Corn has officially made an appearance at the farmers market, marking the signal of Summer. And while grilled corn on the cob is hard to beat, it's not impossible. Here are nine healthy corn recipes that'll have you grinning ear to ear!
I love the bounty of Summer fruits and vegetables that make an appearance this time of year: they're so sun-ripened and sweet that it's hard to get enough before the season comes to a close. Corn is one veggie that seems to disappear as suddenly as it materializes, so I try to incorporate it into as many meals as possible in order to enjoy those crunchy, sweet kernels. Whether you prefer gnawing an ear down to the cob or spooning the kernels into a salad, we've gathered up 10 corn recipes to round out any Summer meal.
I salivate at the thought of gnawing tender corn kernels, bursting with sweet juice, right off of a grilled corn cob. I also love cilantro (it must be genetic) so much that I'll eat a sprig of it just to perk up my palate. So when Sara showed off her recipe for chili-lime corn, I swooned.
Inspired, I went to the store, picked up a few plump ears of yellow corn, and got the Weber sizzling. Like Sara, I wanted a cob topping that would both play up the sweetness of the corn and counterbalance it with a bright cilantro flavor. But unlike her, I wanted to make cilantro sing as a the star of the condiment. To do this, I majorly upped the herb ante and cut out the chili powder. The result? A topping that's pure cilantro — a perfect, herbaceous match for yellow or white corn.
Keep reading to get the simple recipe.
Now that corn is officially in season, I can't get enough of those sweet, juicy ears. Packaged in their own wrappers, corn on the cob is nature's entry into the food-on-a-stick category, making it the perfect accompaniment for Summer grilling. With a Mexican street snack and another South-of-the-border-inspired version under my belt, I decided to head across the Atlantic for my next corn attack, drawing inspiration from France's prolific use of fresh, fragrant herbs.
Some people have green thumbs, but mine is decidedly black. So rather than turning to an abundant herb garden, I turned to the organic section at my local grocer for rosemary, sage, chives, and lemon thyme, which highlighted the wonderful citrus notes from the added lemon zest and juice.
In this recipe, quantities aren't important. Just grab a handful of your favorite herbs, mince 'em, and toss 'em in with the butter. They'll play up the sweetness of the grilled corn and possibly send you back for a few seconds. For the recipe, just keep reading.
A Summer backyard barbecue isn't complete without sweet ears of corn, so why is that key element often the most lackluster on the plate? This season, we're grilling up succulent, juicy ears that pack as much flavor as the rest of the cookout spread. We've taken a stab at a famous Mexican street food delicacy, and today we return south of the border for more corny inspiration.
This recipe relies on an old corn favorite — butter and salt — but gets its punch from a squirt of lime, a dash of chili powder, and a spray of cilantro. The grilling technique, inspired by Rick Bayless, uses the husks to trap in all that juicy goodness during the first cooking stage, but then you peel back that protective jacket to soak in the flavors of the grill. What results is a blend of sweet, tangy, spicy, salty, and herbaceous profiles that you'll want to gnaw right down to the cob.
Ready to bone up on your corn grilling repertoire? For the recipe, keep reading.
I have yet to munch on Mexico's famed elote asado on a street corner in its home country, but sometimes I dream about it. The charcoal-grilled juicy ears of corn slathered with rich crema and rolled in dried, ground chiles and crumbly cheese usually pops into my thoughts just as Spring warms into Summer, and I can't shake the craving until those first silky husked bundles begin showing up at produce markets.
This weekend, I could stave off the vision no longer, so we hopped down to San Francisco's Mission District to load up on fresh produce, handmade tortillas, and a bounty of Mexican sundries. Our bags weighed down with a block of salty queso añejo, a fresh batch of Mexican crema, a bag of smoky ground pasilla chiles, and plenty of corn, we set about crafting a grilled street food feast.
Using Rick Bayless's technique of first grilling the corn with the husk on produces a plump, juicy ear that pops with each bite, and the rich fixings highlight but don't hide the sweet flavor beneath. This recipe may have sated my initial Summer craving for corn, but thankfully there's plenty of season left to enjoy it again! For the recipe, just keep reading.
Corn on the cob is a Summer staple at my house. Not only is it tasty, but it's quick and easy to cook on the grill and pairs with everything from barbecued chicken to lamb burgers. However, one thing I'm always looking for are new and interesting corn on the cob toppings. Salt, pepper, and butter are simple and scrumptious, but sometimes I want corn with a little more flavor, so I've come up with seven ways to season corn on the cob:
- Add citrus. Mix softened butter with lime or lemon zest and spread on grilled corn. Squeeze with a lime or lemon wedge for extra tartness.
- Make an herb butter. Finely chop lots of herbs and mix with butter. Serve with grilled or boiled corn.
- Add cheese. Crumbly cheese like feta (which tastes good on corn with lots of black pepper) or finely grated hard cheese like parmesan and manchego work best.
- Sprinkle with seasoned salt, lemon pepper, or a spice blend, like Emeril's cajun spice mix, Essence. Even Italian seasoning is good.
- Offer it Mexican-style: slathered in mayonnaise, sprinkled with chile powder and crumbled queso fresco.
- Go spicy-sweet. Bobby Flay makes an amazing maple-chipotle butter, then he brushes it on corn — yum!
- Dream of cream. Drizzle with Mexican creama, sour cream, or mascarpone cheese.
How do you jazz up corn on the cob?
Source: Flickr User star5112
Although cooked corn eaten right off the cob is a classic Summer side, my favorite way to enjoy in-season corn is raw, stirred into a salad with basil and tomatoes. The kernels are slightly sweet, juicy, and have a nice light crunch. Raw corn can be mixed with everything from black beans to greens to fruit, and they are delicious in soup. If you've never had raw corn before, I suggest you give it a try. To encourage that you do, here you'll learn my easy technique for removing the corn from the cob.
There are a countless number of corn preparation ideas at the peak of the vegetable's season, but one of my preferred ways to eat the warm-weather vegetable standout is by giving its kernels a quick sauté with herbs and spices. Recently, I learned a new way of serving my favorite dish.
At this year's SF Chefs, chefs Laurence Jossel and Gonzalo Guzman of Nopalito offered charred corn with cotija in a minispoon of actual corn husk, tying the edges with another thin strip of husk. The result? An attractive, eco-friendly, fun way to eat corn that's not on the cob. Have you ever tried something similar?
We're at the peak of fresh corn season, and I don't know about you, but I can't get enough of the sweet juicy kernels! However, I do have a confession: corn on the cob is not my favorite way to enjoy corn. It's somewhat boring, boiled corn on the cob with butter, and the silks always get stuck in my teeth!
I prefer to cut the kernels from the cob and use them in a salad, soup, or saute. My recent preparation of choice involved chopping the corn in a food processor, then mixing it with cheese and herbs to make delectable corn cakes. What about you: How do you eat corn? What dishes do you make with corn in Summer?