Corn: Raw, grilled, roasted, steamed - which do I want?
Let me start by affirming that I like corn every way I can get it.
But, I'm planning a menu that I think will include a salad involving corn, mango, sweet red peppers, avocado, cilantro and possibly black beans. And I began to think. I might use it raw (provided I can find sweet, really fresh ears). or do I want to roast it?
What does grilling so that you get browning achieve with corn? Does it caramelize the sugars in a way that steaming does not? Is browning corn on a stovetop grill any better than simply steaming it?
Or is grilling/browning only great because over a fire you get that smoky magic?
I don't have a grill in my high-rise apartment building. So that's not an option for this particular dish.
But it got me thinking about corn. What if anything do we achieve when we brown on a stovetop grill it that we don't get by steaming?
Agree with magiesmom - microwave in the husks. You get great flavor that way. As you mentioned living in a high-rise, I'm going to guess corn picked this afternoon is not available to you, so I wouldn't suggest raw.
I think some caramelization and char from the grill pan would add a nice flavor to your salad.
Grilling corn provides a lovely smoky flavor. I think corn is excellent any which way--raw when it's fresh, steamed/blanched, sautéed, roasted, grilled. Just depends on what you're in the mood for and how good the corn is.
When I can't get to the grill, I prefer a sauté until the kernels are lightly browned and start to pop. The flavor is great with peppers.
Typically when we grill corn, it's in the husks, so the actual corn isn't getting caramelized or browned.
I've also made delicious corn in the oven, cut off the cobs and tossed with a bit of butter or even olive oil and whatever seasonings you'd like.