Chipotle cream sauce - this creamy, smokey and a slightly spicy sauce dresses up grilled or broiled corn on the cob - a tasty side dish for your next BBQ. (Skip to recipe.)
Oh yes, it finally feels like summer. It's corn on the cob time.
Although, in my garden, the corn looks like this:
. . . there are big bins of corn ears overflowing in the supermarkets. It comes from sunnier southern gardening climates, but judging by the crowds of shoppers rifling through the bins, we are all pretty joyous about this summer vegetable. Yes, it would be nice to eat according to the 100-mile diet, but we here in the north have been longing for fresh crisp summer vegetables - and that corn is mighty sweet. So, until our local corn ripens, we are digging into the trucked-up bounty with gusto.
If you have never grilled or roasted corn, you are in for a treat. And if you slather it with a creamy, smokey, slightly spicy sauce - your family and guests will think you are a magician - because these chunks of corn cobs will disappear before you can say abracadabra. I served them to a bunch of friends for lunch earlier this week, and even though we were all full, everyone kept taking 'just one more' from the bowl until it was empty. Last night Raymond, Andreas and I ate up 5 cobs prepared like this, and I think we'd have eaten more if I'd made them. My 'I-can-take-or-leave-corn-on-the-cob' husband ate 8 of the chunks, smacking his lips the whole time. The Chipotle Cream is a riff on the sauce I make with Mexican burgers, which would be great grilled on the barbecue beside this corn.
And me? Well corn is one of my favourite vegetables, and although my absolute favourite way to eat it is to munch a cob raw - milky and sweet - as I walk through the garden, these chipotle-slathered cobs come a close second.
A very tasty side dish for your next barbecue, or tomorrow night's dinner.
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Kitchen Frau Notes: Corn is wonderful done on the grill, but lately we've had some thundershowers right at dinnertime, and it has turned out perfectly under the broiler! The flavour of roasted and slightly charred corn is quite different from boiled cobs - so much more complex, and slightly smoky, sweet, and nutty.
If you make double the batch of Chipotle Cream while you are at it, it will keep (covered) for a week in the fridge, in case you want to make another batch of the corn in a few days. It's also pretty great slathered on a burger or onto a baked potato.
To make meal preparation easier or for entertaining, prepare the Chipotle Cream several hours or a day ahead, and keep it covered in the refrigerator.
Cutting the cobs into pieces before serving makes them easier to eat - your guests will keep coming back for 'just one more'.
Grilled (or Broiled) Corn on the Cob Slathered with Chipotle Cream
- 4 or 5 ears of fresh corn
- olive oil
- ¼ cup (60ml) good quality mayonnaise
- ¼ cup (2 oz) cream cheese, softened (¼ of a 250gm block)
- 1 tablespoon grated onion
- ¼ teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lime juice
If grilling: fire up the barbecue to medium heat.
If broiling: preheat the oven on the broil setting. Set the oven rack so the tops of the corn cobs will be about 3 to 4 inches from the heating element (on my oven that is the second rack position from the top). Prepare a cookie sheet by covering it with tin foil.
Shuck the corn cobs, leaving the stems on if possible (they make perfect handles for turning the cobs while oiling, grilling and slathering).
Brush each ear of corn with olive oil, then sprinkle lightly with salt.
Grill the corn cobs directly on the barbecue grill or lay them on the foil-covered cookie sheet and roast them under the broiler. Turn them several times as they start to turn dark brown in spots, until all sides are nicely roasted. This takes anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the heat of your grill or broiler and how far they are from the heat source. When broiling, watch the cobs carefully - I set the oven timer for 5 minute intervals so I don't forget about them. When barbecuing - give the job to someone who can stand in front of the barbecue and watch them (bribe them with a cold drink in their hand and they won't mind the duty).
While the corn is grilling (or ahead of time - see note above), prepare the Chipotle Cream. Soften the cream cheese at room temperature for an hour or in the microwave for 10 seconds.
Stir together the softened cream cheese and mayonnaise until smooth. Grate the raw onion on the fine holes of a grater and measure one tablespoon. Whisk the grated onion, chipotle pepper and fresh lime juice into the cream cheese. Keep refrigerated, covered, until ready to use.
When the corn cobs are nicely browned in spots, slather each one with the Chipotle Cream, using a teaspoon to plop some of the cream onto the cob, then the back of the teaspoon to spread it around. Use a towel or potholder to hold the cob by the 'handle' or stick a fork into the thick end of the cob to hold onto while you turn it.
Lay one coated cob at a time onto a cutting board, and with a large chef's knife or cleaver, cut each cob into 4 pieces.
Serves 4 or 5 (or if you are us, serves 3!)
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