In the South, sweet summer corn is a long anticipated signal that the seasons have finally shifted culinary gears. On or off the cob, not a Sunday dinner goes by that corn isn’t somewhere on the table. As a kid growing up in a family of Southern cooks, my job was shucking the corn for every backyard barbecue or evening supper. Stripping back the husks and pulling out the strands of silky golden “hair”, I would occasionally find a worm or two to torment my sister with. But, husking a couple dozen ears of yellow sweet corn was as much fun as it was to eat.
Over the years, I’ve amassed a lengthy repertoire of fresh corn dishes for my Acadiana Table. Good Southern recipes along with spicy Cajun traditions elevate corn into tasty casseroles, soups, salads and side dishes of all kinds. But, there’s always been one stumbling block — corn on the cob. Everybody loves it, but nobody quite knows what to do with it except boil it and butter it. Well, hear me out and I will change that with my Cajun recipe for Blue Plate Corn on the Cob that will redefine your corn experience this July 4th holiday.
Now, I will freely admit that my inspiration for this dish came from the least likely source – a Mexican flea market. A few years ago in the outskirts of Houston, I stumbled on an outdoor fiesta featuring an interesting array of South-of-the-border goods, music and food. And it was in a mobile food truck turning out Mexican corn on the cob that I found my cornucopia of inspiration. Roasted and rolled in spicy Mexican cheese, I discovered that a simple ear of corn on a stick in the right hands could be a stick of culinary dynamite. For me, it was the taste explosion heard ‘round the world.
But, how could I improve on the Mexican version with the Cajun flavors of my Acadiana?
Listen up. Here’s the easy recipe for my Blue Plate Corn on the Cob. Turns out it is a simple seven-step, assembly-line process: shuck, season, boil, grill, slather, roll and sprinkle.
This is the perfect backyard side dish that will take center stage this Fourth of July. Trust me. Your family and friends will love it. You’ll have them grinning from ear to ear.
- 12 ears of fresh yellow corn, with husks
- Water. for boiling
- 1 (3-ounce) bag of dry crab boil or 3 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
- 1 cup table salt
- 2 cups unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 4 cups crumbled blue cheese
- 1 pound cooked crispy bacon, chopped into small pieces
- ½ cup Acadiana Table Cajun Seasoning Blend, see recipe here
- On a cutting board with a sharp knife, cut the tip off the corn about 1 inch from the end. Peel back the husk and remove all of the corn silk with your fingers. Pull the husks back and tear off one of the longer green husks. Take the single husk and loop it around the rest of the husks tying it in a knot. Repeat with all the corncobs and stand them in a deep pot with corn tips down and the husks up.
- Fill the pot with water just until it covers the kernels of corn on the cob. Turn the heat to high and add the crab boil seasoning and the salt. Bring to a boil and turn off. Let the corn sit in the seasoned water for 10 minutes.
- Remove the corn from the pot and drain. Using paper towels, dry the corn. On a gas grill on high, add the corncobs with the kernels over the flames and the husks off the burners. Grill the corn just until some of the corn kernels start to brown, and remove before they blacken. Place all the corn on a platter.
- On a platter or sheet tray with a half-inch rim, add the softened butter, and using a spatula, smooth it out. Add the mayonnaise and combine. Add the cayenne and chili powder and stir to combine evenly. Set aside.
- On a platter or sheet tray with a half-inch rim, add the crumbled blue cheese and the crispy bacon pieces. Combine together and break up any larger chunks of cheese or bacon. Set aside.
- For assembling, position the three stages: the platter of corn, butter/mayo mixture and crumbled blue cheese/bacon. Take an ear of corn and add it to the butter/mayo mixture and slather all sides evenly. Then roll the corn in the crumbled blue cheese/bacon. Sprinkle lightly with Cajun seasoning and place on a platter. Repeat with all the corncobs. Serve alongside barbecued meats or burgers.
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