Now that I live in the great oven that is called Phoenix, I no longer look forward to summer for its pleasurable weather.
Turns out triple digit weather just plain sucks — even if it’s a “dry” heat. So instead of imagining myself poolside with a margarita, I patiently look forward to the edible bounty summer brings. Sweet seasonal treats like juicy berries, succulent watermelon and fresh corn on the cob are about the only things that I anticipate during this season I now loathe.
While I can agree that there is nothing better than biting into the first juicy berry of the season, I still feel partial to popping the first kernel off a bright yellow cob. The starchy vegetable has a special place in my heart. Not only did I enjoy it often growing up, I lived amongst fields of it (although it was the kind we only consume eventually).
Getting the best sweet corn of the season was a special summer ritual. Every August, we’d frequent the same intersection of local gas stations to get a dozen or so of our favorite farmer’s crop. There is one woman I still remember vividly. She would sit stoically in a lawn chair next to a pick up bed filled with cobs of corn and enormous watermelons. I can still imagine her weathered hands exchanging cash for a plastic bag of the good stuff.
Once home, my father and I would gather on the front porch to tackle the job of husking together. After laboriously working (corn husking a big batch of corn is no easy task), we’d return to my mom with naked ears. My parent’s favorite method is to simply boil the corn in a giant pot of water, butter with a bread heel and finish with a little bit of salt. It’s genius in its simplicity.
Today, Jordan and I prefer grilling as our cooking method of choice. Partially because we’re addicted to anything charred, but also because we like to keep the oven off when it already feels like hell outside. You could also put the cobs in foil or even wrap them back up in their husks. For me, both these methods are too time intensive That’s why we choose to just chuck the husk and put the corn directly on the grates. The result is slightly smoky, slightly chewy sweet ears of corn. Pair with a fresh green salad and don’t forget to garnish with berries to celebrate summer!
How to Grill Corn
4 ears of corn, husk and silk threads removed
Preheat the grill to medium high heat.
Slowly pour or spray oil over cobs of corn while using clean hands to spread the oil evenly.
Season liberally by spinning the cobs while sprinkling over small pinches of kosher salt.
Place the ears directly on grill, either between the grates or across.
Rotate the corn using kitchen tongs after 3-5 minutes. Continue to cook, rotating every few minutes until every side has been slightly charred. (On average, medium to large cobs should take about 20 minutes)
Remove from grill.
Enjoy as is or dress up the corn with things like butter or cotija cheese.
Notes: If you have leftovers, remove kernels from the cob by holding the ear vertically over a cutting board and carefully slide your knife down the bottom of the kernels. Great for rice or quinoa vegetable salads, in frittatas, and over greens. Sometime I buy extra cobs, just to have leftovers. Keep chilled in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week.