Barbecued Corn with Chilli Lime Butter

“Shucked and boiled in water; sweet corn is edible and nutritious; but roasted in the husk at the hottest possible temperature in an oven for 40 minutes; shucked at the table, and buttered and salted, nothing else: ambrosia. No chef’s talent and ingenuity ever created a finer dish.” This is a quote from Rex Stout’s mythical detective Nero Wolf (Murder is Corny)

Even though I didn’t cook my corn like that, I just loved his impassioned delivery. Instead I barbecued it in its husk, and let me tell you the flavour was incredible, the lime – chilli butter complementing the smokiness of the corn perfectly. I was also privileged enough to be able to pick my corn fresh from the organic Moonacres Farm in the Southern Highlands, on a visit last Friday. If you’ve never cooked corn like this before, give it a try. It’s a fantastic way of cooking and then presenting corn on the cob, the husk adding dramatic presentation, as well as a useful handle.

4 ears of beautifully fresh corn, not shucked.

Pull the outer husks of the corn down the ear to the base. Strip away the silk from each ear of corn. Fold husks back into place, and place the ears of corn in a large bowl of cold water for 1 hour.

Remove corn from water and shake off excess, and preheat barbecue to a medium-high heat. Place the corn on the grill, close the cover and grill for 30 minutes, turning every now and then. After 30 minutes, pierce with a paring knife to see if corn is tender. If so, remove from grill, strip back the husks, and slather over the lime – chilli butter. Eat quickly, it’s delicious, and have a tea towel handy to catch the drips.

Lime – Chilli Butter

Serves 4

  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 clove garlic, green germ removed and minced
  • Grated zest of 2 limes
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • 1/2tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1/4tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 cup each finely chopped tarragon and parsley (optional)
  • Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper to taste

This can be made either in a food processor, or by hand in a mixing bowl. Combine all ingredients and refrigerate until needed. While corn is grilling, take butter out of fridge to soften slightly.