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A cheesy, buttery take on grilled corn on the cob

Published July 30, 2013 12:19 pm

Cooking on deadline • Grilling corn is the easiest way to cook this summer vegetable.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

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 the cobs with butter and salt and call it good. I'm confident most American families followed some variant of this basic approach.

These days, we are awash in alternatives, all of course proclaiming to be the best. Some sound crazy, but work wonderfully, like microwaving corn in the husk. (Do yourself a favor and Google it.)

Others just sound crazy, such as filling a cooler with boiling water and corn, which may be an easy way to feed a crowd, but … ew.

Grilling corn is probably the best choice. The smoky flavor and gentle char bring out the sweetness of the kernels. The only trouble is all the conflicting advice — to soak or not; to oil or not; high heat or low heat; direct heat or indirect heat.

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.

But even though my grilling method is simple, I still like to gussy up my ears after they come off the grill. My recent favorite: heaps of shaved queso fresco that is seasoned with paprika, salt, pepper and garlic. Of course, if you prefer to cook your corn on the stove — or in the microwave, or even in a cooler — this topping is just as delicious on those ears. —

Grilled corn with queso fresco

8 ears of corn, husks and silk removed

Olive oil

1 (8-ounce) block queso fresco

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 ear 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 grill and reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 6 minutes, turning several times.

Meanwhile, use a the large holes of a grater to grate the queso fresco into a medium bowl. Add 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 2 to 4 minutes, or until the butter is melted. Serve immediately.

Servings • 8

Source: The Associated Press