Sunday, July 25, 2010

Chipotle Butter & Roasted Corn

One of the telling signs at our home that summer has arrived is when I break out the Chipotle Butter. We found this recipe from a grilling cookbook and have made it every summer since. It is a huge hit with everyone in the family and makes your corn on the cob, rolls, fresh green beans, etc. taste so smoky and warm.

Here's just a little bit of back information before we move forward. You should always know a little something about the food you put in your body. Chipotle Peppers are smoked jalapeno chili peppers. These chilies are usually a dull tan to coffee color and measure approximately 2 to 4 inches in length and about an inch wide. As much as one fifth of the Mexican jalapeno crop is processed into chipotles.

What you'll need: 1 stick butter (8 Tbsp.), 1 chipotle pepper, fresh garlic, salt & pepper
Also... a coffee grinder (spice grinder)!

(I always make a double batch because we use it for more than just corn)

Place softened butter in a bowl. I don't use margarine. The idea of ruining something so delicious with a chemically altered oil product just doesn't seem right. Natural is best.

Cut the stems off the chipotle peppers, then cut them in half longways. This will give you the ability to remove the seeds if you want. I've heard the seeds carry more heat. I would use 1 medium sized chipotle per stick of butter. Then cut the halves into smaller pieces.

Place the chipotles in your coffee grinder and pulse until they are finely ground. Please heed the safety tip!!!

Safety Tip: Put the grinder on your stove and turn on the hood fan. This will suck up the spicy oils that are released into the air from grinding the peppers so fine. Keep the fan running when you take the top off the grinder too. If you don't do this, you will be choking. I guarantee it!

Next, pull apart the fresh garlic (1-2 cloves per stick of butter depending on your fondness for garlic. I would say use 3 extra large ones, but other people will be enjoying this besides myself). Remove all of the outer skin by twisting the clove between your fingers and peel away.

You can either mince your garlic or press it right into the bowl with the butter. I find pressing it to be much easier and less sticky.

Next add the salt and pepper to taste. Don't go too heavy on the pepper, or it may overwhelm the smoky flavor of the chipotle.

Go ahead and empty the chiptole powder into the butter. Tap out as much as you can. Be sure to wipe out the grinder with a damp cloth to remove all the chipotle oil or you will have an interesting cup of coffee tomorrow morning :)

Once you thoroughly combine the ingredients, turn the butter onto a sheet of plastic wrap. I always scoop some out into a small container to send home with my mom & step-dad. They love this stuff.

Use the plastic wrap to help you form a log about the length of a corn cob. Then wrap it up completely and refrigerate for at least an hour. Overnight is best so all the flavors can meld.

Roasting the Corn: Keeping the corn in the husk, soak it in water for about 1/2 hour. Throw it on the grill and cook on medium to high for 30-40 minutes. You want the husks to get burned, like in my picture below the corn is protected and steamy good on the inside. Please be aware that burned husks are a messy deal and I would recommend peeling them over a trash can. Only peel what you are going to eat right then. The husks will continue to keep the corn nice and hot if not peeled ahead of time.

Unwrap the chipotle butter log and place it on a plate. Lay your corn on top and start rolling.

Oh my gosh, this is smoky-melty-crispy-juicy-spicy goodness all over your face!!

I usually store the leftover chipotle butter in a container and use is to sauté fresh green beans, or over steamed broccoli. You can even put a pat of it on top of a perfectly grilled steak for some added zing. Oh Enjoy!

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