Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Corn Corn Corn!

As promised, here are a couple corn recipes to keep you busy through the season.

Fresh Corn Pancakes, from The Bitten Word.  Click here for the recipe.
This is the second time I have made these cakes, and I love the option of making them a sweet or savory meal.  Add maple syrup if you want it on the sweet side, or add some tomatillo salsa, queso fresco, and an egg for a variation on huevos rancheros.
My friend actually made corn chowder yesterday.  He said it was great as far as flavor goes, but he would add more potato and maybe some celery to lighten it up.  He also mentioned that making the Cheater's Homemade Broth ahead of time would help break up the work load. 
Corn Chowder from The Splendid Table's How To Eat Supper, serves 4:
-4 slices bacon, sliced into 1/8-inch-wide pieces
-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
-1 medium to large onion, chopped into 1/2 inch dice
-2 bay leaves, broken
-4 to 5 sprigs fresh thyme
-1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
-1/8 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper, or to taste
-1 medium (7 ounces) red-skin potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
-4 large garlic cloves, coarse chopped
-1 recipe Cheater's Homemade Broth (click here for the recipe, seriously so good) or two 14-ounce cans chicken or vegetable broth
-1 pound (3 1/3 cups) Niblets frozen corn with no sauce; or kernels from 8 ears fresh corn
-2 cups milk or cream, or a blend of both
-1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
-2 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

1. Put the bacon, olive oil, onion, bay leaves, thyme sprigs, salt, and pepper in a 6-quart pot.  Saute over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to color, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the potato, garlic, and broth.  Cover the pot tightly and simmer the soup over medium to medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until the potato is tender.
2. Stir in corn, milk or cream, and Tabasco.  Remove from the heat.  Pull out the thyme sprigs and bay leaves.  With a slotted spoon, transfer about one-third of the solids to a food processor or blender.  Blend for a few seconds to crush the corn.  Return mix to the pot.
3. Heat the chowder to a bubble, and taste it for seasoning.  Serve immediately (so the corn doesn't overcook), topped with the parsley.

The soup can be made several days ahead up to the point of adding the corn.  Refrigerate, then rewarm before adding corn.

And for those of you that are lucky enough to have a grill, try this "Drippy" Mexican Sweet Corn on the Cob from The Splendid Table's How To Eat Supperserves 6:

-6 to 8 ears fresh sweet corn, husks removed
-12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) salted butter, melted
-Salt and fresh-ground black pepper
-2 cups Mexican crema or sour cream
-About 3 cups fresh-grated Mexican Queso Anejo or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
-1/2 cup hot chile powder

1. Prepare an outdoor grill.  When the coals are completely covered wth gray ash, grill the corn about 4 inches from the coals, turning the ears often with tongs and brushing them several times with butter.  After about 5 minutes, or when the corn is beginning to color, remove the ears to a platter.  Sprinkle them lightly with salt and pepper.
2.  Place the crema in one shallow bowl, the cheese on a large plate, and the chile powder in a salt shaker.
3.  Let the corn cool until it is easy to handle, but still warm.  Roll the ears of corn in the crema, draining off some of the excess.  Then roll them in the cheese.  Finish the ears by sprinkling them with the chile powder to taste, and drizzling each one with a little more crema and melted butter.

For a variation, try chile-lime corn on the cob (definitely more up my alley):
Grill the corn, brushing the ears with butter, then roll each one simply in fresh-squeezed lime juice (about 1 cup) and sprinkle it liberally with hot chile powder.

In a pinch, Lynne Rossetto Kasper says the corn can be cooked on a stove top grill or under the broiler.

Happy corn eating!

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