You know how sometimes you visit a place and it’s totally different to what you expected? And then other times you visit a place and it is 100% exactly as you expected it to be, just like you have seen in the movies and your imagination a dozen times.
The latter is true of the American Midwest. Drive out of the cities and soon you are surrounded by red wooden barns and the amber waves of corn that stretch from sea to shining sea, as described in America the Beautiful. It’s mesmerisingly lovely and reminded me that I have yet to post the delicious roasted corn that I made for lunch about six weeks ago. I had seen a couple of recipes for roasted corn here and there on the blogs and when I popped into Borough market and saw these gorgeous fresh ears of corn still nestled in their leaves and silks, I was powerless to resist.
As a kid, we’d often have corn (or mealies, as they are known in South Africa). I used to love eating it straight off the cob, with those little 2-prong forks poked in either end to hold it without burning your hands. But at some point I decided that this was just tooooo messy and developed the habit of standing the cob upright and slicing the kernels off with a sharp knife, before buttering and eating them. Tasty – yes. But somehow lackign in the magic of eating it with your hands.
So when I started seeing recipes pop up all over the web for roasted corn, I decided to give it a go and relive my childhood… albeit with the more grown-up flavours of chilli and lime! The recipe comes from one of my favourite discoveries of the past year, Dragon’s Kitchen
ROASTED CORN WITH A LIME & CHILLI BUTTER
4 ears of corn still in their husks
1/4 cup butter, softened
zest of one lime
juice of half a lime
1/4 teaspoon dried hot pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon chili powder (I used Lawry’s red pepper seasoned salt with Tabasco instead)
Preheat the oven to 180C. Place the corn, husks and all, on a baking sheet in the centre of the oven. Cook for 35-40 minutes.
While the corn is roasting, make the chilli butter. Combine the rest of the ingredients and mix until well blended. Refrigerate the softened butter mixture until the corn is roasted.
Carefully (they are HOT!) remove the husks and silk off the corn and serve immediately with the butter. Feel like a kid again!
Other bloggers roasting or grilling their corn: