I would say corn is high up there as one of my favorite foods, but for longest time I was a complete corn purist. That meant no butter, no spice, just corn. It was good and all, but let me tell you about two places that completely changed my view on the matter.
First I stumbled upon Num Pang Sandwich Shop. I was enrolled in a digital photography class around Union Square at the time + was looking for cheap local eats. I came for the pork belly, but I stayed for the grilled corn on the cob. They wrap theirs in foil + when you open the packet out pops a lime wedge. You are then welcomed by a mess of chili mayo coated in coconut flakes + chili powder. There is no cute way to eat this, so you just got to go for it.
My second adventure towards corn nirvana was at Café Habana in SoHo. This small luncheonette serves a mean menu that is kind of the wallet. Their corn is grilled Mexican style, served with mayonnaise, cotija cheese, chili powder and lime. They know what they're doing because each order comes with two cobs. It would be offensive to enjoy this in front of your date without sharing in the pleasure.
And welcome to my life. I just wrote two giant paragraphs about corn.
This recipe is based on my favorite two, but instead of mayo I am using b-u-t-t-a-h. The butter is only slightly spicy despite using ancho chile pepper, paprika and red pepper flake. Add more heat if you like heat! I added the lime directly to the butter, but you can also just squeeze some lime juice on top. Make sure you use softened butter, or combining the ingredients will be more challenging.
Coconut Chile Butter Grilled Corn
- 3-4 ears of corn
- 4-6 tablespoons shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 lime, juice
- 1/4 teaspoon ancho chile pepper
- Sprinkle of paprika
- Pinch of red pepper flake
- Prepare the chile butter by combining the butter, lime, ancho chile pepper, paprika and red pepper flake in a small bowl. Place the mixture on a square of plastic wrap. Wrap the plastic wrap around the chile butter to form a log. Place this back into the fridge to keep chilled.
- Heat your grill or griddle pan. Grill the corn until lightly charred on all sides.
- While the corn is still hot cut pats of butter off of the log. Allow the butter to melt into the corn. You may have to help the butter soak into every nook and cranny--do it.
- Once the corn is coated in the butter, cover the corn with the shredded coconut, distributing evenly. Now it's time to dig into (em), enjoy!