Had me a blast.
A true sign of summer is sweet corn. Sure, it's probably imported from somewhere...but it's going to be soon before the Washington Metro area is seeing fresh locally grown sweet corn. But in the meantime Whole Foods had a beautiful selection of sweet corn today. So...dinner!
We picked up four ears of corn and four brats from the meat counter. For the corn, I put the oven at 400 and peeled off the very outer most leaves...leaving most of them and the hair intact. Then I just popped them in the oven, on the rack. You're going for 30 minutes total time, after the first 15 minutes, just rotate them over. When your corn is done, it will be perfectly hot and crunchy.
But it's not done...tonight I decided to make the corn a little special. I took 1/2 a stick of butter (4TB) and let it sit on the counter for an hour to soften. I tossed it in a small bowl and added about 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp of ancho chili powder, 1/2 tsp of salt and about four or five grinds of fresh black pepper. I then added the zest from one lime & juice from half of that lime. Stir it all together, really whip it to get that lime juice incorporated. Rest it in the fridge while the corn roasts and you continue with the brats.
Please allow me first to say one thing. We really know bratwurst back home in Wisconsin. Seriously know bratwurst! Everyone will have their perfect way to cook them, but the general rule is....parbroil in beer...grill until crisp and golden, then back in beer with onions and butter to simmer...
I picked up four brats today while at Whole Foods...fresh and made in the store. They were good, but really...not all that compared to the basic staple of the supermarket, Johnsonville! And when you see the Johnsonville Brat, just go with the basic/original. Now, I will say that I have had some problems finding Johnsonville Brats in the DC area and have been known to buy several packs of them at once and freeze them!
As I don't have a real grill...we have a tiny little gas thing, but eh...not all that. So tonight I got my medium pan over the highest heat. I laid the sausages out and let them sear, flip them and let them sit again...you'll have both sides all lovely and golden brown at this point. With the sides gray...if you can get all sides good and brown, try, otherwise, don't worry about it....on the grill the flames usually wick up and get the sides. After both sides are crisped up from the heat, toss in one onion, sliced. Toss the onions around for a bit. They will start to pick up some of the seared bits in the pan and will start to release their juices. Make sure you have your heat over screaming heat and pour in a beer. Stand back and allow the aroma to knock your socks off! I gave it a minute and walked out of the kitchen and said..."Isn't that one of our favorite scents?" J-lo was nearly weeping! Toss one TB of butter in the pan, cover and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes. For the last few minutes, take the cover off and allow to reduce slightly.
To 'plate up', quickly toast up a bun. Place one brat on the bun and top with the onions that have soaked up the yummy beer and butter sauce. Use a condiment of your choice...mustard is a classic....I am sad to say, us German Wisconsinites also use ketchup....but I've moved away from that myself!! Now for the corn, pull back the husk, clean off any large clumps of corn hair and add a pat of the chili lime butter. Garnish with a slice of lime and go to town.