3 Ways to Grill Corn Perfectly this Summer

Raise your hand if you can’t resist corn on the cob !  Not only is this vegetable fun to eat, it’s usually super cheap in the summer season – I just bought a dozen plump, juicy organic ones at Whole Foods for $3 total! Making corn on the cob on the grill is super easy; it’s a must-have at our house for backyard barbecues and casual entertaining. You know it’s on my menu for all the big summer celebrations including Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and our big family reunion!    jennifer grilling cornThere are three main ways to cook a whole ear of corn on the grill, and I’m going to run you through them. But, first, you’ll want to find the freshest corn possible for the yummiest result. Corn sugars undergo enzymatic reactions after ears are picked, slowly converting into less tasty, mealy starches. So, the fresher the corn, the sweeter – all the more reason to make friends with your local farmers.

3 Ways to Grill Corn Perfectly -- the perfect side dish to any backyard BBQ or summer celebration!

Method 1 – Cook Corn in Husk

 Grilling an ear of corn in the husk is so simple and mess-free – the end part of the cob serves as a handle as your peel back the husk dig into the steamed kernels. Notice how I said “steamed” – that’s because this method actually uses water from all the parts of the corn to steam it into tenderness – the grill just serves as the heat source. If the corn is fresh, it won’t need a pre-soak in water. However, if the husk looks a bit dried out, soak the entire ear of corn in water for about 10 minutes before grilling.

How to: Simply place corn directly on the coals or grates of your grill or campfire (heated to about 400F degrees) and cook for approximately 10 to 15 minutes until tender (peel back husk if needed). The outside will be blackened, but inside it’s pure perfection. Peel back the husks; remove the silks and butter and season to your preferences. If you want to get fancy, you peel back husks without taking completely off, remove silks, butter and season and then pull back up the husks before grilling. But, I think this makes it too complicated (and the butter tends to drip out!)

Method 2 – Foil-wrapped

Grilling your corn wrapped in foil is a handy-dandy way to prepare it if you don’t want family and friends to be dealing with charred, messy husks. Again, you are actually steaming it with this method.  Plus, you can easily oil, butter or season your corn before cooking and the toppings won’t drip out . . . and you don’t have to deal with mess and logistics of setting out these perishable condiments if you have a large crowd.

How to: Shuck corn toss away silks and husk. Wrap the corn in heavy duty aluminum foil, with or without flavorings like butter, herbs, salt, pepper, grated cheeses, etc.  Grill right on top of hot coals, or on a grill grate set, turning a few times, about 10 – 15 minutes

Method – Naked

This is my favorite way to prepare corn on the grill because I like the nutty, smoked flavor that a bit of charring on the kernels brings. However, this method is not “steaming” like the other ways to grill corn, so the final result is not quite as juicy and, it can’t be cooked directly on coals. But, I feel like this is how we do it down here in Texas and it tastes so good — yeehaw!

How to: Pull back husks and remove completely or braid and tie off for a decorative effect. Pull away most of the silks – the remaining will burn away on the grill! Cook corn over a medium-hot grill (about 400F degrees) for about 10 to 15 minutes, rotating frequently to prevent burning and encourage all-over light charring. In the last few minutes you can brush with a flavored olive oil and sprinkle with herbs or do that while still warm before serving.

Grilled Corn with Ancho Vinaigrette is a southwestern inspired side dish for your next bbq or summer celebration.

I love serving my grilled corn with slightly spicy-sweet Ancho Vinaigrette – you can get my recipe here:

CalCornia Shrimp Pizza makes a speedy mead for busy weeknights - grill or make in the oven.

I’ve also been known to grill waaaaaaay to much corn and I’ll shear off the kernels and use in recipes like my Cali-Corn-ia Shrimp Pizza!

cooking light cornAlso, check out Cooking Light’s collection of in-season ideas for Cooking with Corn.

So, how do you usually make your grilled corn – foil, husked or naked? Also, do you use those little stab-in handle thingies or just eat right out of hand? Got any corny jokes? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer 

 

 

 

 

 

Grilled Chicken, Corn and Jicama Chop Salad with Sweet-Heat BBQ Vinaigrette

This post is sponsored by Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q, however the recipes, opinions and enthusiasm are all my own!

