For me, it was a chance to indulge in some delicious fresh corn, right off the cob. I know that probably sounds less-than-exciting, but fresh corn is one of the things that I miss most in Germany. It's not that there is no corn, it's just that fresh corn is really not a German thing, and that's reflected by the fact that at the supermarket it comes already shucked and perfectly wrapped in styrofoam and plastic... not really my idea of farm fresh produce. I have dreams about piles of just-harvested corn on the cob, stacked to the sky and still enrobed in their supple green husks, ready to be grilled in husk, or shucked and made into a delicious side, like the confetti corn photoed above.
Corn also just feels like summer, doesn't it? When the days are starting to get a little shorter, and the rain threatens to roll in, we want to drag the summer out for a last few weeks, and making the most of the late summer produce is one of the best ways to make that happen.
Mexican-Style Confetti Corn
For my German readers, you could make this dish with jarred corn kernels - and it would be good - but if you can get your hands on fresh corn, do give it a try. It's not something you get in German cuisine, and I promise you will like it! To make this even more Mexican in style, you could also try replacing the parmesan with crumbled Cotija cheese. I bet it would be amazing. And the corn could also be grilled over coals, rather than roasted. The important part is getting a good singe on the corn.
5 cobs of corn, husks removed
1 red pepper, diced finely
half a large bunch of cilantro (approx 1-2 cups), chopped
salt and pepper
For the Dressing:
1-2 Tbsp lime juice
1/4 cup (30 g) fresh parmesan cheese
1/3 cup (80 g) mayonnaise
1/3 cup (80 g) buttermilk
salt and pepper
1. Begin by parboiling the corn. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the corn for 3-5 minutes until the starchiness is just gone. Remove the corn from the pot and immerse the corn in ice water to stop the cooking. When the corn is cool, cut the kernels off the cob, cutting close to the cob.
2. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.
3. Oil a large baking sheet, spread the kernels in an even layer on the baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, season the corn with paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper, and then take about 1 Tbsp butter and cut it into small pieces to dot over the top of the corn. Grill the corn for 20-30 minutes, until you get good black singeing on top of the corn. If needed, turn the broiler on high for the last couple of minutes to get the blackening effect.
4. Let the kernels cool slightly. When they are just warm toss with the diced red pepper and chopped cilantro in a medium/large bowl.
5. Make the dressing by mixing all of the dressing ingredients in a small/medium bowl.
6. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Add extra salt, pepper, or lime juice as needed.