It's Time To Free Corn From The Cob!

I just realized that there's only a month left in summer and I haven't written anything about corn (other than this, which doesn't really count). Maybe corn has been done to death, but I still feel some kind of weird responsibility to sneak in a couple of recipes before the season's over.

That said, I'll keep it quick. Chances are that many of you have been eating corn on the cob very happily for the last few months. I have too, and the last thing you need is for me or anyone to tell you how to make it (1. Shuck corn. 2. Cook corn. 3. Eat corn). Instead, I want to make a brief but impassioned case for corn off the cob.

Corn on the cob has its limitations: whether you boil it, steam it, or grill it, its texture (toothsome) doesn't vary tremendously, and the range of things you can put on top of it (butter, cheese, saucy things) is pretty much confined to what will stick. Strip the kernels off the cob, however, and your options open up.

Here are two of my favorite examples. The first is a simple grilled corn salad with tomatoes, avocados and peppers, spiked with chili powder and lime juice. This is a versatile side dish that's also substantial enough to be a light meal (add some cooked black beans if you want to bulk it up); it's also pretty damn good wrapped up in a warm flour tortilla. If you need a refresher on how to cut the kernels off the cob, watch the video.

The second recipe is creamed corn. I know what you're thinking, and no, this bears no resemblance to the pasty stuff in the can. In fact, if you've never made it with freshly shucked corn, the recipe is kind of eye-opening. This version lets you adjust the thickness to your liking, and comes with a handful of variations if you want to switch up the flavors (things like pesto, cheese, even clams). I can't even begin to tell you what a worthwhile 20 minutes this is.

Ok, that's my requisite corn PSA for summer 2019. Stay tuned for the next installment in about a year.

—Mark


This time of year, anyone who cooks thinks of grilling, corn, and tomatoes. I think the simplest — and best — thing to do is to put that all together into a light, versatile salad. Grilling the corn is an easy way to deepen its sweetness, and a healthy dose of lime juice will make almost any salad better.

GRILLED CORN SALAD


All I can say is, if you’ve never made this with freshly shucked corn, you may pass out with pleasure. The cornstarch, which will thicken the mixture and make it more like the canned creamed corn some of us grew up with, is entirely optional. This recipe will get you started on some ideas for additions, though the possibilities are endless. Shrimp, chunks of firm fish, mussels, shucked oysters, and bits of smoked salmon are all surprisingly good. Add them as you would the clams in the last variation.

CREAMED CORN


Talk To Me, Goose!

Questions, comments, brilliant suggestions? Just want to share the recipe for your grandma's potato salad, or your mom's meatloaf, or your uncle Drew's three-day 100-percent rye loaf (yes, please)? Don't hesitate to reach out anytime.