Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sweet Corn Recipes

6 ears corn, husks on
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
3 tablespoons fresh herbs, such as oregano or thyme, minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Prepare a gas or charcoal grill. While grill is heating, prepare corn. Carfully pull husks back from corn one layer at a time, leaving several layers attached at the base. Peel off silk and discard. Rinse cobs with cool water and pat dry. Rub with butter, then sprinkle with herbs, salt, and pepper. Carefully pull closest layer of husks back over corn and rip off outer layers. Tie top of husks with kitchen twine or a piece of outer husk. Grill corn for 5 to 6 minutes, turning often.

2. Serve with butter, salt, and pepper.

Bell pepper and corn slaw
6 large bell peppers, assorted colors
2 ears corn, shucked
Juice of 2 lemons, or to taste
Zest of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon chipotle or New Mexico chile powder, or to taste
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1. Core the peppers and cut them into lengthwise strips no thicker than one-eighth inch and about 2 1/2 inches long. Place the sliced pepper in a large bowl.

2. Slice the kernels off the corn, and toss them with the peppers.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, zest, garlic, olive oil, agave syrup, salt and chipotle powder to form a dressing. Taste and adjust to taste.

4. Pour the dressing over the peppers and toss well to coat completely. Stir in the cilantro and toss until evenly combined. This makes about 6 cups slaw.

5. Cover and refrigerate the pepper slaw at least 1 hour before serving. The slaw will keep for up to 2 days, refrigerated.

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
2 eggs, beaten
2-4 ears fresh corn, husked, simmered 7-8 minutes,
and corn cut from the cob (about 1-1/2 cups)
Additional butter for the baking dish

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter a 2-quart casserole dish, such as ceramic, pottery, or Pyrex.

2. Melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook 2 minutes. Whisk in milk. Whisking constantly, bring to a boil, reduce heat slightly and simmer 2 minutes. Stir in sugar, salt, and pepper. This white sauce may be prepared one day ahead. If so, film the sauce with plastic wrap or butter to prevent a skin from forming, cool, cover, and refrigerate.

3. Beat the eggs and stir into the white sauce. Stir in the corn. Pour into a well-buttered casserole dish, filling no more than 2/3 full.

4. Bake at 350°F for 35-45 minutes, or until set. The soufflĂ© will fall slightly as it cools.

Cooking spray
3 cups fresh or thawed frozen corn
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/4 cups Arborio rice
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 cup shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

2. Spread corn onto a baking sheet and season with salt and black pepper. Roast 15 minutes, until golden brown.

3. Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook 3 minutes, until soft. Add thyme and cook 1 minute, until fragrant. Add rice and cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add 1/2 cup broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low. When liquid is absorbed, add another 1/2 cup broth. Continue cooking and adding broth in 1/2 cup measurements until all broth is absorbed and rice is tender (about 20 minutes from start to finish). Stir in roasted corn and cheese and stir until cheese melts. Remove from heat and stir in parsley. Season, to taste, with salt and black pepper.

5-6 ears corn, shucked, cooked, and cut off the cob (about 3 cups kernels)
Salt for the corn cooking water
1 pound tomatoes, seeded and diced (about 1-1/2 cups)
1/3 cup oil such as canola
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon minced onion
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated white pepper
2 tablespoons fresh chopped herbs such as parsley, chilves, or basil

1. Bring a large pot (6-8 quarts) of unsalted water to a boil. Drop in the shucked ears of corn, turn the heat off, cover, and let the corn steep in the hot water for 6-8 minutes. Remove the corn from the hot water and allow to cool until you can handle it comfortably. Cut the corn from the cob and set aside in a large bowl. The corn may be prepared one day ahead. Cover and refrigerate until ready to make the salad.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons of the oil with the vinegar, mustard, salt, onion, and pepper until well blended. Slowly whisk in the remaining oil until well-blended and slightly thickened. May be refrigerated up to three days.

3. When you are ready to prepare the salad, drain any liquid from the corn, reserving 2 tablespoons. Whisk the corn liquid into the dressing. Halve the tomatoes horizontally, remove the seeds, and dice. Toss the corn and tomatoes with the dressing. Chop the herbs and toss with the dressing at the last minute.

This works best with fresh corn; frozen just won't cut it. Serve with toast and sliced tomatoes that have been dressed with a little olive oil, vinegar and sea salt.
(1 serving)
Kernels from 1 ear of corn, either raw or grilled (about 3/4 cup)
2 large eggs
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 to 6 basil leaves, rolled up, then cut crosswise into thin slices
About 1 ounce freshly grated smoked mozzarella cheese
(may substitute fresh mozzarella, cut into small
dice and drained well on paper towels)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1. Place the corn in a small nonstick skillet or crepe pan; add a few tablespoons of water and cook over medium heat for a few minutes, until heated through.

2. While the corn is cooking, combine the eggs and a tablespoon of water in a medium bowl; beat lightly.

3. Drain the water from the corn, then add the corn to the eggs along with a few pinches of salt, pepper to taste and the basil. Add the cheese and stir to combine.

4. Wipe out the skillet or crepe pan, then add the butter over medium-high heat. Once it starts to foam, add the corn and egg mixture and stir once or twice in the skillet or pan. Cover with a plate (the one you'll use to eat the omelet) and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes, until pale golden on the bottom, then carefully invert the omelet onto the plate and slide it back into the skillet or pan. Cook for 1 or 2 minutes, just until the omelet has set. Transfer to the plate; eat while the omelet's hot.

