So, it’s the first day of fall, but yes, I’m in denial. I’m not quite ready to give up on summer yet. April, May and most of June was a washout. Cold, damp, and definitely not the start of a warm weather season. My pool is still open, patio furniture in place and summer clothing still in my closet. I’m sure we still have a few good weeks of warm, sunny days. That being said, the farms are picking apples, offering hayrides, and the pumpkins are almost ready to cut off the vines. Local corn is at its best, so while I’m still grilling food poolside, the autumn produce is now on the menu.

A few years back, I ordered grilled corn at a beachfront restaurant in Westhampton after I noticed that everyone around us was indulging in large platters of the mouthwatering side dish. It was so delicious, and I knew before I left that I would be replicating it at home. I had a pretty good idea what the corn was marinated in, so I came up with my own version of it. I’m so glad that I did because, sadly, the restaurant burned down and it never reopened.

I thought a good pairing for the corn would be grilled chicken in a similar marinade. Both the corn and chicken are quick and easy to make. To make the meal complete, toss together in a bowl your favorite veggies in olive oil, a touch of balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and your favorite herbs. Place on the grill in a vegetable grill pan and cook until tender crisp. I like onions, broccoli, cauliflower, and mushrooms. Also a crowd pleaser –  red peppers and zucchini. (add a splash of truffle oil for a rich taste and unique aroma)

Grilled Corn with Lime and Queso Fresco

6 ears of corn

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 tablespoon tequila

2 tablespoons cilantro (or parsley)

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 lime – juice and zest

½ cup grated queso fresco

Mix together the oil, tequila, cilantro, cayenne pepper, black pepper and the lime and zest. Marinate the corn for 20 minutes. I like to rub it on so that every part of the ear of corn has the marinade. Grill on each sides until the kernels turn brownish. (About 4-5 minutes on each side) Remove from grill and sprinkle generous amounts of the grated queso fresco on the corn.

Tequila Lime Marinade for Chicken

1 ½ pounds boneless chicken, sliced thin

¼ cup vegetable oil

¼ cup tequila

1 tablespoon cilantro

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce

2 limes – juice and zest

1 clove garlic, crushed

Whisk together in a bowl, oil, tequila, cilantro, black pepper, sweet chili sauce, garlic, limes and zest. Add chicken and marinate overnight. Grill until cooked through, about 5 minutes on each side if sliced thin.

*Try this marinade with shrimp or pork also.

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