Archive for the ‘Corn’ Category

Corn on the Cob with Basil Butter

Saturday, July 4th, 2015

This is so simple it really isn’t even a recipe. However, it IS my favorite way to eat corn on the cob.

Fresh corn on the cob

Butter at room temperature

Basil, cut into shreds with a sharp knife

Prepare basil butter by chiffonading the basil into thin shreds with a very sharp knife and mixing with softened butter.

If you have a microwave, this is the healthiest and tastiest way to prepare corn on the cob. The earthy fragrance of just-picked corn freshly microwaved in its husks is unbelievable, plus corn microwaved in its jacket retains much more of its nutritional value.

Cut off any excess stem from the stem end  so the corn can rotate on the turntable but do not disturb the husks or try to remove the silk. Microwave on high as follows:

1 ear,  2 minutes; 2 ears, 4 minutes; 3 ears, 6 minutes; 4 ears, 8 minutes, etc.

Remove the corn from the microwave, wrap in a towel and let rest for 5 minutes, then (using a pot-holder or protective gloves) peel off the husks and the silk. Serve with lots of basil butter. The heat of the corn releases the basil fragrance in a wonderful way.

NOTE: Pesto is also a really good substitute for plain butter.

NOTE2: Microwaving is an easy prep for freezing corn right on the cob: nuke the ears (possibly reducing the time slightly), let cool then remove the husks and silk and break cobs in halves or thirds. Freeze solid then pop into freezer bags for winter storage (freezing first prevents them from sticking together so you can unfreeze only what you need).

NOTE 3: Frozen 1″ thick rounds of corn cut right through the cob add a festive South American touch to winter stews.

Mexican Corn Soup

Monday, June 1st, 2015

This recipe is adopted from Diana Kennedy’s “The Cuisines of Mexico”. It has the wonderfully fresh and uncomplicated flavor of young corn.

4 cups corn (or kernels from 5 ears)
2 or 3 large green poblano chilies
6 cups chicken broth
1 Tbsp butter (or more)
1/2 cup milk or cream

Garnish: slivered cilantro leaves, strips of roasted poblanos, sour cream, etc.

Roast the poblanos over a gas flame till they begin to char, then wipe off the charred skin with a paper towel. Remove seeds and veins, and if they are very picante soak in salted water for about 30 minutes to remove some of the heat.

Put roasted peppers in a blender, along with 1/4 cup broth. Blend to a puree, then melt butter in a pan and cook puree over high heat for about 3 minutes. Add the rest of the chicken broth (5 1/2 cups) and the corn, and simmer till the corn is cooked, about 20 minutes. [If you want to try Diana's original recipe, stop here. Garnish with poblano strips, farmer cheese, and fried tortilla triangles. Otherwise, continue...]

Return the soup to the blender and blend till smooth, then pour back into the pot and add 1/2 cup milk or cream (or to taste) and heat gently.

Garnish with cilantro slivers and/or a bit of sour cream.

NOTE: If you are out of chicken stock or want a vegetarian alternative, try making a stock from the cobs for a delightful corn-flavored soup base. If you add a dash of soy sauce at the end, you can’t taste it but it perks up the broth nicely. And if you have onion peelings handy, these great to include when you are boiling the cobs.

Dorothy Shank’s Amish Corn Fritters

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

These fritters are from Bert Greene’s “Greene on Greens”. He got the recipe from a “motherly lady” of Pennsylvania Dutch heritage who once interviewed him for a local radio station in Niagara Falls. Bert says these airy fritters “virtually melt on the tongue. The recipe came my way by one of those supreme happenstances I generally call fate…These are simply the best corn fritters you will ever eat!”

4 large ears fresh corn
2 eggs, separated
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar (I prefer using only 1 teaspoon and putting honey on the finished product)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Unsalted butter

On the first 2 ears, cut the kernels at about half their depth and then, with the back of the blade, scrape off what is left on the cob, mixing the cut pulp and “milk” with the kernels. Cut the kernels off the other two ears and put both corns in a medium mixing bowl. The mixture will resemble scrambled eggs.

Separate the eggs. Beat the egg yolks till light, then add flour, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the corn.

Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks with an eggbeater or electric mixer. Fold them gently into the corn mixture. Keep a light hand as you work, as these fritters are very delicate.

Heat a heavy skillet or griddle over medium heat and butter it lightly. Drop small spoonfuls of batter onto the hot griddle and cook until golden, about 30 seconds per side. Keep the fritters warm in a low oven while you cook the remaining batter.

At the end, I sprinkled them with honey and some smashed toasted coriander seeds, which was a departure from Bert’s original recipe.