Glorious corn! Available in so many delicious forms. One of my favorite ways to eat it is roasted -- fresh, hot and messy (for those who like to get their hands dirty while eating, like me). Corn on the cob is a street food in most cultures where it is available. In my present home of New York City, "Hot Corn Girls" of the early 19th century were the predecessors of the present-day hot dog vendors.
My earliest association of this food takes me back to the streets of Southeast Asia. The corn vendors appeared on the roadsides at the onset of the monsoon season. The bright, savory and tart taste was a perfect accompaniment to the overcast, ominous skies. Today, as these streets are being battered by incessant rains and floods, I share my spiced recipe as a tribute to these vendors in particular and the resilience of the human spirit in general, whether it is in the face of tsunamis, hurricanes or floods.
Spicy roasted corn
- 4 ears of corn on the cob
- 2 lemons
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 teaspoon red chilli pepper
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons amchoor (mango powder, available at most Indian grocery stores), optional
- Preheat oven to 425º. Shuck the corn, removing the husk and corn silk. Lay the corn in the oven on foil and roast for 10 minutes each side, or until cooked and just starting to color. Remove, lightly brush with butter and put back in the oven, changing the setting to broil. Broil each side for about 3 minutes.
- Separately, mix the salt and spices together and slice the lemon into two halves.
- Remove the corn from the oven when nicely browning. Lightly squeeze the lemon and use the juice to absorb the spice mix and apply directly to the corn on the cob.
- Serve piping hot.