Cooking

What to do with Corn on (and off!) the Cob

August 5, 2013

CornPlease note: Eileen Goltz is a freelance kosher food writer. The Orthodox Union makes no endorsements or representations regarding kashrut certification of various products/vendors referred to in her articles, blog or web site.

When you’re looking to pick the very best, sweetest and most succulent ears of corn you don’t have to pull back the husks all the way to the bottom to find out if they are “good.” You also don’t really need to worry about bugs until late in the season when the stuff being picked has been out there since day one. You should look for ears that have bright green husks that are damp (sticky) yellow to brown colored silks poking out of the top.  If the tassels are black or dry, the corn is old.

The truth of the matter is there is no correlation between the color of corn and its sweetness. (Yes, I know that countless numbers of you are getting ready to blast me an e-mail to set me straight but trust me on this: good corn is good corn no matter the color). The preference is personal. To make sure your corn is eaten at the peak of perfections you need to know that as soon as the ear is picked, its sugar begins to convert to starch, reducing its sweetness level. Corn can lose 25% or more of its sugar within a day of picking so, if you can, cook and serve your corn the day it’s picked.

For many, the shucking (or husking if you prefer) part is easy, it’s getting those pesky silky string off that’s the problem. A quick trick is to rub down the ear with a wet paper towel. If you plan on boiling or grilling your ear great, you’re good to go. If, however, you want to cut the kernels off the cob, stand it on end and run a sharp paring knife straight down the sides.

If for some inexplicable reason you can’t consume all 3 dozen ears the day you buy them or you can’t find any fresh corn you can boost the sweetness of the ears by adding a bit of sugar to the boiling water. Use about 1 teaspoon sugar for each quart of water you boil it in.

Corn Equivalents:

One medium ear of corn = about 3/4 cup of corn kernels

Two medium ears of corn = 1 cup corn kernels

One (10-ounce) package frozen corn kernels = 1 3/4 cups corn kernels

 

EILEEN’S RECIPE FOR PERFECT CORN ON THE COB

Use a large pot. One big enough to hold 3 to 4 ears of corn at a time. Make sure there is room in the pan for water to cover the corn when it’s being cooked. Fill 2/3’s full with water. Cover and bring the water to a boil. Add the corn ears (no more than 4 or 5 at a time and cook on high (covered or not, you choice) for 3 to 4 minutes but no more. Seriously, no longer than the amount of time it takes for the kernels to get really hot. Drain and serve immediately. Toppings like butter, salt, pepper are options.

 

FRESH CORN CUSTARD TART (dairy)

8 large eggs

1 1/4 cup whipping cream

2 tablespoons maple syrup (use the real stuff)

4 to 5 cups bread chunks (I use French or Italian or Challah)

1 1/2 cups corn (from 3 medium ears)

2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

Grease a 9X9 baking pan and set it aside. In a large bowl combine the eggs, cream, and maple syrup. Mix to combine. Add the bread, corn, tarragon, salt and pepper and mix to combine. Let sit for 20 minutes. (you can make the custard to this point and let it sit over night if you want to make it for breakfast the next day) While it’s sitting preheat the oven to 375. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and bake until puffed and set in center, 30 to 40 minutes. Cool 10 minutes the cut into 8 pieces. Serves 8

My file source unknown

 

FRESH CORN GRIDDLE CAKES (dairy or pareve)

1 egg

1 cup milk or non dairy substitute

3/4 cup cornmeal

1/2 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon dried tarragon or marjoram (or 2 teaspoons minced fresh)

6 green onions, sliced thin, divided in half

1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped

2 cups fresh corn kernels

1/4 cup oil

Sour cream or yogurt (optional)

In a bowl combine the egg and milk and whisk them together. Add the cornmeal, flour, salt, baking powder and stir to combine. Fold in 1/2 of the chopped green onions, the chopped jalapeño, and corn. Mix to combine.

In a large frying pan heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Spoon approx 1/4 cup batter into the hot pan. Cook for 3 minutes, flip the griddle cake over (only flip it once) and continue cooking until its golden brown. It should be about 6 minutes total cooking time. Repeat the process with the remaining batter, adding more oil as needed so they don’t stick. Serve with sour cream and the remaining sliced green onions.

Submitted by Lois Kalet, West Orange NJ

 

CORN CHOWDER (meat)

2 slices kosher breakfast beef, chopped

1 onion, chopped

3 tablespoons flour

1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and chopped

6 cups chicken broth

4 cups shredded cooked chicken

Kernels from 3 ears corn (about 3 cups)

1/4 to 1/2 cup non dairy creamer

Salt and pepper to taste

2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped (garnish)

1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and chopped (garnish)

1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves (garnish)

2 limes cut into wedges (garnish)

In a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat, cook the breakfast beef until the meat starts to brown. Add the onion and cook until the onions begin to soften, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring for about 3 minutes and the flour starts to turn a little brown. Add the potatoes and broth. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook about 7 to 10 minutes when the broth starts to thicken and the potatoes are tender add the chicken and corn and bring the soup back to a boil for 1 minute. Reduce the heat, and gently stir in the non dairy cream. Cook for 2 to 3 more minutes, season with salt and pepper and serve. You can garnish with tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, a squirt or two of lime juice, and pepper to taste.

Modified from epicurean.com

 

CRAZY MIXED UP CORN SALAD (pareve)

2 lbs green beans, trimmed, blanched

2 cups corn kernels

1 red bell pepper, finely chopped

1 small red onion, finely chopped

2/3 to 1 cup black olives cut in half or slices

1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

1/4 cup olive oil

3 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 tablespoon sugar

Hot sauce, such as Tabasco (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

1 head of red leaf or romaine lettuce shredded

In a large bowl combine the corn, green beans, bell pepper, onion, olives and basil. Toss to coat. Add the oil, vinegar, sugar, lemon juice, and garlic; toss to mix well. Season with salt, and pepper and hot sauce if you like a little kick to your salad. Place the shredded lettuce in a salad bowl. Add the corn mixture, toss to combine and serve. Serves 8.

My file source unknown

 

CORNED BEEF AND CORN HASH (meat)

Potato cubes take time to cook but you can speed the process up microwaving or steaming them for a few minutes prior to putting them in the pan.

1/2 pound corned beef (or bacon), cut into bite sized pieces

1 pound red potatoes (3 + cups), diced into 1/4- to 1/2-inch cubes

Salt and pepper

4 ears fresh corn (2 1/2 to 3 cups)

5 or 6 green onions, thinly sliced

6 eggs

In a skillet cook the corned beef or bacon until it starts to sizzle and get a bit crunchy. Remove the corned beef to paper towels to drain but leave the grease in the pan. Heat the remaining fat in the pan and add the potatoes. Season with pepper and a little salt.  Cook until the potatoes start to brown on the bottom and then flip them so they become totally browned on all sides.  Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain any excess into a skillet and set it aside. Add the corn the potato mixture. Mix to combine and stir to make sure it doesn’t stick. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, add the corned beef or bacon and mix to combine. Cook the eggs, sunny side up in the skillet. Divide the potato mixture between 6 plates and top each with an egg and sliced green onion and serve. Serves 6

Modified from about.com

© Eileen Goltz corn 13a