7 quick ways with CORN
“Sex is good,” said Garrison Keillor, best known for A Prairie Home Companion, “but not as good as fresh sweet corn.” Though we might not entirely agree with him, we get it because we love fresh sweet corn, and the season for our local Taber bounty should begin about the end of August. Meanwhile, there’s nothing wrong with canned corn. We favour it over frozen corn that seems to lose its crispness when cooked. We’ve been known to open a can of corn, sit down with a spoon, and devour the corn to the last kernel. Corn... it’s good food.
1. Corn and Green Beans
As simple as it gets, from Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse Vegetables. Slice corn kernels off the cob with a sharp knife. Top and tail some slender green beans. Add the beans to a pot of boiling water; after a minute or two, when they are just about cooked, add the corn. After another minute or two, drain the veg and put them in a bowl with a little butter, salt, pepper and some chopped parsley or basil.
2. Warm Potato, Corn and Bacon Salad
Cook lots of bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towels. While the bacon is cooking, cut baby new potatoes (don’t peel them) into large chunks and put them in boiling salted water to cook for about 10 minutes, or until tender. Drain thoroughly and dump into a bowl. Add corn kernels cut from cobs and briefly blanched, or canned corn, plus chopped red bell pepper. Toss with your fave vinaigrette, then add the bacon, crumbled into large pieces, and toss again just before serving.
3. Corn Relish
From As Fresh as it Gets, recipes from the Tomato Fresh Food Café. In a medium pot, combine 1 c. fresh or canned corn kernels, 1/4 c. each diced celery, diced red bell pepper and diced onion, 2/3 c. vinegar, 2 T. sugar, 2-1/2 t. corn starch, 1 t. grated or minced fresh ginger, 1 t. Dijon mustard and 1/2 t. turmeric. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer 5 minutes, or until the relish thickens a bit. Cool and serve with your grilled meats and fishes. Makes about 1-1/2 c.
4. Ted Reader’s Grilled Corn Cobs
From his new book, Gastro Grilling. Peel the husk partway down corn cobs and remove as much silk as possible. Fold up the husks to cover the exposed cobs. Soak in warm water for 1 - 2 hours to allow the corn to soak up moisture that will create steam to help with the cooking. Grill the corn in the husk for 20 - 30 minutes, turning frequently, until the husk is charred and the corn kernels are tender. Peel the charred husks off the cobs and serve the corn immediately with butter and salt.
5. Ellen Kelly’s Corn Cakes
Ellen is a chef and writes the “eat this” column for City Palate. This recipe is from Mark Miller’s Coyote Cafe. Whisk together 3/4 c. flour, 1/2 c. coarse cornmeal,
1/2 t. baking powder, 1 t. each salt and sugar. In a large bowl, whisk together 1-1/4 c. buttermilk, 2 T. melted butter and 1 beaten egg. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk until well mixed. Fold 1/2 c. puréed and 1/2 c. whole corn kernels into the batter along with 2 thinly sliced green onions. Add some buttermilk if the batter seems to need a bit of thinning. Spoon the batter into a non-stick pan over medium heat to form 3” cakes. Cook until golden, about 2 - 3 minutes each side. Makes about 18 to 20 cakes. Eat with your fave protein and a green salad, or eat slathered with butter and maple syrup for breakfast, bacon on the side.
6. Corn & Mushroom Chowder
For when we have our inevitable cool weather in the middle of summer. From Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats by Allyson Kramer. In a skillet over medium heat, sauté 8 oz. cremini or button mushrooms, sliced, with 2 minced garlic cloves in 1 T. olive oil until soft. Season lightly with salt. Dump into a stockpot and add 1 small chopped red onion, 3 diced large, unpeeled yellow-skinned potatoes, 3 peeled and shredded carrots and 8 c. water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in 12 oz. fresh or canned corn. Reduce heat to medium-low, stir in 1 c. full-fat coconut milk and a slurry of 2 T. cornstarch mixed with 1/4 c. cold water. Simmer until slightly thickened, add salt and pepper to taste and serve hot with crusty bread. Serves 6-8.
7. Corny Polenta
This is so easy it’s scary. Make polenta using instant polenta, because it’s quickety-quick. Bring 4 c. of water to a boil with some salt and olive oil. Pull the pot off the heat, sprinkle in 1 c. instant polenta and whisk like crazy. Turn the heat down to low, put the pot back on the burner and keep whisking. The polenta will cook in about 5-ish minutes. When cooked, add a dollop of butter, if you like, and/or some grated cheese, then add a 12-oz. can of corn, including the juices. Stir well and eat with your fave protein and a green salad. Makes lots.