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6 ears of fresh* corn, tips and stalks trimmed, unpeeled
Mayonnaise (enough to thinly coat each ear)
About 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
Chive rings, for garnish
Prep the corn. If your corn is dried out, give it a soak for an hour or two in water. This will hydrate the husks and keep them from burning. The goal is to steam the corn in the husk, then brown the kernels lightly in places as you cook off the moisture.
Turn your gas grill on to medium or build a medium heat fire (the goal is 350-400°F, direct heat).
Trim off the silk at the tip with a sharp knife, as well as any small leaves that are likely to burn easily. But do not peel the corn yet, you'll do this later.
Grill the corn with the lid on the grill, turning every 8-9 minutes or so, until the husks are evenly browned. Usually it takes about 40 minutes depending on the size of the ears.
Allow the corn to rest off the heat until it's cool enough to handle, and in the meantime mix the parmesan and Blue Grass in a large shallow bowl.
Peel the corn. The silk should also come off easily since it is cooked, and will supply some great toasted corn notes from being in contact with the kernels during cooking. If you prefer your corn with a bit more char, you can briefly cook the exposed corn on the grill at this point, using the husk as a handle.
Coat the ears evenly in a thin layer of mayonnaise, then gently roll in the spiced cheese to coat. Garnish with chive rings and serve with fresh lemon for squeezing.
* On selecting corn: Check the husk and make sure it's bright green and not dried out. Feel along the corn and check for any soft spots, this way you can check for defects without peeling back the husk. Ideally, buy corn locally, and plan to cook your corn as soon as you can, as the sugars begin to convert to starches as soon as it is picked. Cold storage will slow down this degradation, so the refrigerator is your friend.
The kernels can be cut from the ears and mixed with the toppings to make a warm salad.
I make elote using cotija cheese (which is traditional), but use Izak N.37 for the spice. I'll either top with fresh cilantro, or a shake or two of Shabazi N.38. For this prep use lime instead of lemon.
Use Japanese mayonnaise, and mix parmesan (and optionally some toasted puffed rice) with Yagenbori. Top with scallions sliced on the bias, and serve with fresh lemon.
Food images and recipe © Christian Leue
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