5. Alternatively, if you'd rather not flip the omelet, you can position an oven rack 4 inches from the broiling element and preheat the broiler. Use an ovenproof skillet; once the corn-egg mixture has been added to the melted butter, transfer the skillet to the oven and broil for about 2 minutes, just until set.

(1 serving)
1 medium (3 ounces) poblano chili pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
1 small or 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 medium clove garlic, minced (1 teaspoon)
Kernels from 1 ear of corn (about 3/4 cup)
1 1/2 cups corn broth (may substitute vegetable broth or water)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons yogurt

1. Place the poblano directly on a gas burner over medium-high heat. Cook, turning it occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes or until it is charred all over. (Alternatively, position an oven rack 4 inches from the broiling element and preheat the broiler. Place the poblano on a piece of aluminum foil, then on the rack to broil for 10 to 15 minutes; turn frequently until charred all over.)

2. Transfer the poblano to a plastic food storage bag and seal, or place in a small bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. When cool enough to handle, discard the blackened skin, stem and seeds, then finely chop the remaining flesh to yield about 3 tablespoons. (It is easier to remove the skin under running water, but some cooks say that washes away flavor.)

3. Combine the oil and butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. When the butter starts foaming, add the onion, garlic and all but 1 tablespoon of the chopped poblano; cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 6 minutes, until the onion is translucent and soft. Add the corn and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Add the corn broth and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

4. Use an immersion (stick) blender to puree and create a slightly chunky, thickened soup. (Alternatively, transfer the mixture to a blender; remove the center cap of the lid and place a clean dish towel over the opening. This will allow steam to escape. Puree until smooth.) Season with salt and pepper to taste.

5. To serve, spoon a dollop of yogurt in the center of the soup, if desired, and garnish with the remaining tablespoon of chopped poblano.

I like to use cobs, husks and even silks for as much corn flavor as possible. This broth can be used as the base of soups such as Corn-Poblano (see recipe above). It also can stand in for chicken broth in corn risotto and can be added in increments to sauces for a boost of corn flavor.

MAKE AHEAD: The broth can be cooled, then portioned into several heavy-duty resealable plastic food storage bags or ice cube trays. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months. Makes 9 to 10 cups

8 whole ears of corn
12 cups water

1. Rinse the corn, removing the husks and silks. Discard any blackened spots of silk, then roughly cut the remaining husks and silks into 2- or 3-inch pieces and place them in a large stockpot. Use a vegetable brush and running water to remove any remaining silks from the ears.

2. Use a small knife or corn zipper to remove the kernels; reserve for another use (freezing them if necessary). Cut the stripped cobs into 2- or 3-inch pieces and add them to the pot.

3. Add the water and place the pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low; cover and cook undisturbed for about 1 hour or until very fragrant.

4. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer into a large bowl, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the husks, cobs and silks. Strain again as needed to remove any remaining silks.

5. The broth can be used right away; or let it cool to room temperature, then portion and refrigerate or freeze for future use.

This soup is all about corn, intensely so. If your corn isn’t sweet, the soup will be dull, so make sure it’s good before you begin. Use the cobs for the stock and the kernels for the soup. The soup should be velvety smooth and very fragrant. Don’t skip the straining step.

For the stock:
The cobs from 3 large ears corn
1 small onion, quartered
1/2 pound carrots, sliced
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
2 quarts water
Salt to taste

For the soup:
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 small or 1/2 medium sweet onion, chopped
Salt, preferably kosher salt, to taste
Kernels from 3 ears corn

For garnish:
Cooked kernels from 1 ear of corn

1. Make the stock: Combine the corn cobs, quartered onion, carrots, garlic and water in a large soup pot, and bring to a boil. Season with a small amount of salt (you will be reducing this broth, so don’t salt fully at this point). Reduce the heat, cover and simmer one hour. Strain and return to the pot. Bring to a boil, and reduce to 5 cups. Taste and adjust seasoning.

2. Heat the oil in a heavy soup pot, and add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, until tender, about five minutes, and add the corn kernels. Cook gently for about three minutes, stirring, and add the stock. Bring to a simmer, cover and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.

3. Transfer to a blender in 1 to 1 1/2-cup batches, taking care to cover the top with a towel to avoid hot splashes, and blend the soup until smooth. Put through a medium strainer, pressing the soup through with the bottom of a ladle or with a spatula, and return to the pot. Heat through, taste and adjust seasonings. Place a generous spoonful of corn in each bowl, ladle in the soup, and serve.

3 tbsp. olive oil
11/2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. honey
1/2 small red onion, minced
Salt and pepper
3/4 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut in half crosswise
2 ears corn, kernels removed from cobs
1/2 lb. frozen lima beans
2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil

1. Stir the oil, lemon juice, honey, red onion, salt and pepper together in a small bowl.

2. Bring 21/2 quarts of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add 1 teaspoon salt and the green beans and cook for 1 minute. Add the corn and lima beans and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.

3. Drain the vegetables into a colander and rinse them under cold running water until cool. Drain the vegetables well and transfer to a serving bowl.

4. Toss the vegetables with the dressing to coat evenly. Stir in the basil and season with salt and pepper to