Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Corn on the Cob

How often do you see a good sale price of fresh corn on the cob at the supermarket? I usually only ever buy fresh corn on the cob when it is no more than a quarter an ear. So what happens is you get caught up with that great sale price and get a few too many ears than you really need? Well, I will get to that later but first, how do you cook that great, fresh ear of corn? 

Here is my favorite and usually, only way I ever cook corn on the cob. Instead of  pulling off all of those husks and dealing with all of that silk, leave them on and simple trim the tip end off with a chef’s knife to get off any cornworm mess or unformed kernels. Leave the husk on and put all of the corn into a sink full of water. I will soak the ears in water for about a half hour, letting the water get into the ear and letting the outer husks to get pretty well soaked. Put all of these on your grill, medium heat, turning every 10 minutes or so to get all 4 sides of the ear cooked well. You can close the lid on the grill if you use a low heat. Now you can’t actually see the corn to know it is cooked, so you will have to go by how browned the husks are. Seriously, if you use a medium to medium low flame, the outer 2 layers of husk should be pretty well dried out and browned. It’s okay, the corn will be fine. Now, using a pot holder, hold the ear by the base and pull the husk off. All of the layers of husk will pull right off with one pull on each side. The silk will usually come right off with the husk, but otherwise you will find it comes off A LOT easier than before it is cooked. Smother this ear in butter and salt & pepper and enjoy. You will find that this corn will be more flavorful than anything you cooked in a pot of water. The water trapped between the husk layers will steam the corn and the dry heat from the grill will condense the flavors of the corn as it burns the steam off and any burned or browned kernels from the grill will actually have MORE flavor. If you ever had fresh corn at the state fair, this is it!! Save the $3-$4 you would pay at the fair and do it yourself.

So what do you do with all of this extra corn you have now? How about fresh corn the next night for dinner? Basically, for any recipe you make, all you have to do cut the kernels off the cob and use it any other way you would use corn. You can do this with a special device, also known as a corn on the cob stripper for removing the kernels or just use your  chef’s knife and cut down the cob at the base of the kernels. One of my family’s favorite meals from this is corn chowder. A basic soup recipe of thickened stock (a veloute) with an assortment of veggies- celery, onion, peppers, corn of course, and a bit of cream to finish before serving. Awesome!!

If you are really inundated with extra corn or want to stock up for the winter, take the decobbed corn and lay it in a single layer on a sheet pan lined with wax or parchment paper. Put this pan in the freezer for 2 hours and let the corn get frozen solid. Loosen off the pan, put into quart zipper bags and put the bags back into the freezer. Using the 1 quart size will give you just enough corn to pull out one bag and have just enough for a meal. 

Other suggestions, to offer just a few ideas, are Mexican corn, corn o’ brien, succotash, simple buttered corn. We also like to use our favorite Cajun Spices or Mexican pepper spice blend on it and add a bit of kick to the corn. 

It may be corny, but Chef Cheapo saves you money and helps you eat better.

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