Make the Most of Your Summer Corn
“Food for us comes from our relatives, whether they have wings or fins or roots. That is how we consider food. Food has a culture. It has a history. It has a story. It has relationships.” — Winona Laduke
As a seasonal eater, I celebrate the peak of corn season in August. Corn is unpretentious, easy to enjoy, simple to cook, and delicious to eat. On the cob or off the cob…that is the question. I love the absolute simplicity of peeling back the husk, chopping off the end, and cutting it off the cob.
Something wonderful that feels like you’ve fussed all day is my Corn Sauté with Shrimp and Chorizo. Easy to make, perfect for now, and something you will quite simply do again and again. I love shrimp, but it’s also easy to do with chicken instead.
During the few weeks when corn is in season, you can pretty much find it on my dinner table every night. Here’s a classic Teri: build a platter around a grilled protein like these delectable pork chops, then add feta cheese, Marinated Red Onions, tomatoes, and cucumber on a bed of greens. It is both delightful and easy to do for a group, and wonderful as a main dish entrée.
My family enjoyed our weekly Taco Tuesday from the time the kids were born until they grew up and moved out of the house, and corn was always a favorite on our festive weekly taco platter. There was something for everyone.
With Patrick @nocrumbslefts_otherkid in town, we’ve been veganizing everything, including my Vegan Zucchini Corn Cakes. The original version from my NoCrumbsLeft cookbook (page 276) was already delicious, but we have discovered a lovely coconut flour blend which is perfect for these, or just use all purpose flour. Rather than using egg, we used Just Egg, a vegan egg mixture that makes substituting so easy. We had such fun product-testing these in the kitchen, and I can assure you there were no crumbs left.
How about a Yellow and Orange Summer Salad? It doesn’t need to be much more complicated than everything of the season, tossed: corn, peaches, apricots, lovely plums, peppers, apricots, and Sun Gold tomatoes. So beautiful and refreshing!
Wondering how to preserve the season? One fabulous way is to cut the corn off the cob and freeze it, then pull it out when you need it. To take corn off the cob, peel the ear, chop off the end, and cut the kernels off lengthwise (without getting too close to the cob). Then reverse the knife and milk the cob by scraping the flat side of the knife down the cob.
And for many, nothing says summer like corn on the cob. Sweet corn on the cob is a classic state fair staple. At some state fairs, the ears of corn are boiled or grilled and then doused in butter. Some fairs serve Mexican Street Fair Corn (Elote), which is grilled, slathered in mayo, and then rolled in a mixture of cheese, herbs and spices. (My non-traditional spin on Elote is on the blog.) So many kinds, so little time!
I was tickled to learn that much of our nation’s corn is grown here in the Midwest, which is why the region is known as the “Corn Belt.” When Europeans arrived in the western hemisphere in the 15th century, Native American people had already been cultivating maize for years. It came in white, black, ruby, blue, speckled, and other varieties.
Heading toward fall, I absolutely love corn polenta, and who doesn’t love the classic 1960s corn soufflé? I have my mother’s version on the blog, along with a more updated, healthful version.
So, get on over to the farmers market and get cooking!
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