Summer's coming to a close and what better way to enjoy it than with some fresh corn? Whether simply grilled or gussied up in salads, soups, and pastas, there're countless ways to use up the bounty. Fresh corn is notoriously short-lived; as soon as it's picked, its sugars begin to convert to starch. Less sugar means less of that delicate sweet corn flavor that everyone loves so use it as soon as possible after purchase.
When picking corn, look for bright green, moist husks with a golden brown tassel and try to get a feel for plump, full kernels. Keep ears cool and moist and place in the refrigerator until ready to use. There are a variety of ways to cook up and prepare fresh corn, whether it be through the grill, oven, stove top, or microwave. To speed up cooking time, I often husk ears, place them in a Ziploc bag, and use the microwave to cook them most of the way through and then finish browning them on the grill or stove top. However if you want to revert to the boiling method, add a couple of tablespoons of sugar to help the corn better retain its own sugars. Don't salt the water as it'll only toughen the kernels.
If you'd like to cook just the kernels, a common trick is to place it in the center of a bundt pan and slice off the nubbins into the pan, but I don't find it particularly difficult to just do it on a regular cutting board. To extract all the cornalicious juices, after slicing off the kernels use a spoon to press down the length of the ear and squeeze out all that goodness.
[After the jump, a deluge of corn.]
- Grilled Corn (Red Hook Ball Field Style)
- Fresh Corn Salad
- Sweet Corn Soup with Avocado Cream
- Buttermilk Bacon Corn Salad Tomatoes
- Sweet Summer Corn and Edamame Salad with Walnut-Miso Dressing
- Black Bean and Roasted Corn Salsa
- Fresh Corn Fritters
- Pasta with Corn, Tomato, and Asparagus
- Corn Pudding
Do you have any corn-centric recipes to share with us?