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Grilled Corn on the Cob


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This is one of my favorite warm weather side dishes. The best rendition of it I have ever tasted was at Ed Schoenfeld's Cafe Marimba back in the mid 80s. It wasn't even on the menu, but accompanied many entrees as a freebie. You received a half cob sliced lenghtwise. The charcoal/carmelization factor was almost as tasty as biting into a well-seared steak, yet what you actually tasted was wonderfully sweet corn. In addtion to being the tastiest, it was also the least dry piece of grilled corn I have ever had. How was the moisture maintained so well? I suspect it was grilled only for a short time, and cooked some other way first. I am hoping Mr. Schoenfeld will be kind enough to divulge the recipe if he still remembers how his chef back then did it. Would also like to know if charcoal is better than gas for this dish. I could swear it tasted of charcoal, but a top notch restaurant gas grill may have imparted a similar taste using wood chips. Even more so if meats were grilling within close proximity, as they doubtless were.

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Never had it there, but there are several techniques you may want to try. First, you must use the freshest corn you can find. Corn begins to lose it's sweetness and turns to starch the second it's picked, so farmer's markets are probably the best place to find it. Then, there are some people who bend back the husk, strip the silk, put the husk back, and soak the corn for a while. Some soak the corn as it comes. And I don't bother with the stripping or soaking. I just buy the corn and throw it on the grill. I can't say how long I leave them on. Till they're done? Till the husk's blackened? I have no idea why people take the silk off before roasting. Hope this helps.

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You have to strip the corn if you want caramelization. I just brush them with olive or peanut oil, season them and grill them on a very hot grill until they are browned more or less evenly. It takes only a few minutes. Sounds like a good idea to split them to stop them from rolling around on the grill. I shall try that.

Ruth Friedman

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Never had it there, but there are several techniques you may want to try.  First, you must use the freshest corn you can find.  Corn begins to lose it's sweetness and turns to starch the second it's picked, so farmer's markets are probably the best place to find it.

Firstly use the right varity of corn. You need a "supersweet" variety.

Secondly time from picking really does matter. Seconds are vital. Build the BBQ next to the corn patch, or run from the garden to the kitchen, where the pan is already boiling or the grill hot.

If you can't get them picked within minutes, frozen is the best substitute, since the better ones are, like peas, blast frozen as soon as picked.

I prefer to cook them in the cobs, since this steams them and I don't like the parched corn effect, YMMV.

Edited by jackal10 (log)
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