Who doesn’t love that authentic flavor from a buttery cob of corn roasted on the open flame of the grill and smothered with chili powder, lime and, Cotija cheese? The light char from the grill adds a depth of flavor you could not achieve in a pot of steaming water.
The last time we grilled corn, my dear friend Ana, who just so happens to be an amazing chef, rolled up her sleeves and properly dressed this corn on the cob for me. It was delicious and we loved the spicy flavor she created. When I cook, I simply can not justify the messiness of it all. Usually, by the time I am plating the corn on the cob, it is a signal that the rest of the meal is ready and I am rushing just to place the dish on the table. I do not have time to start rubbing the ears of corn down with chili butter and cheese. So what’s a girl to do?
The problem was solved when I came across a recipe for a summer corn salad. I thought I would give it a try using the spices that made Ana’s corn so delish. I simply grilled the cobs making sure to brown the kernels just a bit using medium-high heat. I was careful not to dry the kernels out, I pricked one with the tine of a fork and when the kernel gave away slightly is when I removed it. The corn will continue to cook as it starts to cool down so don’t worry if you think it is not done.
Once the corn was cool enough to handle. I took a kitchen knife and sliced the kernels from the cob in long strips. I could have dropped it in a cool ice water bath if I was in a hurry. I then broke up the kernels in the bowl and added the chopped red onion, the jalapeno, the poblano pepper, the cilantro, green onion, garlic, salt, and the most important ingredient, the cheese. Truth be told, I did not have Cojita cheese on hand so I substituted feta cheese, it is a great alternative since it is salty and has the same crumbly texture.
In a separate bowl, I mixed the dressing for the salad using sour cream, lime, olive oil, and chili powder. You could use mayo instead of olive oil, however, I had company coming and one of my guests is allergic to eggs. By substituting all the mayo for olive oil it worked out just fine.
We all enjoyed the street corn salad that evening. Because this salad has red onion, I do not recommend it as leftovers. You can however make this salad a day in advance to save time by simply keeping the onion and dressing separate until just before serving.
Look how beautiful it is the colors pop as does its fresh taste. It will be a great addition to your next summer barbeque or on a simple taco Tuesday. The recipe is below. Enjoy!