Grilled Corn on the Cob with Chipotle Butter

When I was a kid, I would eat corn only directly from the cob. Even if the corn were freshly sliced onto a plate, it lost its popping-in-the-mouth sensation, and therefore its flavor and fun. You might have spent the summer of ’72 finding the stairway to heaven in the backseat of a Ford Torino. I spent it toothless, cornless, and depressed (in a 5-year-old way), thanks to a mid-July bike crash with my not-friend Stacy.

These days my corn truth is more about freshness, butter, and salt than it is about cob vs. plate. I’ve come to prefer grilled corn over boiled—a few million Minnesota State Fair-goers might agree with me. Even if you’re a sweet corn purist, trust me that corn’s sweetness is set off nicely by the subtle smoky heat and fresh lime in this easy butter. A finishing crumble of tangy queso fresco can turn it all into meal. On or off the cob.

Grilled Corn on the Cob with Chipotle Butter

Photo by Stephanie Meyer

Adapted from
Makes 8 ears

1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons minced canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp. minced cilantro or Italian parsley
8 large ears of corn, husked (the fresher the corn, the better it will be; if you can, buy it at a farmer’s market or from a farm stand and eat it the same day)
lime wedges
coarse salt
Optional: crumbled queso fresco (or feta) cheese

Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Add minced chipotles, fresh lime juice, and cilantro or parsley. Remove from heat.

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill corn until cooked through and blackened in spots, turning frequently, about six minutes. Before taking the corn off the grill, brush generously with chipotle butter. Remove corn to a large platter. Sprinkle lightly with coarse salt and optional queso fresco. Serve with lime wedges.