First up: Mexican street corn from Serious Eats. Also called elotes, this version of grilled corn is a fan favorite, but you don’t have to rely on your favorite food truck to enjoy it. You can just as easily (and cheaply) grill up your own corn, dress it in creamy lime-based sauce, and roll it in cheese. Follow these directions and you’ll have a delicious, nutritious, and aesthetically pleasing summer dish on your hands in no time.
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup sour cream or Mexican crema
½ cup finely crumbled cotija or feta cheese, plus more for serving
½ teaspoon ancho or guajillo chili powder, plus more for serving
1 medium clove garlic, finely minced
¼ cup finely chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems
4 ears shucked corn
1 lime, cut into wedges
Directions: Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over half of coal grate. Alternatively, set half the burners of a gas grill to high heat. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill, and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate.
While coals heat, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, cheese, chili powder, garlic, and cilantro in a large bowl. Stir until homogenous and set aside.
When grill is hot, place corn directly over hot side of grill and cook, rotating occasionally, until cooked through and charred in spots on all sides, about 8 minutes total.
Transfer corn to bowl with cheese mixture and use a large spoon to evenly coat corn on all sides with mixture. Sprinkle with extra cheese and chili powder and serve immediately with lime wedges.
Next up is basil Parmesan grilled corn from What’s Gaby Cooking. This sophisticated spin on classic corn on the cob is a little less indulgent than the aforementioned recipe on our list, but it still feels fancy thanks to a simple basil vinaigrette and handful of Parmesan cheese. This is one easy way to take your summer side dish up a notch.
4 pieces corn on the cob
1 recipe basil vinaigrette
2 to 3 ounces freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 shallot, roughly chopped
2 cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves, stems removed (about 4 ounces)
1 clove garlic
½ teaspoons red pepper flakes
½ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
Directions: To make dressing: Combine all the ingredients for the basil vinaigrette in a high powered blender and blend for 60 seconds until very smooth.
Preheat an indoor or outdoor grill to high heat. Pull the husk down and keep it on to use for holding the corn later. Grill the corn over high heat until it starts to char. Remove from the grill. Using a pastry brush, brush some of the basil vinaigrette onto the corn and then heavily sprinkle with the parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.