Food

How to Grill Corn for Maximum Flavor

When cooking contemporary candy corn for one, nothing beats the microwave: A single ear, in its husk, goes in at full energy for 3 minutes. The husk traps steam, giving the kernels such an intense corn taste and juiciness that butter turns into practically superfluous (practically). However for a crowd? You have got extra choices.

Take, as an example, the method I found this summer season, which is impressed by how I sometimes cook dinner my scorching canine and sausages. First, I warmth a grill, adjusting the gasoline or coals in order that there’s a scorching facet and a cooler facet. I grill my scorching canine over the direct warmth to char them after which switch them to an aluminum pan crammed with sauerkraut (or different moist toppings) that I maintain simmering on the cooler facet of the grill, the place they keep plump and juicy. This lets visitors eat at their very own tempo (and avoids that lukewarm tray of wrinkly franks on the picnic desk). The identical method — with a tray stuffed with a salted honey-butter glaze in lieu of sauerkraut — works splendidly for grilled corn.

I like this technique for a couple of causes. The primary is taste. One drawback with candy corn is that its sugar begins to rework into bland, mealy starch quickly after the corn is harvested. This is a matter that scientists have been engaged on for over a century, figuring out a number of gene mutations accountable for producing corn with considerably greater sugar content material than typical area corn, in addition to breeding varieties that maintain onto their sugar longer. However even super-sweet fashionable varieties with names like Honey ’N Pearl or American Dream will begin to lose sugar after per week or so within the fridge.

The identical genes that give corn additional sweetness additionally cut back its capacity to retain moisture: Candy corn tends to dry out except you eat it proper after cooking or take measures to protect its moisture. In side-by-side checks, I’ve discovered that the frequent recommendation to soak corn in a saltwater brine makes this shriveling solely worse as kernels lose moisture by way of osmosis.

My cooking method solves each of these points. Because the grilled corn sits within the simmering liquid (a mixture of water, honey, butter and salt), getting turned often, the moist cooking atmosphere retains the kernels plump and juicy. On the similar time, the water within the pan evaporates slowly, lowering the honey and butter right into a shiny glaze that enhances the corn’s pure sweetness with out being cloying. Furthermore, it buys you time to grill your burgers or asparagus on the now-freed-up scorching facet of the grill whereas the corn stays at temperature.

The honey-butter base can also be extensively adaptable. A pinch of smoky, gentle gochugaru and a sprinkle of minced chives or parsley are easy enhances to the honey, however there’s no must cease there. You’ll be able to whisk in few tablespoons of miso paste and a touch of soy sauce; add a mountain of minced contemporary garlic and a tablespoon of Calabrian chile paste; stir within the zest and juice of a lemon and end with a beneficiant quantity of coarsely floor black pepper. Or, you may taste the glaze with a tablespoon of sambal oelek (or different fermented chile paste), a squeeze of lime and a bathe of minced cilantro leaves. Any one in all these combos will improve even grocery store corn that’s been sitting within the vegetable crisper since final Wednesday.

In a world optimized for taste, I’d plant stalks of American Dream on April 17, in order that their 78-day maturation interval would coincide exactly with the Fourth of July. I’d have the grill prepared and a crowd gathered within the backyard simply because the corn hits peak ripeness to reduce time between harvest, cooking and consuming.

However, in the actual world, I depend on sensible, sensible cooking methods that assure scrumptious outcomes, regardless of how effectively I plan. If the corn is at peak ripeness, all of the sweeter.

Recipe: Honey Butter Grilled Corn

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