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Grilled Corn on the Cob with Chipotle-Lime Butter

6 September 2011


Few things in life remind me of the days of summer in my childhood like corn on the cob. At every great summer BBQ at my family’s old beach property – fondly known as ‘the Farm’ – my sole duty in the culinary festivities was the proper shucking of the corn. Not one leaf or silk of the husk was to remain after my work was done – only bright, shiny kernels of yellow ready for a pot of salted boiling water, and ultimately, the dinner table.

Oh how I hated those f*%@ing ears of corn!! I was, and still am, the most ineffective corn shucker on the face of the earth. Haggard leaves hanging off at all angles, discoloured or bruised kernels, and those g*%damn silks! Those silks are the thing of nightmares! Despite all this angst, I absolutely LOVE the taste of  corn on the cob, and can rarely resist buying it when I see it at the store. The British, in a stroke of genius, have pre-shucked cobs available at the market. But the U.S. – in a shocking lack of sympathy for failed shuckers everywhere – can’t seem to get its act together on this corn business.

Unable to resist the lure of the cob on a recent trip home to the States, I rather moodily stared them down in my kitchen hoping they were a rare silk-less variety. Alas, no. Luckily, however, I did have a recipe on hand in which I would be under no obligation to produce the ‘perfect’ cob of my youth. In fact, the more ‘rustic’-looking, the better!

This corn is actually grilled over hot coals (or a gas grill) in its husk, rather than being boiled in salted water. Despite how strange that sounds, the flavour is incredible – slightly sweeter and definitely more juicy than its boiled counterpart. Covered in melted Chipotle-Lime butter, this vegetable side is the perfect accompaniment to an end of summer BBQ.

Enjoy, and buon appetito!



Serves: 6

3 tbsp salted butter, softened to room temperature

1/4 to 1/2 tsp chipotle spice

1 tsp finely grated fresh lime zest

1 tbsp salt

6 ears fresh yellow corn, husks intact


1.  Combine butter, chipotle spice and lime zest in a small bowl. Blend thoroughly. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour.

2.  Pull the outer leafy layer of husks back from cob, keeping husks intact. Remove silks, and pull husks back over corn to cover. Place corn and salt in a large stockpot; cover with water. Let stand 45 minutes, then drain.

3.  Preheat grill to medium-high heat (if using charcoal, allow to burn for at least 15 minutes). Place corn on grill rack and grill for 8 minutes on each side, or until husks are blackened.

4.  To serve, pull away husks and serve with prepared chipotle-lime butter.


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