Crack Corn

A couple of years ago my husband and I discovered an amazing recipe in Grill It! by Bobby Flay.  Bobby calls it Cuban-Style Corn.  I’ve never been to Cuba or had their corn, but the photo in the book made it look so yummy we had to try it.

The recipe should come with a label…”WARNING:  This corn may cause physical dependance.”  Ever since that first encounter with Mr. Flay’s intoxicating concoction we no longer call it Cuban-Style Corn.  We call it Crack Corn.  Not as in the children’s nursery rhyme song, Jimmy crack corn and I don’t care….

Crack.  As in, “When can I get my next fix?” As in, once you taste this corn you are hooked and you just can’t stop. You’ll be creating excuses to make it, over-enthusiastically volunteering to bring the side dish to your next family gathering, waking up in the middle of the night wishing for just one more taste.

When we serve this to friends, I always get a casual email from one of our guests non-chalantly asking for the recipe for the corn.  I’m not fooled by the calm tone of their electronic request.  I am fully aware of the frantic-got-to-have-it-now nature salivating on the other end of our cyber connection.  Even last night, one of my good friends asked me for a hit the recipe.  Is it wrong for me to gladly enable this kind of behavior?  You decide…

Crack.  Corn.  Let’s get down to it.

The first step is to prep the corn.  You will need fresh corn still in the husks, and a ball of kitchen twine.

Pull back the husks one layer at a time to reveal the silky threads.  Leave the husks in place.

Pull away as many of the silky threads as you can.

Reassemble the outer husks and secure them with kitchen twine.  You can do this part ahead of time and put the corn back in the fridge until you are ready to grill.

Gather the ingredients for the sauce.  There are a few non-negotiables when it come to the sauce.  First, use high quality mayonnaise {i.e., Hellmann’s}.  Second, seek out high-quality ancho chile powder.  You can not use the generic bottle of chili powder that you find on the grocery store baking-aisle shelf.  Central Market or other specialty food stores are worth it when it comes to this one ingredient.   Third, make the sauce at least 30 minutes in advance, although several hours is better.

This is what the finished sauce looks like.  In addition to the mayonnaise and ancho chile powder, the sauce also has garlic, fresh lime juice, and salt.  {We were feeding a crowd, so this is a double-batch.}

Fill your sink with cold water, add the prepped corn, and soak for 10 to 15  minutes before you grill.  While it soaks, heat your grill to medium.  Place the corn on the grill, close the cover, and grill for 15 to 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes.  To quote Super Chef Bobby Flay, “Grilling [corn] in the husks steams it and concentrates the natural sweet flavor while imparting the taste of the husk into the corn.”  He’s not lying.

Remove the corn from the grill.

Snip the kitchen twine, and peel back the husks.  I usually wear oven mitts when I do this because the corn is mighty hot.  It is a messy process, so have a sheet tray or large cutting board ready to put the “clean” corn on to keep it from getting mixed up in all of the charred husks and debris.  Cut off the husks if you desire.

Slather each ear of corn with the Crack Sauce and sprinkle the ears with grated cotija cheese {aka queso anejado} and lime zest.  Serve it hot, with extra napkins on the side, and enjoy!

Click below for a printable version of the recipe.

{Crack Corn Recipe}

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7 Responses to Crack Corn

  1. Pingback: Granola | katherine sasser

  2. Krista says:

    “Cracking” up at your first paragraph!! It may be better than the corn! ; ) THIS is why you are such an amazing cook– that you don’t mind going to ALL this trouble to make something DE-LISH. It looks dreamy– and I WILL, by golly, try it.

  3. Rachelle says:

    I can’t wait to try this. I am actually salivating.

  4. Wendy says:

    That corn looks so good! I think Mr. Never Eats Creamy Sauces can just have his grilled, and I’ll dress mine in the wonderfulness. ;-)

  5. Today I asked Rachel “so, anything new on Katherine’s blog” and she mentioned this corn. Oh my!!! I am suddenly hungry and can’t wait to try this crack corn recipe. Thanks, too, for the great photos!

  6. Maggie says:

    Thanks, Katherine! So excited to make this! I’m ok with admitting that I may be forming an addiction to this wonderful recipe! That’s the first step, right?

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