Summer corn season is finally here! The sweet, golden veggie reaches its peak in the warmest months. Cookbook author, TV host and grilled vegetable expert Steven Raichlen is joining TODAY to share a few of his favorite corn recipes for the grill: an Italian take on elote and a vegetable paella.
Mexican cuisine has been pairing grilled corn with cheese for centuries. That set me thinking about what elote would taste like if it had been invented in Italy (and if Italians traditionally grilled corn, period, which they're finally starting to do). Imagine smoky-sweet grilled corn with sizzling garlic butter and fragrant basil. The only decision you need to make is whether to crust the corn with sweet Parmigiano-Reggiano or tangy-sharp sheep's milk Pecorino Romano. Whichever you choose, make sure you use a genuine imported Italian cheese.
Forget everything you think you know about paella. You make it with seafood, right? No, traditional paella, as prepared in its birthplace — Spain’s Valencia province — contains just two proteins: rabbit and snails. Like many of the world’s great rice dishes (pilaf comes to mind), you cook it on the stove or in the oven. Wrong again: The authentic way to cook paella is over an open orange wood or grapevine fire. (The wood subtly smokes the rice, adding flavor nuances you simply can’t achieve indoors.) The good news is that the process translates easily to a grill or campfire. Here’s a plant-based paella bursting with bright Spanish flavors. The chickpeas provide the protein. Yes, I know, tradition calls for cooking the veggies right in the paella pan, not directly on the grill, but live fire intensifies their color and flavor.
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