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Posts Tagged ‘corn on the cob’

Corn©StephenKolyer

 

The first corn of the season was simply boiled and eaten as is.  There are lots of debates on just how to prepare corn on the cob.  Personally, I love it best in the husk on the grill, but that only occurs when we are out of the city.  When boiling, some put the husked cobs into boiling salted water, some into boiling water that has been seasoned with lemon juice, sugar, and salt.  Some prefer putting the corn into cold water and bringing it to the boil.  Some just steam it, in or out of the husk.  I like to bring it to a boil in unsalted water, cover, and turn off the heat.  Then, I let the corn rest in the water for about 10 minutes or until I think it is done.  Works for me!   This first crop was not awe-inspiring, so we only ate one ear each.  I had an aunt who loved to make a contest of corn on the cob – I remember when I was about 5 or 6 years old or so and I watched in awe as she ate 8 ears and challenged everyone at the table to do better.  I’ve never beat her record.

The second green market find was absolutely sweet, tender, and delicious.  However, since I wasn’t trusting the outcome of leaving it on the cob, I stripped the kernels and added them to a mix of sliced broad beans, fava beans, and sweet pepper for an almost succotash.  I only added a pat of butter, about a couple of tablespoons of heavy cream I found in the fridge, and salt and pepper.  The mix was sweet, crisp, and sang of summer.

 

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My canning leaves a bit to be desired.  I never plan ahead, but just tackle the job when I have more produce than I know what to do with.  This time, it wasn’t me, but my buddy Lynn who saved bags full of corn which she had generously cut off the cob.  I didn’t check to see if we had all of the ingredients my mom used to make her relish, but simply forged ahead .  I will give you mom’s recipe ‘cause I know it works.  I used a little of this and a lot of that to make mine – it ended up being a little hotter than usual, but still tasty.  This should make about 4 pints.

6 cups fresh corn kernels
2 cups finely shredded green cabbage
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup diced red bell pepper
2 teaspoons celery seed
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
¾ cup sugar
1 cup white vinegar

Combine the corn with the cabbage, onions, bell pepper, celery seed, mustard seed, turmeric, mustard powder, and sugar in a large heavy-duty pot.  Stir in the vinegar and place over high heat.  Bring to a boil; then, lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove from the heat and pack into hot, sterilized jars.  Cover, tightly, and either cool, upside down on wire racks, and refrigerate or place into a canning pot and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.  Remove from the canner and cool, upside down, on wire racks.

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One summer, many, many years ago, we were a little short on cash but long on fresh corn on the cob.  My mom and I devised about as many ways as you could possibly imagine to make corn the center of the meal.  Chowders, stews, salads, puddings, and, our favorite, fritters alternated throughout the summer.  As you might have guessed after that summer, a couple of fresh ears of corn were about all I could manage come summer’s crop.  But, as the years passed I have often gone back to retrieve some of the recipes we created and the other evening I saved the leftover ears to make fritters for breakfast.  I like mine with a little dab of sour cream and Steve likes his wrapped around a couple of slices of turkey bacon (he’s currently on a weight watching regimen!), but lots of people like them with maple syrup.  Here’s the recipe – fritters can be used as a breakfast or brunch treat or as a side dish for roasts, grills, or braises.

 

2 cups corn kernels

2 large eggs, separated

¾ cup milk

3 tablespoons melted butter

½ teaspoon minced hot chile or ¼ chopped onion, optional (you can also add a 

good handful of chopped cooked bacon or ham)

1 cup cornmeal (I like the coarse ground kind)

½ cup all-purpose flour

Salt and pepper to taste

Clarified butter, peanut oil, or nonstick vegetable spray for frying

 

Place the corn in a mixing bowl.  Stir in the egg yolks, milk, and melted butter.

When blended, stir in the cornmeal and flour along with the optional chile or onion, if using.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place the egg whites in a small mixing bowl and, using a hand held electric mixer, beat until stiff peaks form.  Carefully fold the beaten egg whites into the batter.

Place a nonstick skillet or griddle over medium-high heat.  Add whatever fat you are using.  When hot, ladle in just enough batter to make 4 cakes about 2- to 2½-inches in diameter (or whatever number your skillet/griddle can easily fit).  Cook for about 4 minutes or until golden and beginning to set.  Turn and continue cooking for another 3 to 4 minutes or until golden and cooked through.  (Some cooks like to put a fair amount of fat into the pan, particularly butter or bacon fat so that the cakes absorb quite a bit of it – I don’t really like this idea as you have more taste of the fat and less of the corn.)

Remove from the skillet and serve hot.

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