Photography by Aaron McLean
This recipe is utterly sensational. Yes, it’s rich and indulgent, (Whaaaa? Butter AND mayo? Oh yeah.), and it’s a right slurp-fest – there’s just no way you can eat these daintily!
1 To prepare the sweet corn, pull down the husks leaf-by-leaf on the cobs, remove the silks, then rewrap the cobs carefully in their husks. Bind the corn with string (don’t use nylon ‘string’ or it will melt). Soak in cold water for 15-30 minutes.
2 Cook corn cobs over hot coals for 15-30 minutes, turning often. If you don’t have hot coals at your disposal, cook the sweet corn on a preheated, lightly oiled barbecue hot plate over medium heat. Splash the corn with cold water from time to time to create steam, and turn the cobs every few minutes. If the barbecue has a lid cook mostly with the lid down. Either way will take 25-35 minutes. Remove string and husks and sprinkle cooked corn with salt.
3 Put melted butter, chopped tarragon and ½ teaspoon of salt in a large, shallow dish. Roll corn in mixture, then spread each cob with a little mayonnaise. Dust with parmesan and sieve over smoked paprika and cumin. Serve immediately with lime wedges for squeezing.
If eating corn on the cob bothers you, or you’ve got precious company, spread the cobs with mayonnaise, then slice the kernels off the cobs with a sharp knife. Transfer kernels to a dish with all the buttery mayonnaisey stuff and dust with paprika and cumin. And if time is short, just boil sweet corn in the normal way, stripping it of husks and silks first, and cooking in unsalted water for 10 minutes, then carry on with the recipe. It’ll still taste good!
Sweet corn is at its sweetest when just picked … My life of corn