Last week at this time I was gloating over the fact that we had been having a rather cool June for southern Arizona. Famous last words, of course. Two days later the temperature in the Phoenix area topped 113 degrees, and it has stayed right around the 110 mark ever since. It is a dry heat, you bet. As I type these words the temp is 109 and the humidity is ten percent. This is not so good, wildfire-wise, and the major reason the entire southwestern United States has been on fire for the past few weeks.
It’s too hot to cook, at least indoors. People dig out their grills around here this time of year, and one of the most delightful things I’ve discovered since moving to the borderlands is that the Mexicans really know how to get the most out of grilling. If you’ve never grilled corn on the cob, this is a great time to try it. It’s quick, easy, and delicious, especially when you dress up the ears with mayonnaise and grated Cotija cheese like the street vendors all over Mexico. Cotija cheese is a hard white cheese that is similar to Parmesan, and you can substitute Parmesan if you can’t find the real thing.
To grill corn on the cob, peel back the corn husks without removing them and strip out the corn silk. Then re-cover the corn with the husks and soak them in cold water for half an hour. Remove the corn from the water and shake it off, then place the corn on the grill, cover and cook for 15 or 20 minutes. If you prefer, you can simply shuck the corn and grill right over the coals for 5 minutes or so until it begins to brown, but I like the flavor the husks impart. When the corn is done, remove the husks.
Now, this is the the important part: While the corn is still hot, baste the ears with garlic mayonnaise and roll them in freshly grated Cotija cheese (about 1 cup is enough for four ears). I like a nice squeeze of lime over everything.