Chili Lime Corn on the Cob
Cooking corn on the cob in its de-silked husk keeps the kernels moist and adds a nice grassy flavor. For less fuss, feel free to fully husk the corn and wrap it in foil.
- 4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon finely shredded lime zest
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for sprinkling
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 6 ears sweet corn
1. At home: Combine butter, zest, chili powder, salt, pepper, and garlic in a small resealable plastic bag. Mush around to combine thoroughly. Chill until ready to use, then bring to room temperature.
2. At home or campsite: Pull back husk from each ear without detaching from bottom of cob. Remove as much silk as possible and fold husk back over ears. Soak ears in water for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
3. At home or campsite: Drain ears, open husks, dry ears with paper towels, and spread evenly with butter mixture. Fold husks back over ears and tie in place with kitchen string or strips of husk. Corn can be kept at this point, chilled, up to 24 hours.
4. At campsite: Prepare grill for indirect medium heat (350° to 450°; you can hold your hand 5 in. above cooking grate only 5 to 7 seconds). If using charcoal, bank coals evenly on opposite sides of the firegrate, leaving a cooler center section; if using gas, turn all burners to high, close lid, and heat 10 minutes. Then turn off one burner and lower others to medium. Grill corn over cooler spot, covered, until tender and charred, 20 minutes. Serve with salt for sprinkling.
Fire-Roasted Vegetable Salad
Russell Moore of Camino in Oakland, cooks some of the vegetables for this dish right in the fire, infusing the salad with smokiness. Serve it with fried eggs or any type of grilled meat or fish.
Sunset AUGUST 2011
- Yield: Serves 6 (makes 10 cups)
- Total:2 Hours
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 tablespoons high-quality red wine vinegar
- 4 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise 1/2 in. thick
- 3 ears corn, husks and silks removed
- 2 ripe tomatoes, cored
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- About 3/4 tsp. kosher salt, divided
- About 1/2 tsp. pepper, divided
- 2 whole onions, unpeeled
- 2 red bell peppers
- 2 yellow bell peppers
- 1 cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves, torn into pieces
1. Build a wood fire* in a camp grill or fire ring, using about 4 logs and some kindling; let burn to medium (you can hold your hand 5 in. above cooking grate only 5 to 7 seconds), about 1 hour. Adjust fire so there’s a thick area of embers and smaller logs in the middle and larger logs to the sides.
2. Smash garlic, put in a small bowl with vinegar, and set aside. In a large bowl, toss zucchini, corn, and tomatoes with 2 tbsp. oil, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper.
3. Place onions in embers between some smaller logs and cook, turning every 10 minutes or so, until completely black and soft when squeezed with tongs, 25 to 40 minutes. Meanwhile, set peppers on embers and cook, turning every few minutes, until completely charred, about 20 minutes. Transfer vegetables to a board and let cool.
4. Set cooking grate in place, if using a portable one. Grill zucchini, corn, and tomatoes (in batches, if needed), turning occasionally, until grill marks appear, 5 to 35 minutes, depending on distance from fire.
5. Pull off blackened outsides from onions and peppers. Cut corn kernels from cobs into large bowl. Cut remaining vegetables into slices or strips, discarding seeds; add to bowl.
6. Stir remaining 6 tbsp. oil into vinegar with remaining 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper. Toss gently with vegetables, add mint, and more salt and pepper if you like.
*Or cook all the vegetables over (but not in) a medium (350° to 450°) charcoal fire, adding 8 briquets every 30 minutes.
Summer Champagne Mojito
1 oz white rum
.5 oz simple syrup (see note)
.5 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
2-3 sprigs fresh spearmint
3-4 oz sparkling wine (A dry Spanish cava works well. Segura Viudas is an excellent affordable option. Please don’t use Cooks or another rock-bottom cheap brand)
Fresh or frozen strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries. Fruit can be left whole, but if the strawberries are large, slice them.
Note: To make simple syrup, heat equal parts sugar and water until the sugar melts. Allow to cool. Keep refrigerated and use within 1-2 weeks. Don’t buy bottled simple syrup—make it yourself.
Reserve one mint sprig for garnish. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the first four ingredients. Shake with ice and strain into achampagne flute or tall, skinny Collins glassfilled with a mixture of crushed ice and whole berries. Top with 3-4 oz sparkling wine and garnish with mint.
To make these in a batch:
Mix about 8 drinks at a time.
Get 8 glasses ready to go, filled with crushed ice and berries. Then mix:
8 oz rum
4 oz simple syrup
4 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
A big handful of fresh spearmint
Muddle well in cocktail shaker, then shake over ice and strain about 3 oz into each glass. Top each with 3-4 oz sparkling wine and garnish with mint.