- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced red onion
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 8 small ears of corn, husked
- Vegetable oil, for brushing
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon pure ancho chile powder
- 4 ounces cotija or ricotta salata cheese, crumbled (1 1/4 cups)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Hot sauce
- 12 large sea scallops
- Lime wedges, for serving
- Light a grill. In a large bowl, toss the garlic and onion with the lime juice and let stand for 10 minutes.
- Brush the corn with oil and grill over moderate heat until charred and just tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a work surface and cut the kernels off the cobs.
- Whisk the mayonnaise and chile powder into the garlic, onion and lime juice. Add the cheese and corn to the bowl and toss. Season with salt, pepper and hot sauce.
- Brush the scallops with vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over high heat until nicely browned and barely cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Spoon the corn salad onto 4 plates and top with the scallops. Serve with lime wedges.
Faced with the spiciness here, beer expert Sam Calagione chose the refreshing Allagash White, a low-alcohol wheat beer that won't make the chile's heat taste harsh ("alcohol can have that effect," he said). Marnie Old, a wine educator, zoomed in on the salad's smoky nuances and selected the moderately oaky Chardonnay from California. She likes to pair oaky wines with grilled foods because, she says, "oak gives wine the same kinds of smoky flavors that grilling gives food."
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.