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Grilled Corn on the Cob with House Rub

Joe Hargrave, owner of San Francisco–based restaurant Tacolicious, has been known to keep a bag of this all-purpose Mexican spice rub, known as recado, in his glove box. And indeed, it’s never a bad thing to have on hand. Luckily, it can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a month.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 3 dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 3 dried chipotle chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 Tbs. dried Mexican oregano
  • 15 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3/4 cup (4 oz./125 g) kosher salt
  • 4 ears corn, shucked and silk removed
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lime juice, plus more if needed

Directions:

Line a plate with a paper towel. In a fry pan over medium heat, warm the oil. When the oil is hot, add the ancho chiles and fry, turning once, until puffy and crispy, about 1 minute per side, taking care not to burn them. Transfer the anchos to the paper towel–lined plate to drain. Repeat with the chipotle chiles. Let the chiles cool completely.

In a small dry fry pan over medium heat, toast the oregano, shaking the pan frequently to keep it from burning, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to a small dish and let cool completely.

Transfer the ancho chiles to a spice grinder, grind to a powder, and transfer to a small bowl. Repeat with the chipotle chiles, followed by the oregano. (If you cannot fit the chiles into your spice grinder or do not own a spice grinder, grind them and the oregano in the food processor in the next step.)

In a food processor, combine the garlic, salt, chiles and oregano and process until the mix has a fine, sandy consistency, similar to that of coffee grounds. If the mixture is too wet, spread the mixture on a baking sheet and let it sit overnight at room temperature, stirring it a few times.

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a grill.

Place the corn on the grill and cook, rotating the ears a quarter turn every 2 to 3 minutes, until the corn is nicely marked and the kernels are tender, about 10 minutes total. Remove from the grill and cut each ear in half.

In a large bowl, mix together 2 Tbs. of the spice mixture with the lime juice. Add the corn and toss until evenly coated. Cut some kernels from one of the ears, taste, and adjust with more of the spice rub and lime juice as needed. Serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

Tacolicious, San Francisco, CA.