Faking Summer: Broiler-Grilled Corn

I know, I know.

Corn is not in season yet. And really, neither is grilling.

Luckily, this recipe works perfectly with less-than-stellar ears from the grocery store, and can be prepared within the confines of a small apartment kitchen. If you’re reading this in July, and you picked up lovely Jersey or Ohio corn from a farmstand, then I’m not sure you need this recipe. That corn is delicious raw, or briefly, briefly dunked in a pot of boiling water. But this recipe will serve you well in the pre- and post-season.

I was inspired tonight by some grilled corn I had at Kampuchea on the Lower East Side. They slather theirs in a coconut-chili mayonnaise, and it’s pretty fabulous, bold and spicy and sweet, with the perfect hit of acidity from wedges of lime you squeeze onto it before eating. My adaptation is a little bit lighter, with nonfat greek yogurt subbing in for the mayo, but it’s tangy and delicious all the same. Chipotle gives it just a little smokiness, so you’ll hardly miss the grill. Let me know if you try it with some coconut flakes stirred into the yogurt spread, I bet it would be great. 

Your cooking time may vary depending on the heat and positioning of your broiler. Feel free to check and turn the ears every 5 minutes (and more frequently toward the end) but don’t be afraid of charred kernels: those may be the best part.

Anyone up for some fake tanning while we’re at it?

Broiler-Grilled Corn

For yogurt spread:
1 individual-size container nonfat Greek yogurt (I love Fage)
1 dried chipotle
1/4 tsp each: chili powder, cumin, cayenne, garlic powder, sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Two ears corn per person—this recipe makes enough yogurt spread for six ears
2 T butter, melted
Parmesan for grating
lime wedges

Crumble dried chipotle or crush in a mortar and pestle. Mix into greek yogurt in a small bowl, then add chili powder, cumin, cayenne, garlic powder, sugar and salt. Taste for spice—only a thin layer will go on the corn, so if you want it really hot, add more cayenne.

Husk corn and remove silk. Preheat broiler. On a broiler pan or cast iron skillet, arrange corn in a single layer. Brush all sides with melted butter. Broil five minutes, turn, and broil five more minutes. Brush with butter again. Continue cooking until corn is golden and charred on a few kernels, checking every few minutes.

When corn is cooked, remove with tongs to a platter. Smear yogurt spread evenly over corn ears on all sides, then grate cheese on top, turning to apply evenly. Squeeze lime juice onto corn and eat while still hot.

In corn, vegetables, vegetarian

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