This might be the tail end of the corn season, but to go with the slow baked baby back ribs I made, I knew I had to make corn. Don’t ask me why, but I associate ribs with corn. And grilled corn with ñora allioli was the answer.
We are a divided house when it comes to corn, some of us like it grilled and some like it boiled. For this recipe I decided to grill it in its husk, and there were no complaints. The sun was shining, it was unusually warm for this time of year, and I was itching to go outside. I wonder, too, if the allioli I made to spread on the charred kernels had something to do with its success at the table. It wasn’t my regular traditional allioli (find that recipe here). The Spanish Tin had sent me a small batch of ground ñora peppers. Ñora peppers! I had never been able to find them in the US, and now I know where to go for them. Ñora is a small, round pepper that grows in the region of Murcia, just south of the Comunidad Valenciana, where I come from. It has a characteristic flavor and medium heat. To know that I can now source them through The Spanish Tin makes me very happy.
The slow baked baby back ribs and grilled corn with ñora allioli was a success, and I will be making it very often (and sharing the recipe for my slow baked baby back ribs very soon!)
GRILLED CORN WITH ÑORA ALLIOLI
Mazorcas con All i Oli de ñora (Valencian) or Ajoaceite de ñora (Castilian Spanish)
6 cloves of garlic
1 egg yolk
1 pinch salt
1 Tbs juice of a lemon
1/2 tsp ground Ñora pepper, or The Spanish Tin No. 3 Nora Chilies
About 1 cup olive oil
The traditional way of making aioli is with a mortar and pestle, but as much as I like using them, this is one of those recipes where I prefer to use a hand blender.
To reduce the pungent flavor of the garlic, I treat the cloves in this manner: 1 small clove will remain raw, and the remaining garlic cloves will be caramelized: cook them in 1/4 cup olive oil over low heat, turning them every 2 minutes or so, until soft and almost translucent. Remove the sauté pan from the heat source and let the garlic cloves cool in the oil. After removing the caramelized garlic cloves, save this very aromatic garlic-infused olive oil to use in other recipes.
In a blending cup, or in a tall container not much wider than the width of the head of the immersion blender, add all the garlic cloves, a pinch of salt, the lemon juice, and the ground ñora. Immerse a hand blender and blend until smooth. Add the egg yolk and blend again until very smooth and well blended. Slowly add the oil in a very slow stream, incorporating it into the sauce without stopping the blender. Use an up-and-down hand motion, while maintaining the running blades always in contact with the sauce. The aioli should reach a consistency just slightly thicker than that of mayonnaise.
If using a mortar and pestle: Add the first four ingredients in the same order as if you were using the immersion blender. Always stirring with the pestle in the same direction, add the olive oil in a very slow stream until completely incorporated.
When the right consistency is reached, pour into a bowl and refrigerate, covered, until ready to use. Allioli should be consumed within 2 days, and never be left outside of the fridge longer than the duration of the meal when it will be consumed.
This ñora allioli marries well with fish, as well as with potatoes, corn, and other vegetables, and also simply by itself on grilled slices of bread. It is very versatile, and I’m sure you’ll find many more uses for it.
For the corn:
Open the leaves of corn without tearing them off and remove the “hairs”. Gather the leaves and tie them around the stem with kitchen twine.
Turn the grill on high and place the ears of corn on the crate, turning every few minutes, until charred on all sides.
Serve the warm corn alongside the ñora pepper allioli, spreading some on the kernels.