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From stalk to grill: Corn on!

One of my favorite things to grill in the summertime is fresh corn on the cob, and right now it is at the peak of sweetness. Cook your corn as soon as you can after it is picked so you can enjoy the sweetest flavor.

 

Grilled corn on the cob

6 cloves of garlic, minced fine

3/4 cup butter, room temperature

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Juice from 1/2 lime

2 tablespoons Tabasco Sauce

6 ears fresh corn

 

Preheat an outdoor grill for medium heat, and very lightly oil the grate. In a small bowl mix the softened butter with all the other ingredients except the corn. Let this set while you prepare the corn so the flavors can come together.

Carefully peel back husks from corn, leaving them attached at the base. Remove as much silk as you can from the corn, the remainder will come easily after the corn is grilled. Fold the husks back in place and soak corn in cold water for 1 hour. Shake the water off and rub the butter mixture under the husk on to the corn. Then smooth the husks back over corn.

Place on grill 4-6 inches from medium high coals and grill for 12-18 minutes until corn is tender.

Turn corn frequently while cooking. The husks will flame up occasionally but that is what gives the corn its delicious smoky flavor.

 

When I want grilled corn to make fresh salsa, I use the recipe above, except I don’t soak the corn, because I pull the husks off. I turn a lot and baste it with the butter mixture and when it has some grill marks and is tender I remove it from the heat, let it cool and cut it off the cob. Then I make a fresh salsa.

 

Fresh salsa

When I make this I don’t go by a recipe or specific amounts. You do need to refrigerate the salsa for at least an hour to let the flavors come together.

 

Fresh grilled corn kernels, about 6 ears

2 cans of black beans, rinsed well and drained

3 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped

Chopped cilantro to taste (I use the leaves from a big bunch)

5 green onions, chopped

1/2 of a medium white onion, chopped

1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced finely

Juice from 2 limes

Sea Salt to taste

1 avocado, pitted and diced

2 tablespoons olive oil

Mix all the ingredients except for the avocado. After mixing the other ingredients, gently fold in the avocado. Cover with plastic wrap that you press down to touch the top of the salsa and refrigerate.

 

Christina Hall writes a weekly food column for The Democrat. She can be reached at christina.hall@natchezdemocrat.com.