This is an absolutely wonderful way to prepare corn on the cob. I’ve never liked the standard method of boiling ears; the last thing I want to do during the summer is put a giant pot of water on to boil and drive up the heat and humidity in my kitchen. I always end up dumping half the ears in the sink when I go to drain them, and the whole process is generally more painful than effective.
Enter Whole Foods market. When I was doing some pre-4th-of-July shopping there, they had this nice little kit available – 2 shucked ears, some butter with chili flakes, and half a lime. I applied the condiments as directed, roasted the ears, drizzled with lime juice, and was requested to serve it again, please, tomorrow if possible. Corn prepared this way is nice and crisp, very sweet, with just an edge of heat. Wonderful. This can be done either in the oven or on the grill. I haven’t tried grilling, but it’s great in the oven and so easy!
Enough ears of corn to feed your diners, shucked and cleared of silk
1 Tbsp softened unsalted butter per ear
1/8 – 1/4 tsp red chili flakes per ear, to your taste
1 fresh lime per 4 ears, or 1 tsp lime juice per ear
Preheat oven to 450 deg F, or prepare outdoor grill for use. Combine butter and chili flakes with fork. To each ear of corn, apply 1 Tbsp chili butter and smear over the whole surface of the ear. Hands are the best utensil for this task, but be sure to wash thoroughly with soap and water before touching your face. Wrap each ear tightly in aluminum foil, seal ends. Corn may be oven-roasted or cooked on the grill. If oven roasting, place wrapped ears on a cookie sheet or flat sheet pan and roast for 7 min. Turn ears over and roast 3-5 mins more. If grilling, place wrapped ears directly on grill rack and allow to cook, turning occasionally, until crisp-tender. If using unsalted butter, may need to season with salt to taste.
UPDATE: Having tried this with both salted and unsalted butter, the unsalted is clearly superior. Really brings out the sweetness of the corn, no salt needed. Also, if you have fresh or whole dried reconstituted red chilies on hand, mincing these may provide better flavor than commercially prepared crushed red pepper flakes.