I did a version of Mexican Street Corn a few years ago that was a huge hit. Five adults polished off a dozen ears and more than one person asked if there were any left as we could’ve easily pounded out a good 16 ears. I decided to come up with another version of this. So I did. The only problem is I came up with another one and another one and another one until I had a half dozen new recipes. That’s when I decided to combine all of them together into a bar for guests to choose from an almost limitless combination of options.
The basic premise is this. Each guest grabs an ear of corn and sets it on a sheet of Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil and then spreads one of three different compound butters on their ear and wraps in a sheet of foil. And to add another level of flavors, basil pesto was used as a fourth butter:
Each ear is cooked (in a foil wrap) on the grill and then the foil is used as a nest to hold in all the toppings that are applied along with that glorious compound butter. That’s it. So simple and yet so much fun and adventurous.
I’m going to list the ingredients for each compound butter as well as the added toppings we put on after the corn had been cooked in the butter or pesto. This is not one of those recipes to follow to a T. This is one of those recipes to get inspiration from and create your own Mexican Street Corn Bar with ingredients you love.
For this post we used Reynolds Wrap Aluminum foil for a few reasons in no particular order. One, they sponsored this post and have partnered with us for many years now, which is something I’m very proud of. Two, it’s the best foil out there. Three, it’s made in the USA in Louisville Kentucky. Four, dad and Reynolds Wrap were born in the same year – 1947. Now that the procedural stuff is out of the way, let’s get on with the recipe(s).
Compound Butter Ingredients:
4 Tbsp butter
1 Tsp ranch dip mix
4 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp Sriracha
4 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh sage
1 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 tsp lime zest
1 tsp lime juice
As far as the basil pesto. I’m not going to lie. I bought it pre-made. Hey, I’ve got a wife, four kids 10 and under and essentially three jobs other than being a father. I’ve got to save time somewhere.
To make each butter, it’s best if if you soften up the butter ahead of time to make it easier to mix the ingredients in. Once you combine each set of ingredients in a mixing bowl, use a spatula to scoop each one onto a sheet of wax paper and roll up into giant candy shapes. Expect about one tablespoon of compound butter per ear and adjust your ingredient amounts accordingly:
Feel free to make up the butter the night before or even days before.
On top of the compound butter we also had the following toppings:
Sharp cheddar cheese
I don’t say amounts here, because it is very dependent on how many folks you’re having over and what they have a penchant for. It’s OK if you run out of a few of these. It will force some to step out of their comfort zone and try something new. That’s what set up like this is made for.
But let’s start with the corn. I went with yellow and bi-color because I felt it would take the best pictures, but I actually prefer white corn:
Once all the corn has been shucked get all the ingredients ready for your Mexican Street Corn Bar:
Before we set up the bar near the cooker, let’s start slathering on some compound butter and basil pesto:
First let’s slather on some of the ranch butter:
Now the Sriracha\garlic:
The herb lime:
And finally the obligatory drip shot of the basil pesto being spooned over the corn:
Once you coat all the ears with the flavors your guests pick, roll the corn up in the Reynolds Wrap:
Load up the cooker:
Target temp here is anywhere between 275-350:
Now it’s time to lay out the toppings to make my Mexican Street Corn Bar:
Here’s an overhead shot:
Now you can use the little ceramic corn boats like the white ones in the above picture, or you can simply pull back the Reynolds Wrap and make boats out of the foil. Want to guess what we did?
And here we have the overhead shot of our three different compound butters and the basil pesto:
Now time to hit that toppings bar and load these bad boys up!
OK, so what did we do with each of these? We’ll start at the bottom which was the Ranch compound butter. Topped with cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon:
Now on to the basil pesto ear of corn. All it needed was some asiago cheese:
The Sriracha/garlic had some cotija cheese and cilantro added:
And finally the herb/lime had sour cream, cotija cheese, lime zest and a squeeze of lime (optional):
Another shot of those four combos:
Some of you have noticed that the feta wasn’t used. Now that the rest of you know the feta wasn’t used, some of you are wondering how it would be used. It’s hard chunks of cheese, not grated asiago or cheddar. It would just fall off, right? That’s what the sour cream is for. In that link to the other recipe I did like this, the sour cream is the binder that really holds just about anything to the corn. Think of the sour cream as tasty glue.
The message here is to follow the basic formula: Slather on a compound butter or pesto, wrap in Reynolds Wrap, cook the corn in the foil and then get creative with the toppings. It really is a fun food project that children and adults can enjoy.
Other possible toppings that would be fun to play with:
Your favorite BBQ rub
Any manner of aioli
Cooked sausage crumbles
Whatever other compound butter you can think of
The options are limitless. Get crazy with it!
Here’s the recipe card for those compound butters:
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tsp ranch dip mix
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp Sriracha
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 1½ Tbsp chopped fresh sage
- 1½ Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
- 1½ Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
- 1½ tsp lime zest
- 1 tsp lime juice
- Cotija cheese
- Feta cheese
- Asiago cheese
- Sharp cheddar cheese
- Cilantro, chopped
- Sour cream
- Lime wedges
- Lime zest
- Crumbled bacon
- Let the butter get soft on the counter and transfer into three separate bowls
- Add each set of other ingredients into one bowl and mix through
- With a spatula, scoop the butter onto wax paper and form into giant butter candies
- Slather each ear of corn with one tbsp of compound butter and roll up in a sheet of Reynolds Wrap
- Cook the corn in the foil at 300 for 15-20 minutes (until it starts to soften)
- Then create a nest out of the Reynolds Wrap and top the corn with your favorite toppings