“Bobby Flay Corn” with Chili & Lime


Last month, I went out on a bit of a limb for the Improv Cooking Challenge, taking the savory route with Cherries & Almonds.  For this month, I guess I kind of played it safe with the Corn & Butter.  New Jersey corn, when in season, is amazing.  I know that there are lots of Midwesterners who would turn up their nose at that, but trust me.  So good!  That is why usually I prefer to not do anything more to a good ear of corn (meaning one that was picked the day I am going to eat it) than throw it in boiling water for about 5 to 7 minutes, and eat it right off the cob, maybe with a little butter and/or salt.

But then, several years ago, for The Hubby’s birthday, I surprised him by getting his mom, brother and a couple of family friends in town, and we went to dinner at Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill, in New York City.  Now say what you want about Bobbly Flay, and celebrity chefs, in general, but this was easily one of the best meals we have had in our lives.  And we have eaten at some pretty darn good restaurants.  I am not comparing this to my local diner (not that there is anything wrong with the diner.  Mmmm, pancakes!)  It was an incredible night.  The Hubby is not easily surprised, as he is so tuned into everything, that he always can pick up on whether something is going on.  But he was truly shocked.  The company was great, and the food was outstanding.  And, crazy enough, one of the dishes that stands out the most in our memories was a corn side dish.  So I HAD to recreate it, and have been making it every summer ever since.  And we affectionately refer to it as “Bobby Flay Corn”.  Now I am sure he didn’t originate the idea, and he probably didn’t even make it for us that night.  But whatever.  This is my homage to the Iron Chef.

"Bobby Flay Corn" with Chili & Lime | cupcakesandkalechips.com #corn #vegetarian

Now, I am not going to say that my version is anywhere near as awesome as the one we had at Mesa Grill.  But it is darn good.  A little sweet, a little salty, a little crunch, a little creaminess, a little smoky, a little spicy, all brought together by a little zing from the lime juice.  And you can prepare it in advance, and just heat it through before serving in the over or over the grill, based on whatever else you are cooking.

Ever since I started my blog in February, I have been waiting for the summer to arrive so that I can share this recipe.  Then when I saw the theme for this month’s Improv Challenge, I knew this was the perfect time to share it.  Obviously it is great with good, fresh corn, but I’ll make it to use up any leftover cooked or uncooked corn.  It is so flavorful that the best quality corn is not a requirement (though it certainly tastes good).  I alternate between a little butter or a little olive oil, but since I still had some of the LAND O LAKES® Butter with Olive Oil & Sea Salt from #SundaySupper several weeks back, I thought I would use that this time.  I also use feta cheese.  I am fairly certain that it is “supposed” to be cotija, but that is harder to find, and more expensive.  Feta gives the same crumbly, salty cheesiness it needs.  Mmmm!

"Bobby Flay Corn" with Chili & Lime | cupcakesandkalechips.com #corn #vegetarian

For anyone new to my blog, and as a reminder to others, the Improv Challenge is a blog hop hosted by Kristen of Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker. A theme is given, which is two assigned ingredients. Then it is up to the participating bloggers to let the creative juices flow, and see what they can come up with. Then on the third Thursday of the month, we will all publish our new recipes based on the theme. If you are have a blog and would like to join us, click on the picture to the below to learn more.

Improv Challenge

Check out what the other Improv-ers are cooking up with corn & butter at the bottom of this post.
Have you ever eaten at a “celebrity chef’s” restaurant?  What did you think?
5.0 from 4 reviews
"Bobby Flay Corn" - July Improv Cooking Challenge
A simple corn side dish that is sweet & salty, creamy & crunchy, smoky & spicy, brought together by a little lime zing, inspired by Bobby Flay.
Recipe type: Side Dish, Veggie
Serves: 4
  • 4-5 ears corn (depending on the size), shucked
  • 1 T butter and/or olive oil
  • juice of 1 lime
  • ½ t kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 t chili powder (or more, if desired)
  • 1 t t ground cumin
  • ½ c crumbled feta or cotija cheese
  1. If your corn is uncooked, place over a medium-high grill for 8-12 minutes, or until slightly charred. You can also use leftover cooked corn, or just boil it, but the corn charred on the grill give it some more smoky flavor.
  2. Cut the kernels from the corn and place in a bowl.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients, except the feta, and toss to combine well.
  4. Add the feta and toss gently.
  5. Place in a ceramic or glass baking dish or individual ramekins.
  6. Heat the corn through to slightly melt the cheese over the grill or in the oven (this can be done either way, or at any temperature, based on what else you are cooking).
You can prepare this dish in advance and store in the refrigerator, just heating in the oven or grill before serving to heat it through.
"Bobby Flay Corn" with Chili & Lime | cupcakesandkalechips.com #corn #vegetarian


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  1. says

    You cannot beat a Bobby Flay recipe…and I think you nailed this corn dish!!! I’m off to buy more sweet corn to make some of these Improv ideas! Yours is at the top of the list :)

  2. says

    I LOVE Bobby Flay. I always start to question him, every time he has a new reality show come out…until I see what he churns out on Iron Chef. He is legit. I won’t say that about too many Celebrity chefs. Great job on the corn, it sounds spectacular.

  3. says

    I had to come see a Bobby Flay recipe and this looks so tasty and yummy. I want to make this one. I think, I am going to be making corn dishes, for a while.

  4. says

    This sounds like a great dish! I will definitely put this on my list to try. I know a lot of people hate on celebrity chefs and Bobby Flay, but I have to say that every recipe with his name on it that I’ve tried has always been good. And as you say, you can just watch him on Iron Chef to see that he clearly knows how to put flavors together. I think you did a great job capturing his style here! Looking forward to chowing down. :)

  5. says

    “A little sweet, a little salty, a little crunch, a little creaminess, a little smoky, a little spicy, all brought together by a little zing from the lime juice” … Those very words are the reason why I WILL be making this! This sounds amazing, Brianne. Lovely lovely job!

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