Fresh, juicy corn on the cob is one of my favourite summertime treasures. For the entire month of August, we feast on those golden ears at least three times a week.
As much as I love the old butter-salt-pepper standby, years ago my hubby introduced me to Indian street corn – fire-roasted corn seasoned with lime, chili and salt – and I’ve never looked back. There’s something incredible about fire-kissed sweet kernels set ablaze with spicy cayenne and bracing lime. It’s completely addictive.
But I’ve been recently enamoured with Mexican style grilled corn as well – which has the charred cobs slathered in mayo, then rolled in cheese (cotija and/or fresh parmesan) and served with lime wedges.
After several nights of experimenting with various takes on the two, Adarsh and I have come up with our favourite version, which combines the best elements of both Mexican and Indian corn – so we present to you our Mexic-Indian corn.
The grilled corn is first smothered in a chili-salt-pepper rub, applied liberally with a lime wedge. You see, the seasoning sticks to the lime, and rubbing it on the hot corn helps both to release the lime juice and allows the spicy flavour to bloom.
Next, we brush on a thin layer of a mayo-sour cream mixture. Too thick and it’s cloying.
Finally, the corn is rolled in finely grated fresh parmigiano-reggiano cheese. The key here is finely grated – use the small holes on a box grater. This produces the perfect thin layer of nutty, salty cheese that doesn’t overpower all the other elements. You can shower it with finely chopped cilantro, if you like, for a final flourish of freshness and colour.
Try it – I know you will love it. What’s your favourite way to enjoy fresh corn-on-the-cob?
- oil, for grilling
- 4 ears of corn, husk and silk removed
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ⅛ tsp cayenne
- 1 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp sour cream
- 1 lime, quartered
- ⅓ cup finely grated fresh parmigiano reggiano
- 1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro, optional
- Oil grill grates and grill corn over high heat with lid closed for 6-8 minutes, turning once. When they're slightly charred and just tender, transfer to a cutting board.
- Meanwhile, combine the salt, pepper, and cayenne. Stir together the mayonnaise and sour cream. Spread the cheese out over a plate.
- Working with one ear of corn at a time, take a lime quarter and coat it in the spice mix. Use the lime to rub the spice all over the corn - really work the lime into the kernels to make sure you get the juice. Brush the spiced corn with some of the mayonnaise mixture, then roll it in the parmigiano reggiano. Repeat with remaining ears of corn. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro, if desired.