There is so much to love about May! The weather is warmer, daylight lasts longer and backyard patios, porches and pergolas are prime party spots for good friends and great food. I don’t know about you, but my go-to cooking method from early spring well into the fall season is grilling. Whether I’m entertaining company or it’s just the family, my trusty grill is this mom’s solution when it comes to whipping up creative, healthy and quick meals. Grilled Chicken, Corn & Jicama Salad with Sweet Heat BBQ Sauce Vinaigrette

I will grill anything and everything.  I get fired up for grilling the gamut . . . meats and seafood to fruit, veggies and dessert (mmmm, banana boats)!  Today, I’m sharing a recipe for Chicken, Corn and Jicama Chopped Salad with Sweet-Heat BBQ Vinaigrette that relies on one of my secret weapons when it comes to grilling and barbeque – Stubb’s Bar-B-Q Sauces, Marinades and Rubs.

Grilled Chicken, Corn & Jicama Salad with Sweet Heat BBQ Sauce Vinaigrette makes a hearty meal for your backyard cookout, picnic or potluck.

grilled corn in hand squareGrilled corn and chicken are the stars of this simple grilled salad recipe – Stubb’s Chicken Spice Rub gives just the right amount of seasoning to poultry and vegetables without being overpowering or too spicy for my kids to eat. This is the original rub of Stubb’s fame, crafted by the legend himself at his original Texas Bar-B-Q joint — “It all starts with good rub.”

Stubb's Chicken Spice Rub

To dress this chopped chicken salad that also features jicama and avocado , I’ve created a simple barbecue sauce vinaigrette that is a bit spicy, a bit sweet – and certainly fun to eat! Using Stubb’s Sweet Heat Bar-B-Q Sauce is my not-so-secret shortcut to prepping this dressing in mere minutes. Of course, this BBQ sauce with hints of brown sugar and chipotle peppers is also excellent used in the traditional way to drizzle or douse on everything from baby back ribs and burgers to pizza and sweet potatoes.

Barbeque Brisket Skillet Nachos will satisfy a crowd!It’s also the sauce I use in my Brisket & Bean Skillet Nachos. I love that Stubb’s Bar-B-Q sauces get their bold flavors from real, wholesome ingredients with no artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners.  Also, you’ll find absolutely NO (none, zip, nada) high-fructose corn syrup in these quality condiments.

Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q, maker the No. 1 brand of barbecue sauce, rubs and marinades in the the country, is located right here in Austin, Texas — so I can head over and dive head-first in a vat, if I want!  But, these barbecue “helpers” are also sold in 85% of grocery stores nationwide — so, run out and getcha some!

Stubbs Grilled Chicken Corn Chop Salad

Grilled Chicken, Corn and Jicama Chop Salad with Sweet-Heat BBQ Vinaigrette is such an easy grilled recipe and the perfect fixin’s for a potluck or picnic – whether for Memorial Day, a graduation or any summer time celebration. You can also make it the night before, the dish is delicious served cold and the vinegar and lemon juice in the dressing help keep the avocado fresh for up to a day in the fridge. If you want to enjoy as a side dish or vegetarian meal — just omit the chicken and dig in!

What have you been tossing on the grill lately? Any big weekend plans for Memorial Day — a race, a party, a picnic? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

Grilled Chicken, Corn and Jicama Chop Salad with Sweet-Heat BBQ Vinaigrette
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 to 6 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 to 6 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Grilled Chicken, Corn and Jicama Chop Salad with Sweet-Heat BBQ Vinaigrette
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 to 6 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 to 6 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Rub uncooked chicken breasts with 1 tablespoon olive oil and rub with 2 tablespoons Stubb’s Chicken Spice Rub.
  2. Heat charcoal or gas grill to approximately 400 F degrees and grill chicken approximately 15 – 20 minutes, flipping once, or until cooked through and internal temperature reads 165F degrees.
  3. While chicken is cooking, rub corn cobs with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon Stubb’s Chicken Spice Rub.
  4. Place corn on grill with chicken and grill for approximately 10 minutes, rotating occasionally, or until turning tender and browning in spots.
  5. Remove chicken and corn from grill and let rest for 10 minutes, or until cool enough to handle.
  6. Chop chicken into small, bite-sized pieces. Slice corn kernels off the cob. Add both to medium bowl along with jicama, red onion, red bell pepper and avocado. Set aside while making dressing.
  7. To make dressing, whisk Stubb’s Sweet Heat Bar-B-Q Sauce together with olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, honey and pepper.
  8. Pour dressing over salad and toss gently. Garnish with chopped cilantro.
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Last Minute Ideas for Grill – Burgers, Bananas & More Recipes!

