Dining In

Corn On The Grill?
By Nancy Finch, Food Columnist

Corn on the grillWhy cook corn on the grill?

When it is so good steamed or even cooked briefly in the microwave, it just didn’t make much sense to me. But, prompted by the Southern Supersweet Corn Council, I tested to see if, indeed, grilling "transforms sweet corn kernels into caramelized golden nuggets bursting with flavor."

The Council may be a little expansive in its description, but not much! These wonderful, new varieties of sweet corn hardly need cooking at all, and they are reliably tasty and tender.

I would change, however, a couple of the Council’s suggestions. Instead of breaking the corn cob in pieces to thread on a skewer, as pictured, just cook your vegetables on one skewer and meat on another, and cook the corn, whole, on the grill just until it begins to brown slightly. While a variety of vegetables and meat look pretty on a skewer, everything requires different cooking times, and, in this case, the meat (chicken) was done well before the squash or green peppers.

Winning raves from all samplers was the Grilled Supersweet Corn Salad. I tried microwaving the corn for this recipe, and it does work. But grilling, briefly, produced a crispy, flavorful corn that is perfect for this easy salad. Have your tomatoes, onions and olives ready to mix, grill the corn for about 5 minutes, and then combine ingredients while your burgers or whatever are finishing up on the grill.

Local summer corn should soon be at its peak, so you can try these recipes using your grill. But the wonders of modern agriculture bring us delicious, high-quality corn all year, making these really any-time recipes.

Corn and Pork (or Chicken) On the Grill


bullet4 ears fresh corn, husked
bullet12 oz. pork tenderloin or skinned,
bulletboneless chicken breasts
bullet2 small yellow squash or zucchini
bullet2 small green or red peppers
bullet3 T olive oil
bullet1 T ground cumin
bullet1 t salt
bullet1/4 t ground black pepper
bullet2 medium potatoes, optional

Directions: Preheat grill or broiler. If desired, cut corn into 2-inch pieces and the pork or chicken, squash and peppers into 1-inch pieces. Combine oil, cumin, salt and pepper. Add pork or chicken and vegetables. Toss to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes at room temperature. If using potatoes, microwave until just done and quarter. Thread vegetables and meat on skewers. If using whole corn cobs, place on grill alongside skewers. Grill or broil, turning occasionally until meat and vegetables are cooked, 8 to 10 minutes (possibly longer for vegetables). Serves 4.

Grilled Supersweet Corn Salad


bullet4 ears fresh corn, husked
bullet3 T olive oil
bullet1 fully ripe, medium tomato,
bulletcut into 1/2-inch cubes
bullet1/3 c black olives, pitted & sliced
bullet1/4 c sliced green onions
bullet3 T lemon juice or red or white
bulletwine vinegar
bullet1 T chopped fresh basil or
bulletoregano (1 t dried)
bulletSalt and black pepper to taste
bullet1/4 c crumbled feta cheese

Directions: Preheat grill or broiler. Brush corn with part of the olive oil. Grill or broil until kernels are golden brown, turning occasionally, about 5 minutes. Cool. With a sharp knife, cut kernels from cobs (makes about 4 cups). In a medium bowl, place corn kernels along with the tomato, onions and olives. Combine the lemon juice or vinegar, basil, salt, pepper and remaining olive oil. Pour over the corn mixture. Toss until well coated. Stir in feta cheese. Serves 4 to 6.


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