One of the indigenous plants of North America, corn has been popular for centuries. It can be ground, boiled, fried, grilled, and even made into sugar! Take a look at some of these cooking techniques, and expand your ideas of how corn fits into your summer plate. Just be certain to grab a stalk where the husks are tightly wrapped around the cob. If possible, strip the stalk so that you can see that the kernels are plump and juicy.
This is one of the easiest ways to cook corn. Be careful to remove all its strings, and then boil it until the kernels are tender and juicy. Enjoy this the way that Cubans do, and slather it with mayonnaise, lime juice, and cotija cheese. Or, savor it with plenty of melted butter and salt, the good ol’ fashioned American way.
Fried corn is a Southern staple and is a bit time-consuming, but it can also be very satisfying. Scrape the kernels off the cob with a heavy knife; do it by standing the cob up in the bottom of a large bowl so that the kernels don’t bounce all over the place when they fly off the cob. Then, shallow fry them in butter until they turn golden-brown and give off a slightly nutty scent. The corn is sweet and slightly crunchy and goes perfectly with crisply-fried bacon.
Simply wrap husked corn in foil and grill for about 20 minutes, turning occasionally. The corn gets a smoky, earthy taste and char that contrasts with its inherent sweetness. Slather some seasoned butter on the corn before wrapping in foil to infuse some extra flavor. Try tarragon, cilantro, curry powder, or any other spice to create a dish très haute.
Creamed corn isn’t just a side for prime rib any more. Take kernels off the cob, and then get all the sweet corn milk out of the cob by scraping it with the back of your knife. Put the corn and the milk in your vanilla ice cream base before cooking. Then, proceed with your favorite vanilla ice cream recipe instructions. It results in a sweet, warm, intensely corn-y ice cream that goes well topped with butterscotch, whipped cream, and—you guessed it—caramel corn.