Corn Season™ is here

Home Movies Tuesday!

Hello and welcome to Home Movies Tuesday! If you’ve found your way over by some miracle but are not yet subscribed, here, let me help you with that:

I will be honest and tell you that I really pitched a fit when it was suggested we do a GRILLED CORN video. I felt like watching corn being grilled was like watching water boil, which is to say: we’ve seen it, we get it, who cares, I’m asleep. Well, David Cho and Dan Hurwitz care, that’s who, and once every 25 videos I’ll let them pick a recipe and they picked GRILLED CORN. 

In their defense, it encouraged me to buy a grill sooner rather than later (I bought a grill!), so I guess I should be thanking them. Before you ask, I lost no fewer than 94 hours of sleep agonizing over whether or not I’d buy a gas grill or a charcoal grill. While I am truly a charcoal grill gal till the end, I decided that for my intents and purposes, a gas grill would make more sense (and I am nothing if not sensible!). I will be grilling with charcoal and live fire elsewhere this summer when the opportunities arise, but for this lil city patio, a gas grill was the move. I am very happy with my purchase and I look forward to a lifetime of happiness with my Weber Spirit II.

Grill nuptials aside, this corn salad is good. Like, “I don’t like corn salad but I LOVE this corn salad” good (and no, you don’t *need* a grill to make the salad). After this shoot, I brought 2 containers of this leftover treasure to a friend's house and when I offered it up as a snack they had the audacity to tell me they didn’t like corn salad, to which I replied, yes, but you haven’t had THIS corn salad. Reader, the skeptical gentleman had 3 servings.

Anyway, thank you for watching and see you next week for PIE! —AR

Summer Citrus Chicken
Slow-Cooked Tuna with White Beans

Welcome to my personal heaven, where corn nuts are an accepted (celebrated, even!) salad topping. I know I basically get this excited about every single Home Movies recipe (I love all the girls equally!) but this one… this one is really special. 

Corn on the cob is good (can be great!) but corn salad is undeniably the best way to enjoy corn without figuring out how to hold it or the need to floss after every bite. Now that we are officially entering Corn Season, my Monday move is to make a big batch of this salad to get me through the week (lol, it will never last that long) for whenever the craving hits, or when I forget to eat lunch and suddenly find myself very irritable. I plan on making it all corn season long, and then again when it gets cold out and I need to remember what summer feels (and tastes) like. It’s full of my favorite things (did I mention there are corn nuts?), like scallions, cilantro, pepperoncinis, and lots of lime, and it’s just as fun to make as it is to eat. Grilling corn can be fun! Corn nuts in salads are fun! We have fun!

If you have strong opinions about the correct way to get corn kernels off the cob, this is the video for you, and I’m sure we’ll see you in the comment section. Here, three methods are tested (cutting the kernels off straight into a mixing bowl, resting the cob on top of an upside-down smaller bowl inside the mixing bowl, and slowly cutting them off on a cutting board).  If you’re looking for a hack, I’m sorry to inform you there’s… kind of no way to do it without getting some kernels on the counter and floor. If it wasn’t already clear, Home Movies is not a cooking hacks kind of show. It’s more about cooking in a way that feels comfortable and good to you. That’s what we do here, even if there was a little off-camera vacuuming involved.

The good news just keeps on coming: this is a very difficult recipe to mess up! Everything can be adjusted to taste, and when our goal is to really char the corn and scallions, you don’t have to worry about stepping away for a minute or getting distracted or mindlessly eating corn nuts and forgetting about the corn you’re grilling (the more char = the more complex = the more delicious). Because this is a Home Movies recipe, you already know it’s going to be adaptable as hell. See below for proof!

  • If you don’t have a grill, you can cook the corn in a 450°F oven—just note that it’s going to take longer. You can also use raw or boiled corn if you have the good, in-season stuff. The most recent time I made it (literally yesterday), I used some raw sweet white corn from the farmers market and it was excellent. 

  • If you don’t like pepperoncinis (couldn’t be me!), you can use calabrian chilis or pickled jalapeños—they’ll add a little more heat but will be very delicious. Basically any sort of pickled, acidic, spicy pepper you can find. 

  • If you want to make this vegan, the good news is it’s so perfect without cheese, Alison almost decided to leave it out of the recipe (I’m glad she didn’t).

  • If you can’t find corn nuts (they have them at a lot of bodegas and in the bulk section of Sahadi’s and other grocery stores), you can use almonds, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds. We’re just going for something crunchy to add some texture.

  • If you want to make it a little more substantial, top it with a gorgeous grilled steak or chicken breast, or some seared shrimp or scallops. 

Click HERE for a printable PDF.

grilled corn and scallion salad

serves 4–6

6 ears of yellow corn, husks removed
1-2 bunches scallions
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more 
1/2 cup fresh lime juice, pepperoncini liquid, vinegar, or a mix, plus more 
6 pepperoncini peppers, coarsely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup cilantro, tender leaves and stems
4 ounces queso fresco, haloumi, or other firm, mild, salty fresh cheese like feta, crumbled or coarsely chopped
½ cup corn nuts (or roasted pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds or almonds), coarsely chopped

  1. Heat a grill to high (see Note). Drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil over the corn and scallions and season with salt. Throw the corn right on the grill and leave it alone, except to turn it a few times over the next 10 to 15 minutes. It should be charred and blackened on the outside while it gets tender and cooked through on the inside. Throw the scallions on the grill, too, and cook until the tops are softened and charred and crispy in spots, and the bulbs are a little golden but remain crispy.

  1. Once the corn comes off the grill, let it get cool enough to handle so you can strip the kernels off the cob. The easiest way to do this is to hold the corn by the stem and place it in a large bowl. Starting at the top, using a sharp knife (a serrated knife works well, too) and getting as close to the cob as possible, shave the kernels off; they should land in the bowl, rather than scatter all over your counter and kitchen floor.

  1. Coarsely chop the scallions and add to the bowl with the corn kernels, seasoning with salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the cilantro and pepperoncinis, and season with the pepperoncini liquid and lime juice. Add the corn nuts and queso fresco, and season with salt, pepper, and more lime juice as needed to make sure it’s almost *too* limey. 

NOTE: If using an oven, preheat to 450°F.

Thank you for watching, see you next week for more Home Movies!