Posts Tagged ‘corn’

By now, I’m sure you’ve seen those videos where the person takes corn still in the husk, pops it in the microwave, and then slips out a perfect ear of corn without any silk minutes later. If you haven’t, here’s one of them…

There are 2 problems with this method: 1) It takes forever to do a dozen ears…and 2) It ruins the damn corn!

corn1

Here in New England, people lose their minds over fresh corn. They rush to farm stands first thing in the morning, and knock each other over to grab the largest, freshest ears they can find. Much to the chagrin of farmers, they peel the stalk off the top of a dozen ears before they find the one they want to keep. It’s an embarrassing scene usually reserved for morons fighting over sale items at Wal*Mart.

So why, then, if you’re that passionate about fresh corn, do you stick it in a microwave and nuke the living hell out of it? Fresh corn needs a minimalist approach. It should be eaten practically raw…not bombarded with gamma rays and dehydrated in to shriveled kernels.

I love my corn right off the cob…and I still stick to the tried-and-true method of putting it in a pot of water and boiling it for a very short time. Do I get a few strands of silk? Sure. That’s part of the deal. Real corn has silk…just like real fish has bones. Get over it.

My wife and daughter like their corn off the cob. In that case, I shuck the corn, stand the ear up in a bowl while it’s still raw, and slice down with a knife to remove the kernels. I then lightly saute the corn in a pan with unsalted organic butter and a pinch of Fleur de Sel. Those pieces that have several rows of kernels, across and down, are the favorites.

corn2

 

One other way I’ve cooked corn is the “cooler corn” method, which is great when you have a large crowd to feed. Get your favorite cooler and make sure it’s clean inside. Shuck your corn and place the ears in the cooler. Boil a large pot of water on the stove and then pour the hot water over the corn. Close the cooler lid tightly and let it sit for about 30 minutes. You will have perfect corn every time.

Lastly, although it’s probably tough to find these days, go for organic non-GMO corn when possible. If your local farmer doesn’t grow it, give him a rash of crap!

 

 

Corn and tomatoes…when they’re in season, you just can’t beat the combination! This is a very simple salsa that takes advantage of their natural sweetness and is easy to make.

salsa

 

Ingredients:

 

1 lb frozen organic corn or equivalent fresh

2 ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped

1/4 small red onion, finely chopped

6 oz mild crumbled cheese, like feta, cotija, or queso fresco

1 teaspoon Fleur de Sel

A pinch of black pepper

2 teaspoons white vinegar

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

 

If using fresh corn, remove it from the ears, then pan saute  in a little olive oil, but leave it nice and crisp. If you can roast the ears of corn over some coals, even better. Let it cool.

Mix corn with all the other ingredients in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate.

Last summer, we had a party with 100+ people. I needed something fresh that highlighted the veggies of the season. When I spotted these baby bell peppers in the supermarket, I came up with this tasty, crunchy appetizer.

Ingredients:

Baby bell peppers

1 dozen ears fresh corn, removed from the cob…or organic frozen corn

1 Vidalia onion, peeled, quartered, grilled, chopped

Juice of 1 large lime

¾ cup mayonnaise

20 shots of Frank’s Red Hot

1 lb Queso Fresco, crumbled

Salt and pepper

Fresh cilantro or parsley, finely chopped

Cut corn from ears, and saute very briefly in a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in a bowl and let cool.

Peel and quarter the Vidalia onion, and throw it on a hot grill with a little olive oil to get some nice grill marks on it, leaving the onion still crispy, not soft. Remove, let cool, then place in a food processor and pulse until the onion is chopped into small bits, just smaller than the corn kernels. Add onions to corn.

In a separate small bowl, combine mayonnaise and Frank’s Red Hot. Pour in crumbled Queso Fresco and mix well. Pour into corn and onion bowl and mix well.

Add lime juice to the bowl and mix well again. Taste mixture and season with salt and pepper.

Cut the baby bell peppers in half lengthwise, and remove the seeds and membrane. Stuff the peppers with the corn mixture and garnish with cilantro or parsley.

If preparing ahead of time, refrigerate until ready to eat, but allow some time for them to warm up to room temp a bit.

SUMMER ISN’T OVER YET!

OK…at least I refuse to think so.

It’s still not too late to enjoy the fresh fruits and veggies that our local farmers have to offer. Soon, we’ll be forced to go back to the supermarket to buy our produce. But until then, we can enjoy the bright, fresh flavors that only our local farmers can provide.

Oven roasted plum tomatoes

These are not sun dried tomatoes. These are seasoned and slow roasted, so that their sweet flavors concentrate, but the moist, chewy texture remains.

Ingredients:

12 to 18 halved, seeded plum tomatoes

Extra virgin olive oil

Sugar

Freshly ground pepper

Fleur de Sel, or other finishing salt

Pre-heat oven to 250.

Line a baking sheet with foil and rub it with olive oil.

Arrange halved and seeded tomatoes on the baking sheet in a single layer, cut side up. Drizzle evenly with ½ cup olive oil, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar, and season with pepper to taste.

Baked the tomatoes until they are still juicy but slightly wrinkled, about 3 hours. Transfer to a platter and let cool slightly.

Just before serving, sprinkle tomatoes with Fleur de Sel, and garnish, if you like, with mint, parsley or basil.

 

BABY BELL PEPPERS WITH FRESH CORN STUFFING

Bags of these baby bell peppers are appearing everywhere on supermarket shelves this season. Recently, I had about 100 people over for a party, and I came up with this tasty bite to serve as an appetizer.

Ingredients:

Baby bell peppers

1 dozen ears fresh corn, boiled for just a couple of minutes, then removed from the cob…or organic frozen corn

1 Vidalia onion, peeled, quartered, grilled, chopped

Juice of 1 large lime

¾ cup mayonnaise

20 shots of Frank’s Red Hot or Tabasco

1 lb Queso Fresco, crumbled

Salt

Fresh cilantro or parsley, finely chopped

Cook the corn for just a couple of minutes to keep it crisp. If using corn on the cob, cut corn from ears and place in a bowl.

Peel and quarter the Vidalia onion, and throw it on a hot grill with a little olive oil to get some nice grill marks on it, leaving the onion still crispy, not soft. Remove, let cool, then place in a food processor and pulse until the onion is chopped into small bits, just smaller than the corn kernels. Add onions to corn.

In a separate small bowl, combine mayonnaise and Frank’s Red Hot. Pour in crumbled Queso Fresco and mix well. Pour into corn and onion bowl and mix well.

Add lime juice to the bowl and mix well again. Taste mixture and season with salt.

Cut the baby bell peppers in half lengthwise, and remove the seeds and membrane. Stuff the peppers with the corn mixture and garnish with cilantro or parsley.

If preparing ahead of time, refrigerate until ready to eat, but allow some time for them to warm up a little bit. You don’t want to serve them ice cold.