Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Coal Roasted Corn on the Cob

Just got back from a trip to Maryland, where our friends at Richardson Farms grow some of the best sweet corn I’ve ever tasted. And there's just about nothing I love more than corn fresh out of the field. 

(The Eat'n Man gets his corn fresh from the field)

(Fresh picked ears, ready to roast)

Fresh from the field is really best that way, because as soon as you pick an ear, the sugars begin to morph into starches, taking away the sweetness.  We brought a suitcase full home from Maryland with us, and after chowing down on several ears, I decided I would blog on my unorthodox method for roasting corn.

Of all the different ways to cook corn, I think coal roasting is the best, as it generates an amazing, sweet, earthy aroma as the corn roasts, and the flavor is out of this world, as some of the sugars in the corn will slightly caramelize from the intense heat. You can roast corn in your oven, or on a gas grill, but I find that nothing beats roasting it directly on top of hot, burning charcoal.

This is really one of the simplest methods of cooking anything, similar to hobo pack cooking, where you wrap food in foil and place it directly in the hot coals of the fire. First, simply take the corn, unhusked, and wrap each ear in a layer of foil. You might snip the tassel and long leaves off the top, but otherwise you don’t need to do much to it.

The foil will protect the husks from burning, and the corn will be steamed and roasted inside its own husk. There’s a lot of flavor and aroma in the husk, and particularly the corn silk, that will be released with this method--so don't be tempted to remove either before you wrap with the foil.

Place the corn directly on the hot coals. Let it sit about five minutes, then, using long tongs, give each ear about a third of a turn. Let that go another five minutes, and then one more third turn. Five minutes later, you’re done. Pull the corn from the fire and let it rest a few minutes, so the husk will cool.

When you remove the foil, you’ll see that the husks are slightly scorched, but the corn inside will be perfect.

With a little butter and salt, you’ll have a great side dish for a variety of entrees. Here we’ve served it with some sliced Flat Iron steak.

Until next time,

Stay Corny,