Chowhound’s Grilled Corn with Cayenne, Lime, and Cotija

I’m a huge fan of appreciating ingredients for what they are. For example, when I’m having corn I like tasting the corn. I’m a believer in simple is best. That said, I also love experimenting with flavors. I love trying things I’ve never tasted before. So when my sister brought this to a recent gathering I was ecstatic. I love corn on the cob grilled in the husk, seasoned with a little pat of butter that melts into the cracks of the kernels and topped with a sprinkling of salt. As it turns out I also like it smeared with a spicy mayo, rolled in Cotija cheese, and brightened with a squeeze of lime.

As found on

As organic as possible:

6 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 medium garlic clove, minced
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 cup crumbled Cotija cheese (about 4 ounces)
6 ears corn, husks on
1 medium lime, cut into 6 wedges

Stir together the mayonnaise, garlic, salt, and cayenne in a small bowl until well combined. Place the cheese in a shallow dish that is at least as long as the corn.

Heat the grill to medium high (about 350°F to 450°F). Before grilling the corn, carefully peel back the husks of each ear a little more than halfway and remove as much silk as you can without pulling the husks off. Then pull the husks back up.

Place the corn on the grill and close the lid. Every 10 minutes, roll the corn a quarter turn so it cooks evenly. (If your grill tends to have hot spots, move the cobs around so they grill evenly.) Cook until the husks are charred and starting to peel back from the corn, about 35 minutes total. Remove from the grill and set aside until the corn is cool enough to handle.

Without detaching the husks, peel them back completely, turning them inside out so they form a handle. Brush the corn with a thin layer of the mayonnaise mixture, roll the cobs in the crumbled cheese, and serve. Pass the lime wedges on the side for squeezing over the corn.

Easy Peasy Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s Pie is such classic comfort food. It’s hearty, warm and flavorful. On a chilly day it’s like a beacon of cozy. There are many variations, and really you can layer on any vegetables you want. As far as I’m concerned there is really no wrong way… But if you know how to boil potatoes and want it easy, here you go!

As organic as possible:

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 cup onion, diced (1 small onion)

2 lbs ground beef (we like 90/10 lean)

10 crackers, crushed (saltine style or butter)

2 1/2 tsp salt (divided)

1 tsp black pepper (divided)

2-3 Tbsp season salt

2 cans creamed corn

3 lbs potatoes red skin potatoes, washed, halved and quartered to boiling size (2″ or so). If you use another potato, no worries, just peel first.

1 cup heavy cream

1 stick butter (1/2 cup)

1/2 cup milk (give or take)

Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large pot cover potatoes with water and start boiling, cook until fork tender. In the meantime in a large skillet, warm oil on medium heat. When runny and hot add onion and let cook a minute or two. Add beef, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. (Side note: I’m a big fan of seasoning meat initially as it cooks, and again later… it’s tradition.) Cook until browned, drain and add season salt and crackers, toss around until evenly distributed. Taste for seasoning! It’s got to be good enough to eat on its own, salt and pepper as necessary. Then spoon meat mixture evenly on the bottom of a 13 x 9 casserole dish. Next cover meat mixture with creamed corn. (Another side note: if you are not a fan of creamed corn, don’t worry, it won’t taste like creamed corn.) Set aside.

Check potatoes for tenderness and drain when ready. Add butter and cream, mash. Add milk as necessary until desired (slightly spreadable) consistency. Add remaining salt and pepper. Taste! Season as needed to taste delicious on their own. Then layer on top of corn and meat mixture, spread evenly. If you’d like sprinkle lightly with a little of the season salt for color. Bake for 35 minutes, until potatoes just start to brown and dish is heated through. Serve lovingly.


Asiago Jalapeno Cornmeal Muffins

I love pairing corn bread and corn muffins with thick soups and stews. And although I am a fan of just about all standard cornbreads, sometimes its fun to spice it up. This muffin can stand up to something with a little heat, like chili. I know many recipes call for cheddar with jalapeño, but I think the peppery flavor of Asiago does something even better. I also believe that if you are going to put the name of something in the recipe you should taste it; so if you like jalapeño, this recipe is for you.

As organic as possible:

1 1/2 cups Cornmeal

1 cup Flour

3 Tbsp Sugar

1 tsp Salt

1 Tbsp Baking powder

3 Jalapeños, seeded and diced

4 oz Asiago cheese, shredded, plus more for topping

1/3 cup Sunflower oil (or oil of your choice)

2 Eggs, beaten

1 1/2 cups milk

Preheat the oven to 400º. Grease a standard 12 cup muffin tin and set aside.

In a large bowl mix dry ingredients; cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Then add jalapeños and cheese, toss well in cornmeal mixture. In a separate bowl whisk together oil, eggs, and milk. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix just until incorporated. Fill the muffin tin to the rim of each cup and sprinkle with cheese for topping. Bake for about 22-25 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. For another layer of flavor, top with a pat of butter and serve while warm (next to a bowl of something hearty and warm).