Sweet Corn Grilled in the Husk

pinit fg en rect gray 28 Sweet Corn Grilled in the Husk

Corn fresh from the market Sweet Corn Grilled in the Husk

I read about this method of cooking fresh corn some time ago, but the idea really took hold when one of my personal culinary goddesses, Cindy Pawlcyn, of Mustard’s Grill and Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen fame (both in Napa, California), described the process in her truly wonderful book, Big Small Plates.

Cindy’s version of this dish is called Grilled Street Corn. She brushes the hot grilled corn (the husk pulled back and corn silk removed) with a garlic mayonnaise, dusts with cayenne, rolls in parmesan cheese, and serves with lime wedges. Wow!

Slathered with butter Sweet Corn Grilled in the Husk

My version is prepared a little differently, as it’s difficult to remove the corn silk from the hot corn. So I remove it before roasting. Also, if you are going to put corn in the husk directly on a hot grill, it helps to soak the corn in cold water for an hour or so to hydrate the husk enough to prevent burning on the grill.

Corn hot off the grill Sweet Corn Grilled in the Husk

The method I prefer though, is to wrap the corn in the husk in foil before grilling. This allows for adding the butter embellishment before grilling. I also like to serve the ears of corn whole with the husk pulled back, but not removed.

White and yellow corn serving Sweet Corn Grilled in the Husk

Sweet Corn Grilled in the Husk

Grilling/steaming fresh corn on the cob in this way concentrates it’s subtle flavor and offers myriad opportunities for buttery embellishments. The result is so delicious, I never throw sweet corn into a pot of boiling water anymore.

6 ears of sweet local corn
Lemon Garlic Butter or Parmesan Rosemary Butter (recipes below)
freshly ground black pepper

  1. Cut the stem of each ear of corn to a 1-inch length.
  2. From each ear of corn, remove 3 or 4 outer layers of husk. Then, one by one, gently pull back each layer of husk, but do not remove it. Remove all of the corn silk.
  3. Spread each ear of corn generously with prepared butter, season with pepper, and carefully bring each of the husk sections, sequentially, back over the corn. Wrap the corn ears tightly in foil and refrigerate until ready to grill.
  4. Remove the corn from the refrigerator 30-60 minutes prior to grilling.
  5. Place the foil-wrapped ears of corn over a hot grill, cover, and roast, turning every couple of minutes, for 10-15 minutes (10 minutes longer if the corn was not removed from the refrigerator as specified above). (You can also place these on an edged baking sheet in a 425° oven and roast for about 20 minutes.
  6. Put one or two packets of corn on each serving plate and carefully open the foil. Pull back a few of the husk segments to expose the corn and let guests take it from there. Serve with the remaining flavored butter. Definitely provide plenty of napkins.

Parmesan Rosemary Butter

8 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves, minced
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

  1. In a processor, blend the butter until smooth.
  2. Add the garlic, lemon juice,
    rosemary, and salt, and pulse to incorporate.
  3. Add the parmesan and process to
    incorporate.
  4. Put in a small container, cover, and refrigerate until ready to
    use, or form into a log on a sheet of plastic wrap, enclose in plastic wrap,
    enclose in an additional sheet of foil, and freeze for later use.

Makes ¾ cup.

Lemon Garlic Butter

8 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
finely minced zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon sea salt

  1. In a processor, blend the butter until smooth.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients
    and pulse to incorporate.
  3. Put in a small container, cover, and refrigerate until
    ready to use, or form into a log on a sheet of plastic wrap, enclose in plastic
    wrap, enclose in an additional sheet of foil, and freeze for later use.

Makes ½ cup.

I Love Hearing from You!

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Copyright 2012 Susan S. Bradley. All rights reserved.

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About Susan S. Bradley

Intrepid cook, food writer, culinary instructor, author of Pacific Northwest Palate: Four Seasons of Great Cooking, and founder of the Northwest Culinary Academy.

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