Sometimes it’s the simple things that stand out. This is one of the easiest recipes and yet it is by far the best corn on the cob ever. Perfect grilled corn is smothered with a compound butter of smoked espelette pepper, sea salt and honey for a combination that is sweet, savory, and slightly smoky with a hint of spice.
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6 Ears corn on the cob (husks intact)
6 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons Smoky Piment d’ Ville
2 tablespoons honey
Pinch of Sea Salt to taste
1. Soak the corn for 30 minutes.
2. Peel back the husks, discard the silk and tie the husks to create a handle.
3. Soak again while heating the grill as hot as possible on one side only.
4. Meanwhile In a small sauce pan melt the butter over low/medium heat.
5. Add the honey and heat till the honey starts to bubble a bit.
6. Stir in Piment d’Ville and Sea Salt and remove from heat. 7. 7. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking then set aside.
8. Place the corn directly on the grill, turning every few minutes to get an even char on all sides.
9. Remove corn from grill and drizzle with butter mixture.
This genius hack uses no oil, no tin foil and is so easy you'll be making grilled corn every night. First dump your ears of corn into water for at least 30 minutes. Then gently peel back the husks, not pulling them all the way off, and removing the silk. Tie butchers twine around the husks to create a sort of handle and place the corn back in the water with the husk side down.
Next get the grill as hot as you can on one side. With the coals or gas grill heated completely on one side, place the corn so that the corn directly over the heat and the husks are on the cooler side of the grill. DO NOT USE OIL. Turn the corn every few minutes to get an even char on all sides. You want some nice dark brown bits but not really burnt.
Piment d’ Espelette is a Basque chili pepper so critical in their cuisine they call it the third spice. Salt, pepper and the unique sweet and spicy Espelette pepper form the basis of their signature flavors. Fortunately we now have a version of this much sought spice grown right here in California. Piment d’ Ville is grown in Napa Valley from the seeds of the Espelette. It began as the passion project of a chef who wanted to grow the prized pepper for his restaurant. Now they not only produce more than his restaurant needs, they also have created 3 versions. For this recipe we're using the smoky variety. The flavor profile is like a smoked paprika but more complex and spicy. Paired with the sea salt and honey you get a sweet, spicy, salty combination that compliments the sweetness of the corn.
Piment d'Ville is a sweet and spicy Basque Espelette pepper that is locally grown in California. It is meticulously hand harvested by farmer Nacho in the small town of Boonville. Prized by French chefs, this ingredient was only available imported from France until a Napa Valley chef committed to sustainability made it his mission to bring the seeds to his own farm.
Nacho believed everything should be done the old-fashioned way, completely by hand. He experimented for 3 years with traditional growing and drying methods.The farm grows the peppers organically using traditional methods. Small continual harvests span a four-month period from September to December while the peppers are picked, dried, de-stemmed and de-seeded all entirely by hand. Then Nacho smiles with pride as he grinds the dried chiles bucket by bucket.
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