper towel to allow for a better grip, as the corn is very hot. Continue this process for all piece of corn. Once all the husks have been pulled back, it’s time to get creative.
- Strawberry Basil: Chop strawberries into small pieces to allow for easier mashing. Chop up some fresh basil and add both into a mixing bowl. Use a potato masher to mash both until desired consistency. Butter corn first and add this sweet topping after. Pair with a glass of rosé.
- Prosciutto wrapped: This one takes a little bit of patience but is well worth it. Once the husk has been pulled back, wrap cob tightly in prosciutto. Place back on the grill for just a couple minutes, to crisp up prosciutto. It’s ok if prosciutto becomes loose, just re wrap after. Only season with pepper after wards given that prosciutto is naturally salty.
- Classic Garlic butter: Just a simple switch from regular butter to Garlic butter makes so much difference. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Mexican style: cover the surface of a plate with Parmesan cheese, spread mayo evenly over the cob and roll through Parmesan cheese. Finish with chili flakes, salt&pepper.
- Cool lime, mint&feta: when husk is removed, take the juice of a lime and squeeze over the cob. Roll in Feta and add freshly chopped mint. YUM!
So which was my favourite, you ask? All the flavours were delicious for there own reasons. The strawberry Basil gave a dessert feel, and was surprisingly delightful. Not going to lie, I questioned myself on this creation and was pleasantly surprised. The Mint and Feta left a refreshing after taste on my palate and the Feta itself softened from the heat of the corn and was creamy and delicious. But if I had to choose just one. It would have to be the prosciutto wrapped. Although the process was a little frustrating, and it was definitely the messiest , the end result was worth it. Sweet, juicy kernels exploding with the salty mix from the prosciutto was heavenly. Add garlic butter to the mix, ER MA GERD!!
Now if you’ve read all this and you’re thinking “there’s no way I’m putting this much effort into corn on the cob”, I get it. (even though I strongly encourage you to try something new) Just at least do yourself the favour of Grilling in the husk this summer. You won’t regret it.