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Sweet Corn in Two Ways

Sweet Corn in Two Ways

Author of "Just Cook It!" Justin Chapple is making a a Mexican-style sweet corn with lime mayo and sweet corn queso.
Ingredients for Mexican-Style Sweet Corn with Lime Mayo
  • 4 ears corn
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon finely grate lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Mexican-style hot sauce, such as Cholula or Tapatio, for serving
Ingredients for Sweet Corn Queso with Pepperoni Crumbs
  • For Queso:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups fresh (from 4 ears) or thawed frozen corn kernels
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced, plus thinly sliced jalapeno for garnish
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (2 cups)
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, for sprinkling
  • Tortilla chips, for serving
  • For Pepperoni Crumbs:
  • 3 ounces thinly slices pepperoni, chopped
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Directions for Mexican-Style Sweet Corn

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the corn, still in their husks, and cook until just tender when pinched with tongs, about 5 minutes. If the corn is bobbing up out of the water, place a heatproof plate on top to keep them submerged. Using tongs, transfer the corn to a platter and let cool slightly, then pull back the husks and remove the silk. Tie the husks together with kitchen string.

2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, lime zest, and lime juice. Season the lime mayo with salt and pepper.

3. Light a grill. Drizzle the corn all over with olive oil. Grill over high heat, turning occasionally, until lightly charred in spots, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the platter. Spread the corn all over with the lime mayo and sprinkle with the chopped cilantro and Parmesan. Serve right away with hot sauce.

DO IT AHEAD: The lime mayo can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 3 days.

TIP: Boiling ears of corn in their husks make them much easier to clean. Some people swear the cornhusks fall right off the ears if you microwave the corn for a couple of minutes, but my boiling method is even better.

DIrections for Sweet Corn Queso with Pepperoni Crumbs

MAKE THE CRUMBS
In a food processor, pulse the pepperoni until finely chopped. Add the panko and a pinch of salt and pulse until fine crumbs form. Scrape into a large cast-iron skillet. Add the olive oil and cook over medium heat, stirring until crisp, about 5 minutes. Scrape onto a plate and let cool. Wipe out the skillet.

MAKE THE QUESO
In the same skillet, melt the butter in the olive oil over medium heat. Add the corn, red onion, jalapeno, garlic, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Add 1 ½ cups water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in the cornstarch until incorporated, then simmer until thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the cheese until melted. Season the queso with salt and pepper.

Scatter the pepperoni crumbs on top, then sprinkle with thinly sliced jalapeno and chopped cilantro. Serve hot with tortilla chips.

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