A version of this post was originally sent to our email subscribers on May 29th. To sign up for our weekly email sign up in the column to the left or click here.
I'm here in Los Angeles where people are complaining that there's a chill in the 70 degree air. Memorial Day had us on the patio, grilling, despite certain members of the family claiming it was "too nippy."
Among other things, mom grilled corn she'd just picked up at the Hollywood Farmers' Market. Unusual for her, she followed a recipe without straying, having just seen Mario Batali on television doing his Italian version of our beloved grilled Mexican corn. This method uses Parmesan instead of Cotija, and hot red pepper flakes instead of chili powder. Batali suggests some chopped fresh mint, which has me thinking about doing the Mexican version with cilantro, but that's another email.
It was the conversation piece of the barbeque. Especially the part when we were doing dishes:
Relative #1: "Wow, Karen, that corn was good. What's the recipe?"
Karen, my mother: "[gives the basic recipe] I saw Mario doing it on television a few days ago"
Relative #1 looks quizzical.
Relative #2: "Mario who?"
I hesitated to send out this recipe this week, not because I'm afraid readers won't know who Mario Batali is, that doesn't make the corn better or worse. Rather, in many parts of the country, corn is not yet in season and I don't want to tempt you to do something naughty and buy mega-mile corn.
Let's make a deal: if you don't have corn in your area yet, just tuck this email into your back pocket and wait a month or so. That's what I'll be doing when I get back to New York next week.
Corn, As Italians Would Eat It
(from Italian Grill
, by Mario Batali and Judith Sutton)
Makes 6 ears
6 ears corn, shucked
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 to 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
About 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
Hot red pepper flakes
Preheat a gas grill or prepare a fire in a gas grill.
Place the corn on the hottest part of the grill and cook for 3 minutes, or until grill marks appear on the first side. Roll each ear over a quarter turn and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then repeat two more times.
Meanwhile, mix the oil and vinegar on a large flat plate. Spread the Parmigiano on another flat plate.
When the corn is cooked, roll each ear in the oil and vinegar mixture, shake off the extra oil, and dredge in the Parmigiano to coat lightly. Place on a platter, sprinkle with the mint and pepper flakes, and serve immediately.
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