Friday, January 25, 2008

Corn on the Cob

Figure 1-2 ears of corn per person

Particularly until the advent of hybrid corn, New England corn became more and more “starchy” after it was picked. For the true New Englander the way to eat corn was to pick it, husk it and immediately put it in a pot of boiling water to which 1 T of granulated sugar had been added and cook for just a minute or two.

Along these lines a friend told a story about when he was growing up on what was then a farm in Lincoln. In an attempt to please his grandfather, he had gone to the field several hours before dinner and picked corn for the meal. His grandfather gently explained the “straight to pot” concept. The friend continued on how years later when he was married, his wife was grocery shopping in the middle of winter and found “fresh” corn on the cob. Delighted she could take her husband a real treat she purchased some. When she got home he gently explained……


BOILED CORN

While Ed likes many varieties of bi-color corn, my favorite is white corn (Silver King, Silver Queen....) that comes later in the season. When cooking I use the technique described in the first paragraph (boiling water plus 1 T sugar) and am very careful not to over cook as corn becomes soggy. Serve with a stick of unsalted butter (with tin foil wrapped around one end) to rub on the corn. Salt to taste.

GRILLED CORN

Start with fresh corn in husks. Remove the outer layer of husks and pull back inner husks to remove as much silk as possible. Return inner husks to ideally cover all of the corn, trimming off any husks that extend beyond end of the ear. If any kernels are exposed, especially near the tip, cover with aluminum foil. To save foil, I used to use a thin strip, but Ed pointed out it would be better to make a larger "cap" and re-use.  "Caps" in photo at left have been used about half a dozen times. If husks are not moist, dampen outer layer.

Grill, turning frequently, for 5-6 minutes.

Remove from grill and using hot-mitt, remove remaining husks. I put some of the hot husks in the bottom of the serving dish to help keep the corn warm.

Serve with butter as above.

CONDOR CORN

Boiled corn steams up the cabin and attracts mosquitoes, corn grilled in husks is messy to deal with on board.  We have found the best way to cook corn on Condor is husked on grill, basted with a little butter or even better  wrapped in aluminum foil and cooked on grill, turning frequently, for about 5 minutes. Save and reuse foil for next batch of corn!

LEFT OVER CORN

Don’t throw away! Cut off the cob and use in summer salads or freeze for winter use in New England Corn Chowder or Corn and Green Chile Chowder.

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