The pickup: Fresh Oregon corn, not slated for animals or ethanol but for us hungry corn-lovers, is starting to appear in the farmers’ market, so last weekend, I loaded up.
The results: For years I’ve cooked corn using the low-maintenance but fool-proof method I learned 20 years ago: Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Remove from heat. Add a couple of splashes of milk and the husked corn. Leave for 10 minutes, or 20. Drain, and serve.
Recently, though, I learned how to make low-maintenance corn on the grill. You can wrap each husked ear of corn in aluminum foil, but for a more “green” approach, cook the corn in its husk. Remove the silk, and submerge the corn (in the husk) in the sink or in a pan of water for an hour. Heat the coals. When they’re ready to go, remove the corn from the water, dry it roughly, and place it on the grill. Cook for at least 30 minutes, or 45, turning occasionally to brown the husk evenly. If you leave the corn for longer while you’re cooking other things, that’s OK too.
Unlike a lot of vegetables that can be easily overcooked or undercooked, corn is pretty forgivable.
Last night we made a spicy butter to go along with the grilled corn: Finely chop two canned chipotle peppers (the kind that comes in adobo sauce). Add them, with a teaspoon or so of the sauce they come in and the juice of half a lime, to a softened cube of unsalted butter. To eat, spread corn with butter, add a sprinkle of salt and a grind of black pepper, and squeeze another wedge of lime over the top.
On a hot summer day, it’s practically enough for dinner.
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