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Mexican-Style Grilled Corn

Consume this outside and wear your old clothes. It is as messy as it is delicious, so you don’t just eat this – you devour it. The recipe was inspired by Mexican corn in Saveur magazine.

4 large ears corn (husks intact)
4 oz (120 g) cotija cheese, finely shredded (about 1 cup/250 mL)
1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped cilantro
1/3 cup (75 mL) mayonnaise
Kosher salt + freshly ground pepper to taste
Ancho chili powder to taste
1 lime, cut in 4 wedges

Peel back corn husks to expose kernels, but leave husks attached at base. Brush off and discard corn silk. Tie husks near base with kitchen twine. Soak corn in large container of water 30 to 60 minutes.

Preheat barbecue to medium, turning off flame at one end to create an area of indirect heat. Arrange corn on grill with husks lying over indirect heat. Cover and grill, turning occasionally, until kernels are cooked through and lightly charred, about 20 minutes.

Toss cheese with cilantro and place on large plate.

Brush each ear of corn with mayonnaise. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roll in cheese mixture, pressing and patting to help coating adhere. Sprinkle with ancho powder.

Serve with lime wedges to squeeze over corn. Use husks as handles while eating.

  • Soaking the corn helps it cook through evenly before becoming too charred.
  • Cotija cheese is salty and tangy, similar to feta but drier. Queso Duro Blando is considered a substitute, although this can refer to any hard white whole milk cheese, and some types are blander, some peppier. 
  • Lower-fat mayo works in this recipe. Or you can substitute crema a.k.a. Mexican sour cream. It is similar to crème fraiche.

Makes 4 servings.

Credit: Susan Sampson
Tested in Imperial


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