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 350Β°F to 450Β°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.

Spicy Pesto Perfecto

Aunt Leann makes amazing pesto, the dilemma is like a chef she doesn’t write down measurements. She was very sweet to give me her best estimates, and I tweaked them slightly according to taste; which basically means I added more Parmesan and pine nuts. Yum! Our family is not afraid of a little heat, so the cayenne adds a nice kick and the lemon really brightens the up the dish! Also known as Aunt Leann-ish Pesto, the result is as follows:

As organic as possible:

2 cups tightly packed Basil
1/4 cup tightly packed Mint
1/4 cup tightly packed Parsley
1/2 cup Pine nuts
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
The zest and juice of 1 Lemon
1/4 cup White Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp course Salt
1 tsp freshly ground Black Pepper
1/4 tsp Cayenne
1/2 cup Olive oil (give or take according to preference)

1 pound Linguine (or pasta of your choice)

Roughly chop the the basil, mint and parsley and place into a food processor. Add pine nuts, parmesan, lemon juice and zest, vinegar, salt, pepper and cayenne. Put the lid on the processor and pulse a couple times. Slowly drizzle the olive oil in until somewhat liquified, but still thick. Taste! If need be add more vinegar, cayenne, salt, etc. It should have a strong flavor! You can use it right away or let it sit in the refrigerator until dinner time. It’s a great recipe for making ahead!
Cook noodles according to package directions and strain. When ready, add pesto to hot noodles and toss. Add freshly grated Parmesan as desired for serving. Enjoy!

(Psst, pesto makes a great sandwich spread too.)