Grilling Corn How-to and Hickory Smoked Almond Butter
Posted Jun 03 2011 8:48am
The other day, I fired the grill up for some flounder and grilled corn (a post in and of itself). Note that the flounder is loosely wrapped in tin foil, allowing it to steam in its marinade (olive oil, lemon juice, and dill) while smoking on the grill. Also notice the foil sitting on the coals, which happens to be hickory chips wrapped in tin foil with holes poked all over it.
I wholeheartedly believe that grilling corn in the husk is the way to have corn. If Kristen at iowagirleats.com were here, I believe these two ears of corn would have made her proud. Let me explain why in-the-husk grilling is superior with a numbered list:
When you grill corn in the husk, it doesn’t get soft and chewy like it does when you remove the husk to grill it. Ever single bite will pop in your mouth.
It is ridiculously easy. You pretty much can’t screw it up.
When you char the husk, it smoke the corn giving it a sweet smoky flavor.
The inner parts of the husk get hot and steam the corn in it’s own natural liquids. Combined with the smoke from the grill and the charred husk, the flavor is sublime.
Let me explain to you how to grill corn in the husk in two easy steps.
Step 1: Fire up the grill (if you want the ultimate flavor, start using a charcoal grill)
Step 2: Cook the corn in its husk until the husk is charred on all sides, turning as needed.
Once the husk is charred, the corn will have been sufficiently smoked and steamed. Voila, the ultimate corn. I suggest wearing an oven mitt when handling it to remove the husk.
Onto the moral of the story! Once I was finished grilling, I noticed that my hickory chips were smoking a lot, and the grill was really hot. I had to capitalize, so I through some almonds on a baking sheet with a drizzle of agave syrup, and onto the grill they went.
Once they were toasted and sufficiently smoked, I made almond butter with them. Here it is – hickory smoked almond butter:
16 oz. raw almonds
1/4 cup agave syrup
1 tbsp olive oil (optional)
1/4 cup ground flax
Grill (gas is fine but let’s face it, charcoal is the best)
Fire up your grill and set up the hickory chips (just follow the directions on the packaging because it varies depending on what type of grill you have). Be sure that there aren’t flames shooting up and that your hickory chips are creating smoke. Put the almonds on a baking sheet, and drizzle agave syrup over them. Mix them around to make sure they are all coated. Place the tray of almonds on the grill and close the lid, leaving the bottom and top vents open about half way. Let them toast in the grill for 5 to 7 minutes (peek in now and ten to make sure they aren’t burning, and immediately shut the lid). Once they are done toasting on the grill, let them cool for 30 minutes.
Carefully place the almonds in a food processor with the ground flax and process until they form a butter. It takes around ten minutes, and you may have to stop to scrape the sides a couple of times. Once the oils in the almond release and a butter forms, add 1 tbsp. of olive oil if you want it to be a little bit thinner.
This almond butter has a rich, slightly smoky flavor to it. Enjoy!