This corn best to eat right af­ter be­ing picked

The Peterborough Examiner - - Arts & Life - BRIAN HENRY SPE­CIAL TO THE EX­AM­INER Lake­field area chef Brian Henry owns and op­er­ates Chef Brian Henry Pri­vate Chef Ser­vices: www.chef­bri­an­

There are so many things to cel­e­brate dur­ing sum­mer and one of them is when lo­cally grown corn comes into sea­son. Most of us by now have had a belly full of corn served up at bar­be­cues and corn roasts alike.

Peaches and cream corn is of­ten the one that every­one pe­ruses as it is be­lieved to be the sweet­est va­ri­ety of corn avail­able which sees road side ven­dors dis­play­ing signs sell­ing “Peaches & Cream Corn” and gro­cery stores car­ry­ing com­mer­cial brands of corn la­beled as peaches and cream but truth is that peaches and cream corn is not a com­mer­cially pro­duced crop, nor is it pro­duced en masse. It is a va­ri­ety de­signed for back­yard gar­den­ers and best eaten within an hour of pick­ing it. Peaches and cream Corn never made it to com­mer­cial pro­duc­tion, the name some­how did. Ed­i­ble corn va­ri­eties vary from white ker­nels to yel­low ker­nels and a com­bi­na­tion of the two. The yel­low ker­nels are tra­di­tion­ally the sweet­est; but can see vari­a­tions de­pend­ing on the va­ri­ety.

All parts of the corn cob or ears can be used in culi­nary ap­pli­ca­tions. The husk is used as a food wrap­per when mak­ing to En­chi­ladas. The silk, those pale green stringy bits found un­der the husk makes a mild tea and of course the corn cob it­self. If you choose you can grill your corn with or without the husk but will need to cut off the brown silk tip and soak the ears in water for half an hour to pre­vent burn­ing the cobs. I’ve been serv­ing the clas­sic Mex­i­can street food corn known as elotes at pri­vate events and out of the An­gle Iron Kitchen for the past cou­ple of weeks which is on the cob charred on the grill, then slathered in a lightly spiced cream sauce cov­ered in ground parme­san cheese in place of the tra­di­tional Mex­i­can Cotija cheese which is fin­ished with chopped cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

Grilling shucked ears of corn di­rectly over very hot coals or in a hot oven brings out corn's nat­u­ral nutty fla­vor and lightly chars the ker­nels giv­ing them a stronger tex­ture, carameliz­ing the sugar within the ker­nels. Com­bine this cook­ing method with the condi­ments pro­duces a sweet, salty, sa­vory, nutty, creamy, and tart fla­vor pro­file for ev­ery bite.

Elotes can be en­joyed year round as you can eas­ily make the fol­low­ing recipe in a cast-iron pan or un­der the broiler in the oven and en­joy the taste of sum­mer through­out the year.

Elotes - Grilled Mex­i­can Street Corn


8 ears corn, shucked

2 tbsp. cook­ing oil

1 cup crum­bled cotija cheese, or pow­dered parme­san

½ cup mayo

½ cup sour cream

½ cup cilantro leaves, minced, op­tional 1 tsp. lime zest

1 tsp. an­cho or chipo­tle chili pow­der Lime wedges and minced green onions for serv­ing

Salt and pep­per to taste


Pre­heat your bar­be­cue or oven to 450550°f. Brush the corn with cook­ing oil and lightly sea­son them with salt and pep­per and set aside.

In a small bowl, stir to­gether 3/4 of the cheese with the mayo, sour cream, cilantro, lime zest and chile pow­der to un­til evenly in­cor­po­rated.

Cook the corn, turn­ing as needed, for about 8-10 min­utes un­til cooked through and lightly charred. Take the cobs off the grill and lib­er­ally brush each cob with the cheese sauce mix­ture and set the cobs out onto a plat­ter. Sprin­kle the cobs with the re­main­ing cheese and minced green onion and serve with lime wedges.

Grilled Mex­i­can street corn can be en­joyed year round.

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