LaI’m not a plan-aheader. I used to make lists, follow detailed workout schedules and fret about the future. I’d also worry what we were going to eat days in advance — not that meal planning is a bad thing, actually it’s awesome. It’s just right now, where I am in life coupled with how busy my family is, there is just no telling who will be home for dinner when.  So typically, I just wing it knowing that if I keep lean meats in the freezer and fresh produce in the fridge, I can always whip up a quick and reasonably healthy meal out on the grill. Lucky to be in Austin where I can pretty much grill year-round.

Showing folks how to grill (indoors) at Whole Foods with Sarah from Mix 94.7 !

Showing folks how to grill (indoors) at Whole Foods with Sarah from Mix 94.7 !

Grilling is one of my cooking methods; I’ve taught classes on it and you could say I flip for it! Not only does it make beef, chicken, fish and all the veggies (and fruits) taste fantastic, it’s a healthy way to prepare food because you are not adding any additional fats.  However, research has shown that meats cooked over high heat can cause carcinogens to form — but there are easy ways to keep grilling safe. Namely, marinate if possible to create an “invisible” barrier, clean the grill grates, par cook thicker cuts in microwave, prevent and flare ups of fire by cooking over medium heat – these will all help carcinogens heterocyclic amine (HCA) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from forming. However, if you do get crispy bits, don’t freak – just cut that part off.

Here are some great grilling recipes for a last-minute BBQ bash! Enjoy!

Sirloin Cobb Kebab - Your favorite entree salad on a stick!

Sirloin Cobb Kebabs with Ranch Viniagrette

jennifer fisher - grilled bananas - main photo option1

Grilled Chocolate Raspberry Banana Boats

Mojo Chicken Breast and Grilled Citrus -- perfect for spring and summer entertaining.

Mojo Chicken Breasts with Grilled Citrus

Seared Steak and Mango Thai Noodle Salad

Seared Thai Steak Salad

Grill apricots to magnify their flavor and toss on an easy dale salad!Grilled Apricot Kale Salad (add grilled shrimp to make this one an entree)

Beef Burger Bonanza

Enjoy ALL the burgers with this round up of unique hamburgers – and, BTW, I have no guilt about eating one now and then.

What are you grilling today?  Please share in the comments!

Memorial Day Cherry Vanilla Root Beer Float Smoothie

This post is sponsored by Almond Breeze Almondmilk.

This Cherry Vanilla Root Beer Float only has 250 calories and serves up 22 grams of protein and 87% of your daily requirement for calcium! The sun is out for summer and my blender is back in action making smoothies nearly every day for a quick breakfast, healthy dessert or post-workout refueling. I have so made so many crazy, creative smoothies in my day along with all the tried-and-true classics,  I’m sure my family sometimes wonders if I can come up with a new flavor combo. But, fear not my friends of blended beverages, I can!  Today I’m serving up a Cherry Vanilla Root Beer Float Smoothie, so line up at the counter in an orderly fashion please.

Make this healthy Cherry Vanilla Root Beer Float with Almond Breeze Touch of Honey Flavor for just the right amount of natural sweetness.

I know that a Cherry Vanilla Root Beer Float Smoothie sounds sort of decadent, but this one is super healthy. It’s made with Almond Breeze Almondmilk  (Hint of Honey Vanilla flavor), frozen dark cherries, ice, root beer extract and protein powder.  The whole, huge serving has just 250 calories, 22 grams of protein, 87% daily value for calcium and loads of vitamins and minerals – especially vitamins D and E from the almondmilk and vitamin C from the cherries.

Use Almond Breeze Touch of Honey Almondmilk in your cereal as part of a balanced breakfast.

Use Almond Breeze Touch of Honey Almondmilk in your cereal.

Hint of Honey Vanilla Amondmilk from Almond Breeze is the perfect creamy foundation for any smoothie creation – it’s also ideal for drinking cold right in a glass or pairing up with your favorite cereal, oats or granola.  Made from real almonds and sweetened with honey, this alternative to diary milk contains medium chain fatty acids; is lactose, soy and gluten-free; is an excellent source of calcium; and works with vegan and kosher diets. I also love how it has no added processed sugar and only 60 calories per one-cup serving.  Another great thing – Hint of Honey Vanilla Amondmilk from Almond Breeze is available in a 32-ounce, shelf-stable version which means that I can keep my pantry stocked for impromptu smoothie making or take along for travel without worry of refridgeration.  Of course, you can also get the original in the dairy section.

Memorial Day collage thefitfork.com

What is your favorite smoothie combo? Are you remembering someone special this Memorial Day? Please share in the comments – xoxo Jennifer 

 

This Cherry Vanilla Root Beer Float only has 250 calories and serves up 22 grams of protein and 87% of your daily requirement for calcium!
Cherry Vanilla Root Beer Float Smoothie
Print Recipe
Slurp right into summer with my healthy, yummy smoothie made with almond milk, cherries, protein power and root beer extract. So refreshing for Memorial Day, Fourth of July or any hot summer day!
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
This Cherry Vanilla Root Beer Float only has 250 calories and serves up 22 grams of protein and 87% of your daily requirement for calcium!
Cherry Vanilla Root Beer Float Smoothie
Print Recipe
Slurp right into summer with my healthy, yummy smoothie made with almond milk, cherries, protein power and root beer extract. So refreshing for Memorial Day, Fourth of July or any hot summer day!
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: person
Instructions
  1. Add almondmilk, protein powder, frozen cherries, root beer extract and ice to blender, process until smooth. Pulse in ice until desired consistency is achieved. Garnish with fresh cherry if desired.
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Memorial Day Menu – Tuscan Grilled Eggplant, Chard Chickpea Wraps & Beef Tenderloin Steaks

eggplant tomato steaks

I have lots of yummy ideas for your long three-day weekend. If you want to make Memorial Day a #meatlessmonday (or are just looking to get more creative with your side dishes), my recipe for Tuscan Grilled Eggplant with Charred Tomatoes brings home a hearty yet healthy touch of the Mediterranean.  I created this veggie recipe for Litehouse Food and it uses their delicious Tuscan Herb Vinaigrette, an updated take on traditional Italian dressing that gets a lift from lemon.

Tuscan Grilled Eggplant with Charred Tomatoes Recipe 

Dissolve 2 tablespoons of salt into a 9”x13” or slightly larger dish that has been filled halfway with water.Trim eggplant and then cut into ½-inch lengthwise slices. Place slices into water, weighing them down with smaller plates that fit inside the dish. Let eggplant soak for 30 to 60 minutes. Drain eggplant and pat it dry with clean towels. Place eggplant back in dried dish used for soaking and add tomatoes. Pour over dressing and gently stir until coated. Let planks sit for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat (approximately 400 degrees).Remove eggplant slices from marinade and place directly on grates of hot grill. Skewer tomatoes or place them in a grill basket. Grill eggplant for approximately 3 minutes on each side or until tender and deep brown grill marks appear. Grill tomatoes for approximately 3- 4 minutes, turning or tossing in basked until softened and popped. . Transfer eggplant to serving platter and top with tomatoes. Sprinkle with basil, chives and feta cheese crumbles. Serves 4.

 chickpea salad in chard wrap

I have another beautiful Mediterranean dish that will have guests green with envy – and eating their greens!  PopSugar.com recently posted my recipe for Chard Chickpea Wraps on their Fit Sugar site – please go visit, check out the healthy lunch or light dinner recipe and find out why the green, leafy vegetable known as Swiss chard is so good for you.

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - ribeye filet grilled corn

Have more carnivorous cravings? Meat-eaters everywhere will be firing up grills and tossing on burgers, brisket and chops in honor of Memorial Day. A sizzling steak and grilled corn would be a delicious choice for a healthy diet – especially if you choose a tenderloin steak or top sirloin, both favorites of mine that are considered lean.

What are you cooking up this weekend, please share! Are you running any races — if so, good luck and let me know how it goes!