CHOW Senior Photographer Chris Rochelle, a fan of all things Mexican or flavored with chile peppers, devised this clever recipe. Dried corn husks work great for wrapping up tamales, but over a grill they would incinerate. Instead, Chris utilizes fresh husks to steam the fish on the grill, and then mixes up the grilled corn kernels with charred jalapeños, red onion, lime, and cilantro for a spicy side.
This dish was featured as part of our Recipes to Help You Conquer Your Fish-Grilling Fears.
- Yields: 4 servings
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 1 hr
- 1/2 medium red onion, small dice (about 1 cup)
- 2 tablespoons plus 4 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 2 medium limes)
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 jalapeños
- 4 ears corn, husks on
- 1 (1-pound) center-cut halibut piece, skinned
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro (about 1 bunch)
- 1 medium lime, cut into 8 wedges
- Place the onion, 2 tablespoons of the lime juice, the measured salt, and pepper to taste in a large bowl. Stir to combine; set aside.
- Stem and finely chop 1 of the jalapeños; set aside.
- Trim off the silk and wispy ends of the husks, just to the tip of the ears. Slice off the stem ends of the corn so that the husks easily come away from the ears without tearing. Set aside 16 wide, untorn husks (at least 3 1/2 inches long) and discard the remaining husks. Rinse the husks in cold water and shake off the excess; set aside.
- Cut the halibut in half horizontally. Cut each half crosswise into 4 even rectangular pieces. Rub the fish pieces all over with the olive oil and season generously all over with salt and pepper.
- Place 8 of the corn husks on a work surface. Place a piece of fish lengthwise along the center of each husk, making sure the husk is curling around the fish.Evenly divide all of the finely chopped jalapeño and half of the cilantro over the tops of the fish pieces.Sprinkle each piece of fish with 1/2 teaspoon of the remaining 4 teaspoons lime juice.Cover each piece of fish with a second husk curling over and around the first husk, making sure the wide end of the top husk is covering the narrow end of the bottom husk and the fish is completely encased. (The parcels will not be tightly closed.) Place the fish parcels cilantro-jalapeño-side up on a baking sheet or large plate and refrigerate.
- Heat a grill pan or outdoor grill to medium high (about 375°F to 425°F). Place the ears of corn on the grill, cover the grill, and cook, rotating the corn a quarter turn every 2 1/2 minutes, until the outside is evenly charred and the corn is tender, about 10 minutes total. Meanwhile, place the remaining 2 jalapeños on the grill and cook, turning occasionally, until blistered and charred in spots, about 5 to 7 minutes total.
- When the corn and jalapeños are ready, transfer both to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, cut the corn kernels off the cobs and add the kernels to the reserved onion–lime juice mixture. Stem the jalapeños, finely chop, and add to the onion–lime juice mixture. Add the remaining half of the cilantro and stir to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed; set aside.
- Place the corn-husk-wrapped fish on the grill cilantro-jalapeño-side down. Cover the grill and cook for 2 minutes. Using tongs, flip the parcels, cover the grill, and cook until the fish is just opaque, about 2 minutes more. Remove to a serving platter.
- To serve, carefully remove the top corn husks from the fish. Top with the corn salsa and serve with lime wedges.