My aunt and uncle recently gave Bob and I a small charcoal grill for a housewarming gift. We have used it several times and love the taste of charcoal-grilled food. My dad bought us a chimney starter, and it's amazing! I highly recommend it to anyone who cooks with charcoal. It seriously makes the entire process go so much faster.
For Father's Day, Bob and I made dinner for my Dad and Mom, and I knew I wanted to use the grill for a portion of the meal. Bob decided to make steak with a special sauce from my Complete America's Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook, which is actually made on the stovetop and in the oven. I turned to this cookbook for a side dish. Charcoal-grilled corn stood out as something unique, and the Mexican-Style corn looked fantastic. Because we were going for more of an Italian theme (I served antipasti and Double Tomato Bruschetta - my Dad's FAVORITE - as appetizers), I decided to give the corn an Italian twist by using basil instead of cilantro, Parmesan cheese instead of queso fresco, and lemon juice instead of lime. I also decided to grill the corn with the cheese/herb mixture on it, instead of tossing the grilled corn in the mixture.
This corn is simple to whip up and is really delicious. The charcoal gave the corn a nice flavor, as did the coating. The corn is perfectly seasoned with this recipe - no need for extra salt or butter!
Italian Charcoal-Grilled Corn
4 teaspoons vegetable poil plus extra for the cooking grate
1 1/2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons sour cream
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
4 teaspoon juice from 1 lemon
1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 tsp)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon table salt
6 large ears corn, husks and silk removed
1. Light a lareg chimney started filled with charcoal (about 6 quarts) and allow to burn until the coals are partially covered witha layer of ash, about 20 minutes.
2. Build a modified two-level fire by arranging all the coals over half of the grill, leaving the other half empty. Set the cooking grate in place, cover, and heat the grate until hot, about 5 minutes. Use a grill brush to scrape the cooking grate clean. Dip a wad of paper towels in vegetable oil holding the wad with tongs, oil the cooking grate (we just used Pam for grilling and sprayed it on the grate while it was suspended in the air with tongs - away from the flames!)
3. Meanwhile, combine the cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, basil, lemon juice, garlic, pepper, and salt in a large bowl. Add corn and toss to coat evenly.
4. Grill the corn until lightly charred on all sides, 7 to 12 minutes total. Serve immediately.
Source: Adapted from the Complete America's Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook