Turn up the heat
Chipotle chilli butter takes sweet corn to another level
IT’S EASY to avoid heating up the kitchen in the steamy weather we’ve been suffering over the summer break. Apart from being sucked into making jams and chutneys with all the wonderful stone fruits available right now (more about that next week), I’ve done no cooking inside at all. Everything has been done on the barbecue, even the vegies. Flavoured butter is a wonderful addition to any barbecued food. I make up several batches at a time, using different ingredients. Simply form the butter into a log, roll in foil or plastic wrap and freeze for up to a month. It’s so easy to slice some rounds from the log, allow to return to room temperature, then add it to your plated food. As it melts it forms a delicious, couldn’t-be-easier sauce.
You can use just about any herbs and spices, while old favourites like garlic and lemon zest don’t go astray. Try chopped fresh sage when you are cooking pork chops, garlic and chopped fresh oregano for steak, and rosemary and garlic with chicken.
This week, I cooked corn on the grill and accompanied it with a chipotle and coriander butter. Chipotle chillies are available in most supermarkets, canned in adobo sauce, a spicy Mexican chilli-based sauce that packs a flavour punch. The chillies are not eye-wateringly hot, but impart a complex, smoky quality. If you’re not fond of chilli heat, adjust the quantity, but do give it a go.
Corn with chipotle butter
INGREDIENTS: ◗ 4 tblspn chopped chipotle chillies in adobo sauce or 2 whole chillies ◗ 125g unsalted butter at room temperature ◗ leaves from half a bunch of fresh coriander, finely chopped ◗ 4 ears of corn with husks still attached ◗ fresh lime, to serve
METHOD: To make the butter – finely mince the chillies in adobo sauce. In a small bowl, combine chillies with adobo sauce, softened butter and coriander until blended. Place on a piece of foil or plastic wrap and roll into a log about 3cm wide; refrigerate until needed. Butter can also be frozen for up to a month; cut off as many slices as you need while still frozen and allow to thaw before using.
Oil and preheat the barbecue. Pull back husks on corn and remove the silk; discard. Replace husks; if you can’t find corn with the husks still on, wrap cobs in foil.
Place on the barbecue and cook for three minutes on high; turn and cook for another three minutes. Remove from grill, carefully remove husks and place a few slices of butter on each cob. Serve immediately with lime.
Flavoured butter lifts grilled corn to a whole new level.