July 31, 2013 9:47:33 AM
When I was a kid, corn on the cob was prepared one way, and only one way.
My mom would husk the ears and pile them -- sometimes having to jam them -- in a large stockpot. She'd add about an inch of water, cover the pot, then bring it to a boil and steam the heck out of them. Then we'd slather them with butter and salt and call it good. And I'm pretty confident most American families followed some variant of this basic approach.
But as most of us have learned, grilling corn probably really is the best choice. The smoky flavor and gentle char bring out the sweetness of the kernels. Over the years, I've discovered most of that really doesn't matter. My basic approach to grilling corn is simple. I husk the ears and rub them with a bit of oil. Then I pop them onto a grill set to medium heat. Now and then, I turn them to get them evenly heated and lightly browned. That's it.
GRILLED CORN WITH QUESO FRESCO
Start to finish: 15 minutes
Makes 8 servings
8 ears of corn, husks and silk removed
8-ounce block queso fresco cheese
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 stick butter, cut into 8 pieces
Heat the grill to high.
■ Rub each of the ears of corn with a bit of olive oil. Once the grill is hot, arrange the corn in a single layer on the grill grates. Cover the grill and reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 6 minutes, turning several times.
■ Meanwhile, use a grater (large holes) to grate the queso fresco into a medium bowl. Add the paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper, then toss well.
■ When the corn is ready, use tongs to transfer it to a rimmed baking sheet or baking pan that will fit on your grill. It's OK to stack the corn. Sprinkle the cheese mixture over the corn. Arrange the butter chunks evenly over the corn. Place the pan on the grill, cover and cook for two to four minutes, or until the butter is melted. Serve immediately.