Make Corn Taste Amazing

Make Corn Taste Amazing

Corn on the cob with butter and salt is pretty fantastic but why not spend the extra 10 minutes to make it truly sensational?

By Helen Thompson

Dinnertime for our family of five has always been a lot to manage, but since my father-in-law moved in at the beginning of quarantine, it's become a nightly event. Trying to come up with something that pleases everyone, every night is a challenge, but a few recipes have been saving us from mealtime mutiny lately.

One of them is elotes (grilled Mexican street corn). The version I've been making has used Cotija, mayonnaise, garlic, cilantro and lime. I haven’t been using Mexican crema and I’ve skipped the ancho chiles I would usually add because there’s only so much adventure my father-in-law can take.

Just a handful of ingredients elevate corn from side dish to star of the meal and I’m totally into it. There are so many ways to make corn the hero, including this harissa lime mayonnaise, parmesan and cilantro corn that our friend Janine Tai made (and photographed here).

To make amazing corn, grill or boil it then brush it with any of the following combinations. Note: A lot of cheeses will go with grilled corn but I like a crumbly cheese vs a melty cheese. Our favorite for grilled corn are cotija, parmesan, queso fresco, asiago or pecorino cheese.

- Garlic butter, red chile flakes, cheese (cook the garlic and chili flakes in the butter briefly before brushing it on the corn)

- Cotija, mayonnaise, garlic, cilantro, lime, ancho chile powder

- Harissa-lime mayonnaise, parmesan and cilantro

- Aïoli (garlic mayonnaise) fresh minced basil and/or oregano

- Cilantro and lime mayonnaise, queso fresco and freshly cracked pepper

- Olive oil, grated asiago, minced fresh basil