At the Kieffer house, we wait for July 4th with MUCH anticipation. Not for the celebration of our great nation. Not for the fireworks and not for the parties (well, maybe). We love the 4th because the local farm markets finally have local sweet white corn on the cob. During the few short months corn comes into season, we are corn crazy. My husband who never thinks about food, except to eat it-he assumes that a fully cooked meal appears before him daily by magic- questions whether I’ve picked up some corn. This happens at least 3 times/week. He will even enter a farm market BY HIMSELF (!) in the beginning of the season if I have been neglectful.
I have learned that in couple of weeks following the first corn appearing locally, I should only cook a minimum of other food because it will be ignored and a dozen ears of corn will be consumed for dinner. That’s with my help, of course-I’m a bit corn crazy myself. Until this year, we had a nearby farmer who was the “Corn Whisperer”. I don’t know how she did it, but she had the very best corn grown out in the back of her stand. Small pearls of kernels bursting with juice and so tender, you didn’t need to chew. If you timed it right, you could buy the corn right off the wagon coming in from the fields several times a day. That’s when I could eat a dozen myself.
Alas, she has sold the farm stand and now the corn comes from about an hour away. It’s fresh- especially compared to the dried-up silk and husk numbers they sell in the supermarket-but it’s most definitely not the same. The cobs are bigger and the kernels starchier and it’s not as sweet. I’m not sure if it’s the variety or that they let it get too large in the belief that the customer will value the larger size more because corn is sold by the piece, not the weight.
In any case, no matter where you get your corn, many of us get in a quandary as to what to do with the several ears that are left over after a meal. Of course, you can cut it off the cob and freeze it-which I do toward the end of the season. But why waste FRESH corn and make it FROZEN corn when it’s at its’ peak? Here’s one of my quick go to recipes every summer.
- 2 TBL. butter
- 1/2 C. chopped shallots (about 2 largish)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
- 1 hot pepper, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
- 2 generous C. fresh cooked corn kernels (from about 4 ears)
- ½ C. heavy cream, divided
- 2 TBL. bourbon
- 1 C. chopped green onions (about 4-5), divided
Melt the butter in a heavy skillet over medium high heat.
Add the shallots and garlic and sauté 2 minutes.
Add the peppers (and the optional hot pepper) and sauté 1 minute.
Add the corn and sauté until beginning to brown slightly, about 2 minutes.
Add ¼ C. of cream and the bourbon and simmer until the sauce thickens and coats the corn.
Add the remaining ¼ C. of cream and ¼ C. of green onions and simmer about 2 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle the remaining green onions over the corn.
Idea: Top with grilled chicken, steak, or fish and you’ve got a meal.
…and if anyone knows of another “Corn Whisper”, please let me know. I’m on the hunt for my local dream corn again.