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10 ways to dress up those hot ears of corn

Wednesday, August 13, 2014
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Doris Boeding, West Point,enjoys helping with the community event shucking corn for the annual Sweet Corn Festival Wednesday Aug. 6, 2014 in West Point, Iowa. They had 16.5 tons of sweet corn to shuck for the upcoming festival which runs through Sunday. (AP Photo/The Hawk Eye, John Gaines)
Doris Boeding, West Point,enjoys helping with the community event shucking corn for the annual Sweet Corn Festival Wednesday Aug. 6, 2014 in West Point, Iowa. They had 16.5 tons of sweet corn to shuck for the upcoming festival which runs through Sunday. (AP Photo/The Hawk Eye, John Gaines)

It’s hard to improve on the delicious simplicity of summer perfect corn on the cob slathered with butter and sprinkled with salt.

But we figured we’d give it a try anyway. And we quickly learned that fresh corn is a splendid foundation on which all manner of flavor combinations can be built, from sweet (check out the Fluff masterpiece) to savory (bacon, anyone?) to spicy (chili lime!).

So use our list as a starting point and see how many directions you can go with your corn.

BLUE CHEESE CHIVE BUTTER

Mash together 4 tablespoons softened butter with 4 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese. Stir in 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives and 1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper. Spread on hot corn on the cob.

OLD BAY BOIL

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season heavily with Old Bay Seasoning. Boil husked ears of corn until tender, about 5 minutes. Serve with butter and an additional sprinkle of Old Bay.

SPREADABLE BACON

Cook 1 slice of bacon per ear of corn. In a food processor, crumble the bacon and process until finely chopped. Add 1 tablespoon of butter per ear, a pinch of salt and black pepper, and 1⁄2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar. Spread on hot corn on the cob.

TOASTED MARSHMALLOW

Husk 6 ears of corn, skewer with long skewers, and coat lightly with cooking spray. Grill over medium-high until tender and lightly charred, turning frequently. Spread each ear of corn with a couple tablespoons of marshmallow spread (Fluff). Turn the grill flame up (or use a campfire) and toast the marshmallow on all sides.

HERB VINAIGRETTE

In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, a hefty pinch of salt and black pepper, 3 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme. Drizzle over the corn.

TOASTED ALMOND AND TARRAGON

Spread 1⁄2 cup ground almonds on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 350 F until golden and toasted, about 8 minutes. Allow to cool. Mix in 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon and 1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt. Coat each hot ear of corn with butter, then roll in the almond-tarragon mixture.

SMOKED FETA AND PEPPER

Finely crumble 1⁄2 cup smoked feta cheese. Mix in 2 tablespoons finely chopped pickled jalapeno peppers. Coat each hot ear of corn with butter, then roll in the cheese and pepper mixture.

JERK GRILLED

Whisk together 1 tablespoon water and 2 tablespoons molasses. Using a pastry brush, lightly coat 4 ears of corn with the molasses mixture. Sprinkle all over with purchased or homemade jerk seasoning. Grill over indirect heat on well-oiled grates until tender.

CHILI LIME

Spread cooked ears of corn on a platter. Sprinkle with fresh lime juice, finely grated lime zest, ground cumin, minced serrano chili and salt.

SAFFRON AND OLIVE CREAM

Mix 2 tablespoons minced Kalamata olives, 2 tablespoons minced green olives, a pinch of saffron and a pinch of black pepper into 1⁄4 cup mascarpone cheese. Spread over hot corn on the cob.

 
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