Corn is Back. Let the Feast Begin.
Plucked out of the hot water, drained and placed onto a platter, we seasoned the ears with sweet butter, sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Old School, simple and delicious.
At the Palisades and Santa Monica farmers markets, corn commands a premium, selling for $1.00/ear or 3 ears for $2.00. When we visit my wife's mom in New Jersey, we shop at Wegman's, a local supermarket with affordable pricing and Whole Foods quality. There, the corn can sell for much less. Depending on the supply, the corn can sell for as little as 6 ears for $1.00. Whatever the price, Jersey corn is famous for being especially tender and sweet.
For July 4th, a friend splurged and brought a dozen ears of corn to our fireworks-watching picnic. With a great many dishes to share, we had left-over corn. I volunteered to transform what was left into other dishes.
First thing was to cut the kernels off the cobs. Cooked corn can be added to salads, stews, soups and stir fries. I love mixing the sweet-crunchy kernels to egg salad and potato salad. As a side with charred steak or grilled chicken, butter poached corn with a dusting of cayenne is delicious.
With the July 4th corn, I made corn stock, corn chowder, braised chicken with carrots, mushrooms and corn, corn and parsley salad and roasted corn to use in a green salad.
If a large number of cobs are not available at any one time, save them in an air tight plastic bag in the freezer. When a dozen or more are available, you can rinse off any freezer crystals and drop them into a pot of boiling water as described below.
Time to cook: 45 minutes
12 or more corn cobs, kernels removed
Cook uncovered and simmer 45 minutes to reduce the volume by half.
Taste. The stock should have a mild flavor. Drain and discard the cobs. Use stock immediately or place in small air tight containers and freeze for future use.
The vegan/vegetarian version made with corn stock has its own unique, clean flavor. You can also use clam, lobster or chicken stock, preferably home made.
Time to prepare: 10 minutes
Time to cook: 30 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
4 cups cooked or raw corn kernels removed from the cobs
1 small yellow onion, peeled, stem & root removed, washed, finely chopped
2 cups shiitake mushrooms
1 cup Italian parsley leaves, washed, pat dried, stems removed
4 cups stock, preferably corn stock or homemade chicken stock
Dusting of cayenne (optional)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons sweet butter (optional)
In a large saucepan, heat olive oil on medium flame. Add onions. Stir and cook until softened but not browned.
Add mushrooms and parsley. Stir and cook until softened but not browned.
Add corn kernels. Mix well. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. If desired, add sweet butter and cayenne (optional). Cook 5 minutes to combine flavors.
Add stock. Stir well. Raise heat to a simmer. After 10 minutes, taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Reduce flame to medium. Cook another 15 minutes. Taste and make final flavor adjustments.
Serve hot with steamed rice, pasta, buttered bread, croutons or a